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.

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