A Way of Life (Almost) Going Up in Smoke

When James Joyce, the great Irish novelist and self-proclaimed artist of life, settled in Zurich in 1915 to escape the War, he little imagined that almost 90 years later people would flock to a pub there bearing his name, to smoke. Joyce wrote most of Ulysses in Zurich and became quite fond of the city, precisely because it seemed the polar opposite, in attitude, of his native Dublin. It was spotlessly clean and homogeneously handsome without any notable landmark or character. Joyce described th

Philip Hunter
May 9, 2004
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When James Joyce, the great Irish novelist and self-proclaimed artist of life, settled in Zurich in 1915 to escape the War, he little imagined that almost 90 years later people would flock to a pub there bearing his name, to smoke. Joyce wrote most of Ulysses in Zurich and became quite fond of the city, precisely because it seemed the polar opposite, in attitude, of his native Dublin. It was spotlessly clean and homogeneously handsome without any notable landmark or character. Joyce described the city as so immaculate that "if you spilled minestra (soup) on [a street called] Banhofstrasse, you could eat it right up without a spoon."

Joyce died in Zurich in 1941 and is buried there. Some 30 years later, the Union Bank of Switzerland decided to honor the city's adopted son by shipping over, in its various parts, the interior and trappings of Jury's Hotel in Dublin,...

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