Joyce's Grandson Entertains Crowd with His Lyrical Anger
Lister, David, The Independent (London, England)
JAMES JOYCE, one suspects, would have loved it, enjoyed the unexpected comedy, revelled in the explosion of lyrical anger, and delighted the saloon bar with the tale.
Yesterday, the best efforts of English Heritage to honour the Irish novelist with a plaque at the west London house where he married and lived for six months, were sabotaged in dramatic fashion.
A small orderly crowd watched and applauded lightly as Francis Carnforth, of English Heritage, spoke warmly of Joyce's "four great works" and the writer Edna O'Brien read from Ulysses, told some anecdotes about his life, spoke movingly about a "man who understood the psyche of men and women better than anyone else" and unveiled the plaque. "James Joyce," she declared, "arrives as your living ghost in Kensington."
Little did she know how nearly prophetic those words were to be. Out of the crowd a sandy-haired, bearded, middle-aged man leapt on to the Kensington terrace, took the microphone from Miss O'Brien and made an impromptu and decidedly angry speech.
"I," he told a crowd as startled as Miss O'Brien looked, "am James Joyce's grandson. No one saw fit to invite me and my wife here today. Yesterday in Zurich I stood beside my grandfather's grave and told him I was coming here. `Good,' he said, `you do that'."
Warming to his theme and with no one daring to interrupt, he continued: "I would take exception with what has been said that Joyce wrote four major works. …