Friday, 15 June 2012

James Joyce in Bucharest

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James Joyce was a partner in the business which owned three cinemas, including the Doina cinema in Str. Doamnei, Bucharest, opposite the national Bank of Romania, yards from where I live. I missed the Bloomsday celebrations in Bucharest on Saturday because I was at a birthday barbecue in an idyllic village, in the foothills of the Carpathians, but I can mark the day by telling the world this pregnant fact.

I cannot remember which lady told me Joyce once managed the cinema in Str Doameni - I knew she was wrong but the internet showed that she was almost right. The company in question owned the cinema in Bucharest and one in Trieste and wanted Joyce to open for them their third cinema, the first cinema in Dublin, The Volta Cinematograph. Before the Great War, being a cinema manager was rather a cool thing to be, not the lack lustre job it is in our time.

I want to read Ulysses - I now realise you have to. I when young thought nothing written before 1900 at the latest was compulsory. I read The Dead. I have not read Lawrence either. I love George Moore's Celibate Lives. If Joyce is better than that he is great indeed.

A  friend quoted to me these lines from Joyce: 
'What puts me off about going to heaven is knowing the Dean of Chapel will be there.' 
'You must remembered he will be transfigured.'

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