JOYCE AND TRIESTE

James Joyce spent almost 11 years in the cosmopolitan Adriatic city of Trieste between 1904 and 1920. Although day to day life was hard, it was here that the exiled Irish writer completed Dubliners, wrote A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Exiles, conceived and began Ulysses, and gathered much inspiration for Finnegans Wake. He forged a number of important literary friendships with local writers and was deeply immersed in the day to day social, cultural, artistic and political life of the city, which he referred to as "la nostra bella Trieste". The positive aspects of his Triestine sojourn were aptly described by his Paris friend, Louis Gillet who wrote:

He liked to remember his happy days and spoke preferably of Trieste. His thoughts lingered on this topic with delight. There for a few short years he had enjoyed some moments of respite; fate had spared him some time. This pretty, good-natured Austrian city, half-slavic and half-Italian (Edmund Gosse termed this "life in Germany"), with the gaiety of the Midi, the medley of languages, the animation of a harbour, and an already exotic, oriental flavour (as Veronese's Venice), had given him an extreme pleasure: there were no classical monuments, no Roman mementos (sic) as in Split or Ancona. But there was the rock of Ithaca and on the sea, the sail of Ulysses.

MUSEO JOYCE / JOYCE MUSEUM

Link to the Joyce Museum website