Back to Dublin

Harald Beck (left) and Vincent Deane at the Martello Tower, Sandycove

Just back from a week in Dublin where Harald Beck and I checked out some Joyce-related sites, including

  • the Martello Tower at Sandycove (where we took measurements to see whether the action as described in Telemachus was feasible);
  • Paddy Dignam’s house in Newbridge Avenue, where Bloom joins the funeral in Hades;
  • the end of Leahy Terrace, where Bloom views Gertie McDowell on the strand (which is no longer there, as the land has been reclaimed) in Nausicaa;
  • the Star of the Sea church, which also appears in Nausicaa;
  • Clifton School in Dalkey, where Joyce taught briefly for a few months in early 1904 before leaving Ireland with Nora.

To go the extra mile, we also went to a Finnegans Wake reading seminar at Trinity College. During the two-hour session we covered one and a half pages. There’s another one next week if you happen to be in Dublin …

Update from James Joyce Online Notes – December 2015

The JJON web site ( has just been updated with several new articles.

Terence Killeen extends his investigations into the lives of Alfred and Marion Hunter with more information on Alfred Hunter’s predilection for retailing patent medicines and patent inventions: ‘Fitz-Epsykure’: The further adventures of Alfred and Marion Hunter.

The Ormond Hotel has been in the news recently, as developers sought to demolish the present building. But just how much of Joyce’s Ormond remains today?

Upper Ormond Quay in 1850
Upper Ormond Quay in 1850, from Henry Shaw’s Dublin Pictorial Guide & Directory

In Joyce’s Ormond Hotel Harald Beck looks at the history of the building in order to recreate the floor-plan and hence the movements of Bloom around the building, as described in detail in Ulysses. Elsewhere, he also explains the meaning and construction of the crossblind.

John Simpson follows the life of Joyce’s Professor MacHugh (Hugh McNeill) from his early promise and the shadow of a professorship to his death in the 1930s in the Dublin workhouse, in The reluctant professor MacHugh.

Hugh McNeill
Hugh MacNeill by Aaron (Harry) Kernoff from the Irish Times (28 October, 1935) : UCD Digital Collection, Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (cropped)

Update from James Joyce Online Notes – September 2015

The JJON web site has been updated with the text of the latest issue, which contains seventeen articles as well as links to many of the (pre-Ulysses) texts in Joyce’s Paris library.

Harald Beck publishes details of a previously unknown correspondence between Joyce and the sculptor August Suter, to which access has been generously granted by the sculptor’s grandsons.

In the Ithaca episode Joyce describes Bloom in the style of a Dublin lost-dog advert. But the text was actually based on a curious and real advertisement run in the Dublin papers in 1902 – see A missing gent answering to the name of Bloom for the details. A comparable article identifies the source of Joyce’s horror headline A child bit by a bellows in Aeolus.

Bob Janusko examines the origins of Hamlet’s sledded poleaxe, and further articles explore brown-paper suits, a death at the Queen’s Hotel, Ennis (“where Rudolph Bloom … died”), and the variable price of Abram coal.