Joyce started writing the short stories in Dubliners in 1904. However publication of Dubliners was protracted, and the collection was eventually published in London on the 15 June 1914.
I had an idea to run through the main locations of all of the stories in Dubliners. I wanted to show how closely knitted together the locations of the stories in Dubliners are, how comprehensively Joyce used the city of Dublin, and how the same locations are continually used, and used again in Joyce’s later works.
Joyce’s official, and first biographer, Herbert S. Gorman in James Joyce: His first forty years writes,
Before one has read very far in “Dubliners” it becomes evident that these sketches are no more complete in themselves than a few hours of life is complete in itself. The mysterious motivation continues after the period has been put to the last paragraph. In other words, there is no rounded plot, no episode that is stated, developed and brought to a climax with its resultant dénouement. The reader is not through with these characters after they have been quietly snatched from their brief moment in the white light of Joyce’s exposition. They have walked past the window of his observation and merely turned the corner of time into other streets where we may be sure they are still existing, repeating themselves as small minds do, posturing for the contemptuous chuckles of Destiny.
Herbert S. Gorman, James Joyce: His first forty years (Page 46,47)
Like Gorman I feel the characters and places of Dubliners are still existing. Many walk from Dubliners into Ulysses, and in the case of Lenehan and Corley, I expect they are still lingering and loitering in Dublin. I certainly cross their paths often enough on this run.
Like the others runs in these blogposts I decided to make my own set of rules for the route. I try to keep the rules generally the same between the blogs, varying them occasionally to suit.
Rule One: Relevancy to Dubliners
The first rule is that the route has to have some relevancy to the text of Dubliners. I was never going to be able to run through all of the places mentioned, particularly the outlying areas such as Inchicore, Skerries and Monkstown, so I would have to curate the run. But as the clue is in the title, I kept to the city of Dublin and as closely as possible, to places mentioned in the text of Dubliners.
I had to pick a start and an end point and then link the streets between with a narrative. Joyce wrote extensively about Dublin in all his major works, so if there was nothing mentioned in Dubliners I would select a route option that related to his other works, but mention them only lightly, and in passing. The long quotes below are all from the stories in Dubliners themselves.
Rule Two: Cross Dublin
The second rule is, cross the city, rather than stick to the edges. If there is a river, then cross it. The principal wanderers in Dubliners Lenehan, Corley and Little Chandler, like Stephen in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Stephen and Bloom in Ulysses, all cross the Liffey and so do I, more than once.
Rule Three: Treat all of the routes as in they are happening in the same time period
The run is relatively long. To keep my mind active I decided to run it as if all of the characters from Dubliners were moving through the city in the same place at the same time as me. I thought this approach was a little odd until I read Gorman’s passage above.
Not all of the stories in Dubliners are dated, but some like Araby are based on real events, in this case a bazaar taking place in the Royal Dublin Society in 1894. I typically refer to the city as it existed in 1904, the year Joyce started writing Dubliners, the year he met Nora Barnacle and the year he left Dublin for the Continent of Europe.
My first plan was to run the stories sequentially, starting with Great Britain Street in The Sisters and finishing on Usher’s Island from The Dead. I generally tried to run past or through the central point of action in a particular story. This is harder to do with a story like After the Race as I couldn’t run around Inchicore and then bob about in a boat in Kingstown Harbour. Most of the stories have a central moment in a particular place and I tried to engage with that.
After a bit of route mapping I abandoned the idea of running the stories sequentially. One of the reasons is the long run out to Sydney Parade train station and back to the centre of Dublin. It’s too long and too boring, both to run, write and to read about. Mixing the stories up adds to the interest.
Don Gifford writes about Dubliners,
The opening stories all involve motion toward the east, toward “exile,” toward some principle that promises at least escape from paralysis if not revitalization. In the balance of the volume eastward motion gives way to an increasing concentration in the centre of Dublin, the centre of paralysis; in the final story “The Dead,” there are glances westward, toward death.
Don Gifford Joyce annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Page 26)
I thought the run had a better narrative if I stared in Sydney Parade and then ran towards the city centre, crossing the Liffey a few times and generally heading west. The selected route follows Gifford’s outline, starting in the east, moves in through the south city, moves north as the Joyce family did, circles the north city centre and then heads west to the Phoenix Park. The route, like the book, starts and ends with death.
Most of the places I ran through are mentioned or implied in Dubliners, several are described in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, many occur repeatedly in Ulysses and some feature in Finnegans Wake, most notably The Phoenix Park.
The route crosses the city but does not cross over itself. I designed the route to be balanced and it is divides into four more or less equal parts, the run into the city from Sydney Parade, the run around the south central city, the run around the north central city, followed by the run out of the city.
The run ends as does Dubliners, heading west out of Dublin.
In the route descriptions I have used present day street names. It was very common for names of streets and house numbers to be changed in Dublin. I have noted several in the text.
I have referred to Roger Norburn’s A James Joyce Chronology for key dates.
In the descriptions below I have made reference to present day and historic Ordnance Survey digital maps. They are available on http://www.osi.ie and maps.osi.ie. I have referred to the Historic Map 25 inch set from 1888 – 1913, which shows the layout of the city that most closely matches the layout of when the stories were written.
Nothing compares to going out and seeing the city on foot. I made several preparatory runs, particularly to check road crossings and the end section. I did the actual run early on Sunday morning, starting just after 08:00. This was important as it is a time when the central city streets are relatively empty of pedestrians and traffic, essential for running on the footpaths and crossing key road junctions. I took the photos in advance.
Sydney Parade Dart Station
I start at Sydney Parade Station which opened in 1835 on the southeast side of the city, and where Mrs. Sinico in the story A Painful Case was fatally injured by a train.
Today at the City of Dublin Hospital the Deputy Coroner (in the absence of Mr. Leverett) held an inquest on the body of Mrs. Emily Sinico, aged forty-three years, who was killed at Sydney Parade Station yesterday evening. The evidence showed that the deceased lady while attempting to cross the line was knocked down by the engine of the ten o’clock slow train from Kingstown, thereby sustaining injuries to the head and right side which led to her death.
James Joyce, A Painful Case, Dubliners (Page 95)
Interestingly Mrs. Sinico lived at Leoville on Sydney Parade. The house and her name are fictitious. Her name is based on Giuseppe Sinico, Joyce’s singing teacher in Trieste in 1905 and Leoville is the name of the house that James Joyce moved into at 23 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock in 1892. It was his family’s last residence on the southside of the city, before moving north to Hardwicke Street, one of the streets I am headed to.
I have written more about A Painful Case in the blogpost, Now who is that lanky looking galoot over there in the macintosh?, which you can read here.
Ailesbury Road (West)
I run west along Ailesbury Road towards the Merrion Road. Ailesbury Road is not mentioned in Dubliners but emerges briefly in Mr. Bloom’s thoughts in the Lestrygonians episode of Ulysses.
Merrion Road (North West)
Merrion Road is mentioned in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when Stephen sees the removal vans heading north from the house in Blackrock, though the location is presumably further south from where I am, at the Merrion Gates. Stephen would most likely have continued his journey into town on the Merrion Road, just as Gabriel and Greta Conroy would have done in the opposite direction, the last time they returned from the Misses Morkan’s annual dance.
I pass the Royal Dublin Society which features prominently in Araby, where the narrator comes to visit the bazaar. There was a real bazaar held here as a benefit for the Jervis Street Hospital on the 14th to the 19th May 1894 and the young James Joyce is known to have attended. The narrator of the story Araby travels by special train from Amiens Street, through Westland Row station and onto the bazaar pulling up to a temporary platform on the opposite side of Merrion Road.
At Westland Row Station a crowd of people pressed to the carriage doors; but the porters moved them back, saying that it was a special train for the bazaar. I remained alone in the bare carriage. In a few minutes the train drew up beside an improvised wooden platform. I passed out on to the road and saw by the lighted dial of a clock that it was ten minutes to ten. In front of me was a large building which displayed the magical name.
James Joyce, Araby, Dubliners (Page 25)
On the screen shot from the Ordnance Survey Map you can see the branch line that ran directly from the main Dublin and Kingstown Railway line direct to the RDS, terminating across the road from the main entrance. You can view the map online here.
The line ran between what is now the Horse Show House Pub and the side of the AIB Bankcentre. The siding was built in 1893, one year before the Araby bazaar, with a permanent station opening in 1899, remaining in temporary use until 1971 when it was closed permanently.
Ballsbridge (North West)
Traveling northwest I cross the River Dodder at Ballsbridge. Nicholas Ball built the first bridge across the river, giving his name to the bridge and the area. It was widened and improved in 1904.
To the south west of the bridge, where the Herbert Park Hotel is now located, is the site of the Dublin by Lamplight Laundry, which was run by Protestants and is where Maria works in the story Clay.
After the breakup at home the boys had got her that position in the Dublin by Lamplight laundry, and she liked it. She used to have such a bad opinion of protestants but now she thought they were very nice people, a little quiet and serious, but still very nice people to live with. Then she had her plants in the conservatory and she liked looking after them. She had lovely ferns and waxplants and, whenever anyone came to visit her, she always gave the visitor one or two slips from her conservatory. There was one thing she didn’t like and that was the tracts on the walls; but the matron was such a nice person to deal with, so genteel.
James Joyce, Clay, Dubliners (Page 83,84)
You can see the laundry identified on the Ordnance Survey Map as being a Female Penitentiary, which is probably appropriate.
The Lamplight Laundry was set up in 1856, a Protestant institution for penitent females. Its inmates included women who had been working as prostitutes, or who had had children out of wedlock. The laundry employed them to provide services for many households and commercial firms in Dublin; the offices of the charity were at nearby Ballsbridge Terrace, while the location of the old laundry, which closed down in the early twentieth century, was close to the site of the present-day Herbert Park Hotel.
Hugh Oram. Little Book Of Ballsbridge (Page 65)
Margot Norris, in her footnotes for Dubliners writes that the laundry provided work and a place to live for former and ageing prostitutes (page 82) . Perhaps this is why Joe’s wife is not so nice to Maria and perhaps Joyce is alluding to something when he writes;
Joe often used to say:
—Mamma is mamma but Maria is my proper mother.
James Joyce, Clay, Dubliners (Page 83)
Shelbourne Road (North)
I could follow the Merrion Road into Dublin following the tram route that Maria took to the Pillar and then Drumcondra. Instead I head down Shelbourne Road to pass places travelled by the central character Farrington in Counterparts.
Alphy from Clay may be based on William Murray who lived at 16 Shelbourne Road for a time and was James Joyce’s maternal uncle. Farrington in Counterparts was based in part on William Murray. As always people and places, real and imagined are connected in the writings of Joyce.
We pass one of Joyce’s former residences at 60 Shelbourne Road from where he wrote his first letter to Nora Barnacle on 15th June 1905. This house forms the end point of my Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a Pub blogpost which you can read in detail here.
Just up to the north is the house where Counterparts ends, at 16 Shelbourne Road where William Murray lived for a time. Farrington returns here from his evening of drinking in the city centre, and terrorises his son Tom.
His tram let him down at Shelbourne Road and he steered his great body along in the shadow of the wall of the barracks. He loathed returning to his home. When he went in by the sidedoor he found the kitchen empty and the kitchen fire nearly out.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 81)
I have written about Counterparts in the blogpost, Don’t beat me Pa! And I’ll…say a Hail Mary for you., which you can read here.
Haddington Road (West)
I run alongside the wall of Beggar’s Bush Barracks mentioned in the quote above and then head west on Haddington Road, in the opposite direction to which Farrington returns home in Counterparts. Joyce writes that Farrington took the Sandymount Tram. The Sandymount Tram went through Ringsend and did not go down Shelbourne Road. Instead it was the Irishtown Tram that crossed Shelbourne Road before heading east to Irishtown itself. I think I need to do another tram based blogpost.
Northumberland Road (North West)
Farrington’s tram took him southwards on Northumberland Road, but it would not be until Ulysses that the Road is specifically mentioned in Joyce’s writings as the Viceregal Cavalcade travels south along it, making its way from the Phoenix Park to the Mirus Bazaar to raise funds for The Mercer’s Hospital. Again this was a real fundraising bazaar and it makes an interesting comparison with the fundraising bazaar in Araby.
Lower Mount Street (North West)
At this point I have passed over the Grand Canal and head into the city centre.
As I run along Lower Mount Street it occurs to me that the street is largely uninteresting, with few interesting buildings or activities. The character of streets typically changes slowly over time. Perhaps the street was always uninteresting and hence why it does not feature in Joyce’s writings.
After I planned the route and wrote this blogpost, I read John Banville’s book Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir. He seems to have the same view of Lower Mount Street. He talks about Baggotonia, the area around the Grand Canal.
The boundaries of Baggotonia are mysteriously fluid. For the purposes of brevity, I shall here follow Nancy Mitford’s example and employ the designations ‘B’ and ‘Non-B’ in referring to those things that are authentically Baggotonian and those that are not. Thus both ends of Lower Mount Street are B, but the street itself is decidely Non-B, and wasn’t even when I was young and many of its Georgian houses were still standing. At the eastern end of the thoroughfare are the canal and the leafier lower stretch of Percy Place, while at its western end it runs into Merrion Square; both these extremes are triumphantly B —are, indeed, characteristic examples of Baggotonia Superba. So what is it about the street itself that is Non-B? Even aboriginal sons and daughters of Baggotonia, of whom few, if indeed any, survive, could not tell you that; one just knows.
John Banville, Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir (Page 48)
Merrion Square North (West)
I reach Merrion Square.
At this point Maria’s inbound tram from Ballsbridge to the Pillar passes Farrington’s outbound tram from O’Connell Bridge to Sandymount as Corley and his slavey’s are travelling outbound on the Donnybrook tram.
Though several characters in several stories pass through Merrion Square, including Maria and Farrington, the square is only mentioned in Two Gallants.
But then the Two Gallants go everywhere. There is a good description of their overall route on the Mapping Dubliners Project here. I will cross over and pass along many parts of their route on what is one of the longest rambles in Joyce’s writing.
Holles Street (North)
I turn and head down the hill at Holles Street, passing the Hospital to the right. The Oxen of the Sun episode of Ulysses takes place here.
Denzille Lane (West)
In Ulysses Stephen went down Denzille Lane, the shortest way from Holles Street to Westland Row train station, and I do likewise. Stephen was getting the train to Nighttown, but for me that’s for another run.
North Cumberland Street (North)
I run underneath the platforms at Westland Row, now Pearse Street Station. The station appears in Araby as quoted above, where the crowds press the doors above my head, not realising the train is a special going to the bazaar in the RDS.
Pearse Street (East)
I turn east on Pearse Street (formerly Great Brunswick Street) and travel a short distance in the same direction as Paddy Dignam’s funeral cortège in Ulysses as it makes its way to Glasnevin Cemetery.
Magennis Place (North West)
I run down a back lane called Magennis Place. On the historic maps it is called Maginness Place. I expect that there is a story as to the change and the swapping of the i and e in the name, but it will have to wait for another day.
Townsend Street (West)
Bloom crosses Townsend Street on his way to examine his letter from Martha Clifford, but I run along it, heading west.
Tara Street (North)
Bloom thinks of having a bath in Tara Street. The public baths were located on the southeast junction with Poolbeg Street, which I now head west on, running towards Mulligan’s pub.
Poolbeg Street (West)
I reach Mulligan’s pub.
When the Scotch House closed they went round to Mulligan’s. They went into the parlour at the back and O’Halloran ordered small hot specials all round. They were all beginning to feel mellow. Farrington was just standing another round when Weathers came back. Much to Farrington’s relief he drank a glass of bitter this time. Funds were getting low but they had enough to keep them going.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 78)
Mulligan’s is often associated with Ulysses but it only appears in Counterparts in Dubliners. The confusion is added to by the sign, pictured above, that the owners have painted on the wall that refers to Bloomsday.
Corn Exchange Place (North)
Passing Mulligan’s I turn right and go by the site of the former Tivoli Theatre on the corner of Corn Exchange Place and Burgh Quay. Counterparts continues as do I,
Presently two young women with big hats and a young man in a check suit came in and sat at a table close by. Weathers saluted them and told the company that they were out of the Tivoli. Farrington’s eyes wandered at every moment in the direction of one of the young women. There was something striking in her appearance. An immense scarf of peacockblue muslin was wound round her hat and knotted in a great bow under her chin; and she wore bright yellow gloves, reaching to the elbow. Farrington gazed admiringly at the plump arm which she moved very often and with much grace; and when after a little time, she answered his gaze he admired still more her large dark brown eyes. The oblique staring expression in them fascinated him. She glanced at him once or twice and, when the party was leaving the room, she brushed against his chair and said O, pardon! in a London accent. He watched her leave the room in the hope that she would look back at him but he was disappointed. He cursed his want of money and cursed all the rounds he had stood, particularly all the whiskies and Apolinaris which he had stood to Weathers. If there was one thing that he hated it was a sponge. He was so angry that he lost count of the conversation of his friends.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 78,79)
Mulligan’s is the last of the pubs that Farrington visits. He leaves Mulligan’s to go to O’Connell Bridge and get the little Sandymount Tram home. Although it is around the corner, I have a way to go before I cross O’Connell Bridge.
Burgh Quay (West)
I run onto Burgh Quay and then turn south, passing the former site of the Scotch House, where Farrington also drinks in Counterparts.
Hawkins Street (South)
I run south down Hawkins Street, one of the ugliest in Dublin. I pass the site of the Theatre Royal, mentioned in The Dead, and replaced by some of the most uninspiring architecture in Dublin.
Pearse Street / Great Brunswick Street (East)
I run eastwards out of town against the flow of traffic and Paddy Dignam’s cortège, passing the Police Station on my left and the walls of Trinity College on my right.
I pass the site of the Queens Theatre, the third of the great Dublin theatres, with The Tivoli and the Theatre Royal, all such a short distance from each other, and all gone.
Further up Pearse Street I pass the Antient Concert rooms, now The Academy, where Mrs. Kearney passes some unpleasant evenings in A Mother.
When Mrs. Kearney arrived with her daughter at the Antient Concert Rooms on Wednesday night she did not like the look of things.
James Joyce, A Mother, Dubliners (Page 119)
The night of the grand concert came. Mrs. Kearney, with her husband and daughter, arrived at the Antient Concert Rooms three quarters of an hour before the time at which the concert was to begin. By ill luck it was a rainy evening.
James Joyce, A Mother, Dubliners (Page 121)
The Ancient Concert Rooms are also mentioned in The Dead as Mary Jane gave a pupil’s concert there every year. James Joyce also acted there, his performance reviewed in the Evening Telegraph.
Westland Row (South)
I turn south on Westland Row, passing this time to the front of Westland Row Station where Jimmy and his companions board a train and go to Kingstown in After the Race.
I pass St. Andrews Church and head towards Sweny’s, both so prominently featured in Ulysses. Sweny’s is well worth stopping into, to catch a reading, buy a book, or even a bar of lemon soap.
Merrion Street Lower (South)
I pass the house that Oscar Wilde and his family lived in, on the corner of Merrion Square and Merrion Street Lower, having passed his birthplace nearby on Westland Row. In Ulysses, Cashel Boyle O’Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell stops outside the house of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde’s house. A mouthful. I press on.
Merrion Square West (South)
Merrion Square West runs into Merrion Street
Merrion Street (South)
Linehan had arranged to meet Corley at half ten at Merrion Street and when he arrives late in the evening he watches Corley and his slavey. A stalker.
Merrion Row (West)
I turn west and run along the short connecting street toward Stephen’s Green.
St. Stephen’s Green (West)
St. Stephen’s Green is mentioned in several stories in Dubliners, including Two Gallants, and After the Race. In Two Gallants Lenehan passes the Shelbourne Hotel, which I pass and turn down the side of, heading north on Kildare Street.
Kildare Street (North)
Lenehan and Corley seem to be all over the city. In Kildare Street they pass a harpist playing in the middle of the road. There were no trams on Kildare Street, but it is hard to imagine how such a scene could take place today on what is such a busy street.
They walked along Nassau Street and then turned into Kildare Street. Not far from the porch of the club a harpist stood in the roadway, playing to a little ring of listeners. He plucked at the wires heedlessly, glancing quickly from time to time at the face of each newcomer and from time to time, wearily also, at the sky. His harp, too, heedless that her coverings had fallen about her knees, seemed weary alike of the eyes of strangers and of her master’s hands. One hand played in the bass the melody of Silent, O Moyle, while the other hand careered in the treble after each group of notes. The notes of the air sounded deep and full.
James Joyce, Two Gallants, Dubliners (Page 43)
Molesworth Street (West)
I run west along Molesworth Street, passing where Bloom leads the blind stripling across Dawson Street, heading towards South Frederick Street, where I used to live and where I first read Ulysses as an architecture student.
Dawson Street (North)
I run just a short distance down Dawson Street, where the Mr. Henchy has been canvassing in Ivy Day at the Committee Room, turning into Duke Street and missing my chance to see the virgin at Hodges Figgis’ window.
Duke Street (West)
I pass Ulysses Rare Books at 10 Duke Street. Thankfully it is closed as otherwise I may not be able to resist popping in. You shouldn’t.
On Duke Street I pass yet another pub that Farrington had a drink in, in this case, Davy Byrne’s, where Farrington meets Nosey Flynn. Davy Byrne’s is famously written about in Ulysses where Leopold Bloom also meets Nosey Flynn and has a glass of burgundy and a gorgonzola sandwich. I don’t have time for either now, but will return.
You may have the time and can read the history of the Davy Byrne’s pub here
Leaving Davy Byrne’s I have now run past all of Farrington’s pubs. A tram to Shelbourne Road would be quite tempting now.
Grafton Street (North)
Turning into Grafton Street I pass Brown Thomas and Marks and Spencer. Brown Thomas was originally located on the site occupied but Marks and Spencer but has relocated across the road to the former site of Switzers. Brown Thomas was, and is, one of the most expensive shops in Dublin.
Mrs. Kearney bought some lovely blush-pink charmeuse in Brown Thomas’s to let into the front of Kathleen’s dress. It cost a pretty penny; but there are occasions when a little expense is justifiable.
James Joyce, A Mother, Dubliners (Page 118,119)
Grafton Street has been pedestrianised for many years but in After The Race Rivière, Ségouin, Villona and Jimmy get to drive along it.
The story Grace begins in a pub in a laneway off Grafton Street,
The three men left the bar and the crowd sifted through the doors in to the laneway. The manager brought the constable to the stairs to inspect the scene of the accident. They agreed that the gentleman must have missed his footing. The customers returned to the counter and a curate set about removing the traces of blood from the floor.
When they came out into Grafton Street, Mr. Power whistled for an outsider.
James Joyce, Grace, Dubliners (Page 130)
It is not possible to know exactly which pub Joyce refers to in Grace, but I think that it is likely to have been The Empire in Adam Court. It is the only pub on a laneway off Grafton Street and is mentioned in Ulysses as Bob Doran has spent the afternoon there. It is directly opposite Wicklow Street and today is The Porterhouse Central.
Wicklow Street (West)
Ivy Day in the Committee Room begins around the corner in Wicklow Street so I head down here, with Grafton Street at my back. Ivy Day commemorates the death of Charles Stewart Parnell and as Siobhán Doyle mentions in Grave Matters (page 156) it gets its name as mourners at Parnell’s funeral spontaneously took ivy from the walls of Glasnevin Cemetery to put in their buttonholes as a mark of respect.
Andrew Street (North)
Thomas Malone Chandler in A Little Cloud arrives at Corless’s and hesitates before entering. Corless’s was on the corner of Andrew Street and Church Lane. I have written about Corless’s in the blogpost, He knew the value of the name, which you can read here.
Suffolk Street (East)
Suffolk Street gets a brief mention in Ivy Day at The Committee Room. It’s a short street and shortly after running down it, I turn north at the bottom of Grafton Street, not quite making like a bird for Trinity College, but at least I am sure that I know where it is.
Grafton Street (North)
I pass the Provost’s House and outside railings of Trinity College as many of Joyce’s wanderers do. Considering the amount of walking in his Joyce’s works it seems notable that nobody goes into the College, activities inside like the bicycle races and the cricket mentioned only in passing.
Dame Street (East)
In The Dead Patrick Morkan’s horse Johnny was headed, as am I, to the Phoenix Park. Johnny got confused by King Billy’s statue in Dame Street.
—The late lamented Patrick Morkan, our grandfather, that is, explained Gabriel, commonly known in his later years as the old gentleman, was a glue-boiler.
—O, now, Gabriel, said aunt Kate, laughing, he had a starch mill.
—Well, glue or starch, said Gabriel, the old gentleman had a horse by the name of Johnny. And Johnny used to work in the old gentleman’s mill, walking round and round in order to drive the mill. That was all very well; but now comes the tragic part about Johnny. One fine day the old gentleman thought he’d like to drive out with the quality to a military review in the park.
—The Lord have mercy on his soul, said aunt Kate compassionately.
—Amen, said Gabriel. So the old gentleman, as I said, harnessed Johnny and put on his very best tall hat and his very best stock collar and drove out in grand style from his ancestral mansion somewhere near Back Lane, I think.
Everyone laughed, even Mrs. Malins, at Gabriel’s manner and aunt Kate said:
—O, now, Gabriel, he didn’t live in Back Lane, really. Only the mill was there.
—Out from the mansion of his forefathers, continued Gabriel, he drove with Johnny. And everything went on beautifully until Johnny came in sight of King Billy’s statue: and whether he fell in love with the horse King Billy sits on or whether he thought he was back again in the mill, anyhow he began to walk round the statue.
Gabriel paced in a circle round the hall in his goloshes amid the laughter of the others.
—Round and round he went, said Gabriel, and the old gentleman, who was a very pompous old gentleman, was highly indignant. Go on, sir! What do you mean, sir? Johnny! Johnny! Most extraordinary conduct! Can’t understand the horse!
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 180, 181)
There is an interesting blogpost on the statue here. I am relieved that the statue is gone lest I get caught up running round and round it.
On the north east side of the street in After The Race Ségouin is about to stop the car.
They drove down Dame Street. The street was busy with unusual traffic, loud with the horns of motorists and the gongs of impatient tramdrivers. Near the Bank Ségouin drew up and Jimmy and his friend alighted. A little knot of people collected on the footpath to pay homage to the snorting motor. The party was to dine together that evening in Ségouin’s hotel and, meanwhile, Jimmy and his friend, who was staying with him, were to go home to dress. The car steered out slowly for Grafton Street while the two young men pushed their way through the knot of gazers. They walked northward with a curious feeling of disappointment in the exercise, while the city hung its pale globes of light above them in a haze of summer evening.
James Joyce, After The Race, Dubliners (Page 35)
Ségouin’s hotel is not named, but I expect it may be The Shelbourne as he drives up Grafton Street towards his hotel for dinner, the five young men stroll along St. Stephen’s Green after their dinner, and Joyce has mentioned, and I have run by The Shelbourne earlier.
Meanwhile our Two Gallants, Corley and Lenehan are also here in Dame Street.
—And where did you pick her up, Corley? he asked.
Corley ran his tongue swiftly along his upper lip.
—One night, man, he said, I was going along Dame Street and I spotted a fine tart under Waterhouse’s clock and said goodnight, you know. So we went for a walk round by the canal and she told me she was a slavey in a house in Baggot Street. I put my arm round her and squeezed her a bit that night. Then next Sunday, man, I met her by appointment. We went out to Donnybrook and I brought her into a field there. She told me she used to go with a dairyman. … It was fine, man. Cigarettes every night she’d bring me and paying the tram out and back. And one night she brought me two bloody fine cigars—O, the real cheese, you know, that the old fellow used to smoke. … I was afraid, man, she’d get in the family way. But she’s up to the dodge.
James Joyce, Two Gallants, Dubliners (Page 39,40)
Just like Corley in Two Gallants, I pass Waterhouse’s Clock. The clock is also mentioned in the Anna Livia Plurabelle episode of Finnegans Wake. You can hear James Joyce reading Anna Livia Plurabelle here.
There is a picture of Waterhouses’s and its clock here.
Parliament Street (North)
I turn north onto Parliament Street with my back to City Hall, in the opposite direction to Lenehan who takes my place on Dame Street.
I pass the Turk’s Head at 27 Parliament Street, noted in Ivy Day at the Committee Room as Kavanagh’s where Long John Fanning and Father Keon are known to drink. Long John Fanning is still there in Ulysses.
East Essex Street (West)
I pass the Norseman Pub, formerly Farrington’s and before that O’Neill’s, the first of Farrington’s drinking many stops.
From the street door he walked on furtively on the inner side of the path towards the corner and all at once dived into a doorway. He was now safe in the dark snug of O’Neill’s shop and, filling up the little window that looked into the bar with his inflamed face, the colour of dark wine or dark meat, he called out:
—Here, Pat, give us a g.p., like a good fellow.
The curate brought him a glass of plain porter. The man drank it at a gulp and asked for a caraway seed. He put his penny on the counter and, leaving the curate to grope for it in the gloom, retreated out of the snug as furtively as he had entered it.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 72)
I pass Eustace Street on my right, from where Farrington comes from his office for his first drink, a glass of plain porter.
Temple Bar (West)
Later Farrington passes through Temple Bar going quickly as he begins his pub crawl.
He went through the narrow alley of Temple Bar quickly, muttering to himself that they could all go to hell because he was going to have a good night of it.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 76)
Fleet Street (East)
I am not sure I am travelling quickly like Farrington but I pass through Fleet Street where he goes to pawn his watch in Terry Kelly’s. Jack Mooney the landlady’s son and hard case also worked in Fleet Street.
Westmoreland Street (North)
I leave the route that Farrington took and head north on Westmoreland Street. Westmoreland Street is a prominent route in the City and is mentioned in Two Gallants, Counterparts and Grace, as well as several times in Ulysses.
Joyce describes the street;
In Westmoreland Street the footpaths were crowded with young men and women returning from business and ragged urchins ran here and there yelling out the names of the evening editions. The man passed through the crowd, looking on the spectacle generally with proud satisfaction and staring masterfully at the office-girls. His head was full of the noises of tram gongs and swishing trolleys and his nose already sniffed the curling fumes of punch.
James Joyce, Counterparts, Dubliners (Page 76)
O’Connell Bridge (North)
Farrington waits sullenfaced faced on the bridge for his outbound tram. I won’t be passing him again. Gabriel Conroy crosses the bridge in the opposite direction and is in much better spirits in The Dead as he heads to the Gresham Hotel for a night with his wife Greta.
O’Connell Street (North)
As they come to start of O’Connell Street they pass the statue of Daniel O’Connell, whitened by the winter snowfall.
The horse galloped along wearily under the murky morning sky, dragging his old rattling box after his heels, and Gabriel was again in a cab with her, galloping to catch the boat, galloping to their honeymoon.
As the cab drove across O’Connell Bridge Miss O’Callaghan said:
—They say you never cross O’Connell Bridge without seeing a white horse.
—I see a white man this time, said Gabriel.
—Where? asked Mr. Bartell D’Arcy.
Gabriel pointed to the statue, on which lay patches of snow. Then he nodded familiarly to it and waved his hand.
—Goodnight, Dan, he said gaily.
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 186,187)
It is sunny as I run by, with Dan’s head whitened by bird shit rather than snowfall.
A short distance further I pass directly in front of the General Post Office so memorably thought of by Mrs. Kearney,
She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure and fixed.
James Joyce, A Mother, Dubliners (Page 121)
I pass The Spire, formerly the site of Nelson’s Pillar. It was here that many of the Dublin trams terminated and where Maria in Clay caught the outbound Drumcondra tram. I previously wrote about the trams of Dublin in a blogpost which you can read here. Tramlines, having been taken out of O’Connell Street are now being reinstalled.
I cross the road and make my way to the front of The Gresham Hotel. I am now in the same place where Greta and Gabriel Conroy stood.
She leaned for a moment on his arm in getting out of the cab and while standing at the curbstone, bidding the others good-night. She leaned lightly on his arm, as lightly as when she had danced with him a few hours before. He had felt proud and happy then, happy that she was his, proud of her grace and wifely carriage. But now, after the kindling again of so many memories, the first touch of her body, musical and strange and perfumed, sent through him a keen pang of lust. Under cover of her silence he pressed her arm closely to his side: and, as they stood at the hotel door, he felt that they had escaped from their lives and duties, escaped from home and friends and run away together with wild and radiant hearts to a new adventure.
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 187)
Physically The Dead and Dubliners end in The Gresham Hotel, but spiritually they end in the west, and it is west that I am ultimately heading. There is a way to go yet and I run on.
Cathal Brugha Street (East)
I travel down Cathal Brugha Street, formerly Findlater Place before turning into Marlborough Street.
Marlborough Street (South)
Marlborough Street is dominated by the Pro-Cathedral. Mr. Kearney and his family attend the Pro-Cathedral on special Sundays and it is in the Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street that Mrs. Mooney goes to pray, though probably not for her tenant Bob Doran, who could have used the prayers.
It was seventeen minutes past eleven: she would have lots of time to have the matter out with Mr. Doran and then catch short twelve at Marlborough Street.
James Joyce, The Boarding House, Dubliners (Page 52)
North Earl Street (West)
I turn into the very short North Earl Street, where Corley saw his slavey, in close proximity to Nighttown, Dublin’s red light district immortalised in the Circe episode of Ulysses.
—She was… a bit of all right, he said regretfully.
He was silent again. Then he added:
—She’s on the turf now. I saw her driving down Earl Street one night with two fellows with her on a car.
—I suppose that’s your doing, said Lenehan.
—There was others at her before me, said Corley philosophically.
James Joyce, Two Gallants, Dubliners (Page 42)
North Earl Street, being opposite the Pillar was located at the major junction for north and southbound trams and it is here that Maria in Clay buys mixed penny cakes in Downes cakeshop, though she refrains from buying their plum cake as it does not have enough almond icing. No matter, she bought it elsewhere and then left it behind her on the outbound tram.
I pass the oddly placed James Joyce statue before turning south on O’Connell Street.
O’Connell Street (South)
I travel south on the other side of Daniel O’Connell’s statue, making my way towards the River Liffey.
Eden Quay (East)
I turn east on Eden Quay heading out of the city to Dublin Bay passing Mooney’s Sur Mer mentioned in Ulysses.
Custom House Quay (East)
There are great scenes around the Custom House in Ulysses as Bloom and Stephen end their evening at the cabman’s shelter, meeting the alleged Skin The Goat Fitzharris, passing the stone minding Gumley and even meeting that ever present Dubliner Corley, in and around the Custom House.
The quays do not feature much in Dubliners. People cross the River, but few walk up and down it, a pattern which continues today.
North Wall (East)
I head down North Wall where in the story Eveline, the character in the title of the story cannot get on the boat to emigrate to Argentina with Frank.
She stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held her hand and she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about the passage over and over again. The station was full of soldiers with brown baggages. Through the wide doors of the sheds she caught a glimpse of the black mass of the boat lying in beside the quay wall, with illumined portholes. She answered nothing. She felt her cheek pale and cold and out of a maze of distress, she prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty. The boat blew a long mournful whistle into the mist. If she went, tomorrow she would be on the sea with Frank, steaming towards Buenos Ayres. Their passage had been booked. Could she still draw back after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in her body and she kept moving her lips in silent fervent prayer.
—A bell clanged upon her heart. She felt him seize her hand:
All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would drown her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing.
No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent a cry of anguish!
He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.
James Joyce, Eveline, Dubliners (Page 31,32)
Perhaps if her surname was Barnacle Eveline would have stuck with Frank as Joyce’s father commented on Nora. Nora Barnacle and James Joyce emigrated from Ireland from this point in 1904.Joyce had already had the narrator of an encounter state,
I wanted real adventures to happen to myself. But real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad.
James Joyce, An Encounter, Dubliners (Page 13)
New Wapping Street (North)
Most of the city on this run has a similar layout and architecture to when Joyce wrote Dubliners.The Docklands are much changed with much of the original streetscape obliterated with modern commercial buildings.
Mayor Street Upper (West)
Mayor Street was previously disjointed, broken by the railway lines, which no longer reach the quays at this point.
Spencer Dock (West)
The new Spencer Dock roadway links the previously separated Manor Street Lower and Manor Street Upper and I run along it, crossing over the Royal Canal.
Guild Street (North)
I ran along Guild Street on my Ulysses 21k and I decide to run off and go up Sherriff Street Lower, a welcome return to the original architecture and a cobbled street. The cobbles, last felt in East Essex Street and Temple Bar are uncomfortable to run on, so I move to the pavement.
Sheriff Street Lower (West)
I run along Sherriff Street Lower, to pass under the platforms at Connolly, formerly Amiens Street Station where the narrator of Araby gets on the train that takes him to the RDS. We have now passed the platform he ended his journey on, passed under the one he started and also under the one he stopped at in Westland Row. I now run towards where he began his journey in North Richmond Street.
Amiens Street (North)
I pass several pubs mentioned in Ulysses and head north out of the city. I been in some and have plans to return to all of them for a leisurely drink.
North Strand Road (North East)
The run takes me to the Five Lamps where I head north east out of the city. At this point I join Fr. Conmee from Ulysses as he heads out of town, stepping onto an outbound tram at Newcomen Bridge and pass Stephen Dedalus heading into his lectures in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Charleville Mall (North West)
Joyce describes the Charleville Mall and Newcomen Bridge in An Encounter where the narrator skips school, meeting his friend Mahony at Newcomen Bridge for an adventure in Ringsend.
That night I slept badly. In the morning I was firstcomer to the bridge as I lived nearest. I hid my books in the long grass near the ashpit at the end of the garden where nobody ever came and hurried along the canal bank. It was a mild sunny morning in the first week of June. I sat up on the coping of the bridge admiring my frail canvas shoes which I had diligently pipeclayed overnight and watching the docile horses pulling a tramload of business people up the hill. All the branches of the tall trees which lined the mall were gay with little light green leaves and the sunlight slanted through them on to the water. The granite stone of the bridge was beginning to be warm and I began to pat it with my hands in time to an air in my head. I was very happy.
James Joyce, An Encounter , Dubliners (Page 14)
I previously wrote a small blogpost about An Encounter, Swaddlers! Swaddlers! which you can read here.
Dunne Street (South West)
Joyce writes that the narrator of An Encounter lives nearby, possibly in North Richmond Street where Joyce lived and the next story Araby begins. I head there by means of the back lanes which any mitching boys would have used.
North William Street (North West)
I pass the dominant Saint Agatha’s Roman Catholic on Dunne Street before turning up the narrow North William Street, into Richmond Cottages. Of all the places in Dublin that I have run on in these blogs, it is this street that seems the least changed from Joyce’s time.
Richmond Cottages North (North West)
The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses where we ran the gantlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness.
James Joyce, Araby , Dubliners (Page 21)
Luckily I don’t meet any rough tribes from the cottages as I run through the Cottages to North Richmond Street.
Richmond Street North (South)
North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.
James Joyce, Araby , Dubliners (Page 20)
Joyce does not describe the architecture of Dublin in any detail, rather building up the city though the people, their wanderings and encounters. The passage describing North Richmond Street is one of the most descriptive. The house at the blind end of the street is still there and I run southwards with my back to it, passing the Christian Brothers on my right.
I have written about Araby in the blogpost, Brown Imperturbable Faces, which you can read here.
North Circular Road (North West)
I now cross paths with Fr. Conmee who is walking in the opposite direction to me as he tries to catch a tram out of the city.
Charles Street Great (West)
I continue to run in the opposite direction to Fr. Conmee in Ulysses. I wonder why some of the streets like this one are so wide, when the carriages that traveled along were so narrow. Time for more research.
Mountjoy Square East (North West)
I run towards Gardiner Street Church, which Fr. Conmee left on his way to Marino. This section also forms part of my crossing Dublin without passing a pub blogpost.
Mountjoy Square North (South West)
I turn south west and leave the pub puzzle route.
Gardiner Street Upper (North East)
Grace which started near Grafton Street ends here in the Jesuit Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street Upper, where the hapless Tom Kernan is hustled to a retreat, the same church that Joe Dillon’s parents attend eight o’clock mass every morning in An Encounter.
The transept of the Jesuit Church in Gardiner Street was almost full; and still at every moment gentlemen entered from the side door and, directed by the lay brother, walked on tiptoe along the aisles until they found seating accommodation. The gentlemen were all well dressed and orderly. The light of the lamps of the church fell upon an assembly of black clothes and white collars, relieved here and there by tweeds, on dark mottled pillars of green marble and on lugubrious canvasses. The gentlemen sat in the benches, having hitched their trousers slightly above their knees and laid their hats in security. They sat well back and gazed formally at the distant speck of red light which was suspended before the high altar.
James Joyce, Grace, Dubliners (Page 149)
Dorset Street (South West)
Lenehan has been talking in a pub in Dorset Street all afternoon. Exactly which pub is not mentioned. It could have been Larry O’Rourke’s or M’Auley’s which are both mentioned in Ulysses. Larry O’ Rourke’s is closest to Rutland Square and seems more likely.
M’Auley’s at 39 Dorset Street Lower is where the men gather before accompanying Mr. Kernan to the retreat in Grace. M’Auley’s still exists and has traded for many years as The Big Tree.
As I turn into Hardwicke Place, Larry O’Rouke’s at 74 Dorset Street Upper is on the opposite corner, trading now as The Eccles Townhouse.
Hardwicke Place (South)
I am going faster than a relaxed walking pace and cross the circus before George’s church diametrically, the chord in any circle being less than the arc which it subtends.
Hardwicke Street (South West))
On to Hardwicke Street and home to the landlady, Mrs. Mooney and the luckless tenant, Bob Doran in The Boarding House. Mrs. Mooney’s daughter, Polly has been secretly meeting Bob Doran on the third landing.
Polly knew that she was being watched, but still her mother’s persistent silence could not be misunderstood. There had been no open complicity between mother and daughter, no open understanding but, though people in the house began to talk of the affair, still Mrs. Mooney did not intervene. Polly began to grow a little strange in her manner and the young man was evidently perturbed. At last, when she judged it to be the right moment, Mrs. Mooney intervened. She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat: and in this case she had made up her mind.
James Joyce, The Boarding House, Dubliners (Page 51)
Bob Doran appears again in Ulysses spending his day on a bender.
Joyce lived briefly in 29 Hardwicke Street in 1893, the first place he lived on the north side of the city as the family moved from relative prosperity on the southside, into poverty on the inner northside of Dublin.
North Frederick Street (South East)
I get some relief as I head downhill on North Frederick Street.
Parnell Square (South East)
Rutland Square, now Parnell Square, is where the two gallants, Lenehan and Corley first appear. Linehan has been drinking in Dorset Street and the companions set off on long rambles across Dublin on many of the streets I have already run along and across.
Parnell Street (South West)
As I turn into Parnell Street I pass the Rotunda where Mr. Duffy first met Mrs. Sinico, and in a short time I will pass where he last met her in the Phoenix Park.
I started my run with Mrs. Sinico at Sydney Parade. Joyce begins Dubliners with The Sisters which has Great Britain Street, now Parnell Street as its central point of action. I say action but the stories are defined by the stasis of Dublin. Dubliners opens,
There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had often said to me: I am not long for this world, and I had thought his words idle. Now I knew they were true. Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis.
James Joyce, Sisters, Dubliners (Page 3)
Paralysis and death open the stories and these themes run through.
King’s Inn Street (North West)
I run North along King’s Inn Street past the Williams and Woods building, confectioners mentioned in Ulysses. From here I can see the King’s Inns at the end of Henrietta Street where Little Chandler works and from where he leaves to meet Ignatius Gallaher in Corless’s
Bolton Street (South West)
I reach Bolton Street and head southwest as Little Chandler must have done when he came down Henrietta Street on his way to Capel Street.
Capel Street (South)
Little Chandler quickened his pace. For the first time in his life he felt himself superior to the people he passed. For the first time his soul revolted against the dull inelegance of Capel Street.
James Joyce, A Little Cloud , Dubliners (Page 59)
I don’t quicken my pace but I reflect on this sentence, which allied to my studies in the School of Architecture in Bolton Street, got me started on this journey of reading writing and ruminating about the works of James Joyce.
Grattan Bridge (South)
Little Chandler crosses the Liffey and I take the same course. I run over what is commonly called Capel Street Bridge, Little Chandler crossed Grattan Bridge and Bloom and Blazes Boylan cross Essex Bridge, and they are all the same bridge.
In Two Gallants Lenehan also travels south on Capel Street and crosses the bridge as he makes his way towards City Hall and he lingers nearby in the Ormond Hotel in Ulysses. There is no getting away from him and Corley.
Essex Quay (West)
Whereas Little Chandler and Lenehan head east into the centre of the city, I head west along the quays. It is a largely uninspiring run, even in the early morning when there is little traffic about.
Wood Quay (West)
In a previous blogpost, Pprrpffrrppffff, I wrote about the smells of Dublin. You can read about it here.
Merchant’s Quay (West)
I cross the junction with Winetavern Street, on the corner of which stood Gabriel and Gretta Conroy, Miss O’Callaghan and Bartell D’Arcy as they waited for a cab to take them home after the annual dance of the Misses Morkan.
I riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, where Julia Morkan was the leading Soprano and where Finnegans Wake opens.
Usher’s Quay (West)
Usher’s Quay is dull and uninteresting, something to be passed through and endured at the end of a long run, or probably even a short stroll.
Usher’s Island (West)
To the north of the middle of Usher’s Island is the bombastic design of the James Joyce bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava. It strikes me that it is an overblown solution to a simple problem. I am not alone in my view. Christine Casey in her book The Buildings of Ireland; Dublin (page 696) writes, It is a very large statement for this cramped and and modest site. Joyce might well have approved!
The house on Usher’s Island rivals 7 Eccles Street as the most famous house in Joyce’s writing. Joyce describes it as dark and gaunt, and it is here that Gabriel Conroy makes his timeless speech,
—Ladies and gentlemen.
A new generation is growing up in our midst, a generation actuated by new ideas and new principles. It is serious and enthusiastic for these new ideas and its enthusiasm, even when it is misdirected, is, I believe, in the main sincere. But we are living in a sceptical and, if I may use the phrase, a thoughttormented age: and sometimes I fear that this new generation, educated or hypereducated as it is, will lack those qualities of humanity, of hospitality, of kindly humour which belonged to an older day. Listening tonight to the names of all those great singers of the past it seemed to me, I must confess, that we were living in a less spacious age. Those days might, without exaggeration, be called spacious days: and if they are gone beyond recall let us hope, at least, that in gatherings such as this we shall still speak of them with pride and affection, still cherish in our hearts the memory of those dead and gone great ones whose fame the world will not willingly let die.
—Hear, hear! said Mr. Browne loudly.
—But yet,continued Gabriel, his voice falling into a softer inflection, there are always in gatherings such as this sadder thoughts that will recur to our minds: thoughts of the past, of youth, of changes, of absent faces that we miss here tonight. Our path through life is strewn with many such sad memories: and were we to brood upon them always we could not find the heart to go on bravely with our work among the living. We have all of us living duties and living affections which claim, and rightly claim, our strenuous endeavours.
Therefore, I will not linger on the past. I will not let any gloomy moralising intrude upon us here tonight. Here we are gathered together for a brief moment from the bustle and rush of our everyday routine. We are met here as friends, in the spirit of good fellowship, as colleagues also, to a certain extent, in the true spirit of camaraderie, and as the guests of—what shall I call them?—the Three Graces of the Dublin musical world.
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 177,178)
Gabriel Conroy looks out the window,
Gabriel’s warm trembling fingers tapped the cold pane of the window. How cool it must be outside! How pleasant it would be to walk out alone, first along by the river and then through the park!
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 166)
So I do, I run along the River and into the Park, leaving The Dead and Dubliners and enjoying the river and Park.
Victoria Quay (West)
I run along Victoria Quay at the northern end of the Guinness St. James’s Gate brewery. The Guinness family and their famous product are mentioned in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake and despite a lot of alcohol consumption in Dubliners the name Guinness does not appear.
In a previous blogpost, Ghinees hies good for you, I wrote about the smells of Dublin. You can read about it here.
King’s Bridge (North)
I pass Hueston, formerly Kingsbridge Station and run over the bridge from which it originally took its name. The run started at Sydney Parade, the opening railway station in the story A Painful Case and it is apt that it ends near the station mentioned at the close of that story. Death appears at the opening of Dubliners and of the collection ends with The Dead, but it is at the end of A Painful Case where it is so keenly felt.
Beyond the river he saw a goods train winding out of Kingsbridge Station, like a worm with a fiery head winding through the darkness, obstinately and laboriously. It passed slowly out of sight but still he heard in his ears the laborious drone of the engine reiterating the syllables of her name.
He turned back the way he had come, the rhythm of the engine pounding in his ears. He began to doubt the reality of what memory told him. He halted under a tree and allowed the rhythm to die away. He could not feel her near him in the darkness nor her voice touch his ear. He waited for some minutes listening. He could hear nothing: the night was perfectly silent. He listened again: perfectly silent. He felt that he was alone.
James Joyce, A Painful Case, Dubliners (Page 98,99)
Parkgate Street (West)
I now am running towards the Phoenix Park, close to where the little cakeshop near the Parkgate would have been and in which where Mr. Duffy and Mrs. Sinico had their last meeting. William O’Connor confectioner and caterer had premises at 32 and 40 Parkgate Street North, and this may be the location of the little cakeshop Joyce had in mind.
Chesterfield Avenue (North West)
Chesterfield avenue rises up into the Park and I run up the hill before turning left to my finish at the Wellington Monument. A hill at the end of a run is never easy, but I expect a much larger one on my next planned run, the Finnegans Wake 21k.
Wellington Monument: End
The run ends at the Wellington Monument, towards the west where Gabriel’s thoughts lie.
The snow would be lying on the branches of the trees and forming a bright cap on the top of the Wellington monument.
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 166, 167)
The last story in Dubliners ends,
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. 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.
James Joyce, The Dead, Dubliners (Page 194)
As Gabriel contemplates making the long journey westward, mine ends.
I planned a run that was 21.1 km long which is a half marathon. I used a map planner and you can see the details here. I planned a few different approaches to the monument in case my actual run was too short or too long. Once in the park I ran directly to the monument across the grass. My GPS indicated I had run 21.1km when I reached the Wellington Monument, and I ran around it to take it all in.
Banville, J. (2016) Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir. Photographs by Paul Joyce. Dublin, Ireland: Hachette Books Ireland.
Casey, C. (2005) Dublin: The City within the Grand and Royal Canals and the Circular Road, with the Phoenix Park. New Haven, Connecticut, United States: Yale University Press.
Gifford, D. (1982) Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 2nd edn. Berkeley, California, United States: University of California Press.
Griffith, L.M. and Wallace, C. (eds.) (2016) Grave Matters: Death and Dying in Dublin, 1500 to the Present. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press.Joyce, J. (1986)
Ulysses: Corrected texts (ed. Gabler, H.W., with Steppe, W. and Melchior, C., Afterword Groden, M.) First Vintage Books Edition, New York, USA.
Joyce, J. (2006) Dubliners, Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Edited by Margot Norris, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.
Oram, H. (2014) The Little Book of Ballsbridge. Luton, United Kingdom: The History Press.
There is a longer bibliography of background material here
You can see more on my research output on the Dublin Institute of Technology repository Arrow, here
With thanks to Paul Sweeney for being the rabbit in the run.
and to my friend John Morkan, forever in the west.