Tag Archives: Proteus

James Joyce, Ulysses & Sandymount

Of all the areas of Dublin mentioned by James Joyce in Ulysses, Sandymount

Paddy Dignam's House

Paddy Dignam’s House

features prominently. He was familiar with the neighbourhood having lived there for a short time on Strand Road and nearby Shelbourne Road. At a recent lecture, that was part of National Heritage Week (sponsored by Sandymount Tidy Towns committee), Rodney Devitt, an erudite and entertaining host, put ‘flesh on the bones’ about the area’s appearance within the book with readings and appropriate photographs. His delivery was clear and his interest and passion for the topic made it all the more enjoyable. After the lecture we set off on a walk that took in the various places of interest. Firstly, we came to 9, Newbridge Avenue where Paddy Dignam lived. He has died due to alcoholic excess and Leopold Bloom and other mourners board a carriage and head for Glasnevin Cemetary (Episode 6, Hades). Further on we came to Sandymount Strand which features twice. In Episode 3, Proteus, Stephen Dedalus walks on the beach and ponders life and much more besides. When we pass many people are doing something similar on this pleasant evening, and out to sea the sun is a magnificent, giant orange ball slowly sinking into Dublin Bay. Later in the book (Episode 13, Nausicaa) Bloom finds himself sitting on rocks observing a young woman, Gertie McDowell, and fantasises about her. This scene caused great controversy, particularly in America, where the editors of The Little Review were convicted of obscenity. It was not until 1932, ten years after its release, that a US court delared Ulyssesnon-obscene. No such shenaniagns took place as we walked by, phew, but two boys did get quite excited when they got their colourful kite flying high. I wonder what Mr Bloom would have thought?

Sandymount Strand

Sandymount Strand in the sunshine – beautiful!

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Heavenly Blue

What a fabulous sky – such blueness. This is a photo taken on Sandymount Strand a while ago, and most definitely, not Sandymount Skyinthe last week. The weather has been only so-so and sometimes downright abysmal that the thought of a such a blue sky is almost painful. It’s so long since we’ve had one that we in danger of having to refer to images and memories for a fix. But not so long ago I took some video (on my phone) and you can see what a nice place it is. It was along these sands that Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s book Ulysses (Episode 3, Proteus) walks early on Bloomsday and ponders life and the material world, just as strollers and joggers do each day.

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