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Synopsis

“James Joyce, Rome and other Stories” outlines the months in which Irish author James Joyce (“Ulysses”, “Finnegans Wake”, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”) lived in Rome, between 1906 and 1907. Accounts of meetings between Mr. Joyce and detective Herr David Mondine, and the letters written by Mr. Joyce to his brother Stanislaus, as well as and a diary kept by Herr Mondine, lead to an enthralling reconstruction of those days. Joyce becomes frustrated with life in Trieste --then part of Austria-Hungary and today part of Italy-- and so he, with his unwedded wife Nora Barnacle and their little son Giorgio, flee s the port town on the Adriatic for a fresh adventure to Rome, that most Catholic of capitals, which he loathes on account of its vulgar ritualism and immoderate liturgical pomp. Mr. Joyce wanders about like a wayfarer captured by a city he finds ghastly, ghostly even, hanging about the taverns and inns, eating and drinking. The artist draws fascinating similarities between his native Dublin and Rome, the legitimate daughter of a city of old myths and mummified glories set amid majestic ruins and ridiculous buildings erected in honor of a new century. "The book is enriched with about 140 old photographs that show people and places frequented by James Joyce and Mr. David Mondine, his alter ego."

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