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.

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