This year James Joyce would have been 140 years old and, on the same day, his Ulysses would have been 100 years old. It was 2 February 1882 when the writer was born in Dublin, and again on 2 February but in 1922 when what would become his most famous novel was published. Joyce conceived and began writing this intense work in Trieste, his adopted city where he lived for more than a decade, which has dedicated a museum to him and which, on the occasion of this important centenary, is planning numerous initiatives to pay tribute to the profound bond between the city and the author.
Between the sea and Mitteleuropa
“My soul is in Trieste” wrote Joyce, the writer who united the high and low parts of Trieste, frequenting in equal measure the bourgeoisie, who lived in the neoclassical palaces of the Borgo Teresiano, and the Cavana district, home to Trieste’s nightlife. The author arrived in Trieste in 1904 and was immediately intoxicated and fascinated by the city and its contrasts.
It was in Trieste that Joyce finished Dubliners, wrote A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and conceived and wrote the first three chapters of Ulysses.
A city with a seafaring heart, with a dynamic port, completely facing the sea, a crossroads of peoples and cultures. On the one hand the austere Habsburg façade with its stately buildings, on the other the Central European lifestyle of the people of Trieste, the literary cafés that were meeting places for writers and artists at the time, the multicultural nature of the city, all elements that were a source of great inspiration for the author.
Itineraries and guided tours
The deep connection between Trieste and Joyce will be celebrated throughout the year through various initiatives promoted by the Trieste Convention and Visitors Bureau with the aim of attracting more and more visitors to the city and accompanying them to discover the Trieste of Ulysses.
Among the various proposals, there will be special itineraries on foot in the footsteps of the writer among the places where he lived, such as Borgo Teresiano, where his statue is located on the Ponterosso, Piazza Barbacan, the Greek-Orthodox Church of S. Nicolò, and the streets where he lived, or the Cavana district, which Joyce loved to frequent, where there is the Joyce Museum and the route with Neon Art inscriptions dedicated to him that are part of Doublin, a project conceived and inaugurated in 2019 that “doubles” the Dublin “red district” overlapping it with Trieste’s Night Town. Ulysses, Doublin are some of the visible signs. Montgomery Street, the ‘Monto’ described in the episode Circe, has recently been added.
Visits to discover Joyce will begin on Saturday 29 January and will take place on Saturdays at 10.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. departing from the PromoTurismoFVG infopoint in Piazza Unità d’Italia 4/b and free with FVGcard, Friuli Venezia Giulia’s discovery card. While in June, on the occasion of Bloomsday, organised in Trieste by the Joyce Museum, which is celebrated all over the world on 16 June to celebrate Ulysses, it will be possible to experience the novel at first hand through initiatives and activities organised in Trieste over a four-day period. From the favourite breakfast of Leopold Bloom, the novel’s protagonist, to concerts at Ponterosso, with the possibility of wearing the clothes of the time.