About Me

Apr 21, 2012

Joyce: insensible to the charm of Rome.

In 1906 Joyce resided in Rome in very humble room in Via di Monte Brianzo. 
In a letter to his brother Stanislaus he admitted I must be a very insensible person.  Yesterday I went to see the Forum.  I sat down on a stone bench overlooking the ruins. 
It was hot and sunny.  Carriages full of tourists, postcard sellers, medal sellers, photograph sellers.  I was so moved that I almost fell asleep and had to rise brusquely. 
I looked at the stone bench ruefully but it was too hard and the grass near the Colosseum was too far.  So I went home sadly. 
Rome reminds me of a man who lives by exhibiting to travellers his grandmother's corpse.  It was a the bleakest period of his life, he started drinking and did not write a single line except daily letters to his brother but it's precisely in Rome and in those months that the idea of Ulysses germinated.

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