Making Ready for
Bloomsday Centenary

James Joyce in the company of Ezra Pound, John Quinn and Ford Madox Ford.

By Irish America Staff
August / September 2003

June 16, 2004 is the 100th Anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s Fateful Walk.

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As we go to press and the world is celebrating Bloomsday, plans are already afoot for next year’s “Bloomsday Centenary.” Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism John O’Donoghue has set up the Bloomsday Centenary Coordinating Committee, to plan the event which will hopefully lure James Joyce fans and tourist dollars to the Dublin author’s home turf. Bloomsday is the fictional day, June 16, 1904, on which the character Leopold Bloom traverses Dublin City in Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. In the decades since the internationally acclaimed work was published, Bloomsday has caught the public and literary imagination and has become the day on which fans of Joyce celebrate the man and his unique work.

“I am very conscious of the importance of the upcoming centenary of BloomsdayIt will bring a special focus, nationally and internationally on Joyce and his works,” O’Donoghue said. He added that “In advance of the centenary a special effort is needed to make sure that the many proposed events are coordinated so that the most interest and enjoyment can be generated both at home and abroad. This is particularly important given the fact that the National Library of Ireland now holds one of the most important collections of Joyce manuscripts in the world.”

The original handwritten manuscript of Ulysses makes its home in America. It is in the Rosenback Museum in Philadelphia, having been purchased in 1924 for $1,975. ♦

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