June 16, 1904, is the day in Dublin for all the action described in James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses”. June 16th is celebrated as ‘Bloomsday’ in the Irish capital, and not only there. Major admirers of Joyce’s talent take to the streets on this date, many dressed in Edwardian clothes, playing scenes from the novel in the appropriate parts of the city.
On June 16, 2020, we organized a conference in Latvia – in memory of James Joyce and his “Ulysses”, and a variation on the Bloomsday festive procession in the streets of our capital, Riga. The venue of the conference was The House of Science – the academic centre of the University of Latvia.
After the conference we met for a Bloomsday’s walk from The National Library to “Paddy Wheelan’s” Irish pub [map] guided by Mike Collier, with brief readings from “Ulysses” (in English!).
In the courtyard of the pub we were entertained by Latvian Irish dances and music.
A G E N D A
(dominant working language: Latvian)
|16:15||Gathering and registration of participants|
|16:30||Introduction from the author of the initiative
– Hon. Doctor of Science (Latvian Academy of Sciences), Member of Latvian Parliament (Saeima) Atis Lejiņš
|16:40||Bloomsday’s traditions in all the world
– Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to Latvia H. E. Jim Hennessy
|17:00||What is “Ulysses”? The author’s inspiration and work
– UL Director of the Baltic Philology program, prof. Ojārs Lāms
|17:20||Personal impressions of reading “Ulysses” during the Soviet occupation and the influence of the work on Latvian language and literature
– writer, winner of the A. Upītis’ prize and Hon. Member of Latvian Academy of Sciences Alberts Bels
|17:40||Latvian translation history of “Ulysses”
– literary editor, proofreader Arturs Hansons
|18:00||Memories of Dzintars Sodums
– writer, author of the novel about Dz. Sodums, “The Man in a Blue Raincoat”, Nora Ikstena
|18:15||Panel discussion on possibility of a new “Ulysses” translation
– linguist, translator, Full member of Latvian Academy of Sciences, Professor at the UL Faculty of Humanities Andrejs Veisbergs
– lecturer at the Department of English Studies at UL Faculty of Humanities Lauma Terēze Lapa
– poet, literature researcher Krista Anna Belševica
|19:00||Musical performance – Irish and Latvian songs
– ethno-musicologist, composer, Doctor of Arts at UL, professor Valdis Muktupāvels and musician, Rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture, professor Rūta Muktupāvela
|19:10||Final words from the organizer, Atis Lejiņš and invitation to join to the next part of the event|
|19:20||Bloomsday walk in Riga (in English) – with brief readings from “Ulysses” in suitable locations
– journalist, writer and Latvian Public Media English service editor Mike Collier
(information about the walking route)
|20:30||The unofficial part of the event at PADDY WHELAN’S Irish pub (Old Riga, Grēcinieku Street 4) where debate can continue – with the participation of the Irish dance studio CEILI RUE.