On this day…22 May

22 May 1813 Richard Wagner was born. Wagner was a towering influence over European culture at the end of the nineteenth century. His early works Tannhäuser and Lohengrin were staples of the touring opera companies that visited Dublin theatres in the 1890s and early 1900s, where Joyce is certain to have seen them. But it […]

On this day…12 March

On 12 March 1863 Gabriele D’Annunzio was born. Born in Pescara, Abruzzo, into a wealthy family, D’Annunzio started his writing career while still a student. During his lifetime he published poetry, short stories, novels, and plays, and his work influenced many other writers, including James Joyce. Despite the scandalous nature of D’Annunzio’s writings, Joyce seems […]

On this day…28 February

On 28 February 1905 Joyce saw Eleanora Duse perform in Ibsen’s Rosmersholm. The performance took place on 28 February 1905 at the Teatro Verdi. Duse was considered the leading Ibsen actress of the day, and though Joyce had seen her perform before, he hadn’t seen her perform in a play by Ibsen. He prepared himself […]

On this day…26 February

On 26 February 1917 Constantine Curran wrote to Joyce, thanking him for sending a copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Constantine Curran was one of the only friends from Joyce’s university days who didn’t appear as a character in Portrait. Nonetheless, Joyce had reason to be grateful to Curran, and […]

On this day…28 December

On 28 December 1904 Joyce wrote to his brother Stanislaus from Pola. At the end of 1904, three months into his exile with Nora Barnacle, Joyce wrote an end-of-year letter to his brother Stanislaus to bring him up-to-date with the latest developments in Pola where Joyce and Nora were living at the time. Joyce wrote […]