Tuesday 12 February 2019

How I became James Joyce

I don't purport to be a James Joyce expert.

Clareville Day Centre celebrates the various seasonal events (Christmas, Easter, St Valentine's Day, Halloween, St Patrick's Day, etc). One of these is Bloomsday, 16th June. Not always celebrated on the day itself, but on a weekday close to Bloomsday. Clients and entertainers put on their tennis-shoes and straw hats or Edwardian Bonnets and feast on an All-day Joycean breakfast, including kidney and Gorgonzola cheese, if desired.

Well, when I put on my metal glasses and straw hat, it was observed that I looked very like the man himself. So I have been doing the same for the last 18 years, reading excerpts from Joyce's work as part of the entertainment.

Last year, 2018, Bloomsday fell on a Saturday. Clareville celebrated the event on the Friday, and I was invited to be James Joyce for the day itself in Stoneybatter. Towards the end of the day, Conor McMahon turned up with his camera and covered the event.

Monday 11 February 2019

James Joyce in Virtual Reality

Conor McMahon (What the Feck Productions) has now posted a three-dimensional (Virtual Reality) recording of my appearance at the Stoneybatter Festival last June, as James Joyce, where I entertained the hourly visitors to Saor-Ollscoil na hÉireann (Free University of Ireland), formerly the City Arms Hotel.

James Joyce frequented the City Arms Hotel when he lived in St. Peter's Road, Phibsboro, and indeed has immortalised the premises in Ulysses where it is mentioned a number of times. The ‘Joycean’ characters Leopold and Molly Bloom lived in room number ‘9’ from 1893 to 1894 while Bloom was employed as a clerk in the Cattle Market which was situated beside the building on the junction of Prussia Street and the North Circular Road.

Now you can look, and to some extent walk, around this fine building as I am speaking and welcoming tourists in. Use your mouse to look up and down the stairs and in and out of the room and around the volatile audience coming in to hear me speak randomly out of my Joycean memory.

Put on your virtual reality helmet, and connect it to your computer, for a really astonishing view. You will find yourself seated in the middle of the room, from where you can turn to seen the audience and back to Jimmy Joyce.

Evening heron on the Royal Canal

Saturday 30 June 2018

Krunchie as James Joyce

Here I am as James Joyce in the Stoneybatter Festival 2018. (Video by Conor McMahon, freelance film maker).

And here is a three-dimensional view of the same. You can pretend to walk around the College Building as I speak. Viewed with a Virtual Reality machine, this is something special.