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Womancity: Women in Joyce (Culture Night)

On Culture Night, 23 September 2022, the James Joyce Centre hosted a number of events and exhibitions dedicated to Joyce’s professional and personal relationships with women: the publishers, patrons, typists, and many others who were instrumental in Joyce’s life as an artist.

Ulysses and the Women Behind the Scenes was a conversation about the women that have inspired and supported the life and work of James Joyce. We were delighted to welcome Harriet Cole (née Weaver), whose grandaunt, Harriet Shaw Weaver, was one of the most important and influential women in Joyce’s career. She was in conversation with special guests Clare Hutton, curator of the exhibition Women and the Making of Ulysses at the Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, Caitríona Ní Threasaigh, an actress who has been performing Molly for almost a decade, and Lucy Brennan-Shiel, a multimedia artist who has made a documentary and a new album with a dedication to Weaver. Some of the items from the Women and the Making of Ulysses exhibition, including an original Shakespeare & Co. copy of Ulysses, were on display.

In addition, actress Caitríona Ní Threasaigh performed a riveting extract of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from Ulysses. Molly’s soliloquy, the extraordinary final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses, remains after 100 years one of the finest passages of writing in modern literature. Joyce documents a woman’s thoughts in an uncensored stream of consciousness interwoven with memories and fantasies. Regarded as scandalous and brilliant in its intimacy, the soliloquy is captivating and enthralling. Caitríona’s performance was a favourite of the night.

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