Tag Archives: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


The Quadrangle at University College Cork


Cork Route on

   Stephen was once again seated beside his father in the corner of a railway carriage at Kingsbridge. He was travelling with his father by the night mail to Cork. As the train steamed out of the station he recalled his childish wonder of years before and every event of his first day in Clongowes. But he felt no wonder now. He saw the darkening lands slipping away past him, the silent telegraph poles passing his window swiftly every four seconds, the little glimmering stations, manned by a few silent sentries, flung by the mail behind her and twinkling for a moment in the darkness like fiery grains flung backwards by a runner.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (p. 76)

James Joyce is famous for writing about Dublin. What is less well-known is his paternal ancestry in the county and city of Cork. His father, John Stanislaus Joyce was born in Cork in 1849 and father and son went together to the southern capital in 1893 for the sale of family property. James Joyce fictionalises the journey in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when the young Stephen Dedalus visits Cork with his father Simon, making the journey south on the train from Kingsbridge, now Hueston Station.

John Stanislaus Joyce was an only child and on his birthday at the age of 21 on the 4th of July 1870, he inherited £1000 and properties with an annual rental income of £325.When his mother died in 1881, the year before James Joyce was born, John Stanislaus inherited property in Cork city with an annual rent of some £500 per year, the key part of which was on White Street, just to the south of the southern channel of the River Lee.

John Stanislaus Joyce was commonly known as Jack, just as his son James was commonly called Jim. His grandson Ken Monaghan writes.

Jack’s father James (another James) had married Ellen O’Connell who was the daughter of a wealthy Cork businessman and the young couple lived in a nice house in a fashionable suburb of the city. Jack was to be their only child and as such he was spoiled and cosseted and brought up to believe that the O’Connell-Joyces, as they called themselves, were special and that the male members of the family were gentlemen and should always behave as such. The latter idea appealed to young Jack since his concept of a gentleman was someone who would never have to work for a living. Jack Joyce throughout his life did his best to live up to this ideal.

Ken Monaghan Joyce’s Dublin Family (p.23,24)

His son Stanislaus described him, Pappie is the only child of an only child (his father) and therefore the spoiled son of a spoiled son, the spendthrift son of a spendthrift.

Stanislaus Joyce, The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce (p.5)

John Stanislaus left Cork for Dublin as a prosperous single man in the mid 1870’s. This all changed when he got there. His financial decline began in Dublin but it was largely influenced by events that took place in Cork.

Route Notes

Just as the Joyce’s and the Daedalus’s did, I took the train to Cork from Dublin, in my case from Hueston Station and in theirs, Kingsbridge. I passed through Port Laoise, then called Maryborough and arrived in Cork at Kent Station, formerly Glanmire Road Station. The journey was largely the same but all of the names have changed since the foundation of the Irish State.

Joyce wrote about his experiences of visiting Cork in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and he also wrote of travelling south by train in Ulysses where the train carrying Molly and Leopold Bloom is mentioned passing through Maryborough on its way to Mallow.

   At Maryborough he fell asleep. When he awoke the train had passed out of Mallow and his father was stretched asleep on the other seat. The cold light of the dawn lay over the country, over the unpeopled fields and the closed cottages. 

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (p. 76)

Stephen fell asleep in Maryborough, the same place that Bloom buys some soup.

…something always happens with him the time going to the Mallow concert at Maryborough ordering boiling soup for the two of us then the bell rang out he walks down the platform with the soup splashing about taking spoonfuls of it hadnt he the nerve and the waiter after him making a holy show of us screeching and confusion for the engine to start but he wouldnt pay till he finished it the two gentlemen in the 3rd class carriage said he was quite right so he was too hes so pigheaded sometimes when he gets a thing into his head a good job he was able to open the carriage door with his knife or theyd have taken us on to Cork I suppose that was done out of revenge on him…

James Joyce, Ulysses (p. 616)

Joyce last visited Cork on December 12th 1909 when he was setting up cinemas in Ireland, the first being the Volta Cinema in Mary Street, Dublin. Once again he went by train from Kingsbridge, returning to Dublin late on the same evening. His biographer Richard Ellmann notes that Joyce wrote to his brother Stanislaus “For five rainy dreary hours we were mooning around Cork.” Ellmann (p.302)

Unlike Joyce I arrive in Cork on a beautiful sunny evening.

The Start: Kent Station

The run begins at the entrance to Kent Station.


Kent Station, Cork

Lower Glanmire Road (West)

I am running, but Stephen and his father took a jingle, a horse drawn carriage, on their trip into the city. Interestingly the Joyce family were in the jingle business, John Stanislaus’s father, also named James Joyce, was the Inspector of Hackney Coaches in the city.

MacCurtain Street (West)

Lower Glanmire Road runs into MacCurtain Street. In Joyce’s time these were King’s Terrace and King Street and a tramline ran down the centre of the street. There is a great photo of King Street from c.1900 online here

Bridge Street (South)

I head south and cross the River Lee for the first time on this journey across Cork. In crossing Dublin I crossed the river Liffey once, but the centre of Cork is an island and I will cross the River Lee four times on this run.

Local historian Tom Spalding writes

Cork is unusual for an Irish city in having been largely developed on a series of Dutch-style reclaimed islands, or ‘polders’. Low-lying marshy areas were raised above the high-tide level using rubble and whatever else could be acquired. These islands were separated by estuarine channels ‘over which (were) small drawbridges, somewhat like those in Holland.’ Some of these could be raised to allow shipping to pass, as at the end of Drawbridge St., where a lifting bridge crossed over the branch of the Lee which ran down present-day Patrick’s St.

Tom Spalding, Layers: The Design, History and Meaning of Public Street Signage in Cork and other Irish Cities (p.22)

Saint Patrick’s Street (South)

All the maps and signs refer to Saint Patrick’s Street, but I have only ever heard it referred to locally as Patrick’s Street.

Stephen and his father Simon stayed at the Victoria Hotel, which is mid-way along Patrick Street on the southern side. Once a fine city centre hotel, it was put up for sale in 2014. You can see details of the proposed sale here

Simon Dedalus sings this to his son, Stephen Dedalus in the Hotel.

‘Tis youth and folly
Makes young men marry,
So here, my love, I’ll
No longer stay.
What can’t be cured, sure,
Must be injured, sure,
So I’ll go to

My love she’s handsome,
My love she’s boney:
She’s like good whisky
When it is new;
But when ’tis old
And growing cold
It fades and dies like
The mountain dew.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  (p. 77)

Wyse Jackson and Costello, in their biography John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father (p.218) note that it was one of John Stanislaus’s favourite songs.

At the other end of the block Stephen and his father drank coffee in Newcombe’s coffeehouse.

   They had set out early in the morning from Newcombe’s coffeehouse, where Mr Dedalus’s cup had rattled noisily against its saucer, and Stephen had tried to cover that shameful sign of his father’s drinking bout of the night before by moving his chair and coughing.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  (p. 82)

Newcombe’s coffee-house from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is almost certainly Newsom’s, which was located a few doors down from the Victoria Hotel at 41 Patrick Street. There are posters from Newsom’s Cafe de Paris from 1883 to view online hereYou can see Newsom’s Coffee House and the Victoria Hotel from the Lawrence Collection on here.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Place (North)

I crossed the street and went along Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Place. The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul dominates the view and is where according To Richard Ellmann (p.13), James Joyce’s paternal grandparents, James Augustine Joyce and Ellen O’Connell, were married on February 28th 1848.

The church has an interesting website and is unusual as it has both external and internal Google Street View images. You can access them on the church website here.


Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Catholic Church

Paul Street (West) Grand Parade (South) South Mall (East) 

I continue through the centre of Cork City, making my way towards the site of Joyce’s grandparents house. The Grand Parade was originally a water way, filled in in the latter half of the 18th century.

Parliament Street and Parliament Bridge (South)

I cross the River Lee for the second time over what was the most easterly fixed bridge on southern channel of the River Lee. Spalding notes that the names of Parliament Bridge and Street date from the 1760’s as Parliament provided the capital cost of the infrastructure (p.100).

George’s Quay (East)


Cork Historic Map 25 inch (1888-1913)

The route heads east along the riverbank getting closer to the area that the Joyce family lived and owned property in. Ellmann (p.38) lists sales in 1893 of ground and buildings to the rear of South Terrace, a coach house and stable in Stable Lane, ground and buildings at 7 and 8 Anglesea Street and premises in White Street.

You can see the area on 1888-1913 Ordnance Survey maps on here

Copley Street (East) Anglesea Street (South) South Terrace (West)

The run continues along Copley Street, passing around Anglesea Street and South Terrace. Rose Cottage, the Joyce family home was located at the junction of Anglesea Street and Copley Street. Simon Daedalus tells Stephen about getting caught smoking around the corner of South Terrace.

I’m talking to you as a friend, Stephen. I don’t believe in playing the stern father. I don’t believe a son should be afraid of his father. No, I treat you as your grandfather treated me when I was a young chap. We were more like brothers than father and son. I’ll never forget the first day he caught me smoking. I was standing at the end of the South Terrace one day with some maneens like myself and sure we thought we were grand fellows because we had pipes stuck in the corners of our mouths. Suddenly the governor passed. He didn’t say a word, or stop even. But the next day, Sunday, we were out for a walk together and when we were coming home he took out his cigar case and said: By the bye, Simon, I didn’t know you smoked: or something like that. —Of course I tried to carry it off as best I could. If you want a good smoke, he said, try one of these cigars. An American captain made me a present of them last night in Queenstown.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (p. 80)

After I first published this blogpost a comment was posted by about the plaque in the ground outside 20 Anglesea Street.

The plaque reads:

James Augustine Joyce 1827 – 1866 (Grandfather of James Joyce 1882-1941) Resided in this house. James A Joyce was an Officer of the Cork Corporation by whom this plaque was provided 1984.

In the biography of John Stanislaus Joyce, the missing link between the two James Joyce’s mentioned on the plaque. Wyse Jackson and Costello, in John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father say that the Joyce house stood in its own grounds where Copley Street ran into Anglesea Street (page 24). This would seem to be on the opposite side of the street to the plaque.

White Street (South)

It is on this street that John Stanislaus Joyce most significant Cork property was located.

Douglas Street (West) and Abbey Street (West)

I chose to run along Douglas Street, passing the Presentation Convent where John Stanislaus made his First Holy Communion.

South Great Bridge and South Main Street (North)

The run heads north back across the River Lee and past the Beamish and Crawford Brewery. Guinness is much mentioned in the writings of James Joyce, and despite the fact that Simon and Stephen go from bar to bar after their property is sold, whether Simon drank Beamish and Crawford stout goes unmentioned.

Liberty Street, Sheares Street, Dyke Street (West)

These streets all mark the start of the road west out of the city centre towards the Mardyke. It is a popular walk to this day with the sun setting in the west at the end of the Mardyke.

Sheares Street was named after Henry and John Sheares, United Irishmen, executed in 1798. They are remembered in Ulysses.

   And the citizen and Bloom having an argument about the point, the brothers Sheares and Wolfe Tone beyond on Arbour Hill and Robert Emmet and die for your country, the Tommy Moore touch about Sara Curran and she’s far from the land. 

James Joyce, Ulysses (p. 251)

Mardyke Walk (West)

  The leaves of the trees along the Mardyke were astir and whispering in the sunlight. A team of cricketers passed, agile young men in flannels and blazers, one of them carrying the long green wicket-bag…Stephen walked on at his father’s side, listening to stories he had heard before, hearing again the names of the scattered and dead revellers who had been the companions of his father’s youth.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (p. 79)

Great Western Road (East)

This road takes back to the east and towards the entrance to University College Cork, formerly Queen’s College.

Stephen’s father Simon studied at Queen’s College and he takes Stephen there as he is reminiscing about his time in Cork. As with much of their trip to Cork, it mirrors real events as John Stanislaus Joyce entered Queen’s College as a medical student in 1867.

I enter UCC as a runner, crossing the River Lee for the fourth and last time.

The Finish: The Quadrangle UCC

On the desk before him he read the word Foetus cut several times in the dark stained wood. The sudden legend startled his blood: he seemed to feel the absent students of the college about him and to shrink from their company. A vision of their life, which his father’s words had been powerless to evoke, sprang up before him out of the word cut in the desk. A broad-shouldered student with a moustache was cutting in the letters with a jackknife, seriously. 

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (p. 78)

The run ends in the Quadrangle. Unsurprisingly I did not find the word Foetus carved anywhere in UCC. However there is a very interesting exhibition of Ogham stones in the cloisters. More meanings carved into objects a long time ago.

Route Planning

I know Cork reasonably well, but not well enough to run around not without some pre-planning. Like all the runs, I was looking for content in Joyce’s family biography, writings in the texts and also visual interest. Staring at the train station and ending at the Quadrangle in UCC took me along the city and across the Lee a number of times, and I freely passed a lot of pubs.

I guessed the route was about 7km but decided to use Google Maps to check. It gave a distance of 7.52km. The actual route I ran was 7.77km, though I did do a complete run around the quadrangle. Next time I may take a trip across the Lee and up to Sunday’s Well which is also mentioned in the texts.


Google Maps Cork Run

I also used Apple Maps to look over the route and look for visual cues so I would know when to turn down a street.


Apple Maps Cork City Centre

References cited

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.

Ellmann, R. (1983) James Joyce: New and Revised Edition. New York, United States: Oxford University Press.

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

Joyce, J. (2007) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism. Edited by John Paul Riquelme, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Joyce, S. (1994) The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce. Edited by George H. Healey. Dublin, Ireland: Anna Livia Press.

Monaghan, K. (2005) Joyce’s Dublin Family. Dublin: The James Joyce Centre.

Spalding, T. (2013) Layers: The Design, History and Meaning of Public Street Signage in Cork and other Irish Cities. Foreward by Phil Baines edn. Dublin, Ireland: Associated Editions. Accessed 25 May 2016 Accessed 25 May 2016,567855,571556,11,9. Accessed 19th June 2016


There is a longer bibliography of background material here


You can see more on my research output on the Dublin Institute of Technology repository Arrowhere


Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper


Thanks to Tom Spalding for all his Cork related advice. Thanks also to the reader Frank for his comments regarding the plaque in the ground outside 20 Anglesea Street.





            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 below



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.





—Agonising Christ, wouldn’t it give you a heartburn on your arse?

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 102)

James Joyce’s father, John Stanislaus Joyce has many of the best lines in Joyce’s writings and appears in many different guises. Most obviously he appears as Simon Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as well as in Ulysses.

He was born in Cork on July 4th 1849. He is described in A Portrait:

    Stephen began to enumerate glibly his father’s attributes.
—A medical student, an oarsman, a tenor, an amateur actor, a shouting politician, a small landlord, a small investor, a drinker, a good fellow, a storyteller, somebody’s secretary, something in a distillery, a taxgatherer, a bankrupt and at present a praiser of his own past.

James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Page 213)

John Stanislaus Joyce died in Dublin on 29th December 1931, where he had been living on Claude Road in Drumcondra.

In early 1934, Paul Léon wrote to Constantine Curran saying that James Joyce wanted a bench erected on Whitworth Road , opposite Claude Road, and Curran replied saying that he had been in touch with the Corporation regarding siting. (The James Joyce Paul Léon Papers, page 90). I ran by and there is neither bench, nor space for one as Whitworth Road has no footpath on the southern side, opposite Claude Road. I doubled back up alongside the canal, with the railway separating the canal from Whitworth Road. This beautiful section of the canal would be a very fitting place for a bench.

A shared bench dedicated to father and son was finally erected in St. Stephen’s Green on June 14th 1977 and is described in John Stanislaus Joyce, The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father, (page 438) by John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello. The text on the bench dedication reads:

In memory of James Joyce, Dubliner and his father John Stanislaus Joyce, Corkonian. 6th International James Joyce Symposium 1977.

John Stanislaus Joyce divided opinion. This may be why the bench is shared and he is pointedly described as being a Corkonian. Stanislaus Joyce had an uncharitable view of his father, which is continuously expressed in his book, My Brother’s Keeper, James Joyce’s Early Years.

In more jovial moments he would tell the fable, culled from Aesop or who knows what medieval bestiary, of how a fox gets rid of its fleas. When the fox is plagued by fleas, he explained , it jumps into the river and swims about until all the fleas collect on its nose. Then it gives one good whiff and blows them all into the water. That’s what he would do with the whole bloody lot of us, with the help of God and His Holy Mother, and go back to Cork. He would quote Goldsmith’s lines,

And as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants at the place from whence at first he flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexatious past,
There to return – and die at home at last.

I’ll get rid of you all and go back to Cork. But I will break your hearts before I go. Oh yes by God! See if I don’t. I’ll break your hearts, but I’ll break your stomachs first.

Stanislaus Joyce. My Brother’s Keeper (Page 240)

John Stanislaus Joyce never returned to Cork. There is an old Dublin saying about Cork people, told to me by my own father. When they get off the train in Hueston Station they throw a stone in the Liffey. And if it floats they go home.


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.

Fahy, C. (ed.) (1992) The James Joyce – Paul Léon Papers. Dublin, Ireland: National Library of Ireland.

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. (2007) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism. Edited by John Paul Riquelme, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Joyce, S. (2003) My Brother’s Keeper: James Joyce’s Early Years. Edited by Richard Ellmann. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Da Capo Press.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper


    Love loves to love love. Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Gerty MacDowell loves the boy that has the bicycle. M. B. loves a fair gentleman. Li Chi Han lovey up kissy Cha Pu Chow. Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant. Old Mr Verschoyle with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs Verschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen. Mrs Norman W. Tupper loves officer Taylor. You love a certain person. And this person loves that other person because everybody loves somebody but God loves everybody.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 273)

In the previous Blogpost, Barney Kiernan’s Pub,  I noted comments from Anthony Burgess that a knowledge of the city is not necessarily the key to understanding the works of Joyce. He is also concerned about too much being made of the biographical information that influenced Joyce’s writings.

In certain countries of the Far East, American films – even the most bizarre and fanciful – are taken for actuality, not fiction. Readers of Joyce in the West are sometimes no more sophisticated: they are more concerned with the biography of A Portrait than with the art, and they welcome Stephen Hero as a source of elucidation and gap-filling. This is desperately wrong.

Anthony Burgess. Re Joyce (Page 59)

One of that things that is interesting in the writings of James Joyce is his interweaving of facts into his fiction and the joy one can have teasing out their effects. I have previously quoted the Love loves to love list from the Cyclops episode of Ulysses in the blogpost about M’intosh and speculating that he is Mr. Duffy from the Dubliners story, A Painful Case. In Stanislaus Joyce’s book My Brother’s Keeper, James Joyce’s Early Years, Stanislaus points out (page 54) that he is the model for Mr. Duffy.

Our house was well down the lane and we had to run the gauntlet of the unwashed every evening coming home from school. In the end I had a fight with one of the most active of the cat-callers, a little red-headed rough-neck, who rejoiced in the sobriquet of Pisser Duffy. It was late in the afternoon, and the loungers from the cottages, and even the women, stood around without interfering. In the imaginary portrait for which I served as model. ‘A Painful Case’, my brother has given me the name of Duffy.

Joyce loves lists and in the middle of the Love loves to love list, as well as the man in the brown mackintosh, Joyce notes Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant.

In A Portrait, the figure of Dante appears in the early chapters. Dante, likely to be named after a Dublin child’s way of saying “the auntie” is based on a Mrs. Conway. Stanislaus writes of her unhappy marriage. She had entered a convent, but before her final vows were taken, a brother died and left her a lot of money. She left the convent and got married to a man who at a later date, ran off to Buenos Aires with most of her fortune, never to be seen by her again. Stanislaus writes,

In an elephantine attempt to be playful, his wife wrote to him, quoting a popular song of the time:

Jumbo said to Alice:
‘I love you’
Alice said to Jumbo:
‘I don’t believe you do:
For if you really loved me,
As you say you do,
You’d never go to Yankee town
And leave me in the zoo’

This pachydermatous frolicsomeness so outraged his sense of propriety that after a last indignant letter he never wrote to her again, and she lost all trace of him.

Stanislaus Joyce. My Brother’s Keeper (Page 9)

Knowing this section from Stanislaus’ book helps in understanding the passage in Ulysses and adds to the layers of meaning, which, though not remotely essential, leads to a richer understanding of the book.

One of the benefits of running is that it gives one time to think and with the above in mind I decided to run to Dublin Zoo. As the extract is from the Cyclops I decided to run via Arbour Hill, where the episode begins.

    *I was just passing the time of day with old Troy of the D. M. P. at the corner of Arbour hill there and be damned but a bloody sweep came along and he near drove his gear into my eye. I turned around to let him have the weight of my tongue when who should I see dodging along Stony Batter only Joe Hynes.
—Lo, Joe, says I. How are you blowing? Did you see that bloody chimneysweep near shove my eye out with his brush?
—Soot’s luck, says Joe. Who’s the old ballocks you were talking to?
—Old Troy, says I, was in the force. I’m on two minds not to give that fellow in charge for obstructing the thoroughfare with his brooms and ladders.
—What are you doing round those parts? says Joe.
—Devil a much, says I. There’s a bloody big foxy thief beyond by the garrison church at the corner of Chicken lane—old Troy was just giving me a wrinkle about him—lifted any God’s quantity of tea and sugar to pay three bob a week said he had a farm in the county Down off a hop-of-my-thumb by the name of Moses Herzog over there near Heytesbury Street.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 240)

It took me some time to figure out that Chicken Lane is now Arbour Place, and in this, one of the most accessible of the episodes in Ulysses the juxtaposition of the foxy thief at Chicken lane, is a tiny point of amusement in this wonderful episode.


Burgess, A. (1968) Re Joyce. New York, United States: W. W. Norton & Co.

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.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper


    When the order list had been booked the two would go on to the park where an old friend of Stephen’s father, Mike Flynn, would be found seated on a bench, waiting for them. Then would begin Stephen’s run round the park. Mike Flynn would stand at the gate near the railway station, watch in hand, while Stephen ran round the track in the style Mike Flynn favoured, his head high lifted, his knees well lifted and his hands held straight down by his sides. When the morning practice was over the trainer would make his comments and sometimes illustrate them by shuffling along for a yard or so comically in an old pair of blue canvas shoes. A small ring of wonderstruck children and nursemaids would gather to watch him and linger even when he and uncle Charles had sat down again and were talking athletics and politics. Though he had heard his father say that Mike Flynn had put some of the best runners of modern times through his hands Stephen often glanced at his trainer’s flabby stubble-covered face, as it bent over the long stained fingers through which he rolled his cigarette, and with pity at the mild lustreless blue eyes which would look up suddenly from the task and gaze vaguely into the blue distance while the long swollen fingers ceased their rolling and grains and fibres of tobacco fell back into the pouch.

James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Page 53)

In an earlier blog I wondered if Joyce ran. The passage above from the opening of Chapter 2 is a strong indication that he did. In his biography James Joyce, Ellmann notes (page 15) that Joyce’s brother Stanislaus recorded the fact that their father John Stanislaus Joyce, ran cross-country whilst at University College Cork.

In his recent biography Gordon Bowker writes of the young James Joyce,

In June 1891 he was removed from Clongowes leaving the bill for his final term at the college unpaid. He also left behind a high opinion of his intellectual capabilities, especially with Father Conmee. The young scholar was now allowed to study at home with the help of his mother.

Gordon Bowker. James Joyce, A Biography (Page 39)

Ellmann writes in James Joyce (page 34) that the Joyce family moved to 23 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, in early 1892 to the house “Leoville”. Joyce would have been 9 or 10 years old at the time. It seems likely that as he was being schooled at home by his mother and no longer taking part in games at Clongowes, his father arranged for a personal trainer to keep up his physical training in the nearby Blackrock Park.

Carysfort Avenue is one of the locations where Joyce lived that has changed considerably, with a new bypass cutting through the village and exposing the gable end of “Leoville” which you can see in the Google Street View link hereYou can see the changes to the roads on the images from the Ordnance Survey Ireland in the images below. You can access the map directly here. On the map you can see the entrance along the south of the railway line from Blackrock Train Station. Interestingly the Park has changed little and there is an excellent short history here.

The changes to the street layout around “Leoville” are visually unappealing and for this reason I left if off the half marathon route that I developed last summer. Running around Blackrock Park and along the coastline into Dublin is much more appealing.

jj21kMap25_02 jj21kMap25

Oddly Joyce seems to have taken to running in his later years. Bowker writes (pages 353, 564) that Joyce wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver, when on holiday in Belgium in 1928, at the age of 46. “Most of all he enjoyed the seafront, and took up running, one day covering six or seven kilometres between Middelkerke and Mariakerke.” Interestingly this stretch also has a railway between the land and the beach as you can see here.

Joyce clearly loved walking on the seafront and returned to the days when he ran directly beside it, in Blackrock Park.


Joyce, J. (2007) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism. Edited by John Paul Riquelme, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Bowker, G. (2012) James Joyce: A Biography. London, United Kingdom: Phoenix.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

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