'Bloomsday' in Latvia sees Rīga become James Joyce's Dublin for a day

Take note – story published 3 years ago

Rīga is in Dublin mode June 16 with the first ever "Bloomsday" event being held in the Latvian capital.

Bloomsday is an international celebration of James Joyce's (or "Džeimss Džoiss" to give him his Latvian name) landmark novel "Ulysses" which was first published in 1922 but was set on June 16, 1904 in Dublin, Ireland.

Tuesday afternoon will see a conference discussing "Ulysses", Joyce and his Latvian translators. 

Until now translations into Latvian of the seemingly untranslateable work are spearheaded by Dzintars Sodums' translation which many Latvian readers consider to be definitive. But the conference will discuss the possibilities for a new translation. Linguist, Professor Andrejs Veisbergs of the University of Latvia, considers Sodums' version to be good, but in his opinion a new translation may be justified.

"There is even a belief that these great works need to be translated every fifty years, because language changes, perceptions change," says Veisbergs, pointing to Rainis' translation of Faust as an example of how a highly-regarded translation can be replaced in the fullness of time.

At the conclusion of the conference, LSM editor Mike Collier will lead a brief walking tour of Rīga featuring locations in one way or another anaologous to locations in the text of "Ulysses".  Inevitably, it will conclude in Rīga's best-known Irish pub.

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