A special display of James Joyce memorabilia on loan from the private collection of award-winning dancer and actor and Monaco resident Michael Flatley will accompany this years’ Bloomsday celebration organised by the Princess Grace Irish Library. 

A cultural event in motion in Monaco to celebrate James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece, with dramatic readings performed by the talented actors from the Monaco-Ireland Arts Society will start at the Library at 14:15 on Friday, June 14, with music on the bodhrán, followed by readings from Ulysses as the participants stroll through the old streets of Monaco Ville (the “Rock” – Le Rocher).

The library is very grateful to Michael Flatley for the kind loan of his collection of culturally important memorabilia, which belonged to James Joyce, including a limited-edition copy of Ulysses illustrated by Henri Matisse and signed by both the writer and the artist. Other items from the award-winning Irish American dancer’s personal collection include Joyce’s cigarette case, glasses and a medal he won in 1904 for singing. 

Princess Grace Irish Library also presents its own rare first edition of Ulysses. The Copy is numbered #312 out of 1,000 printed on handmade paper and published on 02/02/1922, not in Dublin but in Paris by Shakespeare and Company, the English-language book shop owned by American ex-pat Sylvia Beach who had met Joyce at a party in Paris. Sylvia Beach published Ulysses following many publishers’ rejections of the manuscript for being too daring.

This year the library in Monaco will have a reading from Sylvia Beach’s autobiographical account of meeting James Joyce and agreeing to publish Ulysses – performance by actors from the Monaco-Ireland Arts Society.  

Bloomsday takes place every year in Dublin and around the world. It celebrates the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, June 16, 1904, which is the day he first met his wife Nora Barnacle in Ireland. 

Bloomsday is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character and the novel chronicles Bloom’s adventures over the course of an ordinary day in Dublin.