April 2017

Joyce in 100 Objects: Pomes Penyeach

We know Joyce primarily as a prose writer and novelist, but he did publish two slight volumes of poetry: Chamber Music in 1907 and Pomes Penyeach in 1927. The latter contains thirteen short pieces of verse written roughly between 1904 and 1924. Ezra Pound found them generally unremarkable and though they contain a few linguistic experiments, they lack the radical innovation characteristic of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

Tpomes2his volume was published by Shakespeare and Co. in July 1927. Like Ulysses, the initial run (5,013 copies) was printed on different qualities of paper with the first impressions offered to collectors and friends. This is number 2 of 13 that were printed on hand-made Dutch paper and that Joyce inscribed to his friend and patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver. The book itself is relatively small, measuring only 12.7 x 13.2cm.

Images courtesy of McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and Mason Whitehorn Powell.

Joyce in 100 Objects: Gas from a Burner

Photo Jan 11, 11 25 37 AM4Our James Joyce in 100 Objects series continues this week with a copy of the scorching broadside, Gas from a Burner, written by Joyce as he left Ireland for the final time. In the late summer of 1912, he had traveled to his home city in an attempt to negotiate the publication of his beleaguered story collection, Dubliners.  His efforts came to nothing, and he left believing that the editor George Roberts and the printer John Falconer had conspired to destroy the unbound sheets after growing concerned about potential charges of libel and obscenity.

Gas 3

A furious Joyce stopped over in the Dutch city of Flushing and composed this 98-line screed aimed at those he felt had betrayed him. He printed 1,000 of the poem in Trieste and then sent him to his brother Charles in Dublin, with orders to distribute them to friends and enemies alike. The language used is graphic; indeed, it contains all the kind of obscenity that had so worried the various publishers who expressed interest in Dubliners, only to later drop it. The poem memorably concludes with Roberts burning Joyce’s book and using the ashes to “sign crisscross with reverent thumb/Mememto mori upon my bum.” It served as Joyce’s final farewell to a city he would afterward only visit in his fiction.

Images courtesy of McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and Mason Whitehorn Powell.

Volume 52.2


Robert Scholes (1929-2016)
Sean Latham

“From Genesis to Revelations”: The 2016 Zurich James Joyce Foundation Workshop, 31 July-6 August 2016
Shinjini Chattopadhyay


Introduction: Joycean Avant-Gardes
Catherine Flynn and Richard Brown

“Meddlied Muddlingisms”: The Uncertain Avant-Gardes of Finnegans Wake
Tim Conley

Finnegans Wake’s Radio Montage: Man-Made Static, the Avant-Garde, and Collective Reading
Catherine Flynn

“Circe” and Expressionist Drama
Hsin-yu Hung

Dante, Bruno, Vico, S.Nob: The Wake in Mexico
Jonathan P. Eburne

“Joyce, un pornographe”: Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and the Sally Mara Novels of Raymond Queneau
Dennis Duncan

Hoaxville: Reading Perec Reading Joyce
Scarlett Baron




Penelope Says
Robert Berry


Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon
Tom Staley

Voices on Joyce, edited by Anne Fogarty and Fran O’Rourke
David Pierce

Eco-Joyce: The Environmental Imagination of James Joyce, edited by Robert Brazeau and Derek Gladwin
Maurizia Boscagli

Joyce’s City: History, Politics, and Life in “Dubliners”, by Jack Morgan
David Spurr

Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form, by Paul K. Saint-Amour
Marina MacKay

Modernism: Evolution of an Idea, by Sean Latham and Gayle Rogers
Leah Flack

Tales from “Finnegans Wake,” by Chong-keon Kim
Younghee Kho

James Joyce and the Exilic Imagination, by Michael Patrick Gillespie
Nels Pearson

Traditional Music and Irish Society: Historical Perspectives, by Martin Dowling
Katherine O’Callaghan

Modernists at Odds: Reconsidering Joyce and Lawrence, edited by Matthew J. Kochis and Heather L. Lusty
Alison Lacivita

“The Dead,” 1904: A Production of the Irish Repertory Theatre, based on Joyce’s story as adapted by Paul Muldoon and Jean Hanff Korelitz and directed by Ciarán O’Reilly
Richard J. Gerber


Gilbert Shama