Ireland’s Embassies and Consulates celebrate 100 years of Ulysses
Press release02 February 2022
The 2nd of February 2022 marks one hundred years since the publication of the modernist masterpiece Ulysses by James Joyce. Building on successful global Bloomsday initiatives in 2020 and 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Ireland’s global diplomatic network will mark the centenary of Joyce’s ground-breaking work throughout 2022 with a extensive programme of events worldwide.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, T.D., said: “As this ground-breaking masterpiece is celebrated worldwide, our network of Embassies and Consulates are proud to partner with leading cultural institutions on a rich global programme, ranging from exhibitions and publications to commissioned artworks, performances and readings.”
Some of the events taking place reflect the connections the book has created with other countries. This year Ireland and France jointly celebrate the centenary of the publication of Ulysses in Paris as a pivotal moment in Irish, French and European modernism; the Centre Culturel Irlandais is presenting a five-month centenary season, alongside special initiatives by the Irish Embassy in Paris. In the novel, Leopold Bloom's father hails from the Hungarian city of Szombathely, which will host a three-day Joyce festival, including the commissioning of mural art in partnership with Project Arts Centre. The Irish Embassy in Budapest is also partnering with the Hungarian James Joyce Society on a year-long programme.
Ireland’s Embassy and Consulates in the US are partnering with major institutions on flagship Joycean projects, including the Morgan Library in New York, the Rosenbach Library in Philadelphia, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Buffalo.
Full details of events held around the world can be found at https://ulysses100.ie and on Embassy and Consulate General webpages.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Ulysses was first published in Paris on Joyce’s 40th birthday, 2 February 1922. The book follows the events of one single day in Dublin (the 16th of June 1904) and what happens to the characters Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and his wife Molly. Ulysses captures the atmosphere and the structures of 1904 Dublin in such astonishing and meticulous detail that Joyce once said that if Dublin were to be destroyed, Ulysses could be used to rebuild it brick by brick. The book has survived censorship and controversy, including claims of blasphemy, to become an undisputed modern classic. T. S. Eliot described Ulysses as “[t]he most important expression which the present age has found; it is a book to which we are all indebted, and from which none of us can escape.”
2. James Joyce was born in Dublin on 2 February 1882, the oldest of ten children. During the summer of 1904 he met a young Galway-woman, Nora Barnacle, with whom he had two children. He died in Zürich on 13 January 1941, and is buried in the Fluntern Cemetery.
3. Many of the first U100 events at Missions are capitalising on the proximity of the centenary to St. Brigid’s Day, with events celebrating the key role of women in the publication of Ulysses. Sylvia Beach, who owned the Shakepeare and Company bookshop in Paris, and Adrienne Monnier, a Parisian bookseller, were the first publishers in English and French translation of the book respectively.
4. The Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI) in Paris is presenting a special five-month Season of Centenaries, celebrating the centenaries of the publication of Ulysses and of Irish Statehood. Highlights of the programme include six new co-commissions of music and film to screen simultaneously in the CCI and Meeting House Square Dublin; a courtyard exhibition of photographs from Deirdre Brennan’s Following Ulysses; Ulysses in Translation, a series of conversations with translators of the novel; and a range of musical performances.
5. The Morgan Library in New York will host a major four-month exhibition on the centenary of Ulysses, opening in June and curated by Colm Tóibín. Accompanying the exhibition will be an illustrated volume of essays, edited by Tóibín, with contributions by international Joyce scholars and a foreword by President Michael D. Higgins.
6. The University of Texas in Austin will present a flagship exhibition on Women and the Making of Joyce's Ulysses, while Notre Dame University’s Global Ulysses will comprise three academic conferences on Joyce taking place in Paris, Dublin, and Rome.
7. The Ulysses100 digital platform, designed and operated by the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) and co-funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will showcase, document and archive all relevant centenary events at home and abroad, from blockbuster exhibitions to small-scale local initiatives.