Today is Bloomsday, which is perhaps not the best-known day of celebration. It’s a celebration of all things James Joyce, and more specifically, his great novel Ulysses (1922). Bloomsday always falls on 16 June, because that’s the day on which the book is set (in 1904). And it’s named Bloomsday in honour of the novel’s hero, Leopold Bloom. And of course his wife Molly Bloom too, who has a very important part to play in the book. Why though, would we have a day of celebration for a single book?

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How to Disappear Completely

21st June 1997, Dublin, Ireland:

Touring their hit album OK Computer, Radiohead play in front of 33,000 fans at the RDS arena. Terrified at having never played in front of such a big crowd before, lead singer Thom Yorke later has a nightmare in which he imagines himself naked, floating down the River Liffey and being pursued by a tidal wave. This dream inspires the song “How to Disappear Completely,” which appeared on their following album, 2000’s Kid A. The song is a slow, melancholy, beautiful one, and very personal, dealing with the mental breakdown Yorke suffered after the critical and commercial success of Ok Computer. It directly refers to Thom’s dream in the opening verse: Continue reading