James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) is widely considered to be the most important book of the 20th century. The novel announced a new era of modernity in art, celebrating the human body and centralising the processes of the mind.
As the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame celebrates and interrogates Ulysses during its centenary year, Rome is central to our investigations.
Joyce lived in Italy from 1904-1915 and then again from 1919-1920. The country is fundamental to the development of his career as a writer. It was in Rome where the very idea of Ulysses first came to him.
And, for a century, Italy has embraced Joyce.
Visitors to the heart of Rome, in Via Frattina, where Joyce first lived while in the Eternal City, can find a plaque that reads: “In this house in Rome. . . James Joyce/ A voluntary exile evoked the story of Ulysses/ Making of his Dublin our Universe.”
Our conference will draw together leading Joyce scholars from Italy and elsewhere to discuss themes of the novel, particularly in relation to Rome.
To cap the conference, on Friday, 11 March, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, who has made Italy her home, will speak on themes of the writer in exile.
Originally published at rome.nd.edu.