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15th Jun 2020

New James Joyce app allows users to trace his life and characters around Dublin

James Fenton

A new James Joyce app will allow users to follow his steps around Dublin as well as those of his famous literary characters.

The James Joyce app, called Joyce’s Dublin, is the only app dedicated to exploring the connection between James Joyce and the city he called home. 

The app lets you filter by chapter or theme so you can follow along as you get stuck into Ulysses or create your own walking tour of the pubs and houses associated with Joyce. 

The writer lived in 20 locations around the north and south side of the city and some of the lesser-known locations included in the app are as follows:

  • 1 Merrion Square is the former childhood home of Oscar Wilde. It was also where Joyce waited to meet Nora for their first date on the 14th of June 1904. However, she stood him up. He wrote to her to re-arrange for the 16th of June. This was to be the date he commemorated in Ulysses
  • Pennys Henry Street is the site of the Volta Cinema, which Joyce set up the first dedicated cinema in Ireland in 1909, after seeing how popular it was in Trieste.
  • The Academy, Pearse Street was where Joyce shared a stage with the legendary John McCormack for the 1904 Feis Coel. His wife Nora never read his books, and always thought he should have been a singer instead.

  • The James Joyce Centre displays the door of the famous 7 Eccles street, (where Leopold Bloom begins and ends his walk in Ulysses), on loan from the British retail giant Marks & Spencers. When the house was being demolished to make way for the Mater Private Hospital, it was rescued by Patrick Kavanagh, Brian O’Nolan (Flann O’Brien) and the owner of the Bailey pub. It was through the purchase of this pub by Marks & Spencers to develop their Grafton street store that they ended up in possession of this Irish cultural artifact.

As lockdown continues to ease, the app sound like it will be the perfect companion for a cultural outing in the city. Joyce’s Dublin is available for free now on Android and iOS.