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News Article

Dublin toasts its literary heritage


The Irish tourist industry is readying itself for a mini-boom commencing on June 16, the centenary of the day on which Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, set out on his odyssey through the bars and brothels of Dublin. To capitalize on interest in the work of James Joyce, the city of Dublin has organized a series of events to celebrate its links with the author. 

The Irish tourist industry is readying itself for a mini-boom commencing on June 16, the centenary of the day on which Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, set out on his odyssey through the bars and brothels of Dublin. To capitalize on interest in the work of James Joyce, the city of Dublin has organized a series of events to celebrate its links with the author. 

The connections between tourism and popular fiction are of growing interest to researchers and a forthcoming conference in Harrogate, in the UK, will debate these connections at some length.

Dublin to offer a series of events to celebrate links with author

Although Bloomsday, as it is now known, is a single day, Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival, ReJoyce Dublin 2004, lasting from April through September. At the press launch Laura Weldon, National Co-ordinator of ReJoyce Dublin 2004 said "ReJoyce Dublin 2004 is about providing building blocks of knowledge about Joyce and Ulysses for people at all levels."

"Cultural tourism will surely follow on the heels of the media exposure combined with our marketing and advertising campaign. The campaign reinforces ReJoyce Dublin 2004’s determination to broaden awareness of the many ways to approach and appreciate Ulysses."

And according to Mr. Jim McGuigan, Executive Vice President in the United States for Tourism Ireland, "The Rejoyce Dublin 2004 Bloomsday Centenary Festival will ensure that everyone from literary neophytes to Joyce scholars will enjoy a range of programs suited to their interests. A number of spectacular exhibitions and events, street theatre, music programmes and family fun will fill the city for everyone to enjoy. Dublin itself takes center-stage as Joyce captured the soul of Dublin in all its gritty glory and immortalized it in Ulysses."

Conference to debate how tourism and literature are related

A forthcoming conference, Tourism and Literature: Travel, Imagination and Myth to be held in Harrogate (UK) on 22-26 July with bring together an international audience of academics, curators, writers, professionals and tourism managers to discuss the inter-relationship between tourists and literature.

According to the Conference Convenors Mike Robinson, David Picard, and William Culver-Dodds the conference will emphasize "literature which, through both texts and authors, has been a major 'inspiration' for tourists and travel, contributing to and challenging the ways we engage with the current world." 

Among the questions speakers will seek to address include: 

  • How literature helps to construct tourist histories and identities
  • How tourists 'read' fictional texts
  • How literature contrives to produce, prescribe and legitimate spaces for tourists
  • How tourist expectations and experiences are mediated by literature
  • How the significance of imagined worlds, fantastic landscapes and mythic characters stimulate tourism
  • Why some authors hold a fascination for tourists
  • Who literary pilgrims are and what experiences they have

Exploiting links with fiction can popularize a destination

The conference will build on the body of work already published on this theme. For example, Tetley and Bramwell (2002) suggest that it is the features of a landscape that enable visitors to experience its literary connections during their visit. These features are likely to draw on the myths of place, including those based on the writer's literary work or life and also those promoted by the tourist industry.

McGovern and O'Connor (2003) show how the historical and contemporary association of the Irish with a distinctive drinking and pub culture, in various media forms but including in works of popular fiction, has led to the pub becoming commodified as a site for cultural tourism.

Cormack and Fawcett (2002) outline some of the reasons why tourism stakeholders are interested in developing the links between tourism and literature. This interest can be motivated by the desire to give shape to literary heritage, legitimize themselves and gain resources.

These findings show how a link with a literary work or life of an author can be exploited to establish and sustain a successful tourism business.  With 160 programmed paper presentations during 5 days the Harrogate conference will add considerably to our understanding of the tourism phenomenon.

For further information about the conference please visit:
www.tourism-culture.com

Links:

Visit Dublin

ReJoyce 2004

Tetley, S. and Bramwell, B. Tourists and the cultural construction of Haworth's literary landscape in Literature and tourism: reading and writing tourism texts (Edited by Robinson, M. and Anderson, H. C.), 2002, pp.155-170

McGovern, M. and O'Connor, B. 'The cracked pint glass of the servant': the Irish Pub, Irish identity and the tourist eye in Irish tourism: image, culture and identity (Edited by Cronin, M. and O'Connor, B.), 2003, pp.83-103

Cormack, P. and Fawcett, C. Cultural gatekeepers in the L. M. Montgomery tourist industry in Literature and tourism: reading and writing tourism texts (Edited by Robinson, M. and Anderson, H. C.), 2002, pp.171-190

Article details

  • Date
  • 10 June 2004
  • Subject(s)
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Hospitality Sector
  • Tourism