Dusty Springfield: John, this is a question which you've probably been asked a thousand times before, but you always..., all of you give different versions, different answers, so you are going to tell me now. How did the Beatles get their name?
June 16 is a special date for admirers of James Joyce. On this day in 1904 the Irish author had his first date with his future wife, Nora. He later chose the date as the one on which Leopold Bloom would carry out his twenty-four hour mock-odyssey in Ulysses (1922).
Ulysses is renowned for the daunting challenge it poses readers (see here for a beginner's guide). It also weighs in at at close to a thousand pages in the paperback edition.
Who is Leopold Bloom? Leopold Bloom is a salesman and a middle-aged father of a teenage daughter, Milly. His only son, Rudy, died after only eleven days. Bloom is unswervingly devoted to his wife, Molly, but is aware that she is having an affair with the flashy Blazes Boylan.
In crucial respects Bloom is an outsider in a very insular society.Though he has converted to Catholicism in order to marry Molly, he is never allowed to forget his Jewish origins.
An unlikely hero? Funny, kind, gentle, unfailingly polite in the most trying of circumstances, Leo…