Belgium appears rather fleetingly in two Dubliners stories. In both cases it stands in opposition to another place that elicits more prominent attention. For instance, in “The Dead,” Belgium is referenced in Gabriel’s refusal of Molly Ivors’s invitation to the Aran Isles:
“–But you will come, won’t you? said Miss Ivors, laying her warm hand eagerly on his arm.
–The fact is, said Gabriel, I have just arranged to go——
–Go where? asked Miss Ivors.
–Well, you know, every year I go for a cycling tour with some fellows and so——
–But where?”asked Miss Ivors.
–Well, we usually go to France or Belgium or perhaps Germany, said Gabriel awkwardly.
–And why do you go to France and Belgium, said Miss Ivors, instead of visiting your own land?
–Well, said Gabriel, it’s partly to keep in touch with the languages and partly for a change.
–And haven’t you your own language to keep in touch with—Irish? asked Miss Ivors.
–Well, said Gabriel, “f it comes to that, you know, Irish is not my language.” ()
Belgium, along with France and Germany, is set up as not-Ireland. It represents an alternative, a global or at least continental option.
Likewise, in “After the Race,” Belgium exists as part of a dichotomy, this one with perhaps seditious undertones. It appears in the form of a nationality, specifically that of one of the drivers in the Bennett Cup race:
“The French, moreover, were virtual victors. Their team had finished solidly; they had been placed second and third and the driver of the winning German car was reported a Belgian. Each blue car, therefore, received a double measure of welcome as it topped the crest of the hill and each cheer of welcome was acknowledged with smiles and nods by those in the car” ().
Here, Belgium once again appears alongside Germany and France, but this time it takes the position of a kind of negative space. The Belgian driver is not German and is therefore disqualified, rendering the French “virtual victors.” Because the driver is from Belgium as opposed to Germany, he is disqualified. He has subverted the rules, attempting to cheat his way to a win. In reality, of course, the nationality of a person operating a vehicle manufactured in another country has no bearing on his ability to maneuver the vehicle, how fast he can make the car go. But the predicament calls attention to Jimmy Doyle’s identity as an Irishman in the company of more cosmopolitan, more privileged young men. The disqualification of the Belgian anticipates Jimmy’s disqualification from the group at the end of the story as he sits below deck on the American’s yacht: out of money, out of cheer, and out of place among his peers.Like the Belgian can drive the car, Jimmy can try out the trappings of the continent, as a student and as a friend, but in the end, he isn’t allowed to win.
The not-place of Belgium as a geographical reference in Dubliners works to characterize both Jimmy and Gabriel as perceived failures, highlighting the problematic Irish identity that James Joyce himself struggled with all his life.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest contribution to the Mapping Dubliners Project. The author, Jennifer Jennings, composed and submitted this piece as a student in Dr. Amanda Sigler’s James Joyce course at Erskine College.
by Jennifer Jennings
Though an important part of Dublin culture, Trinity College Dublin appears in various forms in only three of Joyce’s stories in Dubliners. In “After the Race,” Trinity, under the guise of “Dublin University,” is listed as one of the schools attended by Jimmy Doyle. In “Two Gallants,” Trinity is part of Corley and Lenehan’s route to meet the slavey. In “The Dead,” Trinity is mentioned twice: implicitly in reference to “The University Question,” a political conundrum in twentieth-century Dublin, and explicitly in reference to the college as a landmark in the cityscape. According to the Trinity College Dublin website, “Trinity is recognized for academic excellence and a transformative student experience.” However, without its unique and rich history, Trinity College would not exist as the university it is today.
Trinity has gone through several inceptions since its beginning in the twelfth century. According to Bruce Bidwell and Linda Heffer in their book The Joycean Way, the King of Leinster built the college as an Augustinian Monastery; however, the monastery dissolved in the sixteenth century and the land was appropriated by the city of Dublin (141-142). In Joyce Annotated, Don Gifford says that Elizabeth I used the land to found Trinity College and “further the cause of the Reformation in Ireland” (53). While Trinity College was founded as a Protestant school, the majority of Dublin’s citizens were Catholic, so the school’s intellectual opportunities were denied to the majority of Irish citizens. In fact, for a time Irish Catholic bishops forbade their parishioners to attend Trinity College because of its association with the Protestant domination (53). Gifford writes that while Irish Catholics did have the University College, Dublin, the early curriculum was so below the standards of other colleges that many considered it to have no power to award degrees or provide successful jobs for its students (117).
According to Bidwell and Heffer, Trinity’s main entrance is located on Great Brunswick (Pearse) Street and was built in 1760, destroying the Elizabethan architecture that once characterized the college. A fence separates the main campus from the public sidewalk, and at the main entrance there is a large clock that faces the Bank of Ireland (142). The reference to Trinity College in “Two Gallants” features the fence and the clock at the front entrance. Joyce writes, “As they passed along the railings of Trinity College, Lenehan skipped out into the road and peered up at the clock” (53). Bidwell and Heffer argue that Corley and Lenehan follow the path of the College Green and circle around the front of Trinity College to re-enforce Joyce’s use of circles in the story. These references to circles adumbrate the retrieval of the circular gold coin in the story’s climax. Despite its symbolic role in “Two Gallants,” Trinity’s role in “The Dead” is more nuanced.
In “The Dead,” Trinity College hovers behind Miss Ivors and Gabriel Conroy’s discussion of education. According to Gifford, Joyce’s reference to “The University Question” in “The Dead” marks a political shift in the conversation between Miss Ivors and Gabriel by providing something they can agree on. Joyce says, “When they were together again she spoke of the University question and Gabriel felt more at ease” (188). Gifford writes that “The University Question” deals with the debate amongst Dubliners about the establishment of a university that would provide an education equivalent to that of England and the continent and that would emphasize the Irish culture and Catholic tradition of Ireland (117). Presumably, Miss Ivors and Gabriel can agree that Ireland needs such a college; for Trinity College, while being sufficiently prestigious, did not meld this academic prestige with a Roman Catholic heritage in the early twentieth century. Only after Irish independence did a shift occur, and, by the 1990s, “80 percent of the undergraduates were from Roman Catholic families” (Fargnoli and Gillespie 218).
Joyce mentions Trinity College by name later in the story when Mr. Browne gets a ride from a cabman who is unfamiliar with the layout of the city. He resorts to asking the cabman if he knows where Trinity College is, and when the cabman replies that he does, Mr. Browne says, “Well drive bang up against Trinity College gates… and then we’ll tell you where to go… Make like a bird for Trinity College” (Joyce 209). Joyce uses this reference ironically to indicate that Trinity College is a part of the new Irish culture, and in some way he answers “The University Question” by adumbrating the future of Trinity College as a staple of Irish academia.
Bidwell, Bruce and Linda Heffer. The Joycean Way: A Topographic Guide to ‘Dubliners’ & ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ with Maps and Photographs. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982. Print.
Fargnoli, A. Nicholas and Michael Patrick Gillespie. James Joyce A to Z: The Essential Reference to the Life and Work. New York: Facts on File, 1995. Print.
Gifford, Don. Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. Print.
Editor’s Note: The following is the first guest contribution to the Mapping Dubliners Project. The author, Sarah Hoyt, is a senior at Erskine College and a student in Dr. Amanda Sigler’s James Joyce course. She graduates May 21. 2016 with a B.A. in English.
by Sarah Hoyt
St Stephen’s Green, known informally as Stephen’s Green or simply the Green, is a public park located in the heart of Dublin.
Historically, that stretch of land which would eventually become St Stephen’s Green began its life as a marshy plot. The website for Ireland’s Office of Public Works notes that the “name St Stephen’s Green originates from a church called St Stephen’s in that area in the thirteenth century” and that the area originally was used by the citizens of the city of Dublin to graze their livestock. However, in 1663 the plot of ground was decided by the City Assembly to be perfect for generating a consistent revenue for Dublin; twenty-seven acres were marked for the park and the remaining land was let after its division into ninety building lots. In The Joycean Way, Bidwell and Heffer explain that the “central portion was planted and lots… were distributed among some of the city’s more prosperous citizens. [The citizens] were not required to build, and for some time much of the south and east side was retained in agriculture and grazing” as it had been prior to its creation (140).
Nevertheless, according to Fargnoli and Gillespie in James Joyce A to Z, by 1670 the park was “enclosed for citizens to ‘take the open aire’” (196). Taking “the open aire” was presumably quite fashionable, and soon the wealthy of the city had fully taken over by moving in and claiming the location as distinctly their own. By the eighteenth century the park had been encircled by a host of Georgian mansions, and the “Beaux Walk situated along the northern perimeter of the park became a popular location for high society to promenade” (OPW).
Despite the initial clamor for residing in St Stephen’s Green by those who were rich and high-born, the park was neglected over much of the nineteenth century (Bidwell and Heffer 140). Though one effort in 1814 to beautify the park was raised, in which a “broken wall [was replaced] with ornate Victorian railings and… more trees and shrubs [were planted],” as well as “[n]ew walks… constructed to replace the formal paths previously found in the park” (OPW), overall the construction was considered a failure by the majority of Dubliners. With these improvements, the Green became a private park—in spite of the 1635 law decreeing the park “available for use by all citizens.” The 1814 move from an open to a private park “was widely resented by the public” (OPW).
Not until 1877 was St Stephen’s Green once more opened to the public. At the behest of Sir Arthur Guinness, later Lord Ardilaun, the Green was bought from its private owners and returned to the public. “[Sir Arthur Guinness] paid off the park’s debts and secured an Act which ensured that the park would be managed by the Commissioners of Public Works, now the OPW” (OPW). This done, Lord Ardilaun extensively relandscaped the park, adding not only trees and huge flowerbeds but a three-acre lake with a waterfall and a bridge, and enclosed the park in wrought-iron railings (OPW; Fargnoli and Gillespie 196). The new renovation, “[a]fter three long years of construction work” and expenditures of “£20,000” (OPW), was opened to the public on July 27, 1880. The public loved it immediately; it “quickly reemerged as a popular gathering place for Dubliners of all classes” (Fargnoli and Gillespie 196)—from the very rich to the very poor.
It is important, nonetheless, to bear in mind that St Stephen’s Green in Joyce’s time was considered to be “[a] sizable public park in a fashionable section of east-central Dublin,” as Gifford points out in Joyce Annotated (54). Knowing both the contemporary and the historical context of the park can help readers to better grasp what Joyce may have meant by inserting St Stephen’s Green into “After the Race” and “Two Gallants.”
In “After the Race,” the main character in the story, Jimmy Doyle, and his wealthy foreign friends—jubilant because of their success in the race—make their way across the park:
“The young men strolled along Stephen’s Green in a faint cloud of aromatic smoke. They talked loudly and gaily and their cloaks dangled from their shoulders. The people made way for them” (Joyce 46).
Bidwell and Heffer argue that, in “After the Race,” Joyce may be using St Stephen’s green as a metaphor to evoke the “‘corruption’ which Stephen senses pervading Dublin” (50). As Stephen’s Green is “associated with the rich and sophisticated in Dublin” (Bidwell and Heffer 125), Joyce may been seen as referring to St Stephen’s Green because he is attempting to strip the walk that the characters are taking of its illusory extravagance and instead display the underlying and repulsive corruption that lies behind the wealth of the main characters.
In “Two Gallants,” the mood surrounding St Stephen’s Green is sombre, as Lenehan and Corley—and then only Lenehan, alone—walk from the road into the park:
“The two young men [Lenehan and Corley] walked up the street without speaking, the mournful music following them. When they reached Stephen’s Green they crossed the road [to enter the Green itself]. Here the noise of trams, the lights and the crowd released them from their silence” (Joyce 54).
Although the tone surrounding St Stephen’s Green seemingly differs in the two works, the meaning in both cases points toward corruption. Here, the corruption is not so much of wealth as of “treachery” (Bidwell and Heffer 50). The fact that “several scoundrelly characters are associated with the area” bolsters this notion of treachery (50). Captain O’Shea, who “betrayed the relationship between [Charles Stewart] Parnell and Kitty O’Shea, attended the university at 86 Stephen’s Green” (50). This address was also home to Buck Whaley, acceptor of a £4,000 bribe to vote against his own political party and a “boon-companion to Francis Higgins,” who nefariously contributed to suppressing the Rising of 1798; Higgins himself “lived at 82 St Stephen’s Green” (50).
This list of scoundrelly characters from Irish history is only furthered by the actions of Lenehan and Corley near St Stephen’s Green—like the characters who lived there before them, Lenehan and Corley are scoundrels steeped in the same “decadent commingling of greed, peremptory self-righteousness, and sexual intrigue” that their historical predecessors exhibited (according to Donald Torchiana, quoted in Bidwell and Heffer 84). Lenehan and Corley’s insertion into St Stephen’s Green draws attention to the “historical associations” of “the debauchery, perfidity and false nobility” of Dublin (Bidwell and Heffer 84). St Stephen’s Green, for Joyce, is then merely another metaphor for the layers of corruption, greed, falsity, and treachery that paralyse all the characters in his Dubliners.
Bidwell, Bruce and Linda Heffer. The Joycean Way: A Topographic Guide to Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with Maps and Photographs. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982. Print.
“Cultural Heritage: St Stephen’s Green.” The Office of Public Works. Web. 14 Apr 2016.
Fargnoli, A. Nicolas, and Michael P. Gillespie. James Joyce A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print.
Gifford, Don. Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. Print.
Joyce, James. Dubliners. Ed. Robert Scholes and Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1967. Print.
Referenced in “After the Race,” Hungary, in central Europe, is the home of Villona, one of Jimmy Doyle’s companions in revelry in “After the Race.” The reference first appears in the opening paragraph as the race cars come “scudding in towards Dublin” and we are introduced to the four main members of the party:
“In one of these trimly built cars was a party of four young men whose spirits seemed to be at present well above the level of successful Gallicism: in fact, these four young men were almost hilarious. They were Charles Segouin, the owner of the car; Andre Riviere, a young electrician of Canadian birth; a huge Hungarian named Villona and a neatly groomed young man named Doyle” (42-43).
Villona’s place of origin is used several times in the story in place of his name:
“The car ran on merrily with its cargo of hilarious youth. The two cousins sat on the front seat; Jimmy and his Hungarian friend sat behind” (44).
“His father, therefore, was unusually friendly with Villona and his manner expressed a real respect for foreign accomplishments; but this subtlety of his host was probably lost upon the Hungarian, who was beginning to have a sharp desire for his dinner” (45-46).
“The resonant voice of the Hungarian was about to prevail in ridicule of the spurious lutes of the romantic painters when Segouin shepherded his party into politics” (46).
“The cabin door opened and he saw the Hungarian standing in a shaft of grey light:
–Daybreak, gentlemen!” (48).
There are several countries represented in the story, and the group, which expands to six by the end, toasts each of their homes:
“They drank Ireland, England, France, Hungary, the United States of America” (47).
Villona is described as “an optimist by nature,” “a brilliant pianist,” (43), and a surprise lover of madrigals who “deplor[es] the loss of old instruments” and the “spurious lutes of the romantic painters” (46). He provides the music for the party on various occasions, first humming in the car as they approach the city center and then playing a waltz, a square dance, and voluntaries on the piano aboard the American Farley’s yacht. Despite all his exuberance, though, he is also “unfortunately, very poor” (43).
“After the Race” features primary themes of economic and technological power. Dublin wears “the mask of a capital” (46) as “the Continent sped its wealth and industry” (42) into the paralyzed British dominion. The French Segouin and Reviere indeed represent the glamor of the continent, and the Irish spectators cheer the blue cars even though they had come in second and third in the race. The fist place car is problematized by the fact that it represents Germany but is driven by a Belgian. Nevertheless, the wealth of all those countries in contrast with the “gratefully oppressed” Irish is clear. The Englishman Routh, whom the party of four meets later in the evening is also affluent. To make it worse, he ends the night by winning all of the Irish and American money in cards. Before the IOUs, the Irish Jimmy Doyle is described as having “a great sum under his control” yet acknowledges it isn’t much compared to Segouin and Reviere’s wealth.
Even though technically, he is from the Continent of wealth and industry, the Hungarian Villona is, in fact, the only character described specifically as “very poor.” Rather than stay in the hotel with the Frenchmen, he lodges with Jimmy’s family. He also sits out of the card game apparently because of his lack of bargaining power. The “huge Hungarian” is both appeased and concerned with food as evidenced by his initial “good humour” resulting from “a very satisfactory luncheon” and his obliviousness to Doyle’s father’s subtle boasts due to his “beginning to have a sharp desire for his dinner.” All of this begs the question whether the significance of the reference to Hungary, which is part of the wealth and industry of the Continent, is geographic or linguistic. Villona’s geographic origin seems less a defining factor than his hunger.
Beyond the linguistic play, though, there is something biographical and political about Joyce’s identification of Villona as Hungarian. Villona represents to an extent Oliver St. John Gogarty, Joyce’s friend with whom he had fallen out as he wrote this story. Joyce presents a fuller portrait of his ‘frenemy’ in Ulysses, but as of 1904, Villona, the noisy, hungry, musically inclined, joyful-tempered Hungarian, is mostly harmless. His greatest offense is perhaps leaving Jimmy for the upper deck of the yacht while Jimmy loses at cards. But although the nuances of personality Joyce may have been embedding in Villona were not yet near those of Buck Mulligan, his character as a symbol is certainly nuanced in its political implications. Coilin Owens unpacks these highly political threads that comprise the relatively short short story in his book Before Daybreak, in which he argues, among other things, that Villona serves to construct a suggestion of devolution:
“When Joyce came to write his story … Griffith’s Resurrection of Hungary, a historical dilation of his political strategy to subvert British authority in Ireland, had appeared and was widely discussed in political circles. Based on the model for Hungarian devolution developed by Ferenc Deák, it proposed the disengagement of Irish Members of Parliament from Westminster and the establishment of a dual monarchy like that of the Austro-Hungarian alliance. Through the figure of the Hungarian Villona, Joyce clearly summons an allegorical reference to this devolutionary strategy” (8).
By making a Hungarian of Villona, whom Owens explains is normally presumed to be “nominally drawn after the French medieval poet François Villon,” Joyce indeed embeds a deeper multivalence to the symbolic qualities of the character.
It is additionally perhaps worth extremely minor note that the first king of Hungary was named Stephen. (Too irresistible to omit.)
Inchicore, a western suburb of Dublin, appears once in Dubliners at the opening of “After the Race:”
“The cars came scudding in towards Dublin, running evenly like pellets in the groove of the Naas Road. At the crest of the hill at Inchicore sightseers had gathered in clumps to watch the cars careering homeward and through this channel of poverty and inaction the Continent sped its wealth and industry” (42).
Inchicore’s “channel of poverty” stands in stark contrast to the “wealth and industry” that the cars represent, but there’s more at work here than a simple economic and industrial binary. Embedded in the Inchicore reference is also a nod to Ireland’s own engineering industry. In fact, Inchicore was and still is home to the Inchicore Railway Works, which is, according to one online history of Inchicore, “the headquarters for mechanical engineering and rolling stock maintenance for Irish Rail.” It was established in the 1840s and “is the largest engineering complex of its kind in Ireland with a site area of 73 acres (295,000 m²).” But Joyce’s description of the cars “careering” and speeding through this area highlights the contrast between the movement of the new transportation technology against the “inaction” of even the largest engineering complex in all of Ireland. Though the clumps of sightseers watch, we get the sense that there’s a tinge of shame in their gaze as they observe these cars, these “snorting beasts,” racing into the city, into the financial center where the main characters finally hop out of their car and begin walking, safely removed from “poverty,” “inaction,” and “clumps” of people.
By setting up Ireland’s greatest engineering complex in contrast with the parade of international race cars, the story begins with a critique of Irish transportational technology. It then continues to portray a move backward through transportative modes. After the cars arrive in Dublin’s city center, the young men utilize the railway to get to Kingstown Harbour where they then board a boat to play cards and celebrate. The devolution of transportation methods mirrors the devolution of Jimmy Doyle’s spirit, and ultimately, as the title implies, we get the sense that the best times are already past, that now, after the race, there’s a slow decline in mood, resources, activity, and for Jimmy Doyle, opportunity, confidence, and money.
Jimmy and his friends are riding a high from the excitement of the race, but unlike his friends who will return to the wealth and industry of the continent, Jimmy feels the retrogressive pull of Dublin enclosing around him. That pull starts with the reference to Inchicore and its implications of what, in 1903, must have seemed an archaic and plodding industry in comparison to the speed and excitement of the automobile.
Referenced in two of the Dubliners adolescence stories, Dame Street is one of the largest thoroughfares in the city. Today, as in Joyce’s day, the street houses City Hall on the western end and Trinity College at the Eastern end. In between is still the city’s financial district, featuring the Bank of Ireland, several insurance and accounting firms, and high-end retailers. One of these retailers, Waterhouse’s, is referenced directly in “Two Gallants.” Don Gifford describes it as “goldsmiths and silversmiths, jewelers, and watchmakers” (Gifford 57).
The National Library of Ireland’s photo collection also reveals the Lipton company was in the process of opening a store in Dame Street in 1890, and an American publication, The Book-Keeper: The Business Man’s Magazine, features a 1904 article on the company in which they describe this second Dublin location:
One of the Lipton stores is located at the corner of Dame and St. George’s streets, only a few steps from Pim Brothers’ great department store. The Dame street store is in the very heart of the business district frequented by fashionable and middle class purchasers. (St. Clair 25)
Dame Street serves as the energetic setting for the race cars’ entrance to the city center in “After the Race:”
They drove down Dame Street. The street was busy with unusual traffic, loud with the horns of motorists and the gongs of impatient tram-drivers. Near the Bank Segouin drew up and Jimmy and his friend alighted. A little knot of people collected on the footpath to pay homage to the snorting motor. The party was to dine together that evening in Segouin’s hotel and, meanwhile, Jimmy and his friend, who was staying with him, were to go home to dress. The car steered out slowly for Grafton Street while the two young men pushed their way through the knot of gazers. They walked northward with a curious feeling of disappointment in the exercise, while the city hung its pale globes of light above them in a haze of summer evening. (45)
The cars would have been moving west to east. The bank (pictured below) is at the east end of Dame Street, just across from Trinity College, and it is here where Jimmy Doyle and Villona, his Hungarian friend, hop out of the car and make their way to Jimmy’s house. Walking north from the bank, they would be on Westmoreland Street heading toward Temple Bar and the Liffey. Where Jimmy lives is never stated, but since he has money, unlike the children in the previous set of stories who live well north of the Liffey, it’s reasonable to assume Jimmy lives nearby, on the south side of the river.
The bustling Dame Street setting of this story’s opening is appropriate to the tone of Futurism and thriving economy that characterizes the majority of “After the Race.” In “Two Gallants,” the street takes on a more contradicting, even out-of-place, implication. It’s first mentioned as the street in which Corley initially met the girl whom he is about to appeal to for money:
“And where did you pick her up, Corley?” he asked.
Corley ran his tongue swiftly along his upper lip.
“One night, man,” he said, “I was going along Dame Street and I spotted a fine tart under Waterhouse’s clock and said good-night, you know. So we went for a walk round by the canal and she told me she was a slavey in a house in Baggot Street. I put my arm round her and squeezed her a bit that night. Then next Sunday, man, I met her by appointment. We went out to Donnybrook and I brought her into a field there. She told me she used to go with a dairyman…. It was fine, man. Cigarettes every night she’d bring me and paying the tram out and back. And one night she brought me two bloody fine cigars—O, the real cheese, you know, that the old fellow used to smoke…. I was afraid, man, she’d get in the family way. But she’s up to the dodge.”
This girl, who works in the upper-class Baggot Street area and hangs out at night outside of Dame Street jewelry stores is, even though a “slavey,” quite better off than Corley. It’s a wonder how he was able to “pick her up” at all, and this remains one of the mysteries of the story. The street appears again as Lenehan wanders solitary through the city waiting for his friend to finish with the girl:
He went into Capel Street and walked along towards the City Hall. Then he turned into Dame Street. At the corner of George’s Street he met two friends of his and stopped to converse with them. He was glad that he could rest from all his walking. His friends asked him had he seen Corley and what was the latest. He replied that he had spent the day with Corley. His friends talked very little. They looked vacantly after some figures in the crowd and sometimes made a critical remark.
Though the text doesn’t point it out, at the corner of Capel and Dame, just across the street from City Hall, sits Watherhouse’s. That the geographic marker worth noting is City Hall, and not the previously-mentioned Waterhouse, could be indicative of Lenehan’s growing resentment toward Corley. Just prior to Lenehan’s arrival at this corner, he has been pondering his own failures, a rumination brought on by imagining Corley and his girl:
When he had eaten all the peas he sipped his ginger beer and sat for some time thinking of Corley’s adventure. In his imagination he beheld the pair of lovers walking along some dark road; he heard Corley’s voice in deep energetic gallantries and saw again the leer of the young woman’s mouth. This vision made him feel keenly his own poverty of purse and spirit. He was tired of knocking about, of pulling the devil by the tail, of shifts and intrigues. He would be thirty-one in November. Would he never get a good job? Would he never have a home of his own?
Corley clearly represents to Lenehan his own shortcomings, and his focus on City Hall instead of Waterhouse as he turns this corner could signify his unconscious, or even conscious, desire to break with Corley, who he may imagine is holding him back. But in the end, of course, he meets his friend, and nothing seems to change.
The section of Dame Street between Capel and George’s streets also serves as the beginning of a gnomon in Lenehan’s squarish route. It is here where we get a visually discernible parallel to the feeling of emptiness he has just experienced. More on the route’s gnomon can be found in “Two Gallants” Route.
Paris, or France in general, only appears in three stories in Dubliners, but in those three stories, the references number 18. Here they are, in “After the Race:”
“Now and again the clumps of people raised the cheer of the gratefully oppressed. Their sympathy, however, was for the blue cars — the cars of their friends, the French.
The French, moreover, were virtual victors. Their team had finished solidly; they had been placed second and third and the driver of the winning German car was reported a Belgian. Each blue car, therefore, received a double measure of welcome as it topped the crest of the hill and each cheer of welcome was acknowledged with smiles and nods by those in the car. In one of these trimly built cars was a party of four young men whose spirits seemed to be at present well above the level of successful Gallicism: in fact, these four young men were almost hilarious” (42).
“Segouin was in good humour because he had unexpectedly received some orders in advance (he was about to start a motor establishment in Paris) and Riviere was in good humour because he was to be appointed manager of the establishment; these two young men (who were cousins) were also in good humour because of the success of the French cars” (43).
“They were not much more than acquaintances as yet but Jimmy found great pleasure in the society of one who had seen so much of the world and was reputed to own some of the biggest hotels in France” (43).
“The Frenchmen flung their laughter and light words over their shoulders and often Jimmy had to strain forward to catch the quick phrase” (44).
“At the control Segouin had presented him to one of the French competitors and, in answer to his confused murmur of compliment, the swarthy face of the driver had disclosed a line of shining white teeth. It was pleasant after that honour to return to the profane world of spectators amid nudges and significant looks” (44).
“Jimmy, whose imagination was kindling, conceived the lively youth of the Frenchmen twined elegantly upon the firm framework of the Englishman’s manner” (46).
“Riviere, not wholly ingenuously, undertook to explain to Jimmy the triumph of the French mechanicians” (46).
“They drank Ireland, England, France, Hungary, the United States of America. Jimmy made a speech, a long speech, Villona saying: “Hear! hear!” whenever there was a pause” (47).
“A Little Cloud:”
“–Go to London or Paris: Paris, for choice. That’d do you good. –Have you seen Paris?” (76)
“–It’s not so beautiful, you know. Of course, it is beautiful…. But it’s the life of Paris; that’s the thing. Ah, there’s no city like Paris for gaiety, movement, excitement….” (76)
“–Everything in Paris is gay, said Ignatius Gallaher. They believe in enjoying life — and don’t you think they’re right? If you want to enjoy yourself properly you must go to Paris. And, mind you, they’ve a great feeling for the Irish there” (77).
“–Tell me, he said, is it true that Paris is so… immoral as they say?
Ignatius Gallaher made a catholic gesture with his right arm.
–Every place is immoral, he said. Of course you do find spicy bits in Paris. Go to one of the students’ balls, for instance” (77).
“There’s no woman like the Parisienne — for style, for go” (77).
and “The Dead:”
“–Well, we usually go to France or Belgium or perhaps Germany, said Gabriel awkwardly” (189)
In the adolescence story, France is used as a general nationality for Jimmy Doyle’s friends, and in the maturity story, Paris insinuates the exotic, the unreachable, the intriguingly immoral opposite of Chandler’s existence in Dublin. In the public life story, France is mentioned “awkwardly,” in true Gabriel fashion, as he defends his increasingly apparent disinterest in Ireland to Molly Ivors. The author shared Gabriel’s tenuous relationship with the country, and it was this relationship that incited him exile himself to the continent prior to writing “The Dead.” Joyce lived in Paris for twenty years, but not until 1920, six years after the publication of Dubliners and sixteen years after the letter in which he announces that he was working on the “series of epicleti.” He had, however, spent time in Paris as a medical student, observing the “gaiety, movement, excitement” and spicy students’ balls to which Gallaher refers. And the movement and excitement translate into the Futurist overtones of “After the Race,” a story based on the 1903 Gordon Bennett cup race in Ireland. Joyce had, earlier that same year, published his essay “The Motor Derby: Interview with the French Champion” in which he predicted that Henri Fournier would be a favorite in the July race.
Early film footage shows Joyce in the streets of the city he came to love and which he only left because of the invasion of the Nazis in 1940.
Grafton Street in Dublin today is a chic, bustling shopping lane. In the time of James Joyce, it was, as Don Gifford describes, “a street of…fashionable shops” (54). Apparently, it has sustained its air of lively, happening nowness over the century and continues to be an energetic place to stroll. And stroll do the many characters in Dubliners. Grafton Street pops up five times in the book: twice each in “After the Race” and “Two Gallants,” and once in “Grace.”
In “After the Race,” Grafton Street is the setting of much energy and society. The references to the street work to reify the “rapid motion through space” (44) that characterizes the story’s mood. First, it’s mentioned as a place in the distance, an exit direction for the car after Jimmy and Villona disembark and begin walking towards Jimmy’s father’s house:
“The car steered out slowly for Grafton Street while the two young men pushed their way through the knot of gazers” (45).
After the young men change clothes, they go back out into the busy Dublin evening and eventually meet their friends Segouin and Riviere, from the car, and run into Riviere’s friend Farley, a portly American:
“At the corner of Grafton Street a short fat man was putting two handsome ladies on a car in charge of another fat man. The car drove off and the short fat man caught sight of the party” (47).
Now a party of five, the young men eventually leave the bustle of the city center and head out to make their own bustle in private on Farley’s yacht, which is waiting in Kingstown Harbour.
Grafton Street has a completely different feel to it in “Two Gallants.” While still a crowded and vibrant locale, it’s in strong opposition to what Lenehan feels as he traverses its length from Stephen’s Green to College Green after which he continues north all the way to Rutland Square:
“He walked listlessly round Stephen’s Green and then down Grafton Street. Though his eyes took note of many elements of the crowd through which he passed they did so morosely. He found trivial all that was meant to charm him and did not answer the glances which invited him to be bold. He knew that he would have to speak a great deal, to invent and to amuse, and his brain and throat were too dry for such a task” (56).
After wandering, eating peas, and stopping to talk to some friends he has encountered, he finds Grafton Street again:
“He left his friends at a quarter to ten and went up George’s Street. He turned to the left at the City Markets and walked on into Grafton Street. The crowd of girls and young men had thinned and on his way up the street he heard many groups and couples bidding one another good-night” (58).
It is once the action around him begins to die down that Lenehan begins to perk up, going so far as to “set off briskly,…hurrying for fear Corley should return too soon” (59). Once he arrives at the meeting spot, “[h]is mind became active again.”
If the reference to Grafton Street parallels the mood of “After the Race” and juxtaposes that of “Two Gallants,” it does something much more complex in “Grace.” In this story, Grafton Street is the location of the bar in which Mr. Kernan has his accident. It is this accident that sets in motion the events of the story. Once he is found, blood tricking from his mouth, at the foot of the stairs to the bar’s lavatory, he is carried up and laid on the floor of the bar. His friend Mr. Power comes to his aide and takes him outside:
“When they came out into Grafton Street, Mr. Power whistled for an outsider” (153).
The horse-drawn outsider finally delivers the two men to Mr. Kernan’s home in the Glasnevin Road, which isn’t exactly one road but a path by which one would get to the northwestern suburb. Mr. Kernan apparently lives somewhere along this path. The two locations are quite different of course. One is a central artery of the city, bursting with youth, money, and vitality; the other is a peripheral vein, quietly pulsing with family, beef-tea, and familiar “personal odour” (156). For Mr. Kernan, one is a dangerous place to be and the other a safe and nurturing place to be. Ironically, the public life story uses one of the most populous places in Dublin as a space that its main character cannot safely or successfully occupy.
While many of Joyce’s references are unquestionably exact, even down to the address or the name of the establishment, others are dauntingly vague. For example, the reference to Canada in “Eveline,” at first glance seems expansive, especially as it refers to Frank’s adventures in Eveline’s limited perspective:
He had tales of distant countries. He had started as a deck boy at a pound a month on a ship of the Allan Line going out to Canada” (39).
Canada also serves as the birthplace of Andre Riviere in “After the Race:”
“They were Charles Segouin, the owner of the car; Andre Riviere, a young electrician of Canadian birth; a huge Hungarian named Villona and a neatly groomed young man named Doyle” (42-43).
In “After the Race,” the reference serves partly as an emphasis on the international overtones of the story. The young men in the story come from all over the Western hemisphere and converge in Dublin in celebration of youth, energy, and speed.
A country spanning 9.98 million square kilometers is, as a geographic reference, quite a deviation in scale from, say, Mulligan’s pub in Poolbeg Street. Its magnitude is consistent with the general internationalism of “After the Race” as well as Eveline’s perception of all the far-away worlds Frank inhabits. In Eveline’s case, it would make sense that, to her, Canada is just Canada, a vast world contained within a single word. However, Frank is probably only familiar with a small part of the country, and it’s one of four major cities that serve as the ports for the Allan Line.
The Allan Line was a shipping company in service from 1854 to 1911. (After 1911, it merged with another company.) It sailed between North America, Europe, and South America (including “Buenos Ayres”) and was operated by a Canadian shipping family based in Quebec. Of its several steam ship routes between 1854 and 1917 (when its merger with Canadian Pacific Line was made official), five served ports in Canada:
1854 – 1917 Liverpool – (Moville) – Quebec – Montreal (summer)
1854 – 1903 Liverpool – (Halifax) – Portland (winter)
The Ships List website lists all of the Allan Line ships that would have sailed those routes and features several photographs of the ships as well as the ports. “[Frank] told [Eveline] the names of the ships he had been on,” but the names aren’t mentioned in the story. Incidentally, though, one of the ships was the Bohemian, a name correlating with The Bohemian Girl opera referenced only a few sentences before the Allan Line reference in the story. The ship, however, was only in operation for five years before it sank off the coast of Maine in February of 1864, killing 20 people. The ship’s life would most likely predate Frank’s time as a deck boy. Other ships included the Brazilian, Parisian, Prussian, and St. Andrew, to name just a few.
While in the case of “Eveline,” the reference to Canada may seem at first vague and even intimidating, it is actually no more vague than the references in the same story to place like Buenos Ayres, Melbourne, Belfast, or the Straits of Magellan. What seems to be a reference to an entire country is really a reference to only a few possible port cities off of the Atlantic Ocean. To Eveline, though, it’s a world away from the world that holds her tightly in its grip.
The Naas Road, what is referred to on at least two nineteenth-century maps of Dublin as the “Road from Naas,” is the route by which the race cars of “After the Race” enter the city: “The cars came scudding in towards Dublin, running evenly like pellets in the groove of the Naas Road” (42).
Running diagonally from southwest to northeast, the Naas Road is now just one section of the major N7 highway connecting Limerick and Dublin. Parts of the original road’s route, including the section the cars traveled along Inchicore Square, are no longer part of Naas Road proper but have been reassigned the R110 Road. The 1903 Gordon Bennet cup race, which the cars would have just competed in, was held in County Kildare, southwest of both Dublin and Naas.