Monday, December 29, 2003

The Punishment Book at Clongowes was
where the Jesuits kept track of all the
pandyings and other punishments meted
out to students. Bruce Bradley, author of
James Joyce’s Schooldays, searched through
Clongowes archives and found the Punishment
Book for the 1880s. Three pandyings of James
Joyce are listed including one on the 14th of
March 1889, when Joyce received four strokes
for the rare offense of “vulgar language”.
Joyce was seven years old.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Christmastime - A good time to cover the dinner
scene in Portrait or The Dead, but I imagine
if you’re reading this blog you know all about
both of those Christmas’s.

So here’s a piece of trivia:
James Joyce met Oliver St John Gogarty
on Dec 24th in 1902.

You can find a photo of Gogarty (aka Buck
Mulligan) here.

My opinion of Gogarty changed after I found out
about his involvement with Michael Collins. More
about this in my July 28th entry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I found this quote here.

"The only demand I make of my reader," Joyce
once told an interviewer, "is that he should
devote his whole life to reading my works."

Thursday, December 11, 2003

sorry for not posting.
down with the flu...
way down

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Joyce's Places

Jorn Barger has a wonderful page on all
the places Joyce lived, with a numbered
map and information such as:

“Primary cities: Dublin (1882-1902), Paris
(1902-03), Dublin (1903-04), Pola (1904-05),
Trieste (1905-06), Rome (1906-07), Trieste
(1907-15), Zurich (1915-19), Trieste (1919-20),
Paris (1920-1939), Zurich (1940-41)”

And this generalization:

“- Youth (1882-1904): Ireland, with rare jaunts.
- Impoverished exile (1904-20): centers on
northern Italy
- Wealthy exile (1920-31): centers on northern
France and London
- Depressed exile (1932-41): centers on

That Jorn Barger; what would we do without him? See
the whole lovely thing here.

Monday, December 01, 2003

In Finnegans Wake, the number 1132 appears
in each chapter in one way or another. In his
“Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake”, Campbell
attributes the use of this number as follows:
the number of the fall is 32 (The law of falling
bodies=32 feet per second); the number 11
represents renewal and redemption.

Later, Campbell changed his mind. While reading
Romans, he came across a verse that epitomized
what he felt Joyce had in mind in Finnegans Wake:
“For God has consigned all men to disobedience,
that he may show his mercy to all”. Campbell
thought - Oh I must write this down, this is
exactly what Joyce was talking about- and write
down “Romans, Chapter 11, verse 32”. Then it hit
him. He subsequently believed that Joyce had this
chapter/verse in mind when he worked 1132 into
Finnegans Wake.

Friday, November 28, 2003

In Berkeley for Thanksgiving, I stopped by
Shakespeare and Co this morning. Lovely
store. The bookseller on duty saw me looking
at the Joyce section and had a few extra
Joyce books lined up for me at the counter
when I went to pay for my purchases. He
also asked me if I’d be in Dublin next June.
Yep, I told him. He’s going too. I think it will
be very crowded week in Dublin. .

It was nice to meet a kindred spirit.
Shakespeare and Company is located on
Telegraph a few blocks from campus.
Kitty-corner to Shakespeare & Co is Cody’s
Books. I highly recommend them both.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Guardian has a new article out on Sean
Walsh’s film Bl.,m (pronounced Bloom).
There’s an excerpt below or you can check
out the entire article here.

“...The film is faithful to the text but does
not treat it as sacred. Molly's famous closing
and climaxing soliloquy, for example, is
used to open the film and frame the action.
The plot, as much as one exists, remains
largely intact, although there are no scenes
of Bloom at the newspaper office, where he
works as a canvasser for advertisements.
Dialogue is drawn directly from the novel,
and the internal thought processes of the
three central characters are presented as
voiceovers. Walsh says his overriding
intention was to make the film work as a
story, to be at once intelligent and accessible."

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Whoops! The NY Times artcle is Members only.
You can try this site for Kenner information
if you don’t want to hassle with the Times.
“Hugh Kenner, the critic, author and professor
of literature regarded as America's foremost
commentator on literary modernism, especially
the work of Ezra Pound and James Joyce, died
yesterday at his home in Athens, Ga. He was 80.”

The above was excerpted from the NY Times.
See the whole article here

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I received an email from some anonymous
person who thinks I have money. I don’t,
but some of you might so I am passing this
information on:

“..... the forthcoming auction of the Alfred T.
Cowie Collection of James Joyce books, one
of the most comprehensive Joyce collections
to ever come on to the open market, will take
place on Dec 11th.

Highlights include:

* Pomes Penyeach (1932), one of twenty-
five copies, signed by Joyce
* Portrait of the Artist (1917), 1st UK edition
in the exceptionally rare dust wrapper
* Ulysses, numerous important editions
including 1st Paris and London editions, plus
illustrated editions signed by Joyce and Matisse
* Signed limited editions of Mime of Mick and
the Maggies, Haveth Childers Everywhere, etc.
* Two Essays (1901), fine copy of Joyce's first
printed book....”

More info here .

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The first Frenchman to purchase a copy
of Ulysses was Andre Gide. (Actually, by
purchase, I mean fill in an order blank at
Shakespeare and Co to receive a copy of
the book when it arrived. ) The first
American: Ernest Hemingway, one of
Sylvia Beach’s best customers. Later
that same day, Ezra Pound personally
delivered a subscription blank filled in by
W.B. Yeats and put in his order.

Imagine Andre Gide, Ernest Hemingway
and Ezra Pound all coming in your book-
store on the same day. That’s what I call
a good day at work.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Have just started to read “Girls Lean Back
Everywhere” by Edward de Grazia and
have a couple of nice quotes to share
with you. Ezra Pound referred to the last
chapter of Ulysses as “Joyce’s Mollylogue”.

T.S. Eliot agreed with Pound that it was
one of the best things Joyce had ever done
and wondered how anyone could ever write
again “after the immense prodigy of that
last chapter”. Eliot also said, “I wish, for my
sake, that I had not read it.”

Saturday, November 15, 2003

John Nolan has a new art exhibit in Dublin.
It’s entitled “Journey Into The Abstract" and
runs until 2004-02-28 at the Westin Hotel
in Dublin.

John Nolan is well known in Ireland for his
portrait of James Joyce which covers the
facade of no. 15 Ushers Island, Dublin City -
The Joyce House.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Here's an interesting comment about Joyce's sense
of Irishness from a 1997 Joyce list entry by Matt B.

"M. G. wrote:

> Joyce himself, however, as I understand it,
>always regarded himself as British.

Matt B responded:
... Joyce was very much anti-British in political outlook.
While his own sense of Irishness has always been a
touchy issue(what with his shouts of Erin go Bragh
after the Brits agreed to partition on one hand
and then his 'let my country die for me' attitude in
dichotomy), but JJ also supported the Sinn Féin
party in its infancy--even anachronistically including
it in CYCLOPS a year before its founding. Of course,
Griffith's anti-semitism and Catholicism would have
forbidden the dealings with a freemason jew like
Bloom, but that's just nitpicking, isn't it. Anyway,
no more time; but JJ was definitely not a man who
considered himself British--of course, like Bloom et
al, he did carry a passport that stated that he was
a member of the Empire on which the unfortunate
yahoos believed the sun never set upon, but
considered the cause of Irish independence from
Brittainia a worthy endeavor--just not the way
Cusack, Pearse, and the rest threw violence into
the mix. .....Slan go fill, "

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The past few days have been so eventful that I
haven't read or thought much about James Joyce,
until today and today he's occupied my thoughts
a lot. Thoughts like: "in 13 days I'll be unemployed;
that's not so bad, James Joyce was unemployed
most of his life" and thoughts like "I'll be able to sit
in a cafe and write, despite money worries - just like
James Joyce"

Yes, I'm soon to be completely unemployed. scary.
And tomorrow's my birthday. Damn. I'll have a
better post for you tomorrow.

One good piece of news: the little caterer's down
the street offer a small variety of dinners four
days a week that one can pick up and take home.
This week they are offering Irish Stew. Won't that
make a nice dinner tomorrow night...

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Audio version of Finnegans Wake
is now out. Five hours and twelve
minutes long, the audio book is put
out by Naxos, a company which usually
puts out music cds, making it an
appropriate choice for this undertaking.

The Guardian printed a review of the new
audio book yesterday. Here’s an excerpt:

This is the perfect way, possibly the only
way, of swallowing the Joycean pill pain-
lessly, thanks largely to the exuberance,
the humour, the sheer brilliance of Jim
Norton's reading ...... Forget the plot (there
isn't one), and abandon yourself to the
fluency and sheer musicality of the writing.
To celebrate the centenary of Bloomsday
next year, Norton is reading Ulysses, all 25
hours of it, for Naxos. This is the perfect

Saturday, November 08, 2003

The Literary Traveler has a nice article on their site
entitled A Portrait of the Artist in Trieste. Here's
an excerpt:

" 'Where did Joyce live?' I idly asked a clerk in the
tourist office, and suddenly she came to life.
'He lived all over, the clerk said, laughing. Joyce
moved constantly, whenever the rent was due.'
She spoke as though he were a current city
character and handed me a slip of paper with
a phone number. 'Ask this man about him.' "

- - - - -

You may have noticed my posting has become
more sporadic. I place the blame squarely on
my newly expanded job. I think they should enact
labor laws against working 40 hours a week.
Still - if you look at the top of the sidebar to
the right of this blog - you'll notice my empty
Bloomsday or bust fund. As I mentioned earlier,
I'm presenting at Bloomsday 100 in Dublin next
June, that is, if my money saving skills improve.
And that's why I have increased my hours at

I'm hoping that having the amount of savings
posted publically will embarrass me into doing
a better job at socking away $2000 for the trip.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

In the Odyssey, Ulysses comes home to his
faithful friend and companion Argos:

"...Soon as he perceived
Long-lost Ulysses nigh, down fell his
Clapped close, and with his tall glad
sign he gave
Of gratulation, impotent to rise,
And to approach his master as of old.
Ulysses, noting him, wiped off a tear
...Then his destiny released
Old Argus, soon as he had lived to see
Ulysses in the twentieth year restored."

James Joyce, who was afraid of dogs, portrays
a different sort of dog in Ulysses. In the Cyclops
chapter there is a dog in the pub, but it isn't a
friendly relaxed dog as one would expect of a pub
pup. The Dog, named Garryowen, has a personality
similar to the Citizen, who has brought him to
Kiernan's pub. Both the Citizen and Garryowen
dislike Bloom.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Here's a thought-provoking quote which Ellman
attributes to James Joyce, speaking to Stannie in

"Do you see that man who has just skipped out
of the way of the tram? Consider, if he had been
run over, how significant every act of his would
at once become. I don't mean for the police
inspector. I mean for anybody who knew him.
And his thoughts, for anybody that could know
them. It is my idea of the significance of trivial
things that I want to give the two or three
unfortunate wretches who may eventually read

Monday, November 03, 2003

The deadline for abstracts for the 2004 International
James Joyce Symposium has been extended to Dec
31st, 2003. Go here for more information.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

The Oregonian recently wrote a review or a
new book by J.M. Coetzee about Elisabeth Costello
who I have mentioned before in this blog.

"Elizabeth Costello is an elderly Australian author,
sort of a one-hit-wonder famous for her fourth
novel starring Molly Bloom, a character plucked from
James Joyce's "Ulysses." Despite her age, she still
has somewhat of a following; she continues to win
awards and garner invitations to speak. "Elizabeth
Costello" is structured in eight "lessons" - each
chapter organized around a formal address, each
an examination of what happens to this writer when
she must venture out into the world."

I haven't been able to locate Costello's book anywhere.
Anyone out there know of it?

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Christian Science Monitor had a story
yesterday on the difficulties with creating a
democracy in Iraq. The story quotes Ms. Siham
Hittab "who teaches James Joyce at Baghdad
University" !

".... developing the skills to make democracy
work will take time. She compares the process
to working with students on Joyce's famously
impenetrable texts. 'We need time. This is a new
life, and every day we're learning something new.
Frankly, it's easier teaching "Portrait of the Artist"
than getting everyone to understand what we're

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

This past Bloomsday our local men's choir
(The Celtic Knights of the Sea Mens Choir)
sang Toot Toot Tootsie, written by Gus Kahn
in 1922. Toot, toot tootsie has only a quick
reference in FW - a mere stutter, but what
a great song to perform. Here are the lyrics
as they were originally written:

Toot-toot-tootsie goodbye
Little Momma, don't cry
That choo-choo train that takes me
Away from you
Ah woman, no words can make me
Kiss her for me, tootsie, and then
I wished you’d do it again,

Watch for the mail
I ain’t gonna fail
If you don't get a letter
Then you'll know I'm in jail
Tootsie, tootsie goodbye
Honey, Momma, don't cry
Take it, son!
I’m singin’, tootsie, tootsie, goodbye
Honey, please don’t cry
That old choo-choo train that takes me
Away from you, no words can ever make me
Kiss me, tootsie, and then
I wish you’d do it over again

Watch for the mail
Killer won’t gonna fail
If you don't get a letter
Then you'll know I'm in jail
Tootsie, tootsie goodbye
Honey, Baby, don't cry
You better watch for the mail
Jerry Lee won’t fail
Tootsie, tootsie goodbye
Good-lookin’ woman, don't cry
Play your accordion, killer!

Monday, October 27, 2003

About five years ago, we had an interesting
professor from China speak at our local
Bloomsday event. His name was Ay Ping
(pardon my spelling) and he talked about the
difficulties that arose when Ulysses was
translated into Chinese. There were a few
words that the Chinese just didn't have a
translation for; one of these was the word
come - as in to have an orgasm.

Since then I've wondered how the Chinese
discuss things like coming. If anyone knows,
send me an email.
Off to my second week of working 40 hours a week.
All part of my make-enough-money-to-go-to-
Bloomsday100-in-Dublin campaign. In case you
missed my post of a few weeks ago, I have been
asked to present at the conference (Yippee!) .
So I'll be making my posts in the evening from now
on, California time. Wish me luck and perseverence.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Reading up a little on Lucia. I've been wondering
about her dancing career and what to make of
the descriptions I've read most of which make her
sound like a unique dancer, but no one comes
right out and calls her good or bad. There's "vigne
sauvage" (wild vine) and "prétesse primitive"
(primitive something) so I imagine she was creative
and uninhibited. Hope to find out more when I
purchase the new book on Lucia (see sidebar).

I wonder which is worse: having a mentally ill child
or having a drug-abusing child, which makes him
act like he's mentally ill...

Here's a great site for learning more about Lucia
with a biographical timeline.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

British Public Shuns James Joyce

The British public recently voted on the greatest works
ever written and apparently, James Joyce isn't up to

According to the London Telegraph, "The list of favourite
titles includes works by Charles Dickens, George Orwell
and Charlotte and Emily Bronte, as well as contemporary
authors such as J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. Among
those omitted are literary greats including Thomas Hardy
and James Joyce, and foreign novelists such as Gustave
Flaubert and Victor Hugo, whose masterpieces were also
eligible for the list, having been translated into English."

You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Davy Byrne's Irish Writing Award, was recently
announced. The competition is for is for stories
of up to 5,000 words and is being is being run
in association with the James Joyce Centre and
The Irish Times newspaper.Total prize money on
offer is €25,000, of which €20,000 will go to the
first prize winner.

"‘Davy Byrnes has always been proud of its
association with the most famous Irish novel of
the 20th century. The Davy Byrnes Irish Writing
Award is, for the centenary of Bloomsday, our way
of encouraging new Irish writing,’ said Redmond
Doran of Davy Byrnes."

Yanks need not apply.

You can find more information here.

Monday, October 20, 2003

James Joyce began attending Clongowes
at an extremely young age. It would be
unthinkable these days to send a child off
to boarding school at six years of age, or
as a young Joyce put it on his first day of
school when asked his age “half past six”.

He got advice from both parents upon leaving.
From his mother : Stay away from the rough
boys. From his father: Never peach (tattle) on
another boy. As the youngest boy at the school,
James Joyce was allowed to live in the infirmary
instead of the dormitory so that the nurse,
Nanny Galvin, could look after him.

There must have been a few months of crying
for his mother at night, but his adjustment
period was apparently over within the first six

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Happy Birthday Oscar!!

Here’s an excerpt from Ellman’s Joyce
bio regarding OW, pg 283:

“Joyce had been interested in Wilde for a
long time....”. He saw in Wilde “something
of what he was coming to regard as his
own personality, the miserable man who
sings of joy.”

Other related facts:

Joyce wrote an article about Wilde for the
Piccolo della Sera on March 24, 1909.

Joyce read The Portrait of Dorian Gray (in
Italian) in 1906 and complained that Wilde
had veiled the homosexual aspects of the

In 1918, Joyce started a theatre troupe with
Claud Sykes. They chose The Importance of
Being Earnest for their first play. (The play
featured notorious prig Henry Carr who
caused a fuss after the play’s run was over).
At the intermission of a performance when
Joyce was being publicly congratulated,
followed by audience applause, Joyce yelled,
“Hurrah for Ireland! Poor Wilde was Irish and
so am I!”

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I'm trying to dig up information on Joyce and Wilde.
I know Joyce was influenced by Wilde but I want details.
Joyce was in his teens when Oscar Wilde was sentenced
to two years hard labor; how could he not be influenced
by him. So I'm off to find out more and will present what
I find out in tomorrow's post (tomorrow is the anniver-
sary of Oscar Wilde's birth).

For now here's a Wilde quote which I'm sure Joyce

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral
book. Books are well written or badly written. That
is all".

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The cover for the first edition of Ulysses was
printed in blue and white, something Joyce
insisted on. The color is a blue with a slight
greenish tinge and white lettering to suggest
both the ocean and the colors of the Greek
flag. I haven’t seen an actual copy, just a
copy of a copy in a rare books catalog.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Bloom’s Soliloquy

So everyone knows about Molly’s soliloquy.
Especially the ending when she remembers an
important afternoon on Howth Head with Bloom.
That’s as it should be. Not as many people know
that Bloom also has strong memories of that day,
found on page 144 of Ulysses and excerpted
below. I remember being so pleased when I first
read this part of Ulysses, that the afternoon on
Howth would have impacted Bloom as strongly
as it did Molly (maybe more).

“.......Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open,
kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in
my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed.
Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled
sweetsour of her spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young
life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft warm
sticky gumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take
me, willing eyes.....Screened under ferns she
laughed warmfolded......Wildly I lay on her,
kissed her: eyes, her lips, her stretched neck
beating, woman’s breasts full in her blouse of
nun’s veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued
her......She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding
she tossed my hair. Kisses, she kissed me.”

Friday, October 10, 2003

I'm in a pissy-ass mood. Almost quit my job
this morning. I hate working. I hate that I have
to keep this job to make rent and pay for a car
and damn food for my family and dogs. I have no
time for writing and when I do get a little time, I'm
so overwhelmed by all the things I need to do that
I sometimes just sit and do nothing, not even think.
I haven't published anything for months and haven't
worked on my book for weeks. Disgusting

But I can't quit right now. Bloomsday100 registration
is due next month. (Does one have to pay for registra-
tion if they are presenting? Probably yes) And after I
come up with the money for registration I have to save
for going to the conference in June. I figure 1000 for
air fare and 1000 to get me through the 7-10
days there. So far I have saved

But enough about my bad mood. Here's a Joyce tidbit
for you, put together last night when I was in a much
better mood:

Naxos has taken on the Herculean task of
producing an audio recording of the entire
text of Ulysses. Read about it here or check
out the excerpt below:

"...But help is at hand for those afflicted with
guilt at not ploughing through to the ecstatic
end of Molly Bloom's 65-page soliloquy. If they
cannot get round to reading the book they can
now have someone read it to them. Bargain record
label Naxos has recorded Ulysses on 23 CDs, which
will be issued next year in time for the 100th
anniversary of the original "Bloomsday", June 16,
1904. Listening to the set will take about as long
as Leopold Bloom's day."

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Christian Crumlish has a well thought
out article on blogging for non-profits
which might be of interest to some of
you. I work at two non-profits: one radio
station and one social service agency,
both of which could benefit from a blog.
Arts organizations should climb on board
the blogging train too. I'd love it if there
was a blog for Bloomsday 100.
Fireland held a sexiest sentence alive
contest and welcomed submissions. They put
together an interesting formula to judge the
sentences that was proven wrong by the
unsexiness of the winning sentence. One
person entered this Joyce sentence from
the Dead:

"His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow
falling faintly through the universe and faintly
falling, like the descent of their last end, upon
all the living and the dead."

A famous sentence, a beautiful sentence, but
sexy? The possibilities in Ulysses are many,
but even sticking to Dubliners one can find
sexier sentences than the Dead entry.

How about this from Araby:

" I had never spoken to her, except for
a few casual words. and yet her name
was like a summons to all my foolish

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Larry Kirwin of Black 47 has a lovely
song on his solo album Kilroy Was Here.
It's called "Molly" and you can download it
here .

Kirwin is a huge Joyce fan and an all
around good guy. But I wish he'd never
visited Joyce's grave.

He details the experience on Black 47's
latest cd Trouble in the Land:

"I met a girl at the Kon Tiki
She was doin' the Mexican rumba
When I told her what was on my mind
She said 'no big deal, here's my number'
So I sat up on the bar of her bike
As she peddled to the cemetery
We drank Schnapps on James Joyce's grave
The next thing I know, the place is goin' insane
Three weeks later they threw me outta jail
But I got laid on James Joyce's grave
I can still feel the bruises
Lord have mercy on me"

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Election day in my state and I find my
thoughts turning to becoming an expatriat.
But where to go? Trieste?
Paris ? Zurich? Would James Joyce have
chosen different cities if he had left
Dublin in 2004 instead of 1904? I never
realized what a risky step it was for him to
leave until I considered it myself today. I
don't see how I can leave. No money. But
he had no money and he left
anyway. Brave man.

Monday, October 06, 2003

James Joyce’s Favorite Comic Strip

Well, I suppose if Joyce were to be fond of
a comic strip Krazy kat would be the one he
would be drawn to. Krazy Kat ran from 1913
to the mid 40s. It is viewed as one
of the more poetic and inventive comic strips
ever to be written and featured a tragic love
triangle: Krazy Kat adores the mean spirited
Ignatz Mouse and Offissa Pupp loves Krazy
Kat. Krazy Kat was also admired by Picasso,
Hemingway and Kerouac.

Here’s a sample of the strip from 1922.

Friday, October 03, 2003

In an earlier post I took issue with Ellman’s
statement that Joyce had a weak tenor voice.
I’ve looked into that statement a little more
and believe the source to be James Joyce’s
aunt Mrs. Callanan who told Joyce even as a
child that he was “a weak tenor”.

The statement does not refer to the actual
strength of his tones but instead to his
range limits. After turning twenty, G was the
highest note Joyce could hit comfortably, or
with some work an A flat. (Most tenors can
hit a high C).

Note: Due to extended work hours (taken
on to help fund my trip to Bloomsday 100 in
Dublin) this blog will be switching from daily
posts to five days a week posting (M - F).

Thursday, October 02, 2003

That Other Biography

I’m putting on a book sale/benefit this
weekend and have been working on it
all week. One of the books donated is
Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce, which
I already own but have not yet read. I’ve
heard varying opinions on it. Here’s one
from Staley’s Annotated Critical Biography
of James Joyce:

“Although Gorman’s work is not to be
discounted, it remains a biography
written by one loyal to the subject and
dependent upon him for access to
nearly all material...... Gorman had
both the advantages and disadvan-
tages of a close relationship with
Joyce and his book clearly reveals this..
... Gorman’s relationship with Joyce on
occasion was a detriment, for Joyce
actively interfered and at least once
exercised a veto over material to be

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Happy October! I have great news. Great for me,
that is. I have been invited to speak at the
International James Joyce Symposium, aka
Bloomsday 100, next June. My topic of
presentation: New York State of Mind: James
Joyce and the Music of Tin Pan Alley.

I'm thrilled, thrilled I tell you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Joyce’s Contributions to Physics

James Joyce is responsible for the quark.

Sort of. Actually, Murray Gell-Mann had a lot
to do with it too. Gell-Mann, an American
physicist, was born in 1929. He won the
Nobel Prize in 1969 for his study of sub-
atomic particles. He, along with his associate
George Zweig, was responsible for the quark
theory which hypothesized that quarks are
the smallest particles of matter (quarks
being particles that carry fractional internal
linkelectric charges. Or to be more precise:

“quark (kwôrk, kwärk) noun
Any of a group of hypothetical elementary
particles having electric charges of magnitude
one-third or two-thirds that of the electron,
regarded as constituents of all hadrons.”

Gell-Mann named the quark after a passage in
Finnegans Wake: “Three quarks for Master Mark,
Sure he hasn’t got much of a bark, And sure any
he has it’s beside the mark.”

Gell-Mann wrote of this in a private letter of June
27, 1978, to the editor of the Oxford English
Dictionary, which said that he had actually been
influenced by Joyce's word in naming the particle.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Literary Saloon mentions Tom Stoppard's play
The Coast of Utopia today. They have a nice little
info page on him here.

Stoppard wrote the play Travesties after
he discovered the interesting fact that Lenin,
James Joyce and Tzara all lived in Zurich at
the same time.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I'm not sure where, why, or by whom
but Pirate Day was celebrated a week
or so ago. Someone brought James
Joyce into the festivities as seen here.
Age of Aquarius

I came across James Joyce's Natal Chart
on the internet. They use 6 am as the
time of birth, which is what astrologers
do if they don't have the birthtime. It
supposedly makes the chart less accurate
(ahem). I've looked in several sources and
can't find anything about what time of day
Joyce was born. If any of you know I'd
appreciate your emailing me. Here's a
breakdown of his planets:

Sun in Aquarius
Moon in Leo
Mars in Gemini
Venus in Aquarius
Mercury in Pisces
Jupiter in Taurus
Uranus in Virgo
Saturn in Taurus
Neptune in Taurus

I don't know a lot about astrology
but I believe Aquarius is known as
innovative and Taurus is stubborn.
Pisces is emotional & intuitive. Hmm.
There is a guy at the radio station
who is an astrologer. His show is right
before mine on Wednesdays. I'm going
to show this to him and see what he
thinks. Without telling him that it's
James Joyce. I'll let you know what he

Saturday, September 27, 2003


Something occurred to me as I carried clean
laundry into my daughter's room today. She
has a poster of Nsync on her wall. Silly young
girl. Then I carried the rest of the laundry to
my room and noticed the poster of James
Joyce on my wall. I have a crush on a dead

It's a poster from one of our Bloomsday
events. It has that photo on it where Joyce
is sitting in a field or meadow, patch on his
eye, disconsolate.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Mrs. Svevo

As relayed in yesterday's post, Joyce helped Svevo
gain fame. He did the same for Svevo's wife, or at
least, for her hair. Joyce wrote to Svevo on Feb.
20, 1924 that he was making use of Signore Livia
Schmitz's name and hair for his newest heroine:
Anna Livia Purabelle. Joyce later was quoted :

"They say I have immortalized Svevo but I've also
immortalized the tresses of Signora Svevo. They
were long and reddish blond.... There is a river in
Dublin which passes dye-houses and its waters are
reddish, so I've enjoyed comparing these two things
in the book I'm writing...'

Below is the happy couple on their wedding day.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Italo Svevo aka Ettore Schmidt, met James Joyce
in 1907, when he decided he needed English lessons.
The two men became friends and Svevo helped pull
Joyce out of a serious writing slump in 1909. Years
later, Joyce was equally helpful to Svevo, reading
the two novels he had written which had gone unno-
ticed by the public. Joyce read Svevo's novels,
admired them and helped to get Confessions of Zeno
published. Svevo wasn’t able to enjoy his delayed
success for long.

From Joyce’s letter to Harriet Weaver on September
20, 1928:

“ I have also bad news. Poor Italo Svevo was killed on
Thursday last in a motor accident. I have no details
yet only a line from his brother ... Somehow in the
case of Jews I always suspect suicide though
there was no reason in his case especially since
he came into fame...”

You can find a review of another Svevo title,
A Perfect Hoax
, here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A Long Day

Kids to school. radio show. home for lunch. type
up BOD letter. work the rest of the day. Stop in
at the pub. Home to cook dinner. sink into chair
achingly. Too tired to write a creative blog entry
much less work on the book I'm trying to finish by
Dec 1st. How did Joyce do it? hmmmm..... Nora

Louisiananananaians may be interested
in this:

Art exhibition on display at McNeese

"An art exhibition of works based on James Joyce's
'Finnegans Wake,' by Heather Ryan Kelley, McNeese
State University professor of art, will open Oct. 2
with a public reception from 7:30-9 p.m. in the
Abercrombie Gallery in the McNeese Shearman Fine
Arts Center.

The exhibit, "This Is the Way to the Museyroom," will
be on display through Oct. 24. The Abercrombie
Gallery is a non-profit gallery sponsored by the
McNeese Friends of the Visual Arts, a community
support group, and is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday
through Friday. For more information, call the McNeese
Department of Visual Arts at 475-5060.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Girls Lean Back Everywhere

The book I ordered finally arrived today. “Girls
Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity
and the Assault on Genius” by Edward de Grazia.
The title refers to a line from the case against Jane
Heap and Margaret Anderson, two American
publishers who were prosecuted in 1920 for
printing the Nausicaa Chapter (Gerty) in their
publication The Little Review.

“ Mr. Joyce was not teaching early Egyptian
perversions nor inventing new ones. Girls lean
back everywhere, showing lace and silk
stockings; wear low-cut sleeveless blouses,
breathless bathing suits; men think thoughts
and have emotions about these things every
where - seldom as delicately and imaginatively
as Mr. Bloom - and no one is corrupted.”
.............Jane Heap

Monday, September 22, 2003

The Honorable Woolsey

In honor of Banned Book Week, here are a few
excerpts from Judge Woolsey’s landmark
decision, written on December 6, 1933:

“...The motion for a decree dismissing the libel
herein is granted, and, consequently, of course,
the Government's motion for a decree of
forfeiture and destruction is denied......

... But in "Ulysses", in spite of its unusual
frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of
the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not

.... The words which are criticized as dirty are
old Saxon words known to almost all men and,
I venture, to many women, and are such words
as would be naturally and habitually used... In
respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme
of sex in the minds of his characters, it must
always be remembered that his locale was Celtic
and his season Spring....

.... I am quite aware that owing to some of its
scenes "Ulysses" is a rather strong draught to
ask some sensitive, though normal, persons to
take. But my considered opinion, after long
reflection, is that whilst in many places the effect
of "Ulysses" on the reader undoubtedly is some-
what emetic, nowhere does it tend to be an
aphrodisiac. "Ulysses" may, therefore, be
admitted into the United States.

United States District Judge”

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Happy Banned Books Week! This week runs
through September 27th. So kiss your copy
of Ulysses. Buy a banned book for someone
you love. Or hey, buy a challenged book
instead. There’s plenty of them out there.

First, here’s a definition of Challenged from
the American Library Association:

“A challenge is an attempt to remove
or restrict materials, based upon the
objections of a person or group. A
banning is the removal of those materials.
Challenges do not simply involve a person
expressing a point of view; rather, they are
an attempt to remove material from the
curriculum or library, thereby restricting
the access of others.”

Let’s see now there’s I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
(Too sexually explicit; doesn't represent
traditional values.)

Or how about Moby Dick by Herman Melville
(Conflicts with values of the community.)

Or that nasty little number Little House in the
Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Racially offensive.)

And that’s just the tip if the iceberg. Here’s a
few highlights from the list of the Most
Challenged Books from 1990 - 2000:

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean George
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for
Girls: A Growing-Up Guide by Lynda Madaras
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by
Judy Blume
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Yeah, that Judy Blume makes James Joyce look pretty

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Florida Dreaming

Here's a good reason to go to Florida:
The University of Miami has a collection
of sheet music containing songs from
James Joyce's works and from his personal
repertoire. A brilliant idea. You can find
this gem of a collection (large, but not
complete) in the Otto G. Richter Library,
Archives and Special Collections Department,
or go here.

Friday, September 19, 2003


In 1909, Joyce had another money-making idea
that didn't pan out. He wanted to import Irish
Tweed to Trieste. Dublin Woolen Mills was
all for the idea and hired Joyce as their sales
rep to Trieste but I don't believe anything tweed
ever actually changed hands.

That doesn't stop the DW Mills from bragging
about their past employee :

“The shop is now run by George, Bernard and
Valerie Roche, the greatgrandchildren of
Valentine James Roche who opened the store
on Bachelor's Walk in 1888. The Woollen Mills
has a number of interesting connections with
notable Irishmen and women, having employed
James Joyce and the Trieste representative
and the founder having held meetings with
Michael Davitt and Maude Gonne in the rooms
above the shop.”

Thursday, September 18, 2003

A Juicy Tidbit

In researching the dissenting opinion in the trial
against Ulysses in 1933 - U.S. v One Book Called
Ulysses by James Joyce, 72 F2d 705 (CA 2, 1934) -
I found out something fascinating about Judge
Martin Manton, who wrote the dissenting opinion
in the case.

Judge Woolsey’s opinion is one of the most famous
legal decisions ever written. It deserves, and will
receive, a later post of its own. But the case was
not won with out opposition, most strongly from
Judge Martin Manton and Judge Learned Hand (wow)
who stated that “fundamental values should be
expressed in a work of art and that one should not
be diverted for the obscenity of the book”. They were
seen as taking the “Pro-Morality View”.

Judge Manton, took this stance not because he
believed in it, but to disguise his own immoral

Judge Manton was convicted a few years after the
Ulysses trial, of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
He took over $186,000 in bribes in 28 separate
“distinct and overt acts.”(United States v Federal
Appeals Judge Martin T. Manton, 107 F2d 834
(CA 2, 1939) cert den 309 US 664; 60 S Ct 590;
84 L Ed 1012 (1940) )

Coming out against Ulysses was part of his cover, an
attempt to make himself look good and moral. He
was sentenced to two years in jail and a 10,000 fine.
And to whatever appropriate punishment Karmic Law
can come up with for someone who insincerely
denigrates a man and his book for his own personal
gain. What a skank.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Tomorrow: A Day Away

I'm doing some research on the famous Woolsey
decision. Haven't finished so nothing big to report
today, but here's one thing I didn't know. The
decision was 5 to 4. Close call. I'm trying to dig up
the dissenting opinion. Hope to have more on this

Also, I purchased a tape on eBay of a reading by
James Joyce. I've never heard his voice before.
I hope that comes tomorrow too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Joyce as Troubadour

I’ve been struggling to come up with ways to make
enough money via some side project so that I can
quit my job and just work on my writing. I find
myself thinking a lot about James Joyce’s struggles
to survive. We’re both good at coming up with ideas,
but not so good at the follow through or making our
ideas pay.

One of his early ideas was to be a traveling minstrel,
sort of a 20th century O’Carolan. Here’s how he
explained it in a letter to Gogarty written June 3rd,

“My idea for July and August is this - to get
Dolmetsch to make me a lute and to coast the
south of England from Falmouth to Margate,
singing old English songs”

And he told Padraic Colum that the tour would be
“personally conducted, like the Emperor Nero’s
tour in Greece.”

The plan didn’t work out. Dolmetsch, who had
made a similar instrument for Yeats, was hesitant
to make another one. He told Joyce that making a
lute would be highly expensive and “I could hardly
say when it would be finished. The lute is moreover
extremely difficult to play and very troublesome to
keep in order.” He recommended Joyce use a spinet
or harpsichord. Joyce gave up on the idea instead.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Copyright fans will like this article wherein University
of Tulsa English professor Robert Spoo asserts that
Ulysses lacks copyright in the US and falls under
Public Domain.

“The argument by the Joyce estate and Random
House for 1934 as the commencement of a
Ulysses copyright in the United States has no
basis in law, Spoo says. He explains that U.S.
copyright law in force in 1922 required foreign-
produced works in English to satisfy stringent
provisions ?which unabashedly protected our
domestic printers and book manufacturers.
Under that law, Joyce would have had to deposit
a copy of the book at the copyright office within
two months of publication in France, and then,
within another four months, have the book printed
on American soil by a U.S. printer. Spoo says
Joyce did not meet these requirements, thus
relinquishing his novel to the public domain.”

Spoo’s article was published in the Yale Law
Journal, Vol. 108, No. 3. You can receive a copy of
the article by emailing

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Kickin' It with Joyce One Afternoon

If , by some universal tip o' the hat, I was
able to spend an afternoon with James Joyce
the first thing I would do is remind myself to
avoid the phrase "kickin' it".

Then I'd like to spend some time with him
sitting around the living room, listening to

I'd play some oldies (Gloomy Winter or
Brackagh Hill) and say, "Now this seems
like your kind of song. I'm surprised you
didn't use this in the Sirens episode".

And I'd play some new songs that I think he'd
like. And maybe I could get him to sing Ye
Banks and Braes for me. And then he'd ask
me to sing something. Gosh, what would
I choose.

Wouldn't that be a lovely afternoon...

Saturday, September 13, 2003

When I go to Galway, one of my first stops will be
Kenny's Books. I also want to see the Nora Barnacle
House Museum though it may not be open when I go,
seeing that they are only open from Mid-May to

The Museum website doesn't give much information
about the place, though they mention that Joyce met
Nora's mother there for the first time in 1909.

I like the St Brigid's Cross on the outside of the
stairway. I have one of the same over my doorway.

Friday, September 12, 2003

The Pig Iron Theater Company put on a play in
April of this year entitled James Joyce is Dead
and So is Paris: The Lucia Joyce Cabaret.

"JJIDASIP is a rock cabaret/theater spectacle
focusing on Lucia's memories of her father and
her early days on the streets of Paris with her
lover, Samuel Beckett."

It is, apparently, a musical based on Lucia's days
in an institution, where she has started up an
asylum cabaret. It sounds exceptionally
creative as described in the reviews.

Anyone seen it?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

So here's what I think about the activities of the
Joyce Estate. First of all, Let me say that I can
understand Stephen James Joyce wanting to
protect what for many, are the sacred words of
James Joyce. Those words are precious to many,
life changing even.

But here's the thing: As much as I think Joyce
would shake his head or roll his eyes or groan in
disgust at some of the things people want to do
with his words, I believe that he would never, ever
want to censor anyone. And that's what the Joyce
estate is doing with its actions against theatre
companies and songwriters and others, who are
just trying to celebrate James Joyce in their own
way. How could he advocate censorship or heavy
rights restrictions after having suffered so aggre-
giously from censors for so many years. And more
from the nonsense over Dubliners than the famed
case of Ulysses. No. He wouldn't do it.
And Stephen James Joyce shouldn't do it either.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Some background: The Joyce Estate has
prohibited or blocked various forms of artistic
Joyce worship. They are tight with the purse
string of literary rights. Here's a few examples:

Here’s an article in the Observer about the
estate's attempt to thwart a musical version
of Molly's soliloquy at the Edinburgh festival
in 2000. The Joyce Estate said, `We have read
your submission carefully and have come to the
conclusion that you propose to treat the Molly
Bloom Monologue as if it were a circus act or a
jazz element in a jam session. This was clearly
not the intention of the author. Therefore we
must refuse you permission.'

Here’s a website with several interview
excerpts with Kate Bush. The much admired
musician set a portion of Molly’s soliloquy to
music but the Joyce Estate would not give her
permission to use the words so she could not
record it.

The Joyce Estate came out strongly against the
movie Nora and Stephen James Joyce accused
film-maker Pat Murphy of permanently damaging
the reputation of his grandparents.
More here.

The most negative article I found about the Joyce
Estate is here. It tells of several restrictive
actions of the Joyce estate, including those
towards a man who wanted to translate Finnegans
Wake into Turkish:

"We read with dismay" Sweeney (Lawyer of SJJ)
wrote Erkmen, "that you are `planning to translate
Finnegan's Wake'.(sic) I know that you will be aware
that it impossible (sic) to translate Finnegan's Wake.
(sic) With the best will, the most heroic effort and
the highest ability you might produce a personal inter-
pretation in Turkish of Mr. Joyce's final masterpiece.
To suggest/promise more...would be misleading,
some might say dishonest. “
For a couple of nights now I've been going back
and forth on the issue of the Joyce Literary estate
being stingy with rights. Damn the Libra part of
me, which keeps seeing both sides of the issue.
But I think I've finally come down from my
teeter-totter on the right side and I'll tell you
all about it later today, though I'm swamped and
I really want to spend some time on this.

I've got the radio show this morning, and it's
payday so I'm headed for the grocery store
to but all the things we've done without the past
few days. Then a Board report to prepare and
a meeting to go to........ Mamma told me there'd
be days like these.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Mondo Sismondo makes some great points on Gary
Hart's Joyce comment in her post on Aug 20th and
gives Hart a warning he should take VERY SERIOUSLY!
Leo Tolstoy was born on this date in 1828. Tolstoy
was one of Joyce's favorite writers and of Tolstoy,
he said:

"...the best authors of any period have always
been the prophets: the Tolstoys, the Dostoevskis,
the Ibsens--those who brought something new into

"Tolstoy is a magnificent writer. He is never dull,
never stupid, never tired, never pedantic, never
theatrical! He is head and shoulders over the others."

"Tolstoy is a great writer. Think of the story of the
rich man's devotion to his poor manservant --- Master
and Man. After Flaubert the best work in novel form
has been done by Tolstoy, Jacobsen and D'Annunzio."

Makes you want to reread Anna Karenina doesn’t it!
These quotes are thanks to the James Joyce Portal
where you can find more on Joyce's literary tastes.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I've been looking into James Joyce's descendants
today. Joyce's son Giorgio had one son with his
first wife Helen, Stephen James Joyce. You probably
knew that. Here's what I haven't been able to
figure out. Did Stephen James Joyce have any off-
spring? From all my digging I haven't found a thing.

SJJ did marry (Solange Raytchine) but perhaps they
didn't have any children which would mean Joyce will
soon have no direct descendants. (SJJ is about
80 years old). Joyce does have descendants through
his siblings, one of whom is Ken Monaghan, the son
of Joyce's sister May and Executive Director of the
James Joyce Center in Dublin.
(Wouldn't that be a nice job!)

In my genealogical searching I've found quite a bit
on Stephen James Joyce's reign as the executor of
Joyce's literary estate. I'll save that story for
tomorrow. I'm off to add more song links to my
music page.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

The James Joyce Bridge was opened this year on
June 16th. Official press release is here.


Dublin City Council determined that the new bridge
be named James Joyce Bridge. James Joyce is
considered to be one of the most influential writers
of the 20th century. One of his best known short
stories is "The Dead" from "Dubliners". The setting
for the gathering described in the story is 15 Ushers
Island, which is directly opposite the bridge. Opening
of the bridge on Bloomsday was considered particu-
larly appropriate for this fine bridge.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I'm having a lovely day. 84 degrees with a gentle
wind. And I found Rejoyce by Anthony Burgess
at the thrift store for a measley ten cents. That's
right. You heard me. Ten centaroos. Nothing feels
better than finding a book you've been wanting for
awhile at a thrift store. A present from the universe.
Joyce the Sponger

James Joyce has been called literature's greatest
He was known for his ability to borrow money
with no intention of ever paying it back. He borrowed
from everyone: friends, enemies, students, supporters,
family (on the rare occasion that they had any money).

While I share Joyce's usual financial status (broke), I
cringe from borrowing money and usually resort to
selling books or other desperate measures. (this is
probably as good a place as any to mention that a
five dollar donation would allow me to get my last
$18.00 out of my Paypal account)

There were times when Joyce would have to use each
days earnings from teaching to pay for that night's
lodging. Nora and Georgio would sit in the park all day
until Joyce had the money in hand from that day's
student to pay the landlord for another night. Then
they'd all go to the room until the next morning when
the whole rigamarole would start up again.

When he had to go to the hospital, in severe pain with
the perforated duodenal ulcer which was to kill him, he hesitated over the necessary operation and
asked his son, "How will we pay for it?". Joyce was
rarely without money troubles .

Friday, September 05, 2003

Page 53 of Ellman’s biography of James Joyce
contains the following sentence: “Joyce sang
all in a sweet but rather weak tenor voice”. It
is not a quote from someone else, but Ellman’s
own words and I take issue with them.

Joyce was a fine singer. He did not have the
range of John McCormack, but that’s no justifica-
tion for calling his voice weak. Joyce won a bronze
medal at the 1904 Feis Ceol, a competition which
brought together tenors (and other singers) from
all over Ireland. The judge had planned on giving
Joyce the gold medal, but could not because Joyce
refused to participate in the sight singing portion
of the competition.

He was offered a scholarship with the greatly
respected voice teacher Benedetto Palmieri, who
offered to train Joyce for three years in exchange
for ten percent of his concert earnings. In a country
that produces talented tenors by the score, an offer
like that, in addition to Joyce’s Feis medal, indicate
that his voice stood out among others. There were -
and are - many weak tenors. James Joyce wasn’t
one of them.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Well I missed my post yesterday, damn
it. 17 year old son troubles. Which got
me thinking about Papa Joyce. I think
Nora handled most of the parenting duties
but Joyce was extremely attached to his
children. He was proud of Georgio’s
tenor voice. He thought Lucia had
inherited his genius, but that it had
gone awry for some reason with Lucia.
Here’s a letter he sent to her while she was
in the Nyon sanatorium. Later that year, after
setting fire to her room, she was transferred
to an asylum in Zurich and then to Karl Jung’s

Dear Lucia: Mamma has dispatched to you
today some articles of clothing. As soon as
the list of what you want comes we will send
off the things immediately...

Mamma is chattering on the telephone with
the lady above who dances the one-step so
well and fished my note of a thousand lire
out of the lift. The subject of the conversation
between them is the lady on the fifth floor who
breeds dogs. These 'friends of man' hinder the
lady on the fourth floor from meditating like the
Buddha. Now they have finished with dogs and
are speaking of me.

I see great progress in your last letter but at the
same time there is a sad note which we do not
like. Why do you always sit at the window? No
doubt it makes a pretty picture but a girl walking
in the fields also makes a pretty picture. Write to
us oftener. And let's forget money troubles and
black thoughts. Ti abbraccio...

— James Joyce (1879-1940),
Letter to Lucia Joyce, 15 June 1934
(42, rue Galilée, Paris)

More on Lucia including pics here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Here’s an interesting item from the May 2003
edition of the James Joyce Newestlatter:

A signed first edition of Ulysses sold for a record
$460,500 at Christie’s in New York in October

You too can receive the James Joyce Newestlatter
by becoming a member of the International James
Joyce Foundation. More info here.

Monday, September 01, 2003

More on James Joyce's literary habits. I found this
informative page on the James Joyce Portal. To see
how this thread began, go to the post for Aug. 17 .

Joyce liked these writers greatly:
Shakespeare, Aristotle, Dante, Homer, Ibsen,
Flaubert, Ben Jonson, Defoe, Chaucer, Yeats,
Wordsworth, Tolstoy, Jacobsen, D Annunzio,
Chekhov, Plutarch, Stendhal, Donne, Hans
Hans Christian Anderson, Hemingway.

He had mixed feelings about these authors:
Whitman, Maupassant, Kipling, Dostoevski, Eliot,
Shelley, Gide, London, Harte.

He disliked these writers:
Wagner, Synge, Hardy, Turgeniev, Balzac,
Thackeray, Thoreau, Browning, Tennyson, Goethe.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

A Joycean day . Today I purchased the last
set of bricks for my labyrinth. Drove home with
300 pounds of bricks in the back of my Jeep.
Saturday I purchased 420 pounds of bricks and
100 pounds of sand. Friday I purchased 384
pounds of bricks and my first 100 pounds of sand.
What was the total number of bricks Kelly bought
for her labyrinth? 184 . Who knew bricks were so

I’ve been attracted to labyrinths for a long time,
before I knew of their relation to Joyce. They
always seemed so much kinder than mazes. So
we’re building one in my backyard. I’ll post a photo
when I’m finished.

The other Joycean part of my day was when I did
the dishes. I put my daughter’s discman into my
itchy wool purse and put it over my shoulder. While
washing, I listened to the first in a series of lectures
by Joseph Campbell called “Wings of Art”. All about
James Joyce.... The first 45 minutes were spectacular.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Okay - Joyce and dogs. He didn’t like them. He was
afraid of them. He was bitten or nipped by one on
his chin when he was young. Here’s what Stannie
had to say about it:

“My brothers fear of dogs and his preference for
cats dates from the time when he was badly bitten
by an excited Irish Terrier, for which he and I were
throwing stones into the sea on the beach near the
sea-bathing establishment which is, or was, in the
middle of the Esplanade.”
(My Brother’s Keeper, pg. 4)

This is as good a place as any to mention that I am
the proud owner of an Irish terrier. Stannie doesn’t
mention what sort of Irish terrier bit James but I’m
pretty sure it was not the same kind of terrier I own
which is a Glen of Imaal Terrier. Glens hail from County
Wicklow. Farm dogs. I’d guess it was a Kerry Blue
that bit Joyce. I can definitely see a Kerry Blue getting
over excited while chasing rocks in the sea.

So my dog, my Glen of Imaal Terrier was born on June
16, 2002. His name is Nosey Flynn. You can see a photo
at the bottom of the sidebar.

Friday, August 29, 2003

A path on Howth Head and a view of the ocean. Wish I was there.

(Found this photo on Wunderground , the weather service)

Thursday, August 28, 2003

James Joyce and I have a few things in common,
including the number of residences we have lived
in. The first time I read Ellman’s biography of
Joyce and learned how many houses he had lived
in I was amazed. Here’s a run down of his first 22

1882 - Born at 41 Brighton Square West
1884 - 23 Castlewood Avenue
1887 - 1 Martello Terrace, Bray
1891 - Moved back to Dublin, address unknown
1892 - 23 Carysfort Avenue
1893 - “lodgings” address unknown
1893 - 14 Fitzgibbon Street
1894 - Millbourne Lane, outside Dublin
1894 - 17 North Richmond Street
1897 - 29 Windsor Avenue
1899 - Convent Avenue
1899 - 13 Richmond Avenue
1900 - 8 Royal Terrace
1901 - 32 Glengariff Parade
1902 - 7 Peters Terrace
1904 - Joyce takes a room at 60 Shelburne
1904 - Lives with James & Gretta Cousins in
1904 - Back to Shelburne Road
1904 - Sept 9, Martello Tower, Sandycove
1904 - Sept 20, Moved in with Uncle William Murray
1904 - October 9, to Paris with Nora

Whew! 19 places in 22 years (not counting wherever
he stayed on his first trip to Paris).

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Just home from a busy day and have to
leave for a meeting at the radio station
in 30 minutes, so here's something to
ponder until I can elaborate:

Joyce was afraid of two things: dogs
and lightening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Every year on March 17th many of my good friends
get together for a party to which I am not invited.
It’s an annual St. Paddy’s Day dinner and reading
and it is unfortunately, prejudicially, ridiculously, for
men only.

So after a few years of such rubbish a few women
began to get together for our own version of the
same thing. A small dinner, then we each have to read
something. I came to the event unprepared. Luckily
our hostess had a copy of Ulysses on her shelf. So I
read one of my favorite passages from Ulysses, one
that I though especially appropriate to the group
gathered there:

“Ugly and futile: lean neck and thick hair and a stain
of ink, a snail’s bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne
him up in her arms and in her heart. But for her the
race of the world would have trampled him underfoot,
a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak
watery blood drained from her own. Was that then
real? The only true thing in life? ....” (23)

Monday, August 25, 2003

I recently found an article in the Guardian about Elisabeth
Costello. The article covered an upcoming ceremony to honor her
and ran a short excerpt from the book "Elizabeth Costello"
by JM Coetzee, to be published by Secker & Warburg
in September .

Elisabeth Costello was born in Australia in 1928. She
has written nine novels, two books of poems and a book
on birdlife. The article mentions that "Costello made her
name with her fourth novel, The House on Eccles Street
(1969), whose main character is Marion Bloom, wife of
Leopold Bloom, principal character of another novel,
Ulysses (1922), by James Joyce".

The book sounds fascinating. It is not listed on Amazon,
Bookfinder or Powells. Not in Google. I'm awfully inter-
ested in reading it though. Anybody out there know
where I could get a copy?

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I viewed the trailer for the movie Bl , . m yesterday.
(Can’t help but cringe at that title. “Bloom” would
have been flawless. The comma/period seem both
presumptuous and distracting from the matter at

A long but worthwhile download can be found here.
This short preview seemed visually beautiful, dress
and scenery looked just right, as did the cast members
shown except for Stephen Rea who is near perfect
as Bloom (only near perfect because I suppose I should
see the whole movie before proclaiming absolute

So what’s next? The website gives no date for release
in the US, or anywhere for that matter. No mention of
anything of that nature.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

I am rereading Stanislaus Joyce’s book My Brother’s
Keeper and I loved this line:

“Much more than his reputation for being clever,
his good humor and gaiety made him a favorite with
his many sisters and relatives.” (59)

Some people think that Stannie should be taken with
a grain of salt because his memories of Joyce are
influenced by his jealousy of him. Whether that’s true
or not, I believe the above lines are true. It’s nice to
be reminded of that side of Joyce every once in a while.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Split Pea Press, located in Edinburgh Scotland, was
established in 1987. They have a number of inter-
esting publications including a poster which reproduces
the Evening Telegraph of June 16, 1904 (something I
plan to purchase on my next payday).

Here’s an excerpt from their website telling how they
came up with the idea for the poster:

“On Friday October 5, 1967, Timothy Finnegan (55), a
labourer of 5 Walkin Street, was working on the demolition
of a row of Dublin houses in Eccles Street to make way
for a new hospital extension when he discovered a cache
of old newspapers among the bricks and mortar. A lover
of the turf he decided to take them home to peruse the
old sports pages over a pipe while waiting for his supper.
Sadly he died the next day in an accident at work. It was
after an encounter with his son, Michael, in The Ship Tavern,
Lower Abbey Street, that Mr Ian Gunn, a visiting scholar
and gentleman from Scotland asked if he might see the
papers which the son had kept for sentimental reasons.
Gunn (72) of Edinburgh recognised immediately that among
this pile of papers was the original copy of the Evening
Telegraph for June 16, 1904, owned by one of Dublin's most
famous literary characters, Leopold Bloom.

On return to Scotland Mr Gunn showed the documents to
Mr Alistair McCleery (17) of the Split Pea Press in Edin-
burgh and together they decided on its immediate repro-
duction as a poster together with a guide to the refer-
ences to this newspaper in the account by James Joyce
in his Ulysses.”

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Another Molly Song

In Old Madrid was written by G. Clifton Bingham and
Henri Trotère. In Old Madrid is a chipper love song that
Molly first sang in Gibraltar. She thinks of it on the night
of June 16th because it is so much more romantic than
the letters of Blazes Boylan. Featured most in Sirens
and Penelope.

The song begins:

Long years ago
In old Madrid
Where softly sighs of love the light guitar.
Two sparkling eyes
A lattice hid
Two eyes as darkly bright as love's own star

And Molly:

"... will i ever go back there again all new faces
two glancing eyes a lattive hid Ill sing that for
him they're my eyes if hes anything of a poet
two eyes as darkly bright as loves own star
aren't those beautiful words ..." (637)

You can find In Old Madrid on the album
Along the Road of Dreams
; there is a sample of the song
at the Amazon page for this album.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

It’s one of the most significant songs used in
Ulysses. It’s one of the songs Molly will be
singing in her upcoming concert, in the key of
G. Its words are by G. Clifton Bingham. Its
melody is by J.L. Molloy. The sheet music of this
song is placed on the piano at 7 Eccles Street,
open at the last page “with the final indications
ad libitum, forte, pedal, animato, sustained
pedal, ritirando, close.” (580)

Molly contemplates how she will render it as
she lay in bed in the last chapter of Ulysses
“...that train again weeping tone once in the
dear deaead days beyondre call close my eyes
breathe my lips forward kiss sad look eyes open
piano ere oer the world the mists began I hate
that istsbeg comes loves sweet sooooooooooong
Ill let that out full when I get in front of the
footlights again...” (627)

Its first lines are:

Once in the dear dead days beyond recall,
When o’er the world the mists began to fall...

Its chorus goes:

Just a song at twilight
When the lights are low
And the glimmering shadows
Softly come and go
Though the heart be weary
Sad the days and long
Still to us at twilight
Comes love’s old song
Comes Love’s Old Sweet Song.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Today is the first day of school for students here in
Chico and though I thoroughly enjoy my children, it’s
a blessing to have my days back.

I find myself thinking of Nora today; what a relief it
must have been to her to have the children go back
to the local school on Via Veronese where they weren't
the must studious of students, but had many friends.
No more trying to keep them occupied in the small
Trieste kitchen while Joyce had students in the front
room for English lessons.

And the mornings when Georgio and Lucia were in
school AND Jim was off writing at a cafe - maybe Il
Caffe Bizantino - well Nora must have surely set
aside a few moments to sit back in silence, taking
pleasure in the rare moment of quiet and solitude.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Tech note: Comments installed today thanks to
maystardesigns. Finally my site is up and pretty
near complete. Look for additions to the music
page soon. I want to extend a HUGE thank you
to May (of Maystardesigns - link in sidebar) who
put this site together and helped me switch over
all my old posts for a very reasonable fee. Not
only is she reasonable, she was also patient with
all 3542 questions I asked her. Thanks May!
Tin Pan Alley

Joyce used a number of songs from Tin Pan Alley
in his works.

Tin Pan Alley was an area in NY populated by
popular music publishers and song writers who
developed the idea - now prevalent in the pop
music world - that hit songs could be made
through the fine art of plugging.

Imagine the year 1900 : no records, no cds, no top
40, no MTV, no radios; yet even in that era there
were songs that sold a million copies - of sheet
music! The music movers and shakers from 1890 -
1920 had to be especially creative in getting their
songs before the public. One technique was to hire
boys to stand around in front of music stores and
saloons whistling their tunes over and over and
over. Another much used technique was to hire a
“stooge” or “boomer”, usually a clear voice tenor or
soprano who would sit in the galley of a of a concert
hall. When the performer had finished the song to
be plugged, the boomer would then stand, as if
inspired by the song and repeat the chorus. The idea
was to get the audience to join in, thus reinforcing
the song in their memories.

That might be why most Americans know the chorus
to songs like Take Me Out to the Ball Game, but not
the verses. Take Me Out was not one of the songs
Joyce used in his works but several other Tin Pan Alley
hits are, including Sweet Rosie O'Grady, My Irish Molly-O,
Daisy Bell and When Irish Eyes are Smiling.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The more I think about Gary's Hart's recent statement
(see post for Aug 14th ) the more pissteroff I get. First of
all, he compares himself to Joyce which is annoying but
utterly laughable. More bothersome is Hart's assumption
that Joyce didn't read other writers which is untrue;
Hart may be too egotistical to read other bloggers
but Joyce recognized the great value of reading others.

Joyce loved Tolstoy and Shelley. Joyce said he had read
every line of only three writers: Flaubert, Ben Jonson and
Ibsen. Ibsen was one of his heroes and a huge influence.
As was Dujardin's 1888 novel Les Lauriers sont Coupés to
which Joyce ascribed his use of stream of consciousness.
Aquinas and Giordano Bruno were two of his favorite philo-
sophers. He once remarked that "I love Dante almost as
much as the Bible. He is my spiritual food, the rest is

And it has been suggested that the proposal in Vico's
"Scienza Nuova" to write an ideal and timeless history into
which all ordinary histories are embodied provided Joyce
with the basis for Finnegans Wake.

Joyce was also a frequent library Patron. You can see his
Paris library card here.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

A Bothersome Book

I recently began to read a book entitled Clairvoyant: The
Imagined Life of Lucia Joyce. Written by Alison Leslie Gold,
it purports to be a “tribute to Lucia’s ability to survive in
the face of a most mysterious and terrible illness” and also
claims it is based on “factual details of the Joyce family...”.

Okay. I can understand that. The author has to imagine
Lucia’s emotions and thoughts during her 47 years in
asylums. Sure. So I open the book and on the first page I
come to this line:

“Her wavy gingerbread-and-gray hair looked as though
it had been recently permed.”

That sentence gave me pause, but I continued to read.
Upon reaching page 7 . I encountered another such line:
“....her wild, irrepressible ginger colored hair”. I was initially
bewildered. Lucia? A redhead?

I flipped to the afterword where the author summarizes
what were facts and which parts of the book were fiction.
The last line reads “Lucia Joyce did not have red hair”.

I can understand that Gold would have to use her imagin-
ation for portions of the book, but red hair? What the hell!?
I put the book down and I won’t be reading any more of it.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

In an article entitled Blah Blah Blog Maureen Dowd quotes
Gary Hart, who doesn't bother to read other bloggers as
saying, "If you're James Joyce you don't read other authors."

Mr. Hart, I know James Joyce. I consider him to be my
friend. Mr. Hart, you are no James Joyce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Dateline 2003 - James Joyce Censored - AGAIN

"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
Stephen Dedalus

A must read article by Jonathon Wallace entitled
DirtyGerty:James Joyce , Censorship and the Net
be found here. He writes of the censorship trial of the
Little Review after carrying the Nausicaa chapter in their
publication and gives up nauseating information on current
censorship :

“Go into the Austin, Boston or Loudoun County public
libraries and try to access the page of excerpts from Molly
Bloom's soliloquy at
molly.htm. You won't be able to, because the SpaceTime
Portal site is blocked by CyberPatrol and X-Stop. (Its also
blocked by Surfwatch.)

Various other Joyce resources on the Web have been
blocked by CyberPatrol. For some time, you could not
access the Fileroom, a site which summarizes incidents
of censorship around the world... Similarly, you could not
get to the Wiretap server to read Donald Theall's essay
on James Joyce and the Prehistory of Cyberspace.

And X-Stop, the product installed in the Loudoun County
library, blocks a Banned Books page which has the entire
text of Ulysses.”

August 11th, 2003

Finn’s Hotel

Joyce considered "Finn's Hotel" as a title for Finnegans
Wake. Finn's was the hotel where Nora worked as a
chambermaid when James Joyce first made her acquain-
tance. Finn's Hotel still stands in Dublin and you can see
a photo of it (thanks to The Modern Word) here.

August 10th, 2003


Mrs. Riordan from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was
based on Mrs. Conway, a distant relative of John Joyce’s who
lived with the family in Dublin for several years. The children
called her Dante, which was a childish derivation of “Auntie”.

She considered joining the nunnery when she was in her late
20s but her brother died and left her a large sum of money.
So she passed on being a Bride of Christ and instead married
a solemn, bald man who worked at the Bank of Ireland. A few
years afterwards her husband left for South America, taking
most of her fortune with him. The original plan had been for
her to meet him there, but after a few letters between them,
he stopped correspnding with her and she never heard from
him again.

Stanislaus Joyce describes her as the “most bigoted person I
ever met”. In his book My Brother’s Keeper, Stannie tells of a
morning when he and James were walking with Dante and
they passed a house where a small coffin was being carried
out the front door. They could hear the hysterical mother
screaming and crying inside. The nursemaid of the dead baby
talked to Dante and explained that the mother was distraught
because the child had not been baptized. As Dante and the two
boys walked home, she explained , “So now you see what
happens. That child can never go to Heaven. Now you see what
comes of not baptizing immediately”.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Saturday, August 08, 2003

O’Casey on Joyce

This quote, from Irish playright Sean O’Casey, graced out
Bloomsday poster last year. I think it sums him up quite

“Joyce, for all his devotion to his art terrible in its austerity,
was a lad born with a song on one side of him, a dance on
the other - two gay guardian angels every human ought
to have” . . . Sean O’Casey

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Araby: The Film

Dennis Courtney has made a film of Araby, a short story
from Dubliners - one of my favorites in fact. The film has
won several awards. You can order it or see a trailer for
it here .

I haven't seen the film but the musical credits are unim-
pressive, as is their synopsis of the story (below).

"Based on the short story by Irish author James Joyce,
Araby is the bittersweet tale of a young boy's confused
affection for his friend's older sister. Taught by Jesuits
in turn-of-the-century Dublin, and raised in a strict
Catholic family, the boy worships his love from afar.
When she finally notices him, the girl expresses her sad -
ness in not being able to attend the enchanting Araby
bazaar. The boy nobly sets out to attain a gift for the
girl but instead meets with a harsh revelation. The boy's
romantic quest through the streets of Dublin becomes
a religious pilgrimage, merging the sensual and the sacred."

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Sweny’s Lemon Soap

I did something special this past Bloomsday. I made lemon
soap. Then I designed an old fashioned looking label and
used an old font to write the words “Lemon Soap” and
under that in smaller letters “F. W. Sweny, Pharmacist”. I
hand colored the labels so they looked like old Breck ads.
I gave several bars away and kept three for myself.

Sweny’s was an actual pharmacy in Dublin, might even
still be there. Bloom purchases lemon soap in the fourth
chapter of the book and carries it around for the day.
It serves as a talisman throughout the day, reassuring
him through various disturbing moments of the day.
Here’s a few examples:

"…I’ll take one of these soaps’…Mr. Bloom raised a
cake to his nostrils. Sweet lemony wax…He strolled
out of the shop, the newspaper baton under his armpit,
the coolwrapped soap in his left hand" .

He has the soap in his breast pocket at Glasnevin
Cemetary. The fresh smell comforts him when his
thoughts turn to death.

In the Aeolus Chapter, the newspaper carries an article
about soap. And the soap helps him overcome a greasy
smell from Thom’s next door. "He took out his handker-
chief to dab his nose. Citron-lemon? Ah, the soap I put
there. Lose it out of that pocket. Putting back his handker-
chief he took out the soap and stowed it away…"

After making the soap, I realized how comforting lemon
soap can be. Washing your hands and face with it is like
therapy. I haven’t tried carrying it around with me through-
out the day yet, but the next time I have a bad day, I’ll give
it a try.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Busy day today. My son received an eye injury at
work so we’ve spent the afternoon at the ER and
the Pharmacy. Luckily I’ve been saving up a few
quotes for this kind of day.

Here’s a few sayings by himself:

- There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so
abhorrent to thechurch as a human being.

- Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill
of a world a mother's love is not.

- Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is
honoured by posterity because he was the last to
discover America.

- I will tell you what I will do and what I will not
do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe,
whether it call itself my home, my fatherland,
or my church: and I will try to express myself in
some mode of life or art as freely as I can and
as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only
arms I allow myself to use--silence, exile and

Monday, August 04, 2003

Reading Ulysses

Catherine Finn of Bookslut writes about not
having read Ulysses here.

She says, "I have meant to read it for years. Every
time I hear the title I wince in shame that I have still
not tackled it. Two things have held me back, laziness
and fear."

She nailed it: laziness and fear are the two main impe-
diments to reading Ulysses.So here's some advice for
those who are contemplating reading Ulysses.

First of all, a secret: Ulysses is like the Bible - you don't
have to read it in the order it was written. If you can't
get into Stephen and Buck Mulligan in the Martello Tower
jump ahead to Chapter Four and read about Molly and
Bloom's morning. Whatever....Find a part that attracts you
and start there. Once you are engaged you'll want to read
every chapter in the book.

And remember this: Joyce has a famous quote about put-
ting enough puzzles in Ulysses to keep professors guess-
ing for decades. Joyce was a bit of a tease in that way.
But I believe he meant this book for the common man/
woman. The puzzles were to keep the professors talking,
but the beauty of the book is meant for the rest of us. It
took him ten years to write the book, surely you can spend
a few weeks trying it out. You may come away with a book
you can read and enjoy for the rest of your life.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Joyce Exhibit at The Ruth Haas Library in Westbury

Wrong side of the US for me, but I'd love to see this exhibit
which includes a Shakespeare & Company first-edition
volume of Ulysses printed in Paris in 1922; the 1934 first
American edition featuring a dust jacket designed by Ernst
Reichl; and copies of The Little Review, the New York literary
journal that published serialized installments of the novel
until 1919 when the U.S. Post Office began seizing issues
on grounds that the passages were obscene. The main item
I'd want to see is James Joyce's death mask - a bronze mask
cast from a plaster mold taken at Joyce's death.

Find out more about the exhibit here.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

We Missed Lucia Week !!

Lucia Anna Joyce was born on July 26, 1907. Schizophrenia
Ireland 's national awareness week (July 21st - 27th) is
named after Lucia, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia
at a young age.You can find out more about this year's
events here. SI is"dedicated to upholding the rights and addressing the needs
of all those affected by schizophrenia and related illnesses,
through the promotion and provision of high-quality services
and working to ensure the continual enhancement of the
quality of life of the people it serves."

Friday, August 01, 2003

Joyce & BDSM

Joyce’s sexual penchants can be found in both his work
and his private life. Bondage, domination, submission, S & M,
fetishism: Joyce was one of those rare men who knew
that when you love someone passionately and completely,
nothing is dirty.

Here is a short excerpt from his the Nightown Chapter of

“BELLO: Cheek me, I dare you. If you do, tremble in anticipa-
tion of heel discipline to be inflicted in gym costume.” AND

“BELLO: You will be laced with cruel force into vicelike
corsets of soft dove coutille, with whalebone busk, to the
diamond trimmed pelvis, the absolute outside edge, while
your figure, plumper than when at large, will be restrained
in nettight frocks...”

Private examples of Joyce’s sexual leanings can be found
in the letters Joyce wrote to Nora, some of which can be
found here. When the letters were published there was a bit
of a scandal over the content of some of the letters as well
as the violation of Joyce’s privacy. Anticipating such a reaction,
Richard Ellman wrote in the introduction to the volume of letters:

"This correspondence commands respect for its intensity and
candour, and for its fulfillment of Joyce's avowed determination
to express his whole mind."

Here’s a an excerpt:

“ I would be delighted to feel my flesh tingling under your
hand . Do you know what I mean, Nora dear? I wish you would
smack me or flog me even. Not in play, dear, in earnest and
on my naked flesh. ..... I would love to be whipped by you,
Nora love! “

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Thursday, July 31, 2003

I continue to struggle with Finnegans Wake. (NO
apostrophe unless you are referring to the song or
to Tim Finnegan's wake itself).I stumble around and
then come across something wonderful which gives
me the incentive to carry on. It begins and ends

Here's how Finnegans Wakebegins:

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore
to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of
recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs."

Here's how Finnegans Wake ends:

"Till thousendsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a
lone a last a loved along the"

Get it? The book is a circle.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

James Joyces and His Siblings

Jorn Barger has compiled an excellent timeline of Joyce
and his siblings which gives interesting insight into
their family. You can find the entire fascinating thing
here.Below are some of the basics:

05May (Wed): 30yo John S Joyce marries 20yo May Murray
23Nov (Tue): John Augustine Joyce born (2 mos premature?)
01Dec (Wed): John A Joyce dies, age 8 days
02Feb (Thu): James Augusta Joyce born
Elizabeth 'Dante' Hearn moves in with Joyces
18Jan (Sun): Margaret Alice 'Poppie' Joyce born
17Dec (Wed): John Stanislaus 'Stannie' Joyce born
24Jul (Sat): Charles Patrick 'Charlie' Joyce born
04Jul (Mon): George Alfred 'Georgie' Joyce born (named for Washington 4 July )
22Jan (Tue): Eileen Isabel Mary Xavier Brigid Joyce born
18Jan (Sat): Mary Cathleen 'May' Joyce born
26Oct (Mon): Eva Mary Joyce born
at home: James 10yo, maybe Poppie 8yo, Stannie 8yo, Charlie 6yo, Georgie 5yo, Eileen 4yo, May 2yo, Eva 1yo
27Nov (Mon): Mabel Josephine Anne 'Baby' Joyce born
18Jul (Thu): Frederick Joyce born
31Jul (Wed): Frederick Joyce dies, JSJ tries to strangle May
13Mar (Thu): 14yo George Joyce (brother) falls ill
03May (Sat): George Joyce dies
10Apr (Good Friday): MOTHER DYING telegram from JSJ
12Aug? (Wed): JAJ ignores uncle John Murray's order to kneel & pray
13Aug (Thu): death of 44yo May Murray Joyce
at home: Poppie 20yo, Stannie 20yo, Charlie 18yo, Eileen 16yo, ?May 14yo, Eva 13yo, Florrie 12yo, Baby 11yo
Mar? JSJ sells piano, JAJ moves out
08Oct (Sat): JAJ and NB depart for Zurich

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Tower

The Martello Tower at Sandycove was built in 1804
by the British as part of their defences against
an impending (they thought) attack by Napoleon.
This is why Stephen says that Mulligan pays his
rent to “the Secretary of State for war” .

In 1962 the Tower was opened as a James Joyce
museum by Silvia Beach.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Stately Plump Buck Mulligan

Oliver St. John Gogartywas immortalized as the
loquacious Buck Mulligan in Ulysses. Joyce lived
with Gogarty for one week in September of 1904
in the Martello Tower (more on the Tower in a later
post). Gogarty & Joyce had a falling out and a month
later Joyce left Ireland with Nora. In 1906, Joyce
predicted to his brother that Gogarty would
betray the Fenian movement.

Oliver St. John (pronounced sinjin) Gogarty never
betrayed the movement and actually redeemed himself
however in a number of ways.

He fought in the Civil War and was sentenced to
execution in December of 1922, but escaped. W.B.
Yeats described the exploit this way:
“Pleading a natural necessity he got into
the garden, plunged under a shower of
revolver bullets and as he swam the ice-cold
December stream promised it, should it land
him to safety, two swans". True to his word,
Gogarty fulfilled his promise to the Liffey
not far from the pub which now bears his name.

Gogarty hid Michael Collins in his Ely Place
house on numerous occasions during the War of
Independence. After Collins was assassinated, Gogarty,
a doctor, tended his body at Shanakiel Hospital and
prepared it for burial. The blood stained key to Gogarty’s
house was found on Collins dead body. Gogarty also
served as a Senator of the Irish Free State from 1922 - 36.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

A New Take on Ulysses

Artist Harrell FletcherHarrell Fletcher has made a 25 minute film
called "Block Out The Sun".

Based in a garage in central Portland,Oregon the film is a
re-working of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The garage owner,
mechanics and neighborhood denizens serve as narrators,
reading lines from the novel that focus on death, love, social
inequality and the relationship between individuals and the

Saturday, July 26, 2003

George Bernard Shaw was born on this day in 1856. In a letter dated
10 Oct. 1921, to Joyce’s publisher (published in Letters of James Joyce,
vol. 3, 1966), Shaw, commenting on Ulysses, called it a "revolting record
of a disgusting phase of civilisation; but it is a truthful one," though he
refused to purchase a copy. In The Table Talk of G.B.S., Shaw wrote,
“ I could not use the words Mr. Joyce uses: my prudish hands would refuse to form the letters."

He also made this comment about Ulysses: "In Ireland they try to make
a cat cleanly by rubbing its nose in its own filth. Mr. Joyce has tried the
same treatment on the human subject. I hope it may prove successful."

Friday, July 25, 2003

For the past three years we have had a group of elementary girls participate in our Bloomsday. They are known as the Connelly Girls Choir. Here is their script for Bloomsday 2003:

Gina - Competitive girl - HOKEY POKEY
Brixie - singing girl - Brian O’Linn
Sarena - clapping/dancing girl - pease porridge hot-
Laura - very enthusiastic girl - eeny meeny
Delaney - smart girl - Humpty Dumpty

The girls enter in regular dress, as if coming to choir rehearsal after school. They have backpacks or book bags or carry a book with them. Gina and Sarena practice clapping together. Brixie wants a turn.

Kelly enters. Everyone says hi.

Kelly: Okay. Let's get started everybody. Get out your books. Did you all do your homework? (all the girls pull out worn copies of Finnegans Wake, each excessively marked)

Delaney: Yes

Laura: I did! I did!

Sarena: Me and Gina did it together . Is that okay?

Gina: I found three.

KELLY: Okay, Okay. That's great you found three but we're just going to hear just one nursery rhyme from each of you because there's something else we have to work on. Who wants to go first?

Gina: me !

Brixie: Me! me!

Laura: Oh! Oh! OH please me, I have a good way to pick the next person. Me! Me! MEEEEEEE

KELLY: Okay Laura. You go first. Stand up and tell us what nursery rhyme or children's song you found in Finnegans Wake.

Laura: I found the perfect nursery rhyme for picking who should go next. It's in Finnegans Wake three times: (stands in front of girls and points) Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo, Catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay, fifty dollars every day. My mother told me to pick the very best one and that is you: (Points at Sarena)

Kelly: Great job, Laura. Okay, Sarena you're next.

Sarena: Okay. I need Gina to help me. The one I found is only in Finnegans Wake twice but it's a lot of fun.( Sarena & Gina c lap while saying) Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot nine days old.

Kelly: Great, girls. Good clapping! Okay. Who wants to go next?

Gina: Me! My turn! I worked, really, really hard and I think I found the song with the most mentions. Mine has NINE mentions! But I need everyone to help me with this one.

All in a circle. Do the hokey pokey (some from audience).

You put your your right arm in , you put your right arm out, you put your right arm in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That's what it's all about..'

(Everyone goes back to their seats)

KELLY: Okay, Brixie? What did you find?

Brixie: Sorry Gina. Mine has more mentions than yours. It has ten mentions.
(Sings Brian O'Linn while Sarena does a fake jig. )

Brian O'Linn had no britches to wear
So he got him a sheepskin to make him a pair
The leather side out and the wooly side in
Sure its great summers clothing. said Brian O'Linn

Kelly: Okay Delaney, What did you come up with?

Delaney: (puts on reading glasses)After one week of extensive perusal of the text, I found a classic nursery rhyme that is referenced in Finnegans Wake 53 times (other girls looked shocked! Delaney clears throat and recites in a shakespearean manner:) Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horse and all the kings men, couldn't put humpty together again

All clap. Girls begin to discuss which one they should use for Bloomsday.

Kelly: All right girls hold on. I know we thought about using one of your rhymes for Bloomsday but I changed my mind. (Girls groan and pout) I just think it's better if you do a song instead. People will like that better. (groans continue) So we're going to sing Believe me if All those Endearing young Charms.

Gina: But that's only mentioned three times.

Brixie: That's okay. It's a nice song.

Laura: Yeah I like it

Sarena: Me too

Kelly: Okay well, let's give it a try then.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Clay: Behind the Music

In 1899 Maria O’ Donohue went to a Hallow’s Eve party
at the home of John Murray (the son) who she had
known since he was a boy. She was an older, unmarried
woman, sister of John Murray’s (the father’s) second wife.
It is believed that the Joyce’s were also present at this
party. It isn’t known whether the game of saucers was
actually played, though such games were extrememly
common at that time. What is known is that the real
Maria dies later that year dies in December of that year
of an inoperable tumor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The story of Clay represents one of the best examples
of Joyce’s use of music to add to, elaborate on and
perfect the tone of a scene. The story is about a woman
named Maria who works in a laundry whose purpose is to
get protestant prostitutes off the street. Maria isn’t a
Prod whore; she is one of the people who runs things there.
In her younger days Maria worked in a well-off household
helping with the care of Alphy and Joe. On the night of the
story, All Hallow’s Eve, Maria is off to visit on of her young
charges, Joe, now married with children of his own. During
the festivities at Joe’s house, Maria is encouraged to join
the children in a game of saucers, an Irish game of divination
commonly played at Halloween.

The player is blindfolded and must select a saucer
rom the table. What the saucer holds will tell the
future for the player. Maria is manipulated by one of
the neighbor girls to the dish containing clay, which signifies
death. Joe’s wife hurriedly takes the clay away from Maria
and points her in another direction. Maria ends up with a
prayer book signifying areligious life or the nunhood.

Towards the end of the evening Maria is asked by Joe to
sing for them. Maria sings “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls”
by Balfe from his light opera “The Bohemian Girl”. Maria
mistakenly sings the first verse twice, perhaps because
her subconscious recognizes that for Maria, the second
verse will never materialize. Joyce does not include the
second verse in the story, so those who are not familiar
with the song miss out on the full impact.

Here are the words of the second verse:

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand
That knights upon bended knee
With vows no maidens heart could withstand
They pledged their faith to me
And I dreamt that one of those noble host
Came forth my hand to claim
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same

Monday, July 21, 2003

Not much time today...upgrading
all my system software. But one piece
of big news: I purchased a copy of the
"James Joyce Yearbook" on eBay! 1000
copies were printed in 1949....more
on that when it arrives.

Also - song for tomorrow: "Marble Halls"
used in the story Clay in Dubliners.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

’Tis the Last Rose of Summer

A hauntingly beautiful song written by Thomas Moore,
also used in the opera Martha by Flotow. One of his most
popular songs, ‘Tis the Last Rose of Summer sold over a
million copies - quite an achievement for a song in the
late 1800’s. (Moore will receive a post of his own later on
this blog). More recently, Ken Burns used it as background
music for his documentary “New York”. I don’t know of
Joyce singing this one anywhere but it certainly seems like
one that would be in his personal repertoire. It’s in his range
and all about loneliness and being left alone....

He used in the Sirens chapter like so:

“Last rose Castille of summer left bloom I feel so sad alone.”

“Under the sandwichbell lay on a bier of bread one last, one
lonely last sardine of summer. Bloom alone.”

Here are the lyrics of the first verse:
'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming all alone,
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.
No flower of her kindred,
No rose bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Some Songs you know and Some You Don't

The 105 degree temperature here is not conducive to long
thoughtful posts. But here's something to think about.....More
details to follow

Songs you probably know about in Joyce's Works: Love's
Old Sweet Song, I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls, The Croppy Boy,
Finnegan's Wake....

Songs you probably would have never imagined Joyce
would use: Chin, Chin, Chinaman; The Daring Young Man
on the Flying Trapeze; Farmer in the Dell; Toot, Toot, Tootsie.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Bloomsday Cabaret

Rosemary House is working on a documentary about
Joyce and music. Due to be released in April 2004,
you can find out more about it here.
Ms House recently visited this site and wrote me
saying: I checked into your excellent site and to my
delight found the bit about Shule Aroon..........thanks
to your site I now have an excellent literary tie-in
for the song. " Thanks for the testimonial!

Nosey Flynn also got a much appreciated mention in
The Literary Saloon. You can reach their excellent
site via the permanent link in the Wandering Rocks
section to your right.

Thursday, July 17, 2003
The only open air sculptures ever made by artist Constantin
Brancusi have fallen into a sorry state of disrepair in
Romania. Brancusi created the monument as a tribute to
Romania's fallen WWI heroes. You can read more about it
Brancusi was a friend of Joyce's and was responsible for
the sketch below. Black Sun publishers, Harry and Caresse
Crosby, once proposed to illustrate their edition of Joyce's
Tales Told of Shem and Shaun with a portrait of the author
by Brancusi. The portrait- a sketch of an abstract spiral
intended to suggest the labyrinthine nature of Joyce's mind
- was shown to the author's father, John Joyce, in Dublin.
"The boy," the elder Joyce declared, "seems to have changed
a good deal."

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

One of the scenes we've portrayed at our local Bloomsday
Celebration is the dinner scene in The Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man. It's a stirring passage to read and fascina-
ting to watch when reenacted. The Parnell-O'Shea scandal
dominates the Dedalus dinner conversation, just as it dominated conversations throughout Ireland at the time. There is no
American equivalent, for in the United States there has never
been a politician who has been so well loved and who inspired
so much hope , unless it was John and Robert Kennedy.

Charles Stewart Parnell and Katherine O'Shea had been lovers
for ten years when the scandal of their affair broke. They had
two children together. They were committed and devoted to each
other. They co-existed as husband and wife. But this is Ireland
at the turn of the century. Half the country saw him as a sinner,
half the country saw him as Ireland's true savior. The dinner
scene is an excellent passage to read to get a feel for the mood
of Ireland at the time.

Here's a link for my friend Maralite, who is currently reading A Portrait.
Brandon Kershner's Portrait Page is an attempt
" to help new readers and old fans of James Joyce's book A Portrait of
the Artist as a Young Man by providing on-line some information about
the book and its writing. "

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