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James Joyce and his Ulysses celebrate 140 and 100 years on 2 February 2022

Friday, 28 January 2022 09:57

In just a few days James Joyce would be 140 years old and, on the same day, his Ulysses will be 100 years old. It was 2 February 1882 when the writer was born in Dublin, and on 2 February 1922 when, what would become his most famous novel, was published. Joyce conceived and began to write this intense work in Trieste, his adopted city where he lived for over a decade. To mark this important centenary there are numerous events in store to pay tribute to the deep bond between the regional capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and the Dublin-born author.

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Trieste the city of Joyce

"My soul is in Trieste," wrote Joyce, and as a writer he brought together the high and the low parts of the city, frequenting in equal measure the bourgeoisie, who lived in the neoclassical palaces of Borgo Teresiano, and the Cavana district, home of Trieste's nightlife. The author arrived in Trieste in 1904 and was immediately intoxicated and fascinated by the city and its contrasts. It is a city with a seafaring heart and a dynamic port, a crossroads of cultures and one of Italy’s most elegant regional capitals. On the one hand, the austere Hapsburg Trieste with its stately buildings and, on the other, the Mitteleuropean lifestyle of the people, the literary cafes that at the time were frequented by writers and artists and the city’s multicultural nature, all elements that were a source of great inspiration for the author.  It was in Trieste that Joyce finished Dubliners, wrote Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and conceived and wrote the first three chapters of Ulysses.

Trieste of Ulysses

The deep link between Trieste and Joyce will be celebrated throughout the year with various events organized and backed by the Trieste Convention and Visitors Bureau, with the aim of attracting more visitors to the city and accompanying them to discover the Trieste of Ulysses. Among the various events and happenings on the programme there will be special itineraries on foot to the places where Joyce lived, such as Borgo Teresiano (his statue is on the Ponterosso), Piazza Barbacan, the Greek-Orthodox Church of S. Nicolò and the many houses in which he lived. In the Cavana district, which Joyce loved to frequent, there is a path with Neon Art dedications to him that are part of Doublin’, a project conceived and inaugurated in 2019 by the Cizerouno Cultural Association and the DMAV Social Art Ensamble. Doublin’ is a play on the name Dublin, with Dublin’s red-light district “doubling” with Trieste’s. Another Joycean street is Montgomery Street which was recently added to the Monto described in the Circe episode.

2016_03.jpgTrieste and its Joyce

Visits to places linked to Joyce will begin on Saturday 29 January and continue on further Saturdays at 10.30 am and 4 pm with departures from the PromoTurismoFVG Infopoint in Piazza Unità d'Italia 4/b. Each tour will cost €10.00. Then in June, to mark Bloomsday which is celebrated all over the world on 16 June in commemoration of Ulysses, it will be possible to experience the novel first-hand through happenings and activities organized around Trieste over a four-day period. From the favourite breakfast of Leopold Bloom, the novel's protagonist, to concerts at Ponterosso, with of course the fun of dressing up in costumes like those worn in Joyce’s day.
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