BousStephanoumenos

 

Runkeeper

            A girl stood before him in midstream: alone and still, gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a crane’s and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs, fuller and softhued as ivory, were bared almost to the hips where the white fringes of her drawers were like feathering of soft white down. Her slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her. Her bosom was as a bird’s, soft and slight; slight and soft as the breast of some darkplumaged dove. But her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face.
She was alone and still, gazing out to sea; and when she felt his presence and the worship of his eyes her eyes turned to him in quiet sufferance of his gaze, without shame or wantonness. Long, long she suffered his gaze and then quietly withdrew her eyes from his and bent them towards the stream, gently stirring the water with her foot hither and thither. The first faint noise of gently moving water broke the silence, low and faint and whispering, faint as the bells of sleep; hither and thither, hither and thither: and a faint flame trembled on her cheek.

—Heavenly God! cried Stephen’s soul, in an outburst of profane joy.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  (Page 150)

The quote above is from the closing passages of Part IV of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man where Stephen Dedalus walks out the Bull Wall on the north side of the River Liffey. Much has been made of the parallels between Stephen Dedalus and the young James Joyce, as well as the middle aged Leopold Bloom and James Joyce.

It is interesting to compare the quote above from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with the following quote from the Nausikaa episode of Ulysses.

And she saw a long Roman candle going up over the trees, up, up, and, in the tense hush, they were all breathless with excitement as it went higher and higher and she had to lean back more and more to look up after it, high, high, almost out of sight, and her face was suffused with a divine, an entrancing blush from straining back and he could see her other things too, nainsook knickers, the fabric that caresses the skin, better than those other pettiwidth, the green, four and eleven, on account of being white and she let him and she saw that he saw and then it went so high it went out of sight a moment and she was trembling in every limb from being bent so far back that he had a full view high up above her knee where no-one ever not even on the swing or wading and she wasn’t ashamed and he wasn’t either to look in that immodest way like that because he couldn’t resist the sight of the wondrous revealment half offered like those skirtdancers behaving so immodest before gentlemen looking and he kept on looking, looking. She would fain have cried to him chokingly, held out her snowy slender arms to him to come, to feel his lips laid on her white brow, the cry of a young girl’s love, a little strangled cry, wrung from her, that cry that has rung through the ages. And then a rocket sprang and bang shot blind blank and O! then the Roman candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O! O! in raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden, O so lovely, O, soft, sweet, soft!

James Joyce, Ulysses (Page 300)

It was darker now and there were stones and bits of wood on the strand and slippy seaweed. She walked with a certain quiet dignity characteristic of her but with care and very slowly because —because Gerty MacDowell was…
    Tight boots? No. She’s lame! O!
    Mr Bloom watched her as she limped away. Poor girl! That’s why she’s left on the shelf and the others did a sprint. Thought something was wrong by the cut of her jib. Jilted beauty. A defect is ten times worse in a woman. But makes them polite. Glad I didn’t know it when she was on show. Hot little devil all the same. I wouldn’t mind. 

James Joyce, Ulysses (Page 301)

The similarities of locations and scenes is striking and makes an interesting comparison. In each case the observers and observed are aware of each other. The Young Stephen sees the perfect beauty stirring the water with her foot, has a religious experience and an outburst of profane joy. The older Bloom on the shoreline on the south side of the River Liffey, masturbates onto his shirt, as the roman candle  firework explodes high over the trees behind the foreshore. And when the Gerty rises from the sand her foot does not gently stir the water, but instead she is lame and she limps away.

The quotes above are from novels. In Joyce’s second published short story, An Encounter from Dubliners there is also a sexual encounter and in this case, not with a young woman viewed by the young artist or middle aged advertising salesman, but with a middle aged man who preys upon the young boys with his own fantasies.

Then he asked us which of us had the most sweethearts. Mahony mentioned lightly that he had three totties. The man asked me how many had I. I answered that I had none. He did not believe me and said he was sure I must have one. I was silent.
—Tell us, said Mahony pertly to the man, how many have you yourself?
   The man smiled as before and said that when he was our age he had lots of sweethearts. Every boy,he said, has a little sweetheart.

James Joyce, An Encounter, Dubliners (Pages 17, 18)

Route Notes

In these runs I try to link places  that have a relationship with Joyce’s life and writings. Hence the route runs between the two shoreline encounters, one on the north of the River Liffey and one on the South. I deliberately ran through Fairview, which is now a public park, but in the early 1900’s was mudflats, that Fr. Conmee avoided walking along, by taking the tram in the Wandering Rocks episode of Ulysses. I then headed along Wharf Road (now East Wall Road), following the route mentioned in An Encounter before crossing by the East Link bridge to Ringsend Village. In the story the narrator goes by ferry boat. The field in in An Encounter is most probably on Fitzwilliam Quay. The route also passes along the Dodder opposite the Swan River, mentioned in Finnegans Wake and past Paddy Dignam’s house on Newbridge Avenue from Ulysses.

You can see extent of the mudflats now Fairview Park in the images from http://www.osi.ie below

Mudflats

Fairview

Like the young narrator of the story, I was also too tired to visit the Pigeon House, this being the first blogpost written after a layoff from injury.

It was too late and we were too tired to carry out our project of visiting the Pigeon House

James Joyce, An Encounter, Dubliners (Page 16)

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

References Cited

Joyce, J., Gabler, H. W. and Hettche, W. (2006) Dubliners (Norton critical edition). Edited by Margot Norris. 1st edn. Norton, W. W. & Company. New York, USA.

Joyce, J. (2007) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Norton critical edition). Edited by John Paul Riquelme, Walter Hettche, and Hans Walter Gabler. Norton, W. W. & Company.New York, USA.

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.

 

 

 

Google Maps_03Screenshot 2015-11-15 16.12.11

    Mr Bloom with his stick gently vexed the thick sand at his foot. Write a message for her. Might remain. What?
I.
    Some flatfoot tramp on it in the morning. Useless. Washed away. Tide comes here. Saw a pool near her foot. Bend, see my face there, dark mirror, breathe on it, stirs. All these rocks with lines and scars and letters. O, those transparent! Besides they don’t know. What is the meaning of that other world. I called you naughty boy because I do not like.
    AM. A.
    No room. Let it go.
    Mr Bloom effaced the letters with his slow boot. Hopeless thing sand. Nothing grows in it. All fades. No fear of big vessels coming up here. Except Guinness’s barges. Round the Kish in eighty days. Done half by design.
He flung his wooden pen away. The stick fell in silted sand, stuck. Now if you were trying to do that for a week on end you couldn’t. Chance. We’ll never meet again. But it was lovely. Goodbye, dear. Thanks. Made me feel so young.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 312)

The quote is from the Nausikaa episode of Ulysses where Leopold Bloom is on the seashore behind the church, Mary star of the sea in Sandymount. Bloom is observing Gerty McDowell who is on the seashore with her friends Edy Boardman, Cissy Caffrey, her young twin brothers and baby Boardman.

Bloom is fixated on Gerty MacDowell and towards the end of the episode he draws a message in the sand. Whilst we cannot be certain what the intended message was, many believe that the word after I. AM. A., is cuckold, Bloom having been cuckolded by Blazes Boylan that afternoon at 16:00 in 7 Eccles Street. The last word of the episode is cuckoo, repeated several times.

The area behind the church, formerly the foreshore, is now reclaimed land, used as a public park and as playing fields for the Clann Na Gael Fontenoy GAA club.

You can look and compare the historic and contemporary mapping on the Ordnance Survey of Ireland WebsiteYou can select areas of the city and apply different layers of contemporary and historic data. I like to compare the contemporary maps with the Historic 25″ Map from 1888-1913, contemporaneous with the period of time when Joyce lived in and wrote about, Dublin. You can look at the mapping on this link: http://map.geohive.ie/mapviewer.html

The overlayed image below shows the general area where I ran with the original coastline prominent on the lower left and the new reclaimed area to the right.

OSi_GeoHiveSandymount

A detailed extract at the back of St. Mary’s Star of The Sea Church shows the dark line of the original sea wall more clearly.

Joyce03_OSI_ModernHistoricalOverlay_LeahysTerrace

I decided that just as Bloom’s words were washed away by the sand and were fleeting in nature, I would run a route that would track words as a form of GPS Art, only existing in computer code.

This post, although short in distance, was complex in planning. My original idea was to run the word Joyce on the open space on Sandymount Strand. I experimented with various forms of typeface but they all involved a lot of complex turns. I wasn’t sure how I would manage these and know where to change direction, without laying out a lot of cones and extensive preparation work. Then I thought I would run a freeform script but worried I would get dizzy and disorientated. You can see some of the plans in my notebook image below.

JoycePattern

At a later date I thought about running the text that Bloom actually writes in the sand. I.AM.A. I quickly realised that this was much easier to run. The A and the M are essentially similar, the hard part being how to run the horizontal lines of the letter A. You can see in the image below how much simpler the running pattern would be. I decided to run on the playing pitches of Clann Na Gael and use the floodlights as visual markers. Even though this is conceptually easy…it took several runs to get the hang of it and to get the GPS map to work correctly so that it looked like written text in the various mapping apps such as Runkeeper and Google Earth both used at the top of this blogpost. The key learning was that I would have to run a large pattern and not double back at all, except where I had to in order to make the horizontal lines of the letter A.

IAMA

I decided to start the run from the Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, onto the reclaimed land at Clann Na Gael to make my virtual text and then out of the park and onto Dromard Terrace. Joyce spent the night of 16th June 1904, the day on which Ulysses is set, in the house at 22 Dromard Terrace owned by his friends James and Gretta Cousins. Once there I looped back to the church along Sandymount Road.

This extract from Apple Maps shows an overview of the area of route with the dropped pin indicating the centre of the the text run.

AppleMaps_Sandymount

Bibliography

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

In deciding to do the run I was inspired by the artist Jeremy Wood who has done a number of GPS Art projects. You can see his work here.

Harry Kernoff – Jammet’s Restaurant, Dublin

Jammets

    He had never been in Corless’s but he knew the value of the name. He knew that people went there after the theatre to eat oysters and drink liqueurs; and he had heard that the waiters there spoke French and German. Walking swiftly by at night he had seen cabs drawn up before the door and richly dressed ladies, escorted by cavaliers, alight and enter quickly. They wore noisy dresses and many wraps. Their faces were powdered and they caught up their dresses, when they touched earth, like alarmed Atalantas.

James Joyce, A Little Cloud, Dubliners, (Pages 58)

Joyce liked fine dining and there was no place better in Dublin in the early 1900’s than Jammet’s, which began as Corless’s in the late 1800’s. As is pointed out in the notes by Terence Brown in the Penguin edition (2000) of Dubliners, by the time the A Little Cloud was written, Corless’s had become Jammet’s but was still popularly known as Corless’s.

Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire has written extensively on the history of restaurants in Dublin and writes about the development of Jammet’s.

In November 1884, Thomas Corless advertised in The Irish Times the presence of a First-class French Cook‘ in The Burlington Restaurant and Dining Rooms, Andrew Street and Church Lane … In 1900, Michel and François Jammet bought the Burlington Restaurant and Oyster Saloons at 27 St Andrew Street, Dublin from Tom Corless. They refitted, and renamed it The Jammet Hotel and Restaurant in 1901, and it became pre-eminent among the restaurants of Dublin.

Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, ‘From Jammet’s to Guilbaud’s’ The Influence of French Haute Cuisine on the Development of Dublin Restaurants (pages 4,5)

The Oysters that Little Chandler is thinking of, were of particular value to Tom Corless.

Corless had 700 acres of oyster beds in Clifden Bay. In 1896 Tom Corless becomes embroiled in a legal action with John N. Curtain of Ballyvaughan over a statement he issued that not a single Red Bank oyster had come into the Dublin Market since 1875. The case is comprehensively detailed in The Irish Times (2/5/1896:11), the outcome of which saw Corless lose and fined damages of £10, which was much less than the £1000 the plaintiff, Mr. Curtain originally sought.

 The Emergence, Development and Influence of French Haute Cuisine on Public Dining in Dublin Restaurants 1900-2000: An Oral History (Pages 103, 104).

Joyce loved fine dining and what would now be called living it large. Joyce loved Jammet’s, as his friend Arthur Power notes:

He seemed to have a passion for an ordered life, and I thought it was a reaction from his former life in Dublin, from the poverty and bohemianism of his youth, of which one heard various accounts from people who had known him at the time. One day, meeting his friends in the street, he told each of them that they must meet him again on the following Saturday at midday at the bottom of Grafton Street with a pound note in their pockets – a matter, he intimated to them, of the utmost urgency. On the following Saturday a number of them turned up.
–Have you all got your pound notes? he asked, and when they produced the promised money he said, now let us all go and dine in Jammet’s – Jammet’s being at that time Dublin’s best known and expensive restaurant, a few yards from their meeting place. Such and other stories are told of Joyce’s bohemian youth, but in Paris he lived the most ordinary life imaginable, remaining shut up in his flat during most of the day.

Arthur Power, Conversations with James Joyce (Page 52)

Harry Kernoff painted the original Jammet’s, before the restaurant was relocated to Nassau Street in 1927. Like the restaurant, the painting moved across town. In this case to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2.

Jammet’s is mentioned twice by name in Ulysses. Once by Corny Kelleher towards the end of the Circe episode and once in Nausikaa episode on Sandymount Strand, when Bloom is looking at Gerty MacDowell.

    There she is with them down there for the fireworks. My fireworks. Up like a rocket, down like a stick. And the children, twins they must be, waiting for something to happen. Want to be grownups. Dressing in mother’s clothes. Time enough, understand all the ways of the world. And the dark one with the mop head and the nigger mouth. I knew she could whistle. Mouth made for that. Like Molly. Why that highclass whore in Jammet’s wore her veil only to her nose. Would you mind, please, telling me the right time? I’ll tell you the right time up a dark lane. Say prunes and prisms forty times every morning, cure for fat lips. Caressing the little boy too. Onlookers see most of the game. Of course they understand birds, animals, babies. In their line.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 304)

I went for a run around the sites of the two Jammet’s restaurants, past Davy Byrne’s, probably the most famous dining place in Joyce’s writings, onto The Merrion Hotel and past Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud where Harry Kernoff’s picture hangs.

The first location for Jammet’s, Dublin’s finest French restaurant, is now home to the Swedish clothing company, H&M. And its second, interestingly, as Joyce wrote of the image of the high class whore in Jammet’s, is now occupied by the nightclub Lillie’s Bordello.

Bibliography

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

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.

Power, A. (1999) Conversations with James Joyce. Foreword by David Norris edn. Dublin, Ireland: The Lilliput Press.

You can download Máirtín’s Mac Con Iomaire’s Ph.D. Dissertation, The Emergence, Development and Influence of French Haute Cuisine on Public Dining in Dublin Restaurants 1900-2000: An Oral History here

And his article ‘From Jammet’s to Guilbaud’s’ The Influence of French Haute Cuisine on the Development of Dublin Restaurants here

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

With thanks to The Merrion Hotel and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud for kind permission to use the image of the painting of Jammet’s by Harry Kernoff.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 20.35.39

    Seabloom, greaseabloom viewed last words. Softly. When my country takes her place among.
    Prrprr.
    Must be the bur.
    Fff! Oo. Rrpr.
Nations of the earth. No-one behind. She’s passed. Then and not till then. Tram kran kran kran. Good oppor. Coming. Krandlkrankran. I’m sure it’s the burgund. Yes. One, two. Let my epitaph be. Kraaaaaa. Written. I have.
    Pprrpffrrppffff.
Done.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Pages 238,239)

Ulysses is suffused with the senses of Dublin. In particular the sense of smell, as noted by Joyce in this particular exchange with his friend Arthur Power.

What is the first thing that you notice about a country when you arrive in it? Its odour, which is the gauge of its civilisation, and it is that odour which percolates into its literature. Just as Rabelais smells of the Spain of its time, so Ulysses smells of the Dublin of my day.
–It certainly has an effluvium, I agreed.
–Yes, it smells of the Anna Liffey, smiled Joyce, not always a very sweet smell perhaps, but distinctive all the same.

Arthur Power. Conversations with Joyce (Page 117)

The sounds and smells of Dublin in 1904 would have been very different to those of 2015. I decided to run around areas of Dublin with strong associations of smell, Guinness’s Brewery, The Liffey, The Fruit and Vegetable Markets.

The brewery smells much less than it ever used to, the all pervasive smell of roasting hops seemingly reduced by modern brewing techniques.

The Liffey at full tide was refreshingly odour free, as it was at low tide when I passed the day before. It was a hot summers day but the smell was much improved from the description in the Bagatelle song from 1980 I remember the summer in Dublin and the Liffey as it stank like hell… I ran along Wellington Quay where the River Poddle emerges under the quay wall. In her book The Buildings of Ireland, Dublin, (page 316) Christine Casey points out an error in the Wandering Rocks episode of Ulysses where Joyce says that the Poddle emerges from Wood Quay Wall.  Regardless of where the Poddle entered the Liffey, it must have stank as much as Bagatelle noted in 1980.

From its sluice in Wood quay wall under Tom Devan’s office Poddle river hung out in fealty a tongue of liquid sewage. 

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 207)

I then ran along Ormond Quay past the point where Bloom exits the Ormond Hotel and ran up to Barney Kiernan’s pub along Arran Street East, crossing the tram tracks at Mary’s Abbey and Chancery Street. In the quote from Ulysses that opens this blogpost, Bloom is using the noise of a passing tram to disguise his flatulence, caused he thinks, by the Burgundy he had earlier in Davy Byrne’s public house. In 1904 trams ran along Ormond Quay, whereas today the Luas runs further North, behind the quays.

As I ran up towards Barney Kiernan’s pub I ran in and around the markets area, in particular the CIty Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets, a much more pleasant and odorous experience.

Bibliography

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

Power, A. (1999) Conversations with James Joyce. Foreword by David Norris edn. Dublin, Ireland: The Lilliput Press.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

grangegormanopens_09

The North House, DIT Grangegorman, formerly the Male House in the Richmond District Lunatic Asylum

dottyville-map

Extract from Ordnance Survey Map of Grangegorman. Survey dated 1888-1913

36_Dottyville

—That fellow I was with in the Ship last night, said Buck Mulligan, says you have g.p.i, He’s up in Dottyville with Conolly Norman. General paralysis of the insane!

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 6)

Dottyville refers to the Richmond District Lunatic Asylum of which Conolly Norman, an alienist or psychiatrist, was the resident medical superintendent. The asylum subsequently became St. Brendan’s Hospital and the area is commonly known as Granagegorman. Conolly Norman died on 23 February 1908 at his home at St Dymphna’s, which is on the North Circular Road, in front of the new Phoenix Care Centre at the north west corner of the new Grangegorman Campus. There is a biography of Conolly Norman on the Royal Irish Academy website hereDespite the proximity of Grangegorman to Glasnevin Cemetery, Conolly Norman is buried in Mount Jerome on the south side of the River Liffey. The cemetery, which opened in 1836 was originally exclusively used for protestant burials.

Joyce understood Dublin keenly and at one stage lived a small distance from Grangegorman in St. Peter’s Terrace, Cabra. He describes Grangegorman in Finnegans Wake as the platauplain of Grangegorman. This phrase hints at the magnificent views across Dublin, but also the biting wind that sweeps across Grangegorman, where the new DIT campus opened in 2014. There is an interesting article about Grangegorman on the Dublin City Council website here

the rigadoons have held ragtimed revels on the platauplain of Grangegorman

James Joyce. Finnegans Wake (Page 236)

The meanings of words and phrases that Joyce compounded for Finnegans Wake are brilliantly explained on the website www.finwake.com and the Grangegorman reference is explained here if you scroll down to page 236. Dottyville is another obvious compound word. Glynn Anderson writes in his book Birds of Ireland, Facts, Folklore & History that the word Dotty is derived from the dotterel bird, known in Irish as Amadán móinteach, or “bog idiot”, because it was so docile it was easily captured by humans.

Joyce’s daughter Lucia suffered from mental health issues. She went on an ill fated trip to Ireland, arriving on St.Patrick’s Day 1935, where she ran amok and amongst other erratic behaviour, lit a fire in the middle of her room in the house in Meath Road, Bray. There were other bizarre incidents described in detail in Carol Loeb Shloss’s biography  Lucia Joyce, To Dance in the Wake. Joyce eventually found out about the events in Ireland. Brenda Maddox writes,

As all of this went on, Joyce protested that no one wrote to Nora and him. That was not true. Eileen had wired him of her alarm but Joyce brushed her off: ‘The scenes that scared you and Miss Weaver are nothing to speak of. Her mother stood four years of much worse than that.’ Nonetheless he asked Constantine Curran, with his wife and daughter , to drive down to Bray to see what was going on. It did not take them long to see that Lucia was living in disorder and was incapable of looking after herself. Mrs. Curran and Elizabeth sorted out Lucia’s beautiful clothes, which were in a terrible heap. Even as Lucia, who was a heavy smoker, watched them, hew tweed jacket caught fire from a box of matches in her pocket.
    Alarmed at what they found, Curran wrote at length to Nora rather than to Joyce. He recommended taking Lucia to see an American-trained psychoanalytic doctor in Dublin. Joyce, annoyed because Curran had not reported directly to him and distrustful of psychoanalysts, cabled immediately that no such appointment was to take place. Joyce was resolved to continue with his strategy of allowing Lucia total freedom, seeing that all medical attempts at restraint had filed, The one thing Lucia hated, he knew, was being under surveillance.

Brenda Maddox. Nora (Pages 411, 412)

Lucia ended her trip with a three week stay in Farnham House, an asylum in Finglas, just to the north of Grangegorman. She left Ireland in July of the same year. Later she was resident in St.Andrews Hospital, formerly the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum, in Northamptonshire, England, where she lived from 1951 until her death in 1982. Whilst there she had visits from Samuel Beckett and Miss Weaver, Joyce’s patron. It is interesting to speculate that if Joyce had returned to Ireland, Lucia may herself have ended up in Grangegorman.

Bibliography

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

Joyce, J. (2000) Finnegans Wake. Introduction by Seamus Deane edn. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books.

Maddox, B. (1988) Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce. London, United Kingdom: Hamish Hamilton.

Shloss, C.L. (2005) Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake. London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

35_BrownImperturbable

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 really describe the physical elements of Dublin in any detail. The quote above gives some detail about North Richmond Street, but is scant in the portrayal of the architecture or environment. Joyce’s friend Frank Budgen describes Joyce’s descriptions in his book James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses.

But it is not by way of description that Dublin is created in Ulysses. There is a wealth of delicate pictorial evidence in Dubliners, but there is little or none in Ulysses. Streets are named but never described. Houses and interiors are shown us, but as if we entered them as familiars. Not as strangers come to take stock of the occupants and inventory their furniture. Bridges over the Liffey are crossed and recrossed and that is all.

Frank Budgen. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (Page 68)

I wonder if, in a novel of some 700 pages in length Joyce thought detailed physical descriptions were a distraction, or would add extra text without adding to the meaning, detracting from the motion of the narrative. But perhaps as his University friend Constantine Curran alludes to, he simply had no interest in his physical surroundings.

All my student friends were devoted to the theatre; some of them shared an equal interest in painting or music. But I never once saw Joyce in the National Gallery or at any picture exhibition or heard him make any comment on Dublin painting or architecture.

He knew the streets of Dublin by heart and his memory was a map of the town. But his interest in buildings, as in pictures, was for their associations.

C.P. Curran. James Joyce Remembered,  (Page 39)

In her biography of Nora, Brenda Maddox writes about the upgrading of the Joyce family apartment at Square Robiac in Paris.

Their friends all crowded in for a look and privately found it dreadful. The kindest verdict was the painter Myron Nutting’s: ‘comfortable and not untasteful’. Helen Fleischman regretted that it was so unattractive and even Miss Weaver, once she had braved the ordeal of a Channel crossing to come to inspect the new settled working environment she wanted Joyce to have, found it bare-looking. To Sylvia Beach she confided the hope that the Joyces would furnish the flat more fully (although she knew at whose expense this would be done).

These critics, like most of the Joyces’ visitors, were aesthetic sophisticates who expected Joyce, as a leader of the avant garde in writing, to be equally adventurous his personal surroundings.

The Joyces’ indifference to design puzzled their friends all the more because Nora and her husband took an interest in modern music.

Brenda Maddox. Nora (Page 303)

I want” said Joyce, as we were walking down the Universitätrasse, “to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.

Frank Budgen. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (Pages 67, 68)

Perhaps in Joyce’s complete picture there are only people, not detailed architectural surroundings, and that is what he would recreate in his new Dublin.

And if you wonder what North Richmond Street with its brown imperturbable faces looks like in reality, here is a photograph I took in June 2015, the street little changed in its physical makeup since the story Araby was written.

NorthRichmondStreet

North Richmond Street: 03 June 2015

Immediately to the left of the photograph, and out of the camera view is the Christian Brothers school. Edited out, much as Joyce edited out the details of his short period of education there.

Bibliography

Budgen, F. (1960) James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses. Bloomington, Indiana, United States: Indiana University Press.

Curran, C.P. (1968) James Joyce Remembered. London: Oxford University Press.

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.

Maddox, B. (1988) Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce. London, United Kingdom: Hamish Hamilton.

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34_TheyFoundTheGrave

—They tell the story, he said, that two drunks came out here one foggy evening to look for the grave of a friend of theirs. They asked for Mulcahy from the Coombe and were told where he was buried. After traipsing about in the fog they found the grave sure enough. One of the drunks spelt out the name: Terence Mulcahy. The other drunk was blinking up at a statue of Our Saviour the widow had got put up.
The caretaker blinked up at one of the sepulchres they passed. He resumed:
—And, after blinking up at the sacred figure, Not a bloody bit like the man, says he. That’s not Mulcahy, says he, whoever done it.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 88)

James Joyce was not the first born of John Stanislaus Joyce and May Murray. They had a son born on 23rd November 1880, some seven months after their wedding. The baby lived for eight days. Wyse Jackson and Costello say that the birth took place at home in Ontario Terrace whereas Ken Monaghan, who’s mother May was one of James Joyce’s sisters, in his book Joyce’s Dublin Family, says the boy was born in 47 Northumberland Avenue in Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire. Regardless of the uncertainty of the birth, the baby was to be the first Joyce to be buried in the family plot in Glasnevin.

For the funeral, John bought a plot in Prospect Cemetery, Glasnevin, where he knew the Superintendent, David Malins. This was the only estate he would manage to hold on to until his own death. Glasnevin was on the northern outskirts of the city; the large graveyard there had the melancholy distinction of being ‘the Irish Valhalla’, as the burial place of, among other national heroes, Daniel O’Connell, who had helped to create it as an almost exclusively Catholic Cemetery. There were very few mourners at the freezing graveside; even the baby’s mother was not there – as it was not then customary for women to attend funerals.

John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello. John Stanislaus Joyce (Page 100)

    Mr Bloom stood far back, his hat in his hand, counting the bared heads. Twelve. I’m thirteen. No. The chap in the macintosh is thirteen. Death’s number. Where the deuce did he pop out of? He wasn’t in the chapel, that I’ll swear. Silly superstition that about thirteen.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 90)

I have speculated elsewhere in this blog (Who was M’Intosh? December 23rd, 2014), about the man in the macintosh being a version of Stanislaus Joyce, but it was Stanislaus who noted that the impressions for the funeral scene in Ulysses must have been gathered from the two family funerals Joyce attended in the cemetery.

As Jim disliked funerals and avoided going to them , his impressions for the ‘Hades’ episode of Ulysses must have been gathered either at my mother’s funeral or at my younger brother Georgie’s. He was never in the cemetery again.

Stanislaus Joyce. My Brother’s Keeper (Page 235)

A headstone seems not to have been erected until after John Stanislaus Joyce’s death on the 29th December 1931, over fifty years since the plot was opened.

In accordance with the instructions from his father’s ghost (so the son suggested), the gravestone for Glasnevin was soon commissioned (via Alfie Bergan) from Harrison’s, who had done the arms of Dublin for the North City Markets in 1892. Bergan had heard directly from John Stanislaus that the inscription was to mention only John himself and his wife May. There would be nothing about the other Joyces in the same plot, not even poor Georgie or Baby.

John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello. John Stanislaus Joyce (Page 425)

James Joyce could not have attended the first burial in the Joyce family plot. He could have attended the last, but chose not to return home for it, despite being named as his father’s sole heir. One of the curious aspects of the headstone is that there is no religious iconography. The white stone is surrounded by dark headstones, complete with obvious crucifix adornments. John Stanislaus left explicit instructions that only his name, and that of his wife were to appear on the headstone. The white colour, in stark contrast to those surrounding it, may have been chosen to indicate that children were also interred, white being the traditional colour of children’s coffins.

Bibliography

Costello, P. and Jackson, J.W. (1998) John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father. London, United Kingdom: Fourth Estate.

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

Joyce, S. (2003) My Brother’s Keeper: James Joyce’s Early Years. Edited by Richard Ellmann. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Da Capo Press.
Monaghan, K. (2005) Joyce’s Dublin Family. Dublin: The James Joyce Centre.
jj21k_Glasnevin_01

Glasnevin Cemetery: 15 June 2015

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Glasnevin Cemetery: 15 June 2015

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