The fictional dead of Dublin — stately, plump Buck Mulligan, Leopold and Molly Bloom — will come alive tonight in Chicago.
To mark Bloomsday, which celebrates James Joyce's "Ulysses," his characters will speak in Latin and vulgarities and the plural of "yes" at a live reading of the landmark book at 8 p.m. at Galway Arms, a pub and restaurant at Clark & Fullerton streets.
Ten leading local actors and writers will take turns reading from the work, which attempts to re-create the Dublin, Ireland of June 16, 1904.
Readings of the 450-page book have become a tradition around the world and can take 36 hours, but this is an abridged version which aims to tell the story arc through narration and excerpts in a breezy 2½ hours.
Dave Gecic, publisher of Puddin'head Press, which sponsors the event, said the book was groundbreaking in its use of stream-of-consciousness, changing formats, and multiple perspectives. It has influenced many later works, he said, including recent fare like "Pulp Fiction."
Playwright and Roosevelt University lecturer Jeff Helgeson introduces the piece, and actress Barbara Button culminates the proceedings with Molly Bloom's soliloquy.
"The actors and literary fans bring an element of performance," Helgeson said. "It's got a celebratory quality."