Ulysses100 – James Joyce’s Magnum Opus Celebrated

Today Wednesday 2 February, 2022 the MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland launched a major programme of events, exhibition and artistic collaborations to celebrate the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ulysses100. The most significant book in Irish literature.

Ulysses100 – James Joyce’s Immortal Magnum Opus Celebrated

Published on 2 February, 1922, Joyce’s novel is the singular masterpiece of 20th century literature in the English language, and continues to be hugely influential today. From its inception, MoLI, a partnership between UCD and the National Library, has had a special focus on Joyce’s work.

Located in Joyce’s UCD student home, MoLI showcases some of the most treasured items in the National Library’s collections, including Joyce’s handwritten Ulysses notebooks, alongside ‘Copy No 1’ of the first edition of Ulysses. This is the iconic copy Joyce dedicated to his patron Harriet Shaw Weaver ‘in token of gratitude’, on his 40th birthday, 2 February 1922.

Alongside its permanent Joyce exhibitions, the museum today announces an exciting and ambitious programme to mark the most important literary centenary in the history of the Irish State.

Simon O’Connor, Director MoLI

Love, says Bloom (Feb 2 – 31 June)  is a beautiful new film installation at the museum, guest-curated by writer Nuala O’Connor. The Joyces lived and moved across a war-ruptured early twentieth century Europe, their native Ireland also up-ended by division. In this immersive installation, curator Nuala O’Connor works with video artists, and some of Ireland’s leading young singers, to celebrate the Joyce family’s mutual devotion, alongside some of the music that bound them, while their world was in flux.

Ulysses 2.2 – The centrepiece of the global celebration of the Ulysses centenary: MoLI, ANU and Landmark Productions have come together to present a citywide odyssey of artistic collaborations with 18 cross-disciplinary artists responding to the 18 episodes of the book, reframing the novel as a modern day geographical and episodic artwork.

Beginning with a cutting-edge eye-tracking installation at MoLI devised by Booker-prize winner Anne Enright, and culminating with a major collaboration with Irish National Opera, Ulysses 2.2 will see a hugely ambitious year-long, nationwide programme of thrilling new artworks, created by a diverse range of leading Irish artists, collaborators and companies, established and emerging, presented in a range of live performances, digital commissions and installations. 

Participating artists include, in addition to director Louise Lowe and visual artist Owen Boss of ANU, the writers Anne Enright, Fintan O’Toole, Marina Carr and Emilie Pine; poet Paula Meehan; choreographers David Bolger of CoisCéim and Emma Martin of United Fall; children’s theatre practitioners Branar; composer Evangelia Rigaki; food artists The Domestic Godless; musicians Fedah, Matthew Nolan and GodKnows; and writer and activist Sinead Burke.

Ulysses 2.2 is funded by an Open Call award from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Ulysses100.ie – To collect and promote these events, MoLI has partnered with the Government of Ireland to develop Ulysses100.ie, a digital platform that allows visitors to explore Joycean events taking place both at home and abroad.

Event organisers can also upload their own events to the site in what will be the most significant and active literary centenary in the history of the Irish State. As the year progresses, Ulysses100.ie will give a complete picture of the scale of the Joyce Centenary across the globe.

Salon events – Throughout the year, and in light of the recent relaxing of restrictions in Ireland, MoLI will be hosting live seminars, interviews and musical events for public audiences to celebrate the centenary throughout the year, featuring collaborators across the museum’s entire Ulysses programme and beyond.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD said: “Ulysses can still teach us so much each time we open the covers. With 100 years since the publication of this masterpiece, we mark James Joyce and all the rich characters he gave us, which have fed imaginations for generations and which will continue to inspire. I am also delighted that my Department has provided significant funding towards the museum’s centenary events while also supporting other projects both in Dublin and Paris.”  

Not only is this the centenary of perhaps the most important work of literary modernism, it is a celebration of one Irish writer’s enormous artistic achievement and the international impact he continues to have. We are delighted that MoLI, with the support of the Arts Council and the Government of Ireland, is playing such a central role in the celebrations and programming.” Simon O’Connor, Director, MoLI

“UCD is very proud of our distinguished alumnus James Joyce and of the special history of MoLI, situated in our historic buildings, where the student Joyce found intellectual and creative inspiration and built life-long friendships. It is especially fitting that this year of Ulysses 100 sees the creation of new dynamic creative partnerships, fostered by MoLI, and sharing the legacy of his life and work with all. ” Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, UCD

“As a young man, James Joyce made his way between UCD in Newman House, and the National Library of Ireland, every day. We are thrilled that the energy and restless excitement of that young man infuses the centenary programme – and delighted that visitors can continue to enjoy the National Library’s Joyce collections in MoLI throughout this centenary year.” Sandra Collins NLI 

MoLI, UCD Naughton Joyce Centre, Newman House, 
86 St Stephen’s Green South, Dublin 2, www.moli.ie

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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