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.
James Joyce. Finnegans Wake (Page 3)
This is the opening paragraph from Joyce’s last novel, Finnegans Wake. I decided that as I had looked at the end of The Dead I would look at the beginning…The beginning of Finnegans Wake. I ran down to Adam and Eve’s at the heart of Dublin City.
Joyce is closely associated with the Jesuit education he received but chooses to begin Finnegans Wake right where Dublin began, at Merchant’s Quay where the Franciscans have been since 1232.
The opening passage of Finnegans Wake looks outwards to the bay, with the journey of the River Liffey out to the wide expanses of the bay. I ran back past Usher’s island where the story of The Dead opens. It is striking how close the elements in Joyce’s writings are. It is also noticeable that he covered so much of Dublin City. He moved house so often and was a prodigious walker so he knew the City intimately.
Joyce, J. (2000) Finnegans Wake. Introduction by Seamus Deane edn. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books.