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Cat in the Stax: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

By Ethan Shea

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It seems like a lot of these Cat in the Stax blogs are turning into holiday celebrations, but as we all know, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and because of Villanova’s enduring ties to Ireland, I’d love to talk about how you can celebrate Irish heritage here at Falvey.

"Emma Dabiri"

Irish Author Emma Dabiri

To begin with some of the history of St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday originated as a celebratory feast to honor the death of St. Patrick, who is known to have brought Christianity to Ireland. The Irish symbolism of the clover stems from St. Patrick, as he is rumored to have explained the concept of Christianity’s Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland with the help of a clover.

Villanova University has a top-notch Irish Studies program, so we know there is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick than by reading some prominent Irish authors. Villanova is especially lucky to have one particular Irish author, Emma Dabiri, as the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish studies this semester. Her books Twisted (published as Don’t Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next were both remarkably successful and met with critical acclaim. Dabiri will be speaking on April 4 in Falvey’s Speaker’s Corner, so make sure you stop by! A recording of Dabiri’s recent Literary Festival reading is also available for viewing here.

"Chalice in 'Thirst for the Divine' Exhibit"

Chalice in “Thirst for the Divine” Exhibit

Another famous Irish writer, James Joyce, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his classic novel Ulysses. You can read all about the centennial celebration on this blog.

A personal favorite novel of mine, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was written by the Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Although Wilde is known for his poetry, this work of prose is timeless and has even been adapted to film.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an article by Rebecca Oviedo, a Distinctive Collections Archivist here at Falvey. Oviedo noted that this article features Villanova “as the first collection in a new series on ‘Global Archives’ from RTÉ Century Ireland, which highlights the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives at home and abroad.” You can read the article for yourself here!

Furthermore, Villanova recently opened an exhibit for a medieval chalice that came from Ireland over 500 years ago. This chalice has not been used in a Mass in over half of a millennium, so given Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, intends to do just that during Mass on March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, a historic moment is just around the corner.

In addition to the chalice, Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) has several items on display in support of the exhibit. If you would like to see these artifacts for yourself, the exhibit is available for viewing until April 20 at the Connelly Art Center Gallery.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


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“Ulysses” Centennial Celebration

By Ethan Shea

"James Joyce Ulysses Books in Falvey"

On Feb. 2, 1922, James Joyce’s 40th birthday, this Irish author’s masterpiece, Ulysses, was published in its entirety for the first time. The book’s publisher, Sylvia Beach, was Joyce’s saving grace after several proprietors refused to print his text because of its critiques of Catholicism.

"James Joyce's statue in St, Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland"

James Joyce’s statue in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this movement-defining text, feel free to take some time to learn about the story. The best thing to do is simply kick back and read the book, but not everyone has the time to read all 265,222 words on a whim. Fascinatingly, these hundreds of thousands of words describe only one day in the life of the story’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom.

It is also worth noting that the text is based on Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, hence the title Ulysses, which was chosen to match the Latin name of the Greek king of Ithaca and Homeric hero, Odysseus.

James Joyce is the author of other major works such as the collection of short stories Dubliners; novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Finnegan’s Wake; and the play Exiles.

Falvey Memorial Library is home to many resources on Joyce, like research on his work such as James Joyce by Steven Connor. Additionally, you can visit The James Joyce Centre website to learn more about the author’s life or even take part in Ulysses Fantasy Football.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Celebrating James Joyce’s Life & Legacy

By Daniella Snyder

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ’Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics–from research to study habits and everything in between–and how Falvey can play a large role in your success here on campus!

Hey Wildcats…I’m excited to invite you to the biggest birthday bash of the year! Head on over to McShea’s Pub in Ardmore on February 4 at 7 p.m. to celebrate James Joyce‘s 182nd birthday!

photo of James Joyce

So, this week, this cat’s book stack is comprised of Joyce’s most famous tomes and tales.

James Joyce (1882–1941) is one of Ireland’s most influential and celebrated writers. His most famous work Ulysses (1922) follows the movements of Leopold Bloom through a single day on June 16, 1904. Ulysses is based on Homer’s The Odyssey. Some of Joyce’s other major works include the short story collection Dubliners (1914), and novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).

For more information on the author, visit The James Joyce Centre website.

The birthday party, which is sponsored by the Villanova University Irish Studies department, will feature Irish step dancers, traditional music, and live readings of Joyce’s work.

Want to learn more about Joyce? Check out Joyce’s works in Falvey’s collection, including a wide variety of Joyce-specific academic journals.


Daniella Snyder Headshot

Daniella Snyder, Graduate Assistant in the Communication and Marketing department at Falvey, was inspired to read Joyce after attending his birthday party last year.


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Last Modified: January 29, 2020