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"James Joyce and 'Ulysses'" (2004)

Commentary No. 7 – Thom’s Directory (1904)


1904 street directory for Clanbrassil Street Lower, the location of Leopold Bloom's childhood home.

1904 street directory for Clanbrassil Street Lower, the location of Leopold Bloom's childhood home.

In Ulysses, Bloom is recorded as living at Clanbrassil Street as a child. The street is first mentioned in theOxen of the Sun episode: “He is young Leopold. There, as in a retrospective arrangement, a mirror within a mirror (hey, presto!), he beholdeth himself. That young figure of then is seen, precociously manly, walking on a nipping morning from the old house in Clanbrassil street to the high school, his booksatchel on him bandolierwise, and in it a goodly hunk of wheaten loaf, a mother’s thought.”

 

In the Ithaca episode, there is a reference to Bloom’s father, Rudolph Virag, changing his name to Bloom: “I, Rudolph Virag, now resident at no 52 Clanbrassil street, Dublin, formerly of Szombathely in the kingdom of Hungary, hereby give notice that I have assumed and intend henceforth upon all occasions and at all times to be known by the name of Rudolph Bloom.” The page from Thom’s Directory of 1904 lists the occupiers of Clanbrassil Street, which was then at the heart of Dublin’s Jewish quarter. Many Jewish names appear on the list.

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