Stanislaus Joyce

1884-1955, b. 17 Dec.; godf. William O’Connell and Elizabeth Conway; Dublin, br. of James Joyce (Maurice, in Stephen Hero and called ‘my whetstone’ in Ulysses [U 9.977]); ed. with Joyce in Belvedere; briefly worked as accountant’s clerk on an unpaid apprenticeship at the Apothecaries’s Hall,a post which he gave up on 30 Jan. 1904; later as clerk to his father in municipal elections - supplying material for “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” (‘My brother was never in a committee room in his life’: MBK, p.206); joined James’s household in 1905; English language teacher, and later prof. in University of Trieste; arrested as an outspoken irredentist after promenade and remarks about state of fortifications, 9 Jan. 1914; interned at Katzenau, nr. Linz until 1918, moving in with the Schaureks at 2 via Sanita afterwards; assumed permanent teaching position at University of Trieste (Scuola Commerciale);
persistently asked Joyce to acknowledge that many of the ideas for Ulysses were originally his; expressed intense dislike for heartless and unsentimental tendencies of “Circe” and “Penelope”; m. Nelly Lichtensteiger, Nov. 1927, after a delay during which he assisted Eileen Shaurek on the death of her husband by suicide; expelled from Italy, having expressed his dislike of Mussolini, 1936; returned soon after to his old post; dismissed “Work in Progress” as ‘witless wandering of literature before its final extinction’ (Letter of 7 Aug. 1924; Ellmann, JJ, 1965, p.589) and ‘drivelling rigmarole’; visited Joyce at Square Robiac, and for the last time, April 1926; he was the addressee of the last note that Joyce wrote, in his death-bed in hospital; afterwards devoted himself to promoting his brother’s reputation; a single son, James, b. Feb. 1943; transcribed some 131 letters by Joyce for use by Herbert Gorman’s biography, 1931;
SJ was interviewed by Richard Ellmann in the last year of his life who later wrote, "I had really muffed a great opportunity" [John McCour, 2018] - published Recollections of James Joyce (1950), and - more fully - My Brother’s Keeper (1958), an unfinished MSS edited by Richard Ellmann and issued with a preface by T. S. Eliot; his Dublin Diary (1962) edited by George H. Healey, and reissued with additional sections (1971); he was engaged with Ellsworth Mason in editing the reviews and lectures of James Joyce when he died, the task being completed by Mason and Ellmann (1959); d. 15 June 1955 [i.e., eve of ‘Bloomsday’] - leaving one chapter only of his planned biography of Joyce.

"My whetstone ..."

[...] A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.
  Where is your brother? Apothecaries’ Hall. My whetstone. Him, the Cranly. Mulligan: these now. Speech, speech. But act. Act speech. They mock to try you. Act. Be acted on.

—Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., 1960, p.271 [“Scylla and Charybdis”; Gabler ed., 1984, 9.977.
Note: In the annotated Ulysses Sam Slote quotes from Stanislaus’s diary: ‘He has used me, I fancy, as a butcher uses his steel to sharpen his knife.’ (The Complete Dublin Diary [Cornell 1971], p.20; Slote, ed. & annot., Ulysses, Alma 2015, p.152, n.6.)

[ top ]

  • Recollections of James Joyce [1941], trans. Ellsworth Mason (NY: The James Joyce Soc./Gotham Book Mart 1950) [67]pp.
  • My Brother’s Keeper: James Joyce's Earry Years, with an introduction and notes, by Richard Ellmann; preface by T.S. Eliot (NY: Viking Press;London: Faber & Faber 1958, 1982), 257pp. [copyright Nelly Joyce]; Do. (NY: Viking Press 1958), xxii, 266pp., and Do. [rep. edn.] (Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2003), xxi, 266pp. [unfinished];
  • Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce [with particular reference to James Joyce] ed. George H[arris] Healey (Cornell UP; London: Faber & Faber 1962), 119pp. [abridged]; reiss. as The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce (Cornell UP 1971), xv, 188pp. [incls. 36 extra MS pages; and Do. [with variations] (Dublin: Anna Livia Press 1994), 188pp. [Postscript, pp.179-81; Index 183ff.; but see note, infra].
  • [Ed.,] The Early Joyce: The Book Reviews, 1902-1903 (Colorado Springs, The Mamalujo Press 1955), 46pp.; and Do. [facs. rep.] (Folcroft: Folcroft Library Editions 1976], 46pp.
  • Intro. to As a Man Grows Older [Senilità], by Italo Svevo, trans. Beryl de Zoete; (London: Putnam & Co. 1923), xiv, 245pp.; and Do. (London & NY: Putnam & Co. 1949), with an essay on by Edouard Roditi xxii, 245pp.
  • ‘Open Letter to Dr. Oliver Gogarty’, in Interim, IV (Seattle: Washington UP 1954)pp.49-56 [responding to inaccuracies in Gogarty's ‘They Think They Know Joyce’);
  • ‘James Joyce: A Memoir’ [trans. Felix Giovanelli], in Hudson Review, II, 4 (Winter 1950), 485-514 [cited in Hugh Kenner, Dublin’s Joyce, London: Chatto & Windus 1955, p.111.]
  • trans., James Joyce: A Lecture Delivered in Milan, by his friend Italo Svevo; and now translated by Stanislaus Joyce for James Laughlin as a keepsake for his friends and those of New Directions’] ([NY: New Directions 1950]), [67]pp., ill. [ports.; ‘Sixteen hundred copies of this book were printed in Milan in October 1950 at the Officine Grafiche Esperia; one hundred copies numbered I to C for the friends of Giovanni Scheiwiller, and fifteen hundred copies for New Directions, New York [Christmas, 1950.])’]; and Do. [rep.] ([SF]: City Lights Books 1969), [68]pp., ill. [16cm.]
—See also excerpts in John Ryan, A Bash in the Tunnel (1970).
  • Marie Tadie, trad. [as] Le Journal de Dublin par Stanislaus Joyce (Paris: Gallimard 1967), 180pp.;
  • Le Gardien de mon frère; traduit de l’anglais par Anne Grieve, pre´face de T.S. Eliot; introduction de Richard Ellmann (Paris: Gallimard 1968), 268pp.

[ top ]

The most comprehensive account of Stanislaus is to be found in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (OUP 1959 & Edns.); see also Stan Gebler Davies, James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist (London: David Poynter 1975), which largely takes Stanislaus’s view of his brother’s behaviour and the character of his works.

[ top ]

Marvin Magalaner & Richard M. Kain, James Joyce: The Man, The Works, The Reputation [1956] (London; John Calder 1957), ‘If we may believe Stanislaus Jyce, the poet AE (George Russell) told him that his brother [James] was a worthless cad and that starvation on the continent woudl do him good. In fact, says Stanislaus, when Joyce reported from Europe that he had found a job as teacher in the Berlitz schools, Stanislaus woke the poet after midnight to taunt him.’ (Stanislaus Joyce, The Listener, XLI, May 1949, p.896; Magalaner & Kain, op. cit., p.21.)

Bozena Berta Delimata, ‘Reminiscences of a Joyce Niece’, ed. by Virginia Moseley, in James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Fall, 1981), pp. 45-62: ‘Neither of my uncles tolerated noise, but Uncle Jim often played fames with the children. One was “Forfeits’: everyone sat on the carpet and paid fines. We children called him “Jim”, as Mamma [Eileen] did, but it was never anything but “Uncle Stannie”. Athletic and fond of sculling, Uncle Stannie taught us “gym“. I can still feel his bony knees. He thought his brother’s book in progress, Ulysses, rather boring. [...]‘ (p.47.)

Richard Murphy reviewing Dublin Diary [prob. in Irish Times during 1962]: ‘Ireland is always Connaught to my imagination,’ Yeats remarks in “Explorations”. How far removed in 1904, Yeats and Synge were from the native mind of Dublin, where they toiled and argued, can be pictured by a glance at The Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, younger brother of the famous “Jim.” “I loathe my father. I loathe him because he is himself, and I loathe him because he is Irish - Irish, that word that epitomises all that is loathsome to me.” This self-consciously Joyce[an] destructive journal, written by a boy of 20 who already felt doomed to be his brother’s whetstone, is as cutting as a butcher’s knife, and in its scathing resentments gloweringly funny.’ (q. source; vide The Kick, 2001.)

Jorn Barger, ‘Anachronisms in Stanislaus Joyce’s Dublin Diaries’: ‘The “Dublin Diary” that Stanislaus Joyce gave Richard Ellmann - and that Ellmann relied on uncritically - is riddled with anachronisms that show it was not compiled on the dates it claims. My assumption is that Stanislaus recopied the original before giving it to Ellmann, editing out the parts he found embarrassing and probably adding later thoughts that he thought would make him look better. In order to make it a credible forgery, he used the backs of Joycean juvenilia he’d saved (this wasn’t an economy forced at the time by poverty-free paper was available at the National Library, for example). Since he had ‘third thoughts’ and removed even some of the recopied pages, more Joycean juvenilia was probably sacrificed this way to Stannie’s ego. The footnotes claim Joyce himself made marginal comments, but I think Stannie must have forged these too. (If Joyce’s handwriting is authentic, the forgery must have been pre-Ulysses, and had very different motivations.) So critical biographers are faced with sorting out the truths within the lies [...]. Barger commences this process by identifying anachronisms and adjustments to the dates given, taking the Anna Livia Press edition of 1994 as his copytext.’

See Barger, ‘Anachronisms in Stanislaus Joyce’s Dublin Diary’, at “Robotwisdom” - online; accessed 12.12.2012.

On the entry for 2 February 1904, Barger remarks, inter alia: ‘The editor notes this section is not even in the diary, but re-inserted from a letter of Stannie’s!’, and quotes: ‘I suggested the title of the paper “A Portrait of the Artist”... a title of mine was accepted [for the novel]: “Stephen Hero,” from Jim’s own name in the book ...” - and remarks: ‘The opening sentence of [the 1904 ‘Portrait”] makes the first claim implausible, and if JAJ hadn’t started writing SH it’s hard to see how Stannie could have put together the pseudonym and the Turpin Hero theme. If Joyce had read these claims at all, he ought to have made some note. [See online.] Further‘Afterwards I parodied many of the names’ (p.12). These are repeated on p.20, in an addendum to a section dated 29 March!’ (“Robotwisdom” - online.)

Note that Barger accepts that the ballad “Turpin Hero” is in fact the inspiration of the title of Joyce’s draft autobiography - as supposed by Hugh Kenner (Dublin’s Joyce, 1955, p.109f.) See also Richard Ellmann, ed., Selected Letters, 1975, p.56, n.1: ‘“When A Portrait of the Artist” was rejected by the review Dana, Joyce decided on his birthday, 2 February 1904, to rewrite it as Stephen Hero, after the ballad “Turpin Hero”. Stanislaus Joyce said that both titles had been suggested to his brother by him.’ The diary passages on which Barger casts doubts are given under Quotations, infra.

John McCourt, ‘After Ellmann: The State of Joycean Biography’, in A Companion to Literary Biography, ed. Richard Bradford (Wiley 2018) [pp.526-45]: ‘The most notable absentee from the series of studies of Joyce family members is Stanislaus, a vital presence in Joyce’s formative years, whose own later version of events are crying out for systematic analysis. The most recent work on the subject dates back over 10 years and includes essays by McCourt (1995) and Pelaschiar (1998 and 1999), but the lack of ongoing research into Stanislaus is a serious lacuna in Joyce Studies. At times, Stanislaus felt that he had something of an exclusive hold on Joyce and his reception. As he told Herb Cahoon, “You must remember that I was my brother's first disciple.” He also earned a key role as mediator between his brother and his critics in Trieste, where for 10 long years he had paid his brother's way and helped him at his writinhg. During the shared Triestino years and again following Joyce’s departure, Stanislaus saved an extraordinary mass of letters and materials relating to his brother and hoped to write his own version of his brother’s creative life. As he stated it: “My aim in writing is to present my brother’s character and outlook as I knew and understood them in about thirty years of life together.” Unfortunately, he died on the eve of Bloomsday in 1955 having written just the Dublin chapter of what became My Brother’s Keeper, and so an invaluable wirtness to post-Dublin Joyce was lost. / His 1957 Dublin Diary (even if doctored) provides a useful insight and insightful day-to-day sens eo f life in the Joyce family in Dublin, while My Brother’s Keeper (1962) remains a valuable document even if it too is somewhat sanitized. Arguably, his unpublished Triestine Book of Days, which covers two years 91907-1909), is of even greater value. It provides an extraordinarily vivid and straightforward account of the difficulies of day-to-day life in Trieste, recreating the social and cultural backgrounds of a lively city whose impage on Joyce has, up to recently, been seriously undervalued. If the Stanislaus Joyce estate were to give permission for the publication of this document, it would be a significant contributiont to what we known about Joyce's early years in the Adriatic city.’ (p.540; further cites McGinley’s remarks [in a 1995 critique of Ellmann’s James Joyce] that Ellmann's life is tinged with “Stannic acid” but remarks that Stanislaus's influence on Ellmann has been overestimated, p.541.)

[ top ]


See Stanislaus Joyce’s portrait of his brother in the first extant entry of the Dublin Diary - as attached.

James Joyce: A Memoir’: ‘Uncompromising in all that concerned his artistic integrity, Joyce was, for the rest, of a sociable and amiable disposition. Around his [110] tall, agile figure there hovered a certain air of youthful grace and, despite the squalors of his home, a sense of happiness, as of one who feels within himself a joyous courage, a resolute confidence in life and in his own powers … Joyce’s laugh was characteristic ... of that pure hilarity which does not contort the mouth.’ (In Hudson Review, 11, 4, p.496; quoted in Hugh Kenner, Dublin’s Joyce, London: Chatto & Windus 1955, p.111.)

Joyce on Pragmatism: ‘My brother’s interest in pragmatism was slight, hardly more than a certain curiosity regarding a school of philosophy [...] which, he held, avoided philosophical difficulty by sidestepping nimbly. The asserted relativity of truth and the practical test of knowledge by its usefulness to an end ran counter not only to his Aristotelian principles of logic, but still more to his character [...] In Trieste he once told me that he preferred the Italian to the British Encyclopedia because it contained so much useless knowledge that interested him. [...].’ (The Early Joyce: The Book Reviews, 1902-1903, Colorado Springs: The Mamalujo Press 1955), p.43; quoted in Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. Ellsworth Mason & Richard Ellmann, Viking Press, 1966, p.135.)

The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, ed. George E. Healey [1962] (Cornell UP 1971 Edn.) - 2 Feb. 1904: ‘2nd February 1904: Tuesday. Jim’s birthday. He is twenty-two [to]day. [...; Complete Dublin Diary, p.11] Jim is beginning his novel, as he usually begins things, half in anger, to show that in writing about himself he has a subject of more interest than their aimless discussion. I suggested the title “A Portrait of the Artist”, and this evening, sitting in the kitchen, Jim told me his idea for the novel. It is to be almost autobiographical, and naturally as it comes from Jim, satirical. He is putting in a large number of his acquaintances into it, and those Jesuits whom he has known. I don’t think they will like themselves in it. He has not decided on a title, and again I made most of the suggestions. Finally a title of mine was accepted: Stephen Hero, from Jim’s own name in the book, “Stephen Dedalus”. The title, like the book, is satirical.’ (The Dublin Diary; quoted in Hélène Cixous, The Exile of James Joyce, London: Calder 1972, p.224, citing Ellmann, James Joyce [1959], p.152; The Complete Dublin Diary, ed. George H. Healey, Dublin: Anna Livia Press 1994, p.11-12.) [Also quoted in Llana Natali. ‘The Ur-Portrait: Stephen Hero ed il processo di creazione artistica in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ [doct. thesis], Firenze Univ. Press 2008, p.vii - available online; accessed 12.11.2021.]

Note: Richard Ellmann quotes the entire entry in James Joyce (1959, 1965, p.152-53) but without any bibliographical reference. An explanation is given in George Healey, ed., The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce (1971; rep. Anna Livia Press 1994) in a footnote to the effect that the above entry [2 Feb. 1904] is not included in the Cornell MS, and that Stanislaus ‘reported [...] in a letter to a correspondent’ [presumably Ellmann] that it was ‘being copied from a diary’. Healey, op. cit., p.11, n.1. Healey reprints it with Ellmann’s permission - presumably in the 1962 edition as well as the 1971 edition.  In the preface to the 1971 edition, Healey speaks of the earlier edition of 1962 having omitted ‘certain parts of the diary’ for reasons including possible embarrassment to living persons and the ‘tolerance of the publishers and the public’ as well as only ‘marginal interest’ to students of Joyce (1971, 1994, p.x). The additional text amounts to 36 pages - and hence ‘complete’ in the new title (The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce).

See copy of Ellmann’s transcription in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors” > James Joyce > Richard Ellmann (3)”, as infra - and search ‘birthday’.] (See the immediately preceding passage in this entry under John Eglinton, as supra.)

The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, ed. George E. Healey [1962] (Cornell UP 1971) - 29 March 1904: ‘I suggested the title of a paper of Jim’s which was commissioned for a new review to be called Dana in February last. It is now almost April and the review has not yet appeared. The paper - the title of which was “A Portrait of the Artist” - was rejected by the editors Magee [“John Eglinton”] and F[red] Ryan because of sexual experiences narrated therein - at least this was the one reason they gave. Jim has turned the paper into a novel the title of which - “Stephen Hero” - I also suggested. He has written eleven [19] chapters. The chapters are extremely well written in a style which seems to me to be altogether original. It is a lying autobiograpy and a raking satire. He is putting nearly all his acquaintances in it, and the Catholic Church comes in for a bad quarter of an hour. I suggested many of the names for the characters on an onomatopoeic principle.’ (The Complete Dublin Diary, ed. George H. Healey, Ann Livia Edn. 1994, pp.19-20; prev. in Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, ed. Healey, London: Faber & Faber 1962, p.25.) See also Stanislaus’s account of the adoption of the name “Stephen Daedalus” [infra]; and see also under St. John Gogarty, supra.

Note: Stanislaus adds NS marginalia on the parody of name he himself thought up - e.g., Sighing Simon, Stuck-up Stephen, Morose Maurice, at al. [ibid.].) Also rep. in Robert H. Deming, ed., James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970, Vol. 1, p.112.)

Bibliographical note: For reasons not explained in the Preface, the chronology of the entries in the Complete Dublin Diary (1971; 1994) is disordered. Viz., Entry for 2 February - to which is appended a footnote referring to ‘the entries [sic] for this date’ - is followed by one for 29 February 1904, which is followed by yet another for that day [29 Feb. 1904]. This is followed by an entry for 10 January 1904, which is in turn followed by an entry for 29 March 1904 and 12 April, and then by another for 29 March. The entry for 10 April ensues, and after that two entries for 20 April, to be followed by 23 April, 16 August, 3 April, 13 July, 23 July, 23 July, 1 August, 31 July, 13 August, 6 January [sic], 6 August, 26 July - and so forth (all in 1904). The entry for 6 January 1904 is attended by a footnote which suggest that the date inscribed by Stanislaus, being ‘far out of sequence, is probably that of his hearing the verse’. (Here verses concerning Dr. Dooley’s thoughts on masturbation and nation are given withoug attribution.) Nevertheless, this is only more irrational by degree than the misordering of the other entries and no practical explanation for the same is given. [Q: is the same ordering principle followed in the 1963 edition? (See Jorn Barger’s note, supra.)]

[There is a digital copy of the Cornell edition of The Complete Diary (1971) at Google Books - online; accessed 20.11.2008.]

Note also that the Dublin Diary contains some lividly misogynistic phrases coined by James Joyce, viz. - ‘dirty animals’, and ‘warm, soft-skinned animals.’ (Dublin Diary, [1962], pp.20, 22; cited in The Workshop of Daedalus, ed. Kain & Scholes, 1965), p.87; cf. ‘marsupials’ in idem., and the same epithet in Stephen Hero, Cape Edn. 1969, p.215.]

The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, ed. George E. Healey [first edn. 1962] (Cornell UP 1971 rev. edn.): ‘Food is good and warmth is good. This is a good house to learn to appreciate both in. We do weeks on one chance insufficient meal, and a collation in the days I have been stripped of my garments, even of my heavy boots, willingly stripped to pawn them and feed on them.’ (p.77; quoted in David Norris, ‘A Turnip for the Books’, in James Joyce: An Joyce International Perspective, ed. Suheil Bushrui & Benstock, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1982, p.131. Norris notes that the entry occurs within a few days of 16th June 1904.)

See also ‘James Joyce - a Portrait of the Artist’- being Stanislaus undated diary entry for 1903 [if not a retrospective addition, in The Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce (1971 Edn.), including the entry for 13 August 1904 (pp.49-56) - attached.

Diary / 8 Sept. 1907: ‘He [James Joyce] told me he would omit all the first chapters and begin with Stephen, whom he will call Daly, going to school and that he would write the book in five chapters - long chapters.’ (Quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965, p.274.) [See remarks on the name Daly in Notes, infra.

[Note: The sentences quoted here do not appear in the published Dublin Diary (1963; rev. as Complete Dublin Diary, 1971; reiss. Dublin Anna Livia Press 1994) - and that Ellmann does not indicate the provenance in his reference notes.]

Diary / 10 Nov. 1907: ‘Jim told me that he is going to expand his story “Ulysses” into a short book and make a Dublin “Peer Gynt” of it. I think that some suggestions of mine put him in the way of making it important. As it happens in one day, I suggested that he should make a comedy of it, but he won’t. It should be good. Jim says that he writes well because when he writes his mind is as nearly normal as possible, that what he says is worth listening to because he has an uncommon amount of good sense at times. I think I have written this before. He repeats it very often and appears pleased with this explanation of himself.’ (Quoted in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965, pp.274-75; not included in the Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, Cornell 1971, nor The Complete Dublin Diary, Dublin 1994.)

Diary / 21 February 1908: Joyce condemns Bourget’s attempt at psychology: ‘“Psychologist! What can a man know but what passes inside his own head?” Stanislaus replied, “Then the psychological novel is an absurdity, you think? and the only novel is the egomaniac’s? D’Annunzio’s?” Joyce replied, “I said as much in my pamphlet [“The Day of the Rabblement”].’ (Given thus in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce [1959], 1965, pp.274-75; see also entry for 8 Sept. 1907 under James Joyce, supra.)

[ top ]

Helping Jim: ‘A postcard from Jim today asking for money by return post. [...] Nothing seems to help him; by the time I receive an answer to my letter the mone has gone and he needs more. I swore. This time he has paid two landladies. Nora was dissatisfied with their room, it appears, so they engaged a second before leaving the first.’ (“Book of Days” [1907-1909 Diary of Stanislaus Joyce in Richard Ellmann Papers, University of Tulsa; quoted in Melissa Rose Farrel, Whetstone: Stanislaus Joyce and the Fraternal Relationships in ‘Finnegans Wake [PhD Thesis] Univ. of Liverpool, Dec. 2020, p.83; available online; accessed 02.05.2021.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958): ‘My brother’s major work came at the close of an epoch of Irish, perhaps one may say, of European history, to give a comprehensive picture of it in the daily life of a large city. He always held that he was lucky to have been born in a city that is old and historic enough to be considered a representative European capital, and small enough to be viewed as a whole; and he believed that circumstances of birth talent and character had made him its interpreter. To that duty of interpretation he devoted himself with a singleness of purpose that made even the upheaval of world wars seem to him meaningless disturbances.’ (p.42; quoted in Norris, op. cit., 1982, p.130.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958): Stanislaus writes that Joyce berated Yeats and the Literary Theatre in his Day of the Rabblement for staging ‘such political and dramatic claptrap’. (See Ann Saddlemyer, ‘James Joyce and the Irish Dramatic Movement’, in James Joyce: An Joyce International Perspective, ed. Suheil Bushrui & Bernard Benstock, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1982, p.208., n.22.)

My Brother’s Keeper (1958) - on John Stanislaus Joyce: ‘Because of his bad record [...] it was at first doubtful whether my father would be granted any pension, but on the personal intercession of my mother, the people at the top, whoever they were, assigned to him a pension equal to about one third of his salary, and amounting to eleven pounds a month. At about the same time his house property in Cork, or what was left of it, was sold, apparently to make good defalcations, but it was so heavily mortgaged that little or nothing came to him from the sale. We left Blackrock abruptly and moved up to Dublin. My father was still in his early forties, a man who had received a university education and had never known a day’s illness. But though he had a large family of young children, he was quite unburdened by any sense of responsibility towards them. His pension, which could have taken in part the place of the property he had lost and been a substantial addition to an earned income, became his and our only means of subsistence.’ (Quoted in Hélène Cixous, The Exile of James Joyce, trans. by Sally Purcell [prev. as l’Exil de James Joyce, 1972] (London: Calder 1976), p.3; My Brother’s Keeper, NY: 1958; without page ref.)

My Brother’s Keeper (NY: Viking Press 1958) [recounts an occasion when John Stanislaus Joyce cried out, ‘Now, by God, is the time to finish it’, and attacked his wife]: ‘My brother was less affected by these scenes than I was, though they certainly influenced his attitude towards marriage and family life. Half-hushed-up stories reached us of somewhat similar happenings in the families of friends of ours, whose material position, at least, was assused and normally comfortable; poverty cannot, therefore, have been the root of the evil. The main struggle of the various Mrs. This-bodies and Mrs. That-bodies, with whom we were acquainted, was to conceal carefully what went on at home.’ ( p.74; quoted in Hemphill, op. cit., supra.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958): ‘My reading, which had to serve instead of regular study, may have been useful to him as a kind of revision, for occasionally in our endless discussions I happened to point out things he had passed over and to re-arouse his interest. He said frankly that he used me as a butcher uses his steel. [See note.] / There is an example of this revision in Ulysses. Stephen Dedalus sends Malachi Mulligan a telegram which runs: “The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done’. My brother had paid no particular attention to the epigram when he was reading The Ordeal of Richard Feverel. To me, struggling to understand the sentimentalists by whom I was surrounded, one of whom wept when he sang “The Bells of Shandon”, it seemed far too superficial to dismiss their sentimentalism, in such bewildering contract with their conduct, as mere silliness. Meredith’s epigram was a sudden illumination, and I drew my brother’s attention to it. At least I could think I now understood why I detested “The Bells of Shandon”, as well as those other old favourites, “Th Lost Chord” and “Thou’rt Passing Hence, My Brother”. (pp.94-95.)

[Note - cf. ‘Where is your brother? Apothecaries’ hall. My whetstone.’ Ulysses, p.199/209 - and see further citations under Notes > Whetstone - infra.]

[ top ]

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958):
‘My brother’s breakaway from Catholicism was due to other motives [than the idea that Jesus was not what the Church pretended]. He felt it was imperative that he should save his real spiritual life from being overlaid and crushed by a false one that he had outgrown. He believed that poets in the measure of their spiritual gifts and personality where the repositories of the genuine spiritual life of their race, and that priests were usurpers. He detested falsity and believed in individual freedom more thoroughly than any man I have ever known. Ther are are people - and the are the majority who outvote us - wohose aim in life is to attain stability and security by travelling along the tramlines of reason and experience to the terminus where they get off. [...] The interest that my brother always retained in the philosophy of the Catholic church sprang from the fact that he considered Catholic philosophy to be the most coherent attempt to establish such a intellectual and material stability. In his own case, however, freedom was a necessity: it was the guiding theme of his life. He accepted its gifts and its perils as he accepted his own personality, as he accepted the life that had produced him. His revolt was a defence of that personality against a system whose encroachments on the please of obedience ended, like modern totalitarian systems which have copied it, only wit the complete cancellation of character. By reaction, his personality was challenging, a rally-point for some, a comprehensible cause of jealousy in others.
 While still a freshman at University College, he declared his intention of making his allotted span an experiment in living. He was determined to be the same in action as he was in his fixed desire; and, though he progressed from merciless dogmatism to [120] merciful scepticism, he was temperamentally capable of absolute devotion to a mission to which he felt called by the accident of having been born with talent, even if, as he foresaw from the beginning, that mission should make him an outcast. He understood better than those who were wont to quote the text how inexorably an inner necessity can turn son against father and against mother, too; and yet it was inspiring to live with one so young and purposeful. His faith in life sustained him with the joyous certainty that in spite of the squalor that surrounded him, life had some not ignoble meaning. (pp.120-21.)

‘Glengariff Parade was in a depressing neighbourhood. One end of it led out on to a main road and we were near the corner. [...] One morning, shortly after we had moved into Glengariff Parade, I was standing at the open and still unattained window of the only front room watching the butcher’s boy walking in the middle of the road with his head in his empty basket; he was raising the dust with his feet, and intoning loudly:

Walkin’ along the road
Kicking up all the dust
And there’s ne’er a wan in Glengariff Parade,
Dar give him a lick in the pus.

“A rival poet”, I said unsmiling to Jim, who had come to the window. But Jim was amused. He called him “the poet of the rugged glen”, which he said was the meaning of the name Glengariff. (He had been studying Irish for a year or so.) Jim was not limitary in his sympathies as I was; they extended in Ireland from Mangan and Yeats to the unlettered poets of the rugged [134] glens, where a few years later Synge was to stake out his claim. If he sometimes seemed to be limitary in his sympathies it was because he had no doubt as to their order of importance.’ (pp.133-34.)

[Cf. the butcher’s boy in A Portrait of the Artist, Chap. V:
Stephen pointed to a basket which a butcher’s boy had slung inverted on his head.
—Look at that basket, he said.
—I see it, said Lynch.
—In order to see that basket, said Stephen, your mind first of all separates the basket from the rest of the visible universe which is not the basket. The first phase of apprehension is a bounding line drawn about the object to be apprehended. An esthetic image is presented to us either in space or in time. What is audible is presented in time, what is visible is presented in space. But, temporal or spatial, the esthetic image is first luminously apprehended as selfbounded and selfcontained upon the immeasurable background of space or time which is not it. You apprehended it as one thing. You see it as one whole. You apprehend its wholeness. That is integritas.
When you have apprehended that basket as one thing and have then analysed it according to its form and apprehended it as a thing you make the only synthesis which is logically and esthetically permissible. You see that it is that thing which it is and no other thing. The radiance of which he speaks in the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing.
(A Portrait [... &c.], Corr. Edn., ed. Scholes, 1965, 216.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958): ‘Another experimental form which his literary urge took while we were living at this address [Glengariff Terrace] consisted in the noting of what he called “epiphanies” - manifestations or revelations. Jim always had a contempt for secrecy, and these notes were in the beginning ironical slips and little errors and gestures - mere straws in the wind - by which people betrayed the very things they were most careful to conceal. “Epiphanies” were always brief sketches hardly ever more than some dozen lines in length, but always very accurately observed and noted, the matter being slight.’ (p.134.) [Cont.]

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958) - cont.: [having disposed of the idea that the epiphanies served him as a diary, an ‘impudent invention’ promulgated by John Eglinton, or that they invited comparison with the lines of Burns, ‘[...] A chiel’s amang ye takin’ notes, / An’ faith he’ll prent it’]: ‘My brother’s purpose was different and his angle of vision new. The revelation and importance of the subconscious had caught his interest. The epiphanies became more frequently subjective and included dreams which he considered in some way revelatory. / Some of the “epiphanies” he introduced here and there into A Portrait of the Artist where the occasion offered and some into the imaginary diary at the end. The others he considered not to be of sufficient interest to be retained; but I did not share his opinon, and have kept several of them. As forhis dreams, he was at no pains at first to interpret them subtly. The following note regarding a dream was one of the first of the collection, perhaps made before we left Royal Terrace: “A white mist is falling in slow flakes. [...]”’. (p.135.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958) - on ‘Drama and Life’: ‘In his paper he repudiated the idea that art should have a moral purpose or a national purpose, as well as the vague theories of art for art’s sake of the aesthetic school. He maintained that art had no purpose; that all fixed purposes falsify it, but that it had a cause, namely, necessity, the imperative inward necessity for the imagination to recreate from life its own ordered synthesis. He spoke of the importance of the artist in the community, and insisted on his right to develop his personality freely in accordance with his own artistic conscience, and without being drawn into movements or making himself a mouthpiece for others. He inherits difficulties enough to struggle within his own soul. / Turning to drama, he asserted that it was the highest art form, because it was not static but presented life in action [...] He derided the superhuman proportions of the heroes of romantic drama and the clamorous and violent deeds of which they are the centre, all “sound and fury, signifying nothing”, and declared that more intense drama of wider human significance could be enacted in the anteroom of a Norwegian villa. He defended the realism of modern drama [... &c.]’ (p.138.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London 1958) - on Joyce’s reaction to the death of George [br.] in 1902: ‘Mother was certainly wrong in thinking Jim callous. He did not display his feelings as the others did, but he felt Georgie’s death no less. When he thought everybody was asleep, he went softly upstairs to see ’the poor little fellow’ where he lay alone with the blue of his eyes still visible under the lids that had been closed too late. And not long afterwards, at a mention of Irish rebellion, he exclaimed bitterly: “Ireland is an old sow that devours her farrow.” / It was a reflection on Irish history, but I saw in the expression his smouldering anger at Georgie’s untimely death, and thought to myself, “There goes what I was trying to say.” / He thought that by the boy in the following dream-epiphany Georgie was intended. / “That is no dancing. Go down before the people, young boy, and dance for them. ... He runs out darkly-clad, lithe and serious to dance before the multitude. There is no music for him. He begins to dance far below in the amphitheatre with a slow and supple movement of the limbs, passing from movement to movement in all the grace of youth and distance, until he seems to be a whirling body, a spider wheeling amid space, a star. I desire to shout to him words of praise, to shout arrogantly over the heads of the multitude “See! See!” ... His dancing is not the dancing of harlots, the dance of the daughter of Herodias. It goes up from the midst of the people, sudden and young and male, and falls again to earth in tremulous sobbing to die upon its triumph.” [144]. He called his son, born in Trieste, Giorgio.’ (pp.144-45.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London 1958): ‘[...] The effort to imagine the infinitely little, too, arrested the heart like a hand of ice. And yet was it believable that the universe was finite at the small end and infinite at the big end? / Into this category of essentially incomprehensible ideas I put the idea of God. The Jesuits used this word glibly, too, and knew all the predictables relating to it. For me it wa a mystery beyond the range of thought, co-equal with the universe. [...] I was altogether ignorant of philosophical systems at the time, but noting that i have since read or heard ever changed that early attitude of benevolent agnosticism.’ Further, cites his brother’s reaction: “You have a curious way of considering the whole question as if you don’t care a rap one way or another.” (p.146) - and adds: ‘He missed the sense of supreme responsibility which is the sense of sin.’ (pp.146-47.)

My Brother’s Keeper (NY: Viking Press 1958): ‘In A Portrait of the Artist, Dedalus speaks of a certain disadvantage at which Irish writers find themselves in using the English language. The very slight differences in the shades of meaning which English words may have for Englishmen can give pause, I fancy, only to Irishmen like Yeats or my brother, whose sensibility to words applies extreme tests. To me it seems that the real disadvantage of Irishmen is of quite a different nature. In Ireland, a country which has seen revolutions in every generation, there is properly speaking no national tradition. Nothing is stable in the country; nothing is stable in the minds of the people. When the Irish artist begins to write, he has to create his moral world from chaos by himself, for himself. Yet, though this is an enormous disadvantage for a host of writers of good average talent, it proves to be an enormous advantage for men of original genius, such as Shaw, Yeats or my brother.’ (p.187.) [Cont.]

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber 1958) - cont. [new para.]: ‘My brother had the further advantage of being unhappy in an unhappy country. Unhappiness was like a vice which forced him either to look experience in the eye or to take refuge in dreams. An English writer - Wells or Galsworthy or Huxley or Aldington - deals with social, religious, or intellectual problems, one has the impression that even though the problems are real and the writer is striving to be sincere, the life that produced him is in general stable and balanced. It has been lived for centuries against a Constable background. And if he poses as an extremist, it is merely a picturesque attitude like Count Tolstoy’s donning of his Russian smock-frock, over trousers cut by the most expensive tailor in Petersburg, to play at being a peasant saint. The characters whom these writers create to voice conflicts of opinion are people of ease and culture [...]. Their brilliant chatter gives the impression of purely academic after-dinner discussions. In Ireland, on the other hand, the dinner itself is often lacking, and in consequence the discussions assume a different tone. The bread and butter test is not irrelevant. For my brother life was not an interesting subject for discussion; it was a passion.’ (pp.185-86; quoted in Sean Golden, ‘Post-Traditional English Literature: A Polemic’, in The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies [Vol. 3, No. 2 1979], 1982, pp.427-34, p.436.)

... You are very wicked ...

[Of a Sunday walking excursion that James Joyce made to the Dublin hills with the Sheehys and some friends:] When they were returning late in the evening, all a little tired, there was some talk about a pale rose-coloured moon that had risen with a halo, a sign that rain was near, some weather prophet predicted. The pretty Sheehy girl, who was walking with my brother, thought it looked tearful. - It looks to me like the chubby hooded face of some jolly fat Capuchin, said Jim.
 The girl, in too happy a mood to be shocked, gave him a sidelong glance out of her large, dark eyes and said, basing her conclusion, one may suppose, not exclusively on that observation of his:
- I think you are very wicked.
- Not very, said Jim, but I do my best.
 After they had separated and she had gone off home, with a brother and sister who had also been of the party, Jim strolled on, in no hurry, because he had the idea fora song in his head. Having no other writing materials, he tore open a cigarette-box and standing under a street lamp wrote the two verses of the song on the inside of the box in his firm neat handwriting.

[Here Stanislaus Joyce gives two stanzas of the song.]

In the fifth and last chapter of A Portrait of the Artist in which my brohter shows the artist (the young poet) in the throes of creation, he uses the cigarette box incident for the “Villanelle of the Temptress”, which was written a few years before the supposed date of the chapter, his first departure from Dublin, and belonged to one of the early collections. He also blends the figure of Mary Sheehy in the novel with a imaginary girl-child whom Dedalus is supposed to have had a fleeting affection for as a boy. I tell the incident faithfully as Jim told it to me. The song written on the inside of the cigarette box was “What Counsel has the hooded moon”, and I kept that curious manuscript for years, but when I came back to Trieste after the First World War I could not find it again.


[ top ]

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber 1958): ‘[M]y brother had a stronger stomach for patriotic poetry than I. He could read through the collected poems of those insignificant poets with high-sounding names, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Denis Florence McCarthy, with cold patient scorn, when a very few pages of them left me helpless and speechless [204] with devastating boredom. At one point of the review [of William Rooney] my brother’s ideas seem to be confused. It is hard to see how carelessness can ever become “a positive virtue” except by some fortunate chance. What he meant to say was that these poems of Rooney’s are the false and mean expression of a false and mean idea, but that studious (that is, careful) meanness can become a positive virtue. Writing to my brother at the time I raised this objection, and in a letter to Grant Richards from Trieste some years later he spoke, returning to the phrase, of the “scrupulous meanness” of the style of his own Dubliners.’ [See longer extract - including remarks on Meredith as ‘man of letters’, “Ivy Day in the Committee Room”, and W. B. Yeats - attached.]

On May Joyce: ‘But my mother was not a weak character, except in regard to her husband, and not without resource or energy in the government of her household when the occasion called for it. I have a clear recollection of her dealing capably with a dangerous fire in the nursery chimney. Telephones were a rarity in houses then and the fire brigade was not easy to call. I remember her sitting in the hearth, quickly but calmly ramming up the chimney brooks, swathed in wet clothes, which the servants kept handing her from a tub of water on the floor beside her.’ (My Brother’s Keeper, NY: Viking Press 1958, p.57; quoted in Catherine J. Hemphill, UG Diss., UUC 2003.)

Cf., ‘My mother had become for my brother the type of the woman who fears and, with weak insistence and disapproval, tries to hinder the adventures of the spirit. Above all, she became for him the Irishwoman, the accomplice of the Irish Catholic Church, which he called the scullery-maid of Christendom, the accomplice, that is to say, olf a hybrid form of religion produced by the most unenlightened features of Catholicism under the inevitable influence of English Puritanism, the accomplice, in fine, of the vigilant and ruthless enemy of free thought and the joy of living.’ (My Brother’s Keeper, London: Faber & Faber 1958; p.234.)

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber 1958) - on Joyce’s pseud. and alter ego Stephen Daedalus/Dedalus: ‘Two very brief notices of books, rather than reviews, from his pen appeared in the Daily Express of 3 September 1903. [238] They were written a couple of weeks after my mother’s death and are hurried and careless, and yet the shorter one - no more than a few lines - is interesting because it throws a side-light on his choice of a name for the principal character in A Portrait of the Artist. It dismisses cursorily a novel in a Pseudonym Library series issued by Fisher Unwin. The title of the novel was A Ne’er-Do-Well by Valentine Caryl. My brother wrote: “After all a pseudonym library has its advantages; to acknowledge bad literature by signature is, in a manner, to persevere in evil”. When a year later his own first stories were published, he yielded to a suggestion (not mine) and used a pseudonym, “Stephen Daedalus”, but then bitterly regretted the self-concealment. He did not feel that he had perpetrated bad literature of which he ought to be ashamed. He had taken the name from the central figure in the novel Stephen Hero, which he had already begun to write. Against that name I had protested in vain; but it was, perhaps, his use of the name as a pseudonym that decided him finally on its adoption. He wished to make up for a momentary weakness; in fact, in order further to identify himself with his hero, he announced his intention of appending to the end of the novel the signature, Stephanus Daedalus Pinxit.’ (pp.238-39.)

Letter to James Joyce (7 Aug. 1924) - on Finnegans Wake: ‘The first instalment faintly suggests the Book of the Four Masters and a kind of Biddy in Blunderland and a satire on the supposed matriarchal system. It has characteristics of a beginning of something, it is nebulous, chaotic but contains certain elements. That is absolutely all I can make of it. But! It is unspeakably wearisome. Gorman’s book on you practically procclaims your work as the last word in modern literature. It may be the last in another sense, the witless wandering of literature before its final extinction. [...] I for one would not read more than a paragraph of it, if I did not know you. / What I say does not matter. I have no doubt you have your plan, probably a big one again as in Ulysses. [...; 387] In any case I refuses to allow myself to be whirled round in the mad dance by a literary dervish.’ (Letters, Vol. III, 1966, pp.1102-06; rep. in Robert Deming, ed., James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970, Vol. 2, pp.387-88.) [For further remarks on specific works, see under Joyce, Commentary, supra.]

[ top ]

My whetstone: Stanislaus is the model for Stephen’s brother Maurice in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), while in Ulysses (1922) he is only obliquely referred to as ‘my whetstone’ - viz.: Where is your brother? Apothecaries’ hall. My ‘whetstone’. Him, then Cranly, Mulligan: now these. Speech, speech. But act. Act speech. They mock to try you. Act. Be acted on.’ (Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn. 1965, p.271.) Note however that the epithet ‘whetstone’ is again cited in the “Circe” episode, this time referring to Lynch - or Lynch’s hallucinatory cap: ‘He stops, points at Lynch’s cap, smiles, laughs [...] THE CAP: (With saturnine spleen.) Bah! It is because it is. Woman’s reason. Jewgreek is greekjew. Extremes meet. Death is the highest form of life. Bah! STEPHEN: You remember fairly accurately all my errors, boasts, mistakes. How long shall I continue to close my eyes to disloyalty? Whetstone! THE CAP: Bah!’ Cf.

Ellmann as editor: Boxes 8-9 of the Harley K. Croessman Collection at Emory University Library / Irish Literary Collection contains corrections made by Richard Ellmann and publisher to My Brother’s Keeper - viz.,

Box 8 [folders 2-5]

TMs 98 pp. contains author’s notes and corrections - “The Soil:” “The Bud;” “Raw Spring;” Stanislaus Joyce. Chapters 1, 2, 3 of Stanislaus Joyce’s memoirs. This is the incomplete Ms. which Stanislaus Joyce left when he died. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958]
TMs 101 pp. contains corrections and notes by author. (p. 98-197) - “Blight;” “Blossoming Time.” Stanislaus Joyce. Chapters 4 and 5 of Stanisluad Joyce’s memoirs. This is the incomplete Ms. which Stanislaus Joyce left when he died. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958]
TMs 120 pp. contains corrections by Richard Ellman and publisher - My Brother’s Keeper. Preface, Introduction, and Chapters 1 and 2. Draft prepared and edited by Ellman from Stanislaus Joyce’s earlier draft. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958]
TMs 68 pp. contains corrections by Richard Ellman and publisher. - “Raw Spring” (p. 83-142). Stanislaus Joyce. Chapter 3 of Stanislaus Joyce’s memoirs. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958]

Box 9 [folders 1-5]

TMs 71 pp. contains corrections by Richard Ellman and publisher. - “Ripening” (p. 143-210). Stanislaus Joyce. Chapter 4. Draft prepared and edited by Ellman from Stanislaus Joyce’s earlier draft. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958] 9 2
TMs 104 pp. contains corrections made by Richard Ellmann and publisher. - “First Blossom” (p. 211-304). Stanislaus Joyce. Draft prepared and edited by Ellman from Stanislaus Joyce’s earlier draft. [pub. as My Brother’s Keeper, ed. Richard Ellman, 1958] 9 3
Galley Sheets. 93 sheets. contains corrections by Richard Ellman - My Brother’s Keeper. Stanislaus Joyce. Complete set of galley sheets for Stanislaus Joyce’s memoirs. [pub. in 1958]
Cut Galley Proofs. 202 pp. contains corrections by Richard Ellman. - My Brother’s Keeper (p. 57-252) Stanislaus Joyce. Partial set of proofs for Stanislaus Joyce’s memoirs. [pub. in 1958]
Cut Page Proofs. 186 pp. - My Brother’s Keeper. Stanislaus Joyce. Complete proofs except the index. [pub. 1958]  

See online; accessed 15.01.2013; defunct at 20.03.2022.)

[ top ]

Dubliners - ‘to the brother’?: Joyce offered to dedicate Dubliners to Stanislaus (letter of 7 Feb. 1905) because the stories seemed ‘to your taste’ but actually did not when the collection was published in 1914. In July 1905, Joyce conceived the plan of renting a cottage outside Dublin in the suburbs, furnishing it and pay half a year’s rent in advance, to share with Stanislaus. This too came to nothing. (Ibid., p.68.)

Brother’s keeper: Stanislaus is portrayed in caricature as the priestly Jaun in Finnegans Wake, where that character is called a ‘brotherkeeper’ (FW433) and the ‘altar’s ego’ of Shem (FW463). Note that while these epithets are quoted in W. Y. Tindall, A Reader’s Guide to James Joyce (NY 1959; London 1960), the identity with Stanislaus is not expressly urged (p.290).

The reality of experience: note that Stanislaus employs this phrase in recollected conversation with his brother in My Brother’s Keeper (London 1958), where the two are discussing the relation between reality and the event of Joyce’s play A Brilliant Career - in the course of which Stanislaus says: ‘[...] I fancy the reality of experience has a way of making itself felt.’ (MBK, p.130.) Cf. A Portrait: ‘I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience [...]’ (AP, Corr. Edn., 1964, p.257; and see longer note under Joyce, Notes, supra.) [Is this an instance - among many - of Stanislaus taking credit for a Joycean invention?]

Bile Beans” was the name James Joyce gave to his brother’s “Dublin Diary”, which he [James] occasionally picked up and marked in the margin; it is also the source of an account of Stanislaus’s meeting with a handsome woman of 40 in the Rotunda concert hall who subsequently stopped him in the street to inquire about his studies. (See My Brother’s Keeper, pp.164-65, and The Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce, ed. George Harris Healy, Ithaca: 1962, q.p.) Note that George Joyce (obiit 1902) called Stanislaus Brother John on account of ‘some imagined staidness in my character’, as Stanislaus puts it. (My Brother’s Keeper, 1958, p.144.)

On Thomas Carlyle

My Brother’s Keeper (London: Faber & Faber 1958): 1. An admiring commentary on Carlyle’s essay on Luther, presumably in the Lecture on Heroes where that reformer is characterised as “The Hero as Priest” (p.115) 2: Stanislaus explicitly compares his brother to ‘Carlyle’s ideal of the poet as priest’ in as much as ‘he watched, though he did not pray.’ (p.121). 3. Stanislaus invokes Carlyle as an example of those in whom the trait of ‘honouring one’s father’ can be seen as a ‘subtle way of honouring oneself.’ - writing of Shakespeare, ‘in treating of the theme of fathers and children, the author of Hamlet and King Lear could drawn upon deep personal feeling.’ (p.234.)

The Complete Dublin Diary[1971] (Dublin: Anna Livia Press 1994) - 1. Stanislaus traces George Meredith’s novel The Egoist to Carlyle on account of its ‘wordiness’ (p.126). A sentence pertaining to an informal discussion of ‘genius’ begins ‘Carlyle said that’ but breaks off where some pages are missing (p.167).

Party piece: Stanislaus’s party piece in childhood was “Houlihan’s Cake”, while James Joyce’s was “Finnegan’s Wake” (Ellmann, James Joyce, 1966 Edn., p.26; cited in Hemphill, op. cit., supra.)

[ top ]