Ireland's central bank misquotes James Joyce on commemorative coin

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 3:27am

A silver €10 coin issued by Ireland's central bank to commemorate James Joyce's Ulysses misquotes a line from the modernist masterpiece.

The coin features a portrait of the author and a short quotation taken from the book's third chapter, into which an extra word has mistakenly been added.

The coin was launched at Newman House, St Stephen's Green, in Dublin, where Joyce studied from 1898 to 1902.

The central bank's governor, Patrick Honohan, said: "The coin's design, combining portrait and concept in an original manner, reflects Joyce's standing as one of the leading figures in the modernist movement." The bank later said that the coin was "an artistic representation of the author and text and not intended as a literal representation".

The quote comes from a scene when one of the two main characters is walking along Sandymount Strand in the writer's native Dublin. Joyce wrote: "Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read."

However, on the €10 coin, an extra "that" is inserted into the second sentence.

The Central Bank of Ireland is minting a maximum of 10,000 units of the coin. It is on sale at the bank's Dame Street headquarters in central Dublin this week for €46.

No one from the bank was available for comment.

Every 16 June - the day on which Ulysses is set - Ireland and Joycean scholars mark "Bloomsday" to pay homage to the novelist's masterwork.

The book is famously difficult to read, as exemplified by the quote selected for the new coin.


Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

Related topics