Love's Bitter Mystery: The Year that made James Joyce
Address: 44 Walmer St., Kew
Date: 14-26 September 2021
Time: 22 sessions at various times
Buy / Ticket: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=751940&
Well, that’s one interpretation. Another is that this was a crucial period in his development, as a writer but more importantly as a man. He and his mother had a very close relationship, but he felt trapped by everything she represented: family, conventional morality, religion, duty. She taught him what it is to love – but in a cruel way, it took her death to free him to love her without being bound by everything she demanded from him.
Miserable with grief, poverty and the lack of any apparent future, Joyce’s fortunes took a turn for the better when in June 1904 he met a young woman on the streets of Dublin. Nora Barnacle had achieved so much that Joyce had failed to achieve: exile – for her, from Galway, and escape to the big city – and not only financial independence but an independence of behaviour, too. Joyce knew plenty of virginal women. And he knew sexually experienced women, in the form of the prostitutes he was visiting. What he didn’t know was anyone like Nora, sexually confident, experienced and free of hang ups.
His mother taught him what it is to love; his Nora showed him how.
This play, presented by Bloomsday in Melbourne as a late Bloomsday offering (it had to be postponed in June because of lockdown), is directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean and written by Steve Carey.