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2 February 1922: The Publication of ‘Ulysses’

Read Elaine Sisson’s essay on ‘Race, Modernity and the City’ on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland, we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Elaine Sisson and it covers the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which happened on 2 February 1922:

“James Joyce’s Ulysses was published on his 40th birthday, 2 February 1922. In the Circe episode, it captures Leopold Bloom’s spinning thoughts on the American blackface entertainer Eugene Stratton. Bloom’s crude racial characterisation of minstrels in ‘white duck suits’ and hands that ‘jingle the twingtwang wires’ is woven into his stroll through the modern city. Stratton also appears in The Wandering Rocks episode, when Father John Conmee glimpses a billboard advertising his appearance that evening at the Theatre Royal.” Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.


Ireland 1922