Countries, Europe, Ireland

The joys of Joyce

The artist and the young man have grown up with this week marking 100 years since the release of Ulysses, the joys of Joyce.

And it has given us the chance to flag up his beloved Dublin yes.

But also the other key cities in the Irish author’s life.

The Joyce of Dublin

The second thing that everyone remembers about Ulysses is that it is about the day in the life of a middle-aged Dublin man.

In 13 years as an adopted Dubliner I can’t say I had any of the adventures Leopold Bloom experienced.

But we both frequented the famous Forty Foot swimming area of the Irish Sea at Dún Laoghaire (then Kingstown).

Mine was less salacious although it was hot and sticky when I swam there one sweltering Dublin day.

And even with that I was in and out in two minutes flat.

Ireland holds a Joyce Day every June 16, the day when Leopold and his pals had their perigrinations (the type of word he might use) which they call Bloomsday.

But for the rest of the year Joyce is celebrated daily.

Aand I dare say as regularly as has been possible throughout Covid at Sweny’s Pharmacy on Lincoln Place, near Merrion Square.

Where the great Oscar Wilde reclines opposite the house where he grew up which is now the American College Dublin.

So a culture feast. For Bloomish fare hit Davy Byrne’s on Duke Street, off Grafton Street,.

Where Leopold guzzled down his burgundy and ate his gorgonzola sandwich.

Before, of course, returning to Swenys (Joyce didn’t like apostrophes… see Finnegans Wake) for a bar of yellow soap as a souvenir.

All across Dublin you can indulge in Joycean joys but did you know that he lived and was celebrated across Europe?

The Joyce of Trieste 

Italian style: Joyce’s Trieste

The bespectacled one so loved the Adriatic city that he lived here on three separate occasions.

And in fact there is compelling evidence that Bloom is based on a Jewish paint seller Ettore Schmitz.

Joyce had been invited to Trieste to teach his daughter Letitza  English.

Joyce is said to have used Ettore as a sounding board for the Dublin Jew Bloom.

You can see the great author throughout the Italian city…

In the Museo Joyce, Cafe James Joyce and the James Joyce Statue.

The Joyce of Paris

City of Lights: And Joyce

The bold young ambitious James headed for Paris when he was 20, and of course, to the Left Bank.

He had hoped to meet his hero Charles Baudelaire but alas the poet was dead.

Joyce channeled the Frenchman’s inner monologue style for Leopold.

And Ulysses was first published in France, and the rest as they say is history.

The Joyce of Zurich

Portrait of an artist: Joyce

The Great Wanderer found his forever home in Zurich… he is buried there.

The Augustinergasse, an alley leading off Zurich’s most prestigious street, Bahnhofstrasse. is where you want to for your Joyce fix.

That’s where you’ll find the Zurich James Joyce Foundation

And the word on the street there is that Joyce peppered his writings with Swiss references.

Try this reference from Finnegans Wake… ‘mean fawthery eastend appullcelery, old lady he high hole’.

When spoken aloud, its sounds like a Swiss-German song Min Vatter ischt en Appezeller’ (My father is an Appenzeller), with a yodelling refrain tacked on.

Ah, yes the joys of Joyce.


1 thought on “The joys of Joyce”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.