Literary society: James Joyce with Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare & Co, who first published Ulysses (far right), and her fellow publisher and writer Adrienne Monnier. Photograph: Gisele Freund/Time & Life pictures/Getty Images

In December 1922 Dublin formally became the capital of the new Irish Free State. Ten months earlier, when James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in Paris(...)

Irish Roots

Can genealogy constitute real history? When I started RF Foster’s new book Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923, I thought t(...)

Baa’d education: William Deresiewicz identifies a slavish acceptance of market values as the rot at the heart of the US’s top universities. Photograph: Thinkstock

Former Yale professor William Deresiewicz has sparked an fiery debate in the US about the point of higher education. His essay Don’t Send Your (...)

“One of the most tiresome duties was the six-hour night watch in the radio room. Little happened. Rarely was a telegram sent or received.  So, sitting there in my shorts, as the ship ploughed steadily through the blackness of the tropic night, I started to read Ulysses.”

One hot afternoon in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, I sought refuge from the boiling tropical sun in a shaded bookshop. There, in one of the long (...)

Victim of war: James Joyce around 1918. Photograph: C Ruf/Archive/Getty

Joyce finished the first chapter of Ulysses on June 16th, 1915, and it could not have been easy. The Berlitz school where he was teaching closed indef(...)

Seamus Heaney: to read the extraordinary outpouring of grief, memory and mourning is to realise his death was a unique – and a uniquely Irish – event. Photograph: Neil Drabble/Camera Press

Many years ago I was invited to a dinner in the Department of Foreign Affairs attended by Seamus Heaney, among others, and presided over by the then t(...)

Genius: James Joyce around 1918, while he was writing Ulysses. Photograph: C Ruf/Archive Photos/Getty
James Joyce and me

Not long ago, while visiting my son in San Francisco, I noticed that the toilet paper in his bathroom bore the legend: “Do you suffer from bathroom an(...)

Deirdre McQuillan Fiona Wall, nurse and her daughter Juliana, schoolgirl (Duchess Leaf Green Ladies and Dawes Little Duchess). “I g(...)

I t’s only a fragment, and it is impossible to make any serious claim for its quality. All that is known of the(...)

James Joyce. While staying at the Grand Hotel Corneille in  1902/03 he hoped for, among other things, some regular work with The Irish Times. Photograph: Getty

Rue Corneille is a narrow street, perhaps 150m long, linking Place Paul Claudel and the Place de L’Odéon on Paris’s Left Bank. Today it (...)