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Dublin Celebrates the Wake’s 80th Birthday: “Finnegans Wake at 80” by Derek Pyle

James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 56, Number 1-2, Fall 2018-Winter 2019, pp. 10-17 (Article)

Published by The University of Tulsa DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jjq.2019.0029

Dublin Celebrates the Wake’s 80th Birthday: “Finnegans Wake at 80”; “Lucia Joyce: Perspectives”; “Text/Sound/Performance: Making in Canadian Space”; and “Finnegans Wake-End,” 11-13 April, 25-27 April, and 3-5 May, 2019 .

4 May 2019 marked eighty years since the first publication of Finnegans Wake, and this spring multiple events in Dublin celebrated the book’s impact, history, and continuing legacy. These events included “Finnegans Wake at 80,” an academic conference organized by Sam Slote at Trinity College; “Lucia Joyce: Perspectives,” an afternoon event following immediately after “Finnegans Wake at 80” and dedicated to Lucia Joyce, organized by Genevieve Sartor; the “Text/ Sound/Performance” conference at University College Dublin organized by Gregory Betts; and the James Joyce Centre’s “Finnegans Wake-End,” which took place during the 3-5 May bank-holiday weekend. When viewed as a whole, these events represent a significant turn in academic, artistic, and popular interest in and appreciation for Joyce’s final work.

To read this article in its entirety, please click below to download the PDF.

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“Throwing Shapes: The Morphing Feminine in Joyce” – Dr. Caroline Elbay

The third talk in our Autumn/Winter lecture series at the James Joyce Centre took place on Monday 4th November 2019. We welcomed Dr. Caroline Elbay, and she gave her lecture entitled, “Throwing Shapes: The Morphing Feminine in Joyce”.

Dr. Elbay discussed in the Modernist literary context, the term ‘metamorphosis’ which elicits immediate associations with Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis (1915). In which the protagonist, a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, awakens one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a bug.

From the ‘bird girl’ and ‘bat-like soul’ of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, to the ‘cold nightsnake’ of Giacomo Joyce and the feminised Bloom in ‘Circe’, this lecture explored how, through metamorphosis – a shifting of form or maturing to adulthood – and anthropomorphism, many of James Joyce’s female (and feminine) characters represent both [wo]man and nation intent on liberation.

Dr. Caroline Elbay lectures at Champlain College Dublin and CEA Study Abroad (Dublin), where she teaches courses in Irish literature; Academic Writing; Popular Culture & Irish Identity; and Irish music. Caroline is the co-founder and facilitator of a life-long learning programme at The James Joyce Cultural Centre, Dublin.

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“The Dubliners Dilemma” – Declan Gorman performance

On 16th October, as part of the 2019 Autumn/Winter Course with Dr. Caroline Elbay, the James Joyce Centre hosted a performance of Declan Gorman’s “The Dubliners Dilemma.”

It begins in London shortly before WW1, in the basement workroom of publisher Grant Richards, who had previously rejected ‘Dubliners’ out of worry it might breach strict obscenity laws. Now he re-reads the manuscript and recalls his uncomfortable correspondence with the truculent young genius. Should he reconsider and publish now? In all their magical glory, the stories of Dublin come to vivid life around him.

From Oslo to Mayo to Moscow, Declan Gorman’s performance based on James Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’ has enthralled audiences and critics nationally and internationally over the past seven years.

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“Making Joyce – Translating Joyce for Live Theatre Performance” – Sinéad Murphy and Darina Gallagher

The second talk in our Autumn/Winter lecture series at the James Joyce Centre took place on Monday 14th October 2019. Sinéad Murphy and Darina Gallagher delivered their performative lecture on “Making Joyce – Translating Joyce for Live Theatre Performance”.

Sinéad and Darina’s lecture focused on their process of translating Joyce for theatre performance and included musical and textual extracts from Joyce’s work.

Over the last 9 years, Darina and Sinead have devised over 8 music-theatre shows exploring the work of James Joyce. Originally developing performances before copyright restrictions were lifted, they initially focused on evoking Joyce’s life and work through a musical soundscape of early 20th century Dublin.

Since then they have continued a musical and storytelling journey that aims to make Joyce accessible to new audiences and new performance spaces and that transcends educational, cultural and linguistic barriers. Their work explores themes such as language, politics, home, childhood and women and they have toured internationally from China to New York.

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“Joyce in Performance” – Dr. Jonathan Creasy

For the first talk in our Autumn/Winter lecture series at the James Joyce Centre on Monday 16th September 2019, Dr. Jonathan Creasy delivered a talk on “Joyce in Performance.”

“He ought to have either died naturally or on the scaffold high. Like actresses, always farewell positively last performance then come up smiling again” – “Eumaeus”, Ulysses.

Jonathan’s talk explored the performative aspects of Joyce’s work from his play Exiles to the prose styles of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. It focussed on adaptations of Joyce’s work for music and stage, particularly John Cage’s Roaratorio, an Irish circus on Finnegans Wake and Mary Manning’s Passages from Finnegans Wake.

The event concluded with an improvised performance responding to Joyce’s work by guitarist-composer Benjamin Dwyer, Jonathan Creasy and Marty Gilroy. Benjamin Dwyer is a member of Aosdána and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. He is Professor of Music at Middlesex University, London. Marty Gilroy is a PhD candidate at University College Dublin, exploring post-crash literature.

Jonathan has a PhD in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin. He worked at the Joyce Centre variously between 2008 to 2016 and is currently working on a post-doctoral project at University College Dublin funded by the Irish Research Council. He lectures at UCD in English and Creative Writing.

He is Editor-in-Chief at New Dublin Press, a reporter for The History Show on RTÉ Radio 1 as well as producer and presenter of The Writers’ Room. His book, The Black Mountain Letters, is published by Dalkey Archive Press and he has books forthcoming with New York’s New Directions and University of New Mexico Press. 

Creasy’s films include the forthcoming feature documentaries, An Inconvenient Masterpiece and Almost Home: Explorations on the Border. 

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Culture Night 2019 – follow the D.N.A. of the City

With so much happening on Culture Night, it’s good to have a theme for your evening of unwrapping Culture in the city. Why not follow the Dublin Northside Attractions trail, made up of some of the city’s most vibrant attractions that are a key not only to the character of Dublin city but also to its people and the people of Ireland.

You could start at the James Joyce Centre. Get closer to James Joyce, one of Ireland’s greatest modern writers. Read the opening episode of Ulysses from 4-6pm. Join an “Introducing James Joyce” talk and walking tour at 5.30pm and 7.00pm. Enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the Centre, complete with readings from Joyce’s works, at 5.15pm, 6.15pm,  7.15pm and 9.15pm. Experience “Songs of Joyce” performed by delightful sirens Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher at 8pm in the stunning Kenmare Room. 

Round the corner at 14 Henrietta Street, DabbledooMusic presents ‘Float Down The Liffey’; a unique live music and film screening.

Pop by the National Botanic Gardens for some ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours of parts of the Gardens that you wouldn’t normally get to visit, including the Palm House and the Library & National Herbarium.

Glasnevin is the final resting place of many iconic figures. Come along to Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and hear their stories by joining a tour of Daniel O’Connell’s crypt.

Visit Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane for a night of culture, music, film screenings, art workshops, quick tours and lots more! The Hugh Lane Gallery is one of Dublin’s finest galleries in the heart of the historic north city centre.

Come explore the 1916 Easter Rising, War of Independence, Civil War, the peace process and more in the GPO Witness History award-winning visitor centre! 

Croke Park is the home of Gaelic games and it holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish people. Take a tour of the GAA Museum and Croke Park, Europe’s third largest stadium to learn more about this iconic arena.

Finally, why not book a taster tour for EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, recently named Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction.

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