Ulysses “Seen” Original Art at The James Joyce Centre

Dublin, Ireland — 23 Jul. 2012


The James Joyce Centre is delighted to present an exhibition of original drawings by illustrator Rob Berry from the ‘Ulysses “Seen”’ project, an adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses. The work will be on display at the Centre until Thursday 20th December 2012.

This exhibition is made possible through the continued support of the James Joyce Centre by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and marks the beginning of an important transatlantic collaboration between the team behind ‘Ulysses “Seen”’ and the Centre.

‘Ulysses “Seen”’ is a web based comic adaptation of Joyce’s masterpiece, developed with the aim of reinvigorating an appreciation for a work which has established a reputation for inaccessibility. The project offers itself as a unique companion piece to the novel, transposing the subtlety and humour of the book into a comic narrative form which will be familiar to 21st Century readers. The result is what the Huffington Post has called a “breathtaking adaptation”.

Mark Traynor, manager of the Centre, says: “The Centre has long admired ‘Ulysses “Seen”’ and this is precisely the sort of work that we want to show to the public. Without dumbing down the novel, Rob Berry’s drawings cut through the academic gobbledygook that turns off so many readers and refocuses on what makes the book great: its playfulness, humanity, and extraordinary ordinariness.”

“By the same token,” he says, “it also appeals to the sort of reader Joyce would have loved: someone willing to embrace new forms, someone comfortable with popular culture, and above all someone with a sense of humour and imagination.”

See www.jamesjoyce.ie for further details.

For additional information, pictures or interviews please contact Mark Traynor at (00353)-1-8788547 or mark@jamesjoyce.ie.

It is true. I’m finally going to Dublin.

True, there hasn’t been much info about it here. In fact the blog seems rather, well, quiet for the week before Bloomsday, doesn’t it? I mean there must be new pages coming out soon, right? There must be new events from Bloomsday the world over that you, as subscribers, are interested in hearing about, aren’t there? And what about a print version of the comic? Or some more t-shirts or pint glasses?

Yes, all of that’s true and in the works as well. We’ve been really busy on putting together those pages and keeping on top of new developments. But this Dublin trip, long over due, came as something of a surprise and we’ve been too busy getting ready for it to bring any of you up to speed. My apologies. But don’t worry we’ll have plenty to talk about all week long, I promise.

For those of you who will be in Dublin this this Bloomsday, c’mon down to The Bailey (original home for Bloomsday, by the way) and say hello. Mark Traynor, our friend at the James Joyce Centre, has been welcoming me to the town and helped make all the arrangements for this informal exhibit with the good folks at The Bailey. We’ll have original art from the comic as well as posters to sell, but I’ll also be using it as a sort of beachhead for my forays into Dublin. I’ve got a lot to see if I’m going to do this comic rightly, so I’m happy to meet any Joycefans who want to bend my ear and send my feet and eyes of in the right direction of reference material. Or just share a pint.


Getting ready for BloomsDay?

Looking to get your Joyce fix before Bloomsday? Hoping you can slip a bit more easily in to the deep waters of modernist literature and, maybe, get a few really good bellylaughs along the way? Well, Tom Stoppard and some of the very talented folk at Plays&Players here in Philadelphia have got you covered. And, believe me, this will get you ready, happily, joyfully ready for all the lifeaffirming comedy Joyce’s work can bring.

Plays&Players is presenting Tom Stoppard’s TRAVESTIES, a fantastical romp through the art culture of Zurich during World War One when Joyce, Vladmir Lenin and DaDa poet Tristan Tzara may, or may not,  have met. In typical Stoppard fashion it gives you a wild, frenetical glimpse at how art, literature and politics all intersect. Sure, you may leave the theatre wishing you read more, but that’s just typical Stoppard as well. Don’t worry. No one is going to check your library card when you come in, but I guarantee  you’ll be looking to use it a lot more once you leave.

But, to make things a bit easier still, Plays&Players has schedule some great supplementary and educational “talkbacks” with the cast and some guest speakers after some of the performances:


“Talking Stoppard and Joyce”

Join us for a pre-show happy hour at our Quig’s Pub, from 6:30-7:30pm on Friday, June 8 for an informal conversation about the work of Tom Stoppard and James Joyce with Professor Janine Utell of Widener University, author of James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire.  Read more. (many of you will know Janine from her  fantastic Readers’ Guide to the “Calypso” chapter on this website.)

“Meet-the-cast talkback with a guest star!”
The cast and creative team of Travesties join Professor Joseph J. Feeney for a talkback immediately following the show, to talk about the work of James Joyce, Tom Stoppard, and to answer questions about the production. Read more.
“Bloomers on the Limmat”
Join us for a pre-show happy hour at our Quig’s Pub, from 6:30pm-7:30pm on Friday, June 15, with Professor Jean-Michel Rabaté of the University of Pennsylvania, as he discusses the reality behind the imagination of Tom Stoppard in Travesties, transporting us to 1917 as privileged witnesses to the radically modern, a time when Vladimir Lenin, James Joyce, and Tristan Tzara were busy changing the world of art and politics. Read more.

“Meet-the-cast talkback with a guest star!”
The cast and creative team of Travesties join Professor Elizabeth Mannion of Temple University for a talkback immediately following the show, to talk about the work of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and to answer questions about the production. Read more.
As you may’ve guessed by now, I did the poster for this production you see above and most of the drawings used on stage. This means I’ve had a chance to see the rehearsals of this really difficult play and can tell you that I’m really excited by what thew cast and director Candace Cihocki are doing. Can’t suggest it highly enough and, well, I’m a bit of a tough audience for Joyce-related theatre by now!
Hope you’ll join us for this glimpse into the modern age and the wartime lightheartedness that only real men of genius are granted the time for. Heavy politics and art? Maybe. But the deeper question is, “what has any of that got to do with life and love and memory?”
Hope to see you there,

We’re making April less cruel

We hope that as fans of Ulysses “Seen”, and presumably Ulysses, you share our love of modernist literature at large. We also hope you share our sense of humor, our desire to hack through the thornier patches of this stuff, and our wish that more people read it so that we could talk more about it and demonstrate how bloody clever we are.

Soooo, if you haven’t heard, we launched a Throwaway Horse take on T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, called Martin Rowson’s The Waste Land Seen. We took acclaimed political cartoonist Martin Rowson’s take on The Waste Land, added our Reader’s Guide to it, and launched it as another iPad app. A set of five sample pages can be found here.  We’ve been selling the app for $9.99, but for the month of April only we are reducing the price to $7.99. Please consider purchasing this app and recommending to your friends. It would make our April slightly less cruel.


To read sample pages: http://throwawayhorse.com/home/projects/wasteland-seen/sample-pages/

To download the app: http://itunes.apple.com/app/martin-rowsons-the-waste-land/id438535843?mt=8

Happy Birthday Old Artificer!

Today, February 2, 2012, is the 130th anniversary of Joyce’s birth, and the 90th anniversary of the publication of *Ulysses.*  Steve King’s account of the holy day in Joyce’s life gets the point across: it was very important that the book be delivered to him on this day, and his friends made sure that it was.  While Joyce suffered at the hands of those who were afraid to publish his work, he also benefited greatly from the generosity of his friends — Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier – the couple who published it; Harriet Shaw Weaver, who supported him financially and emotionally; Valery Larbaud, who was one of the books first and best critics… not to mention Frank Budgen, or Joyce’s brother Stanislaus, or his Aunt Josephine.  It’s a good day to give thanks for all the people around Joyce who made his creation of the book possible – and in that list we would have to give his wife Nora the highest place.

We have great things in store for you in this coming year — the great year of the public domain.  Currently we’re working on the “floor plans” of “Nestor” and “Lotus Eaters” – two episodes that take place at the same time on June 16, 1904, so we’re having fun creating them at the same time as well.  Many great coincidences and opportunities for interweaving of details.  In the final months of writing *Ulysses* – the summer and fall of 1921, Joyce would work on several chapters at the same time — editing page proofs for early chapters as he was still drafting the final ones.  (Add to the list of those who suffered that we might read the name of the printer, Maurice Darantiere, who set and reset and reset again the pages of the novel [in letterpress, no less] as Joyce made his thousands of changes to the text).
Stay tuned, friends, and take a short dip into the book today. As with any great work, a lot of people made it happen, not all of whom are found on the cover!
Photo: Courtesy of Wim and Chrissie van Mierlo