Bloomsday Celebration in Wicklow Explores James Joyce’s Arboreal Themes in Ulysses

James Joyce, the renowned author of Ulysses, will be the focus of a special talk at the annual Bloomsday celebrations in Wicklow. Donal Magner and Brendan Lacey will delve into Joyce’s unique approach to trees and forestry in Ulysses during the event on Sunday, June 16 in Avondale, Rathdrum.

Titled ‘Arboreal Reality and Fantasy – from Barney Kiernan’s Pub to Avondale’, the talk will shed light on Joyce’s deep understanding of Ireland’s forest conservation efforts during the early 1900s. Trees play a significant role in Ulysses, reflecting the dire state of Irish forestry in 1904 when only one percent of the land was covered in forests.

Magner, the speaker, will explore Joyce’s depiction of the forest decline in Ulysses and connect it to the real-life efforts to revive Ireland’s forests at the time. The talk will highlight the importance of the State’s involvement in establishing a sustainable forestry program, especially following the destructive storm of 1903.

The narrative will also touch upon the visionary proposal by Professor John Nisbet, which shaped Ireland’s forest policy for years to come. The discussion will trace the progress of Irish forestry leading up to the publication of Ulysses in 1922, marking a significant period of recovery after the Civil War.

The event will take place at the Meeting House in Avondale, providing attendees with insights into Ireland’s forestry heritage and the ongoing efforts to preserve it. Admission is free, with a €5 parking charge at the venue. Join us on Sunday, June 16, at 11am to delve into the fascinating world of James Joyce and Irish forestry history.