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 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)
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,
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
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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