James Joyce’s final resting place
Sir, – Anthony J Jordan’s suggests in his letter (September 25th) that Ireland’s “debt” to Joyce can “only be repaid by a State offer to repatriate Joyce’s remains” from Zurich’s Fluntern cemetery.
Stephen Joyce, James Joyce’s grandson, recalled Zurich as a haven for the Joyce family. He expressed clear views on the possible removal to Ireland of the remains of James and Nora Joyce. He described Fluntern cemetery in Zurich as the “fitting final resting place for Nonno and Nona, the end of the road of an exciting, rewarding although often very hard and difficult life – the life of exiles”.
James and Nora Joyce have been reinterred once already, into their “grave of honour” at Fluntern. Samuel Beckett did not attend the Joyce reinterment in 1966, describing the ceremony as “gruesome”.
Dublin and Ireland now have the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI), the James Joyce Centre, and the James Joyce Tower and Museum to commemorate Joyce the writer.
It is fitting that the Joyce family remains should stay in Zurich, and not be disturbed again. They should be left to rest in peace. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – James Joyce, despite various ailments, was well able to get around Europe: he chose never to return to Ireland, either to visit or stay. On the outbreak of the second World War, he went to Switzerland, rather than the relative safety of the Irish Free State. The idea of disinterring him and reinterring him in a place he clearly did not want to be is objectionable, not least because his grave would quickly become a touted “tourist attraction”, with every ligger in the country trying to get in on the act. Spare Joyce, spare the rest of us. – Yours, etc,