Tuesday 16 January 2018

Joyce coin on sale - with misprint

A view of a limited addition James Joyce collector coin issued by the Central Bank of Ireland. (Jason Clarke /PA)
A view of a limited addition James Joyce collector coin issued by the Central Bank of Ireland. (Jason Clarke /PA)

The Central Bank of Ireland has said it will keep selling a specially-minted coin commemorating author James Joyce, despite misquoting his masterpiece.

Officials have offered refunds to anyone who bought the 10 euro coin if they are not happy that a line from episode three of Ulysses is wrong.

The embarrassing blunder can be seen in the depiction of Joyce's stream of consciousness with the coin featuring a portrait of the author's face and a quotation - albeit with an extra word - flowing from the mind.

Mark Traynor, manager at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin, said in time it will be seen as funny. "Even a year after the cessation of copyright on Joyce's work, people still find it difficult to avoid getting into trouble," he said.

"I always try to avoid speaking on behalf of a dead man but it is unfortunate. And there's a good quote from Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses - 'A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery' - It's also frequently misquoted."

Ten thousand of the coins went on sale at the Central Bank on Thursday for 46 euros each. The Central Bank has blamed human error of a member of staff copying a quote.

Joyce's words on the coin should have read: "Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read."

The quote comes from a scene when Dedalus is walking along Sandymount Strand in the writer's native Dublin. The coin, minted in Germany, included the word "that" in the second sentence, which the bank said was a genuine mistake.

The Central Bank said in a statement: "While the error is regretted, it should be noted that the coin is an artistic representation of the author and text and not intended as a literal representation.

"The coin will continue to be available for purchase. Anyone purchasing the coin will be informed as to the error in the text. Anyone who may already have purchased the coin and wishes to return it will be facilitated with a full refund."

Press Association

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