Community and voluntary groups will be undertaking a marathon public reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which will take place on 21st and 22nd of September at the Source Arts Centre, Thurles (pictured).
18 groups will each read one chapter of the novel over a period of about 26 hours in aid of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.
The project will take place on Ireland’s national Culture Night and will host other events such as a sponsored coffee morning, afternoon tea and evening soiree.
“These events will take place on the boardwalk by the river while the reading is taking place in the public areas of the Source, weather permitting of course,” says project co-ordinator, Bill Cooke.
Mr Cooke came up with the novel idea after reading Ulysses himself, he says: “Everyone knows about the book but I think I know about one or two people who have actually read it. A lot of people have told me they’ve attempted it, read the first few pages and gave up, so I think this is an ideal opportunity for people to access the book.”
A group of American students read Ulysses before and that is where the 26 hour guideline comes from.
Groups will be made up of 3-4 readers and a copy of Ulysses will be provided for the project. Pre-reading of the chapters and sections is essential for the smooth delivery on the day.
The reading will begin at 11am on the 21st of September, reading non-stop through the night and they hope to be finished by lunchtime on the following day.
Many charitable, sporting, social and recreational groups are already on board to take part and the project has got the full support of the community, the Source and Thurles Library.
“There has been great enthusiasm for this project right across the board. It’ll be a great occasion and a bit of craic,” adds Mr Cooke.
The evening soiree is a ticketed event and organisers hope to have period dress, music, good food and wine on the boardwalk, weather allowing.
The project has also applied to the Guinness Book of Records to see if the project will qualify as a record making event. Copyright of the published works of Joyce was only lifted in January 2012 and they are awaiting reply to their application to see if anything like this has been done before.
A meeting of proposed readers will take place prior to the project date to ensure clarity and continuity.
Mr Cooke says: “If you are up to the challenge of reading a page or two, come on! Join in, have some fun and help raise funds for Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.”
Readers from the broader community, embracing the region served by the Source Arts Centre are most welcome to participate.