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RT Celebrates 100 Years of Ulysses


One hundred years ago, on February 2nd, 1922, James Joyce's Ulysses was published by Sylvia Beach in a small bookshop in Paris. The book which consumed 7 years of Joyce's life, would transform our culture and literary world. No modern novel rivals Ulysses in its reach.

RT will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses through an extensive and ambitious programme of themed content across television, radio and online.

Commenting on the programme, Ann-Marie Power, Group Head, Arts and Culture, RT said: I'm delighted to see such diversity of coverage across RT to salute this important centenary. It reflects its endurance that a century later Ulysses continues to conjure fascinating new interpretations of itself, and new ways for us to see ourselves.

As a young man Joyce felt out of place in his country. The Ireland he determined to leave, wasn't changing at the pace of his imagination. By the time Ulysses was published Joyce was forty. Ireland was grappling with its new status in the world, a precarious, compromised state of independence. Who would James Joyce's equivalent be today? What would they be saying? Where would they be leaving and heading? RT programming stimulates such questions. As we look back to Joyce and the world that he created and lived they are as provocative and relevant as ever.



100 Years of Ulysses

(RT One & RT Player, 10.15pm, Thursday February 3rd)

A new documentary devised by historian Frank Callanan and directed by Ru n Magan, sets out to unlock one of most impregnatable and explosive books of modern times. Featuring interviews with writers and scholars including Eimear McBride, Paul Muldoon, John McCourt and Margaret O Callaghan, illuminative archive film and photographs, newly commissioned art works by Jess Tobin, Brian Lalor and Holly Pereira and a beautiful original score by Natasa Paulberg, 100 Years of Ulysses promises to bring viewers on an enlightening journey into the heart of one of the most inspiring and influential novels and reveals how it remains as relevant today as it ever was.

The documentary is dedicated to Frank Callanan who died in December 2021 read an appreciation of Callanan's life and work here.


(RT One & RT Player, 7pm, Wednesday 2nd February)

While Ulysses was banned in the US and Britain until the 1930s; and right up to his death in 1941, Joyce was out of favour with the Irish establishment, these days, Bloomsday in Ireland is celebrated like a national holiday. Across the world, Ulysses is still the subject of continuous debate, obsession, and intrigue one hundred years on.

Celebrating the novel's enduring legacy, presenter Anne Cassin views the first ever printed copy of Ulysses with Katherine McSharry at MOLI (Museum of Literature Ireland); meets booker prize-winning author, Anne Enright who shares her thoughts on the famous book; visits the Joyce Tower in Sandycove to chat with one of the early curators, Vivien Igoe; and returns to Studio 9 in RT with actor Patrick Dawson to hear about the marathon 30-hour radio dramatization which was broadcast in 1982.

This special Nationwide programme will be produced by Ann Marie O Callaghan


Sunday Miscellany

(RT Radio 1, 9.10am, Sunday 30 January)

Marking the centenary of Ulysses by James Joyce on Sunday Miscellany, Fran O'Rourke unearths a recording of Joyce's favourite Greek song and Lorna Siggins traces Joyce's footsteps in the French village of Saint-G rand-le Puy, where the family lived from 1939-1940. Producer, Sarah Binchy

Book on One (during Late Date)

(RT Radio 1, 11.20pm, Monday 31 January Friday 4 February)

Highlighting the worldwide significance and influence of James Joyce's novel Ulysses on other writers, Book on One features the award-winning novel the house on eccles road' by Canadian writer Judith Kitchen. It is read by the author. In the novel it is June 16th, 1999, in Dublin, Ohio and it is Molly and Leo Bluhm's wedding anniversary. They wake up together and go on to spend the day apart. Their life echoes that of Molly and Leopold Bloom, who in Ulysses lived at 7 Eccles Street, Dublin in Ireland, almost a century earlier in 1904. Judith Kitchen weaves an enthralling tapestry of a single day, an ordinary day, yet a day that might change the lives of Molly and Leo Bluhm forever. Producer, Cl odhna Ni Anluain


(RT Radio 1 7pm, Wednesday 2nd February)

Arena broadcasts a special edition dedicated to Ulysses with contributors including Colm Toib n, Nuala O'Connor, Mary Costello, John Patrick McHugh and Catherine Flynn.

Blue of the Night with Bernard Clarke

(RT lyric fm, 9pm midnight, Wednesday 2nd February)

Finnegans Wake Suite of Affections is a new work from Roger Doyle who has composed musical settings for a selection of extracts from Finnegans Wake voiced by actors including Aiden Gillen, Barry McGovern, Olwen Fou r and Thibaud Empey. Much as the text does, Doyle's work moves between different styles and registers. Bernard Clarke plays selections from the album, which will be released later in February at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. Clarke also revisits an archive interview with Barry McGovern on Joyce's use of music and song as a literary device within Ulysses.

Opera Night

(RT lyric fm, 9pm, Saturday 5th February)

James Joyce's Chamber Music: The Lost Song Settings and the Story of an Intriguing Collaboration. To celebrate James Joyce's 140th birthday & the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, Friends of the James Joyce Tower & Trilling Trilling Productions present a concert featuring for the first time in Ireland, Geoffrey Molyneux Palmer's settings of Joyce's Chamber Music with Dean Power (tenor)
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