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Bloomsday Marks 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. Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place in Dublin, Ireland and around the world. It commemorates Thursday, June 16, 1904, which is the day depicted in Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

"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.

Note: This article was originally published Feb. 2, 2022. 


Dig deeper into the author James Joyce and learn more about Ulysses as well as how you can celebrate Bloomsday—whether you are in Ireland or near Philadelphia.

Links curated by Sarah Wingo, English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature Librarian.


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


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Christoforos Sassaris Joins Falvey as Distinctive Collections Coordinator

My name is Christoforos Sassaris, and I recently joined Falvey Memorial Library as a Distinctive Collections Coordinator. In this position, I take part in the Distinctive Collections and Digital collections, lovecraft, joyce, Engagement department’s efforts at preserving rare books, archives, and artifacts. This position is a perfect fit for me, as it nicely combines my interests in cultural heritage and digital technologies. I am particularly excited to digitize sources in the Scan Lab and make them accessible to students, researchers, and the public through Falvey’s website.

I was born in Athens, Greece (where I still visit as often as possible) and moved to the US in 2011. I got my BA in English literature at West Chester University (WCU), where I was both an intern and a research fellow at Francis Harvey Green Library’s Special Collections. These experiences imbued me with a passion for heritage librarianship, which I pursued through additional internships at the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Brandywine River Museum of Art.

Just before joining Falvey, I was a Graduate Assistant in Villanova’s Writing Center and English department while I completed my MA. I also volunteered in two digital projects at Falvey, the Edward T. LeBlanc Memorial Dime Novel Bibliography and Honoring the Fallen: An Interactive Memorial Map. During the past two years, I developed a deep appreciation of Falvey’s collections, which I consulted during my studies.

When I was introduced to these collections, one item that immediately drew my attention was a journal of astronomical observations belonging to horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, whose fiction I examined in my MA thesis. Interestingly, the journal possibly contains the real-world inspiration for the short story “The Colour Out of Space.” I was also drawn to Falvey’s extensive holdings in Irish and Irish-American literature, such as an original copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This 1922 modernist novel was the focus of my final capstone paper at WCU, titled “‘A Last Attempt to Retrieve the Fortunes of Greece’: Joyce, Hellenism, and Addressing Arnoldian Attitudes in Ulysses.” I am enthusiastic about preserving and facilitating access to treasures such as Lovecraft’s journal and Joyce’s novel through my work at Falvey.

I look forward to working with the Falvey team and continuing my involvement in the Villanova community in the coming years. Feel free to visit me at my desk in Access Services on the first floor of Falvey, or contact me at psassari@villanova.edu!


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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. Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place in Dublin, Ireland and around the world. It commemorates Thursday, June 16, 1904, which is the day depicted in Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

"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.

Dig deeper with resources complied by Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature:


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library. This article was originally published Feb. 2, 2022. 


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Last Modified: February 2, 2022