Giacomo Joyce is a smaller work by James Joyce
published in 1968 from one of his notebooks by his biographer Richard Ellmann
, who says it was written between 1911 and 1914 in Trieste
. Joyce never meant to see it printed. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
quotes directly from Giacomo Joyce in its fifth chapter, and some of the techniques (and motifs, sometimes even full phrases) later used in Ulysses
are already in this work.
Giacomo Joyce is a short story about Joyce's attraction for one of his young Jewish students. Its humorous title comes both from the Italian form of James and as a reference to Giacomo Casanova. Needless to say, Joyce is no Casanova. At times pretentious and elevated, Giacomo Joyce ends in a slightly vulgar way. It shows it was never meant for the press, but it's pretty good as far as notebook notes go, and it's a quick and worthy read for Joyce fans.
Ellmann points in his introduction that the handwriting used in the title is not the author's, but that Joyce seems to have been amused by it and subsequently adopted it.
The following is the first few paragraphs of Giacomo Joyce. Unfortunately there's a 1967 copyright claim on this work by Mr. Ellmann and the Estate of James Joyce.
"Who? A pale face surrounded by heavy odorous furs. Her movements are shy and nervous. She uses quizzingglasses.
Yes: a brief syllable. A brief laugh. A brief beat of the eyelids.
Cobweb handwriting, traced long and fine with quiet disdain and resignation: a young person of quality.
I launch forth on an easy wave of tepid speech: Swedenborg, the pseudo-Areopagite, Miguel de Molinos, Joachim Abbas. The wave is spent. Her classmate, retwisting her twisted body, purrs in boneless Viennese Italian: Che coltura! The long eyelids beat and lift: a burning needleprick stings and quivers in the velvet iris.
High heels clack hollow on the resonant stone stairs. Wintry air in the castle, gibbeted coats of mail, rude iron sconces over the windings of the winding turret stairs. Tapping clacking heels, a high and hollow noise. There is one below would speak with your ladyship.
She never blows her nose. A form of speech: the lesser the greater.
Rounded and ripened: rounded by the lathe of intermarriage and ripened in the forcing-house of the seclusion of her race."