Blooming Dublin

James Joyce ~ Bronze
~ Marjorie Fitzgibbon

This whimsical statue of James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941) stands where North Earl Street meets O’Connell Street. As usual Dubliners have their one name for the piece, this time it is known locally as The Prick with the StickJames Joyce was once a manager of the nearby Volta Cinema.

Yesterday was Bloomsday in Dublin. The name comes from ‘Useless’ as we called it when I was a child. I am of course referring to Ulysses which is set on 16 June 1904.

BBC Radio 4 devoted the whole day to Bloomsday and the reading of the work. I got totally caught up in it and forgot about blogging for the duration.

Marjorie Fitzgibbon had an early dream to become an actress and so it was that in 1947 at the age of seventeen, she left behind a life that began in a two room log cabin in Reno, Nevada and boarded a train, heading for the bright lights of Hollywood. She did not have an easy road in life. Along the way, she survived a life-long struggle with manic depression, alcoholism, three turbulent marriages and the death of her eldest daughter.

While on honeymoon in Greece with third husband writer Constantine FitzGibbon, she fell in love with the art of sculpture. “When I saw those marvellous statues in that white Greek light, she said to herself: “I’ve got to try this.” The rest is history.

14 thoughts on “Blooming Dublin

  1. Susan – Welcome to my blog. I have a series of public sculpture from Dublin and Belfast running every Sunday. If interested go to the Tag Cloud on the side bar and click on Sculpture.

  2. Manic depressives – now known as bipolar – can often be fantastic achievers in the manic phase. They use that fifth gear available to no others to achieve what no others can achieve. They pay mightily for it later!

    I love both the name the Dubliners have adopted and that you used to call Ulysses “Useless.”

  3. I am so familiar with this piece and hang with him every time I’m in Dublin. Nothing prickish about our Jimmy at all.

    My friends in TO put on a great Bloomsday every year. I miss it.

    And thanks so much for the info on the sculptor. My encyclopaedic mind did not know that!!!

    WWW – 0 GM – 1.


  4. I love the Irish re-titles of sculpture. So much easier to remember. What struck me first was the angle of Joyce’s stick and the angle of the pulley suitcase to the left. Almost perpendicular. ‘Bet I couldn’t do that if I’d tried; was it a happy accident? It’s nice to know about FitzGibbons, as of course it’s another intriguing story of another interesting life lived.

  5. Alice – I never noticed the line of the handle on the case until you mentioned it. I had seen the man but was busy trying to take the photos without people blocking my view. I am enjoying digging to find a back story with each piece. I have another sculpture, but am unable to find a name or any detail about it. perhaps I am asking the wrong questions. :sad:

A penny for your thoughts...