Located near the very centre of Dublin, opposite the GPO, the life-size bronze statue of novelist James Joyce has become one of the city's most iconic monuments. Leaning on a cane, one hand in his pocket and crossed-legged, Joyce strikes a distinctly Chaplinesque pose. Some Dubliners dislike how Joyce's chin is jauntily elevated, how his nose sticks snootily into the air. In return -- as they do with all the city's monuments -- they have given the statue a cheeky nickname, "the prick with the stick". Commissioned by the local business community, it was installed by sculptor Marjorie Fitzgibbon in 1990.
Who Was James Joyce?
James Joyce, most widely known for his novel Ulysses, was a novelist and poet and is widely considered to be one of the most brilliant and influential writers of the 20th century. James Joyce was born to a middle-class family in 1882 and grew up in the south Dublin suburb of Rathgar. He excelled in school and attended University College, Dublin. Although he lived abroad most of his adult life, he wrote about Dublin city and the people he knew from his formative years spent there. Joyce died in 1941 and is buried in Zurich.
Regarded by many scholars as the most important literary novel of the 20th century, Ulysses is about the lives of people and places on Dublin's streets, hour-by-hour on a particular date --- 16 June 1904.
This novel day is celebrated each year on 16 June, known as Bloomsday when the events of Ulysses are relived. Fans of the author dress in period costume and walk through Dublin's streets and visit pubs and hotels named in the book, taking part in a Bloomsday festival. The festival originated in 1956 when authors Flann O’Brien and Patrick Kavanagh toured popular drinking establishments while reading passages from the classic novel. Bloomsday is celebrated around the world, but nowhere so vigorously as in Dublin. Scores of events are planned each year in the city, and the unofficial centre of the festivities is the James Joyce Centre near O'Connell Street, where scenes from the novel are reenacted.
James Joyce Statue. Image by Pietro Izzo