The Anti-Semitic Limerick Incidents and Joyce's “Bloomsday”

Marvin Magalaner

in Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035291
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038483 | DOI:
The Anti-Semitic Limerick Incidents and Joyce's “Bloomsday”

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This chapter exemplifies the anti-Semitic Limerick incidents as shown through the character of Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. The events which befall Leopold Bloom, in Joyce's Ulysses represent everyman and at times he bears distinguishable characteristics of Christ. By the time of Bloomsday, there were fewer than four thousand Jews in Ireland, enough apparently to antagonize some of the native Irish population into open violence. This vitriolic outburst of anti-Semitism, and its more philosophical aftermath, became big news on the front pages of leading newspapers and magazines in Dublin during the middle months of 1904. Joyce left Ireland for good several weeks after the public airing of the racial discrimination issue, and carried with him a clear mental and emotional picture of the Dublin he left behind him. Joyce selected a Jew as his central character to establish a frame of reference against which the reader might place the attitudes of Jews and non-Jews toward each other in the Ireland of that period.

Keywords: anti-Semitic Limerick incidents; Bloomsday; anti-Semitism; Ulysses; racial discrimination

Chapter.  2679 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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