Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gogarty and Joyce

SD's evolving relationship with BM in Ulysses is a riddle that (probably) distills and simplifies Joyce's relations with Gogarty.

JAJ and OG first met in December 1902 when OG was 24 and JAJ was about to turn 21. JAJ had been at Clongowes from 1888-1891, OG only later, c1895. OG had flunked UCD in 1896-98, JAJ began there after OG had transferred to Trinity (Protestant).

Gogarty had already distinguished himself by saving multiple men from drowning, by racing bicycles, and by composing mostly-obscene poems. George Moore's literary circle had welcomed him in 1901, but he was kept on short financial leash by his widowed mother. [handwriting-pdf]

In May 1899 JAJ (and presumably OG too, separately) saw Yeats' Countess Cathleen, with the Fergus poem that Mulligan drones in chapter one. Joyce declared it the best poem ever written, and set it to music (lost).

Joyce's literary enthusiasms included Ibsen, D'Annunzio, Maeterlinck and Hauptmann, and via Yeats, theosophical mysticism, Franciscans. OG liked Nietzsche and Swinburne and probably Whitman.

JAJ was constructing his 'enigmatic manner', confiding mainly in Byrne/Cranly, pursuing sin to escape Church. OG had a correspondent named Bell, and may also have favored Arthur Griffith.

In 1902 Gogarty won a poetry prize, and invited Yeats to dinner initiating a useful friendship. Yeats' weird sisters were setting up Dun Emer Press by this point.

In May 1902 JAJ refused to kneel by his dying brother's bed. In June he graduated from UCD. In August he introduced himself to AE et al, and in October to Yeats. In November Yeats invited JAJ to dinner with Lady Gregory. In December JAJ spent three weeks in Paris, offended Byrne/Cranly somehow, then finally met OG (with Eglinton) in the National Library over Xmas.

Gogarty lent Joyce a pound before JAJ's return to Paris for three more months, and they exchanged a few friendly letters. Summoned home in April with his mother ill, Joyce tried to reconcile with 'Cranly' as shown in PoA5.

Mrs Joyce died in August, and Gogarty offended JAJ (momentarily, anyway) by the "whose mother is beastly dead" comment. But OG became his primary whetstone for the rest of 1903, including drinking and whoring.  OG's nicknames for JAJ included 'Bardolph', 'Cadet Rouselle', 'Dante' and 'Kinch'.

    There was a young fellow called Joyce
    Who possesseth a sweet tenor voice
       He goes to the Kips,
       With a psalm on his lips
     And biddeth the harlots rejoice.

Stanislaus Joyce (date uncertain): "I hate to see Jim limp and pale, with shadows under his watery eyes, loose wet lips, and dank hair... He likes the novelty of the role of dissipated genius... running after every chit with a petticoat on it and making foolish jokes to them in a high weak voice... He is trying to commit the sin against the Holy Ghost for the purpose of getting outside the utmost rim of Catholicism."

By December 1903 JAJ had offended AE, and the editor of the Daily Express, Longworth. In January he wrote the nonfiction essay "A Portrait of the Artist". By Feb 1904 he'd begun "Stephen Hero", including "Oliver Flanagan" (later Doherty) in a long character-list.

From Feb-June 1904 Gogarty was away at Oxford, exchanging many letters with JAJ, reuniting briefly over Easter break, and getting in trouble there for insulting 'a church student'.

Joyce was exploring singing professionally, maybe even touring with a lute(!) and may have taught briefly at Clifton School. He sang in public on many occasions, even occasionally for pay, and once shared a stage with John McCormack.

Joyce met Nora on Friday June 10. She probably heard him sing at a party, and agreed to a date on Tuesday the 14th,which she missed, but rescheduled for Thursday the 16th. Meanwhile JAJ had been temporarily kicked out of his rented room for (five-weeks? three pounds??) nonpayment.

Vincent Cosgrave seems to have been attracted to Nora, too, and later claimed intimacies which caused Joyce, who had trusted VC with her, some later traumas.

Gogarty returned in early June, and Joyce indulged in some drunken exploits around that time that may have included stealing a "Pali book" from the Hermetic Society, falling into a pram, and getting a black eye for offending a lady.

By Thursday the 23rd Nora was addressing JAJ in a letter as "My Precious Darling". Maybe in August she gave him a suspiciously skillful handjob.

AE commissioned "Dubliners" as ten 'inoffensive' stories at one pound each (in JAJ's mind, "to betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city").

OG ca. July: "Joyce is to hold his estate at the Tower. The rent will be about £18 a year [actually £8] and as he won't have to pay it the scheme is feasible. He must have a year in which to finish his novel [Stephen Hero, now anticipating 63 chapters]."

22 July (Fri) OG says in letter that he and JAJ will move into the Tower in a week. "I shall furnish the Tower with Chippendale sticks, no pictures. The Bard Joyce is to do the housekeeping. He is to Watts-Dunton me also." [Watts-Dunton was Swinburne's benefactor]
1909 Trieste notebook: "The Omphalos was to be the temple of a neo-paganism."
"Dedalus, we must retire to the tower, you and I. Let us go then! Our lives are precious. I'll try to touch the aunt. We are the super-artists. Dedalus and Doherty have left Ireland for the Omphalos.

By early August Joyce had written a scabrous poem attacking virtually everyone he knew, called "The Holy Office". [qv]

15Aug: "I offended two men today by leaving them coolly. I wanted to hear your voice, not theirs."

    Because your voice was at my side
        I gave him pain,
    Because within my hand I held
        Your hand again.

    There is no word nor any sign
        Can make amend--
    He is a stranger to me now
        That was my friend.

Gogarty rented the Tower on August 17, but by August 27 he'd been so offended by this poem he claimed he'd "broken with" JAJ.
Kicked out of his room again, JAJ slept at various friends until Friday September 9, when he finally moved to the Tower. OG says he gave JAJ a shave the first morning, and hints JAJ sunbathed nude on the roof.

Trench was already there, and Bulfin visited on Sunday the 11th. Monday the 12th it rained.

Thursday the 15th or Friday the 16th Joyce departed the Tower, for reasons described variously, and around this time asked Nora to accompany him to a European exile-- they left October 8.

OG hadn't yet written "The Song of the Cheerful (but slightly sarcastic) Jesus".

I'm the queerest young fellow that ever was heard.
My mother's a Jew; my father's a Bird
With Joseph the Joiner I cannot agree
So 'Here's to Disciples and Calvary.'

If anyone thinks that I amn't divine,
He gets no free drinks when I'm making the wine
But have to drink water and wish it were plain
That I make when the wine becomes water again.

My methods are new and are causing surprise:
To make the blind see I throw dust in their eyes
To signify merely there must be a cod
If the Commons will enter the Kingdom of Good

Now you know I don't swim and you know I don't skate
I came down to the ferry one day and was late.
So I walked on the water and all cried, in faith!
For a Jewman it's better than having to bathe.

Whenever I enter in triumph and pass
You will find that my triumph is due to an ass
(And public support is a grand sinecure
When you once get the public to pity the poor.)

Then give up your cabin and ask them for bread
And they'll give you a stone habitation instead
With fine grounds to walk in and raincoat to wear
And the Sheep will be naked before you'll go bare.

The more men are wretched the more you will rule
But thunder out 'Sinner' to each bloody fool;
For the Kingdom of God (that's within you) begins
When you once make a fellow acknowledge he sins.

Rebellion anticipates timely by 'Hope,'
And stories of Judas and Peter the Pope
And you'll find that you'll never be left in the lurch
By children of Sorrows and Mother the Church

Goodbye, now, goodbye, you are sure to be fed
You will come on My Grave when I rise from the Dead
What's bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
And Olivet's breezy-- Goodbye now Goodbye.


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