Places to visit in Europe

The James Joyce Centre

The James Joyce Centre, who is regarded as the greatest, and certainly the most influential, writer of the 20th century, wrote about Dublin and nowhere else but Dublin.

His huge popularity, and the immediate association of his name, world-wide, with the city of his birth, led to the establishment of the James Joyce Centre in Dublin which serves to promote his life and work, and literature in general. James Joyce House, located in a recently-restored Georgian house in North Great George’s Street in the heart of Dublin, is a Mecca for Joyce fans, where they are likely to be greeted by members of the Joyce family working voluntarily on his behalf. Visitors can also see the door of N°7 Eccles Street, the fictional home of Leopold and Molly Bloom, the ground-floor back room of which was let to Mr Denis Maginni in Ulysses. The Centre is primarily an educational establishment with regular series of lectures, reading groups, and classes, which fill the rooms with debate, discussions, and learning, along with a great deal of fun. At the same time, it aims to increase links with universities and secondary schools in Europe. Bloomsday, the 16th June, and day on which Ulysses is set, is celebrated with lectures, shows, walks, bus tours, readings, and dramatisations. The Centre contains the Guiness reference library for use by visitors, a book shop, and a coffee shop.

Preparatory visit for teachers. A Teacher’s Guide, with worksheets and a questionnaire is available. Library facilities and an Education Officer are available. Groups can either visit the Centre on their own, or participate in the Education Programme. The James Joyce School Education Programme aims to put the basic tools for reading and interpreting Joyce into the hands of the students themselves. A popular walking tour of Dublin, using the city as a point of entry into Joyce's stories is conducted. By the time the Joyce family moved into the area, it had declined to become one of the most impoverished in the city, and the tour illustrates some of the economic and political issues of the time. In the workshops, the stories and themes of Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man can be examined from specific angles, depending on the group, or Ulysses and Finnegans Wake can be treated in a more general way. An attempt is made to place Joyce within the political and historical context of his time. Teachers are requested to prepare for the workshops by indicating which texts have been used in class, or by reading a number of stories in Dubliners. Worksheets are used during the workshop. A list of other topics can requested for the teacher to discuss in class. Other places in Dublin focusing on Joyce are The Dublin Writers Museum and The James Joyce Museum.

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