Chamber MusicChamber Music

Collection of poetry, published in May, 1907, shortly after Joyce’s return to Trieste from Rome. Joyce was uncertain whether to publish his early poems and was apparently convinced by Stanislaus in a long, peripatetic discussion around Piazza delle Poste


After the publication of Chamber Music, Joyce continued to write occasional poems,  some of which have Triestine settings (‘Watching  the Needleboats at San Sabba’, ‘On the Beach at Fontana’) or refer to events which occurred during  this period.  A number of these poems (‘A Flower Given  to my Daughter’ and ‘Nightpiece’)  are clearly related  to Giacomo Joyce  or to his  relationship with Nora (‘Tutto è sciolto’ and ‘She Weeps Over  Rahoon’), while ‘Nightpiece’ would also have a role in the genesis of Finnegans Wake.  These poems were collected in 1927 as Pomes Penyeach

Dubliners, 1914 - Dust jacketDubliners

Joyce’s attempts to publish Dubliners would span almost his entire stay in Trieste.  The Irish writer’s decade-long ‘odyssey’ is reconstructed  in the  Chronology  section, however we can note that the first contract with Grant Richard dates from early 1906 and the final story, ‘The Dead’ was completed by October 1907, but between broken contracts, countless refusals by publishers and the destruction of the first edition in 1912, the book would not appear until June, 1914.  With the exception of some clear borrowings, such as the name of Sinico given to two characters in ‘A Painful Case’, the influence of Trieste on these stories seems to be minimal and oblique.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

When Joyce arrived in Trieste in 1904 he had already written 12 chapters of his novel Stephen Hero, begun earlier that year. On September 8, 1907, increasingly dissatisfied with the novel’s form, he told Stanislaus that he would rewrite it in 5 chapters after finishing his short story ‘The Dead”. [open]

Giacomo Joyce

Giacomo Joyce remains the most enigmatic of Joyce’s texts. With the exception of some poems, Giacomo is the only work by Joyce set explicitly in Trieste and due to its inherent contradictions and allusiveness, it presents notable problems for textual analysis. [open]


Come il nome suggerisce, Exiles è un testo teatrale incentrato sull’abbandono della patria e delle proprie radici e sulla lontananza e, come tale, può essere facilmente ricondotto alla situazione in cui si trovava Joyce dopo quasi un decennio di permanenza a Trieste. [segue]


As the name applies, Exiles is about the consequences of living away from one’s homeland and origins and, as such, can be clearly related to Joyce’s situation after nearly a decade in Trieste. [open]