The last task should be deciding what type of artistic creation is Giacomo Joyce. It would be helpful to begin reading with that task in mind. It might be a prose poem. It might be a diary, a confession, or an exploration of streams of consciousness. Joyce called the episodes sketches when Pound asked him for publishable work. Whichever form it is, it’s spiced with excitation, penanced with pain. Richard Ellmann’s introduction, perhaps three times the word count of the piece itself, says Giacomo Joyce is not strictly autobiographical. Joyce didn’t see his subject after 1909 if SHE is Amalia and her husband is to be believed, but some events in this work take place much later. There may be a second Amalia, maybe a third. That would be long after 1909. Joyce perseverated over the possibility that Martha Fleischmann might be Jewish too. This might also make her a candidate for the title of “Dark Who.” This would be dangerous speculation as fascism reared up, and not a possibility the Fleischmanns might like explored. Another possibility is that Amalia returns periodically as a specter even more ephemeral than the SHE of 1907 and 1908.
Joyce himself never put the title Giacomo Joyce to the pages. Certainly, the title refers to Casanova but written not by Joyce but by some unknown spirit. You might now suspect these pages are an undated diary, including flights of the imagination rather than a prose poem. There is a third possibility: despite the imposed title suggesting the subject is Joyce, the piece might be an authentic portrait capturing SHE at a moment in time.
For now, I’ll assign thoughts about Giacomo’s reverie to cantos. In the manuscript, SHE adorns her knotted hair like Beatrice Cenci’s. Raped by her father, that Beatrice murdered him and was beheaded. Thus the reader might infer the suggestion of punishment for an older man who defiles a young student. Ellmann also notes a connection to Dante’s ideal, Beatrice Portinari.
The most excellent testimonial from penurious Joyce is that he never submitted the work for publication or even had it typed. I have been guilty of undervaluing Joyce’s poesy excepting “Ecce Puer.” Like all the longer revered works, Giacomo Joyce is, I now think, also revolutionary, a hammered and tempered one-of-of-a kind monstrance of rococo silver with a golden chamber of adoration at the core.
The Art of Bloomsday at the Olivier Cornet Gallery of Dublin
If you find yourself with an irresistible yearning for the ineluctable modality of the visual, take a digital stroll down Dear Dirty’s Great Denmark Street. This gallery has celebrated Bloomsday festivals with art from a range of styles and media. No doubt, you’ll find something that will entertain and engage.
Bloomsday in Melbourne has produced a series of vignettes using some of the best of the language in our favorite novel. Alternately referred to as Bloomsday in Plaguetime 2020 or ZOOMsday in Melbourne, it’s a lovely appetizer of words for those hungry for a Ulysses sampler. It’s a great way to entice the first-time reader, but like the novel, its suitability for minors is cautioned.
Blogs & Podcasts
Blooms & Barnacles is a blog, podcast, and illustration project celebrating the love of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Hosted by Kelly Bryan (blogger) and Dermot O Connor (illustrator), Blooms & Barnacles takes a non-academic approach, mixing banter and pop culture with historical, cultural, and literary analysis related to Ulysses and most anything Joyce-adjacent, including chats with other amateur Joyce enthusiasts. Hopefully, through Blooms & Barnacles, Ulysses and the work of Joyce can become more accessible to anyone who wants to read it.
Those reading the “about Dubliners” essays on the JJRC may find a line by line analysis of stories in the collection to be of interest.
Dubliners Reading Group Zoom bi-weekly Donations are expected.
Contact: Mike Graves 1 (718) 612-4843 (there may not be a greeting on the voice mail) email@example.com
You too and U22?
Catherine Flynn of Berkeley is assembling a series of podcasts celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ulysses’ publication. It’s early days in the evolution of Ulysses ’22 (the centenary year). Here is what has been revealed to date.
Podcasts construct around the student introduction of an episode and three sets of observations: a researcher, an instructor, and a typical or atypical recreational reader. The podcasts run about one hour in duration. The Telemachus episode was released on June 10 and Nestor on July 5. No anticipated date is posted for the Proteus episode.
Episode References from Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Scene: The School
Hour: 10 a.m.
Technic: Catechism (personal)
“My childhood bends beside me. Too far for me to lay a hand there once or lightly. Mine is far and his secret as our eyes. Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts; secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”
Stephen contemplates shared humanity
The attached WordCloud created courtesy of WordCloud.com shows the incidence of important words appearing in the post about Episode 2 three or more times. Frequency may signify importance.
Episode References from Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses
Scene: The Graveyard
Hour: 11 a.m.
Colour: White, Black
“Get up! Last day! Then every fellow mousing around for his liver and his lights and the rest of his traps. Find damn all of himself that morning. Pennyweight of powder in a skull. Twelve grammes one pennyweight. Troy measure.”
Bloom (or the narrator) on the Last Day
The attached WordCloud created courtesy of WordCloud.com shows the incidence of important words appearing in the post about this episode usually three or more times. Frequency may signify importance.