Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
Born in 1866, Bloom is the only son of Rudolf Virág (a Hungarian from Szombathely who emigrated to Ireland, converted from Judaism to Protestantism, changed his name to Rudolph Bloom and, later, committed suicide) and of Ellen Higgins, an Irish Protestant. He married Marion (Molly) Tweedy on 8 October 1888. The couple have one daughter, Millicent (Milly), born in 1889; their son Rudolph (Rudy), born in December 1893, died after eleven days. The family live at 7 Eccles Street in Dublin.
Ulysses focuses primarily on Bloom and on the contemporary odyssey he embarks upon through Dublin over the course of the single day of June 16, 1904, and the various types of people and themes he encounters. (Although episodes 1 to 3, as well as 9 and to a lesser extent 7, concentrate more on Stephen Dedalus, who in the plan of the book represents the Telemachus to Bloom's Odysseus.) Joyce aficionados celebrate June 16 as 'Bloomsday'.
As he goes about his day, Bloom's thoughts primarily portray him as somewhat preoccupied with the affair between Molly and her manager (Hugh 'Blazes' Boylan); and, prompted by the funeral of friend Paddy Dignam, the death of his child, Rudy. His absence of a son may be what leads him to take a shine to Stephen, whom he goes out of his way to take care of in the book's latter episodes, rescuing him from a brothel, walking him back to his own house and even offering him a place there to study and work. Also encountered are his sometime chauvinistic attitudes, his penchant for voyeurism and his unfaithful epistolary alter ego, 'Henry Flower'. Bloom detests violence, and his relative indifference to Irish nationalism leads to dispute with some of his peers (most notably 'the Citizen' in the Cyclops chapter).
In the 1968 film he was played by Gene Wilder, and in the Broadway musical and 2005 film by Matthew Broderick. He has also been played on stage by Steven Weber, Lee Evans, Roger Bart and John Gordon Sinclair, amongst others.
It has also been suggested by Jeffrey Meyer in "Orwell's Apocalypse:Coming Up For Air, Modern Fiction Studies that George Orwell's primary character George Bowling in "Coming Up For Air" was modeled on Leopold Bloom.
In The Daily Show with Jon Stewart presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, a mock civics textbook, Leopold Bloom is mentioned in an example of a letter entitled "Writing your Congressman." The book suggests that if you have previously written to a Congressman, and you have not heard back, you should write one of the following combinations, "I live in your district and I ''vote/plan on registering to vote this time/will wake up on Election Day with every intention to vote but, like Joyce's Leopold Bloom, will find my day inexorably pulling me in every direction but that one toward which I intended to go."
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