June 3, 2004

Ireland bars Stephen Joyce from National Library


James Joyce's grandson, Stephen Joyce, is notorious for opposing public performance of his grandfather's works. If he doesn't like the project, he will block it out right. If he is willing to tolerate it, he demands a very large fee. J Joyce's most famous work, Ulysses, is set in Dublin on June 16, 1904. Since the 1950s, June 16 has been celebrated around the world as "Bloomsday," after the main character of the book, Leopold Bloom. The centennial of the date in Dublin this year will of course be a huge event, drawing "Joyceans" from around the world.

A couple years ago, the National Library of Ireland bought a lot of Joyce's manuscripts, display of which is planned as a central part of "Rejoyce Dublin 2004." The grandson, however, warned of copyright violations. The Irish parliament responded by amending copyright law to allow public exhibition of "protected" works.

A public reading of Ulysses and a performance of the play Exiles, however, will remain cancelled. An who knows how many other events were never allowed to get started.