Sunday, July 29, 2007

Joyce Images & Joyce's Dublin Houses

Two websites worth a look for Joyceans. "Joyce Images" features Aida Yered's linked postcards, vintage snapshots, and period clip art to citations organized by chapter & verse in "Ulysses." Eishiro Ito gathers together under Atelier Aterui many snapshots of Joyce's many Dublin residences with Vivien Igoe's published chronology on a webpage (under classification #4) of what's evidently Ito's busy centenary pilgrimage to Ireland 2004. I take his shot, as mine was taken when it started raining, of 41 Brighton Square West where Joyce was born in decidely better circumstances than those that would fuel his anger and his creativity, I reckon. Adversity tempered his soul and stoked his revenge, at his cost for our profit.

I also found out that my relatives lived literally two thousand feet away, at the corner of Rathgar Road and Garville Avenue, from Brighton Square (facing actually a triangular garden and not "Cearnog Brighton," as was pointed out to me by my host, who lived at that same corner house). Growing up mid-last century, no mention of the famous author five minutes walk away was ever made in that household, the neighborhood, or the school. My teacher in high school, an Irish sister, had to smuggle the book in brown paper into her homeland to study it in the 1960s. Speaking of subterfuge, even the master artificer's commemoration plate today cannot be easily glimpsed by a passerby. Unlike the blue-and-white historic dish-shaped plaques gracing many British and Irish houses of repute, Joyce's natal nursery has a brick, terracota-shaded rectangle that blends in all too easily with the facade. Camouflage, the better to watch Dub 6 citizens of the Center of the Hibernian Metropolis with silence, exile & cunning.



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