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An Post celebrates Ulysses with two new stamps

An Post has unveiled two new stamps to celebrate the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential pieces of modernist literature, Ulysses was initially published as a series of stories in the American journal, The Little Review.

It was later published as a complete novel on 2 February 1992 – Joyce’s 40th birthday. The book chronicles a single day (16 June 1904 – now celebrated as Bloomsday) in the lives of Stephen Dedalus along with husband-and-wife Leopold and Molly Bloom as they meander through the streets and suburbs of Dublin.

David McRedmond, An Post CEO said:

Ulysses is as relevant now as a work of art as when it was written. These stamps reflect the unique mix of modernism and classicism that define the novel.”

The Ulysses 100 stamps were designed by Amsterdam-based Irish designers, The Stone Twins.

The design is intentionally unorthodox, challenging, and unexpected, as well as modernist – exactly what you’d expect from Ulysses. Inspired by Joyce’s use of the Gilbert Schema within Ulysses, the two-stamp design has a total of 18 sections, which signify the number of chapters in the book.

The stamp design overlays the colours and structure defined in Joyce’s Gilbert Schema, with photos captured by renowned photographer JJ Clarke, who took vivid photos of Dublin between 1897 and 1904.

As Ulysses is famous for challenging the conventions of language, the inverted type used on the stamps was chosen to reflect Joyce’s experimental use of language.

Senator David Norris, internationally renowned Joycean expert said : “Frozen in time the images on these stamps illustrate remarkably the period of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1904. It is tempting to think that in the world of fiction these stamps might have adored Bloom’s letter to Martha Clifford.”

There’s sure to be strong interest in the stamps from collectors at home and abroad, the Joycean community, and those with an interest in literature.

The specially designed First Day Cover, a souvenir envelope, features a JJ Clarke photo of 14-18 Ormond Quay Lower and Swifts Row, taken from the South Quays and featuring the River Liffey. The envelope also features both of the stamps and a special cancellation mark.

The Ulysses 100 stamps and a special First Day Cover commemorative envelope are available at selected post offices nationwide and online at www.anpost.com/shop