For this week’s foray into literary history we’ll return to September 1888, when at the tender age of six, young James Joyce was sent to Clongowes Wood College, forty miles from his home, in County Kildare. The school was in a castle, which had been built in the late middle ages, and converted to Clongowes after it was purchased by a Jesuit in 1814. It is said that Joyce experienced homesickness, but what little kid wouldn't, living in a drafty old castle, far from home. But despite negatives of the situation, Joyce stated that his education with the Jesuits was a point of pride for him, and many of Joyces's experiences, good and bad, at Clongowes found their way into Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.
So in honor of James Joyce, grab your favorite Joycean work, don your James Joyce hi top shoes, your James Joyce t-shirt and visit your favorite James Joyce pub. Whether you happen to be in Zurich Switzerland, Paris France, or Baltimore Maryland, to name just a few, you can get your Joyce on surrounded by memorabilia, good company, and of course your favorite beverage and Irish fare.
Next pick up your issue of HFR # 47, Fall/Winter 2010, and revisit Tamar Jacobs “Snow,” which got me thinking of North Richmond Street from “Araby,” the neighborhood that Joyce so beautifully portrayed in all of its gritty glory. When you've finished with that pick up the latest issue of Green Mountains Review, Vol.XXIV, No 1, start with Jene Erick Beardsley’s “Self-Portrait” then follow up with Allison Vrbova’s “Roughing it Smoothly,” the story of James, a homeless man living on the streets of Seattle.