Oliver St. John Gogarty

1878-1857; b. 17 Aug., Rutland Sq., Dublin, into an established professional family, his father being the 3rd generation of GPs; mother’s name Oliver, being dg. of a Galway miller; ed. North Richmond St. CBS; Mungret, moving to Stonyhurst (‘a religious prison’), Clongowes, Royal Univ., moving quickly to TCD, and later Oxon; befriended by John Pentland Mahaffy, R. T. Tyrrell, and later George Moore, whose neighbour he was at 15 Ely Place [appearing as Cahan in Hail & Farewell]; Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize, 1902, 1903, 1905; rented and shared Martello with Chenevix Trench and James Joyce, autumn 1904; m. Martha Duane (b. 1883) of a Galway landed family, 1 Aug. 1906, with whom a son, Oliver Duane (“Noll”) Dermot [Odysseus] Gogarty (b. 1908; see note), and Brenda Marjorie (b.1911); grad. MD, 1907; travelled to New York, afterwards undertaking post-graduate studies in oto-laryngology in Vienna o advice of Sir Robert Woods, autumn 1907; contacted Joyce in Trieste, inviting him to join him there with a promise of three language students; appt. to post at Richmond Hosp., 1908, and later at the Meath Hospital, 1911, where he remained as a successful ear, nose, and throat surgeon;
Gogarty spoke at annual convention of Sinn Fein, Nov. 1905, supporting motion that ‘the people of Ireland are a free people, and that no law made without their authority or consent, is or ever can be binding on their conscience’; Abbey plays, Blight: The Tragedy of Dublin: An Exposition in 3 Acts (1917), anonymously by ‘Alpha and Omega’ but in reality by Gogarty with Joseph K. O’Connor (d.1961)], being the first slum play at the Abbey and an attack on the religious and capitalist systems behind ‘charity’s ineffectual farce’; antecedent to Sean O’Casey’s Dublin plays in featuring the poetry of working-class Dublin speech; also A Serious Thing (1919), and The Enchanted Trousers (1919); gave shelter to Michael Collins in his house; appt. Senator 1922-26; his house Renvyle in west of Ireland (a ‘long, long house in the ultimate land of the undiscovered West’, formerly the home of the Blakes, burnt in civil war, and subseq. rebuilt as hotel);
escaped from Republican kidnappers in civil war by diving in Liffey; returned a pair of swans; organised first Tailteann Games; toasted W. B. Yeats as ‘the arch poet’ at an 70th birthday banquet, 1935; Yeats included 17 of his lyrics in his Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936), describing him as an example of ‘soft indifferent men’; lost libel action for alleged anti-semitic remarks about Sinclair in As I Was Going Down Sackville Street (1937), in which Beckett stood as witness and was cross-examined by J. M. Fitzgerald for the defendant, Gogarty being fined £900, and further costs to value of £2,000; caused suppression of Patrick Kavanagh’s The Green Fool (1938) arising from reference to his door at Ely Place being opened by Gogarty’s ‘mistress’; moved to London, then America, during 1939; having given his name to the priest in Moore’s The Lake (1905), he appears as ‘Cahan’ in Salve; wrote obituary of W. B. Yeats (Evening Standard, 30 Jan. 1939);
Gogarty d. 22 Sept., in New York; he appears in Ulysses as Buck Mulligan - though called Doherty in earlier notebooks (vide Workshop of Daedalus, 1965); was also a character in lost parts of Stephen Hero; George Moore took his name for the priest in The Lake (‘skipping dactyls’); the Collected Works are edited by A. N. Jeffares (Gerrards Cross 2001)there is a Gogarty Society, based at Renvyle. PI IF DIB DIW DIH DIL KUN HAM OCIL FDA
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1911 Census
Gogarty’s census return in 1911 shows him momentarily forgetting that he was married. The first written enter under “Particulars as to Marriage” is given as ‘Single’ and then crossed out and overwritten ‘Married’ while no term is entered against his Martha’s name other than ‘wife’ in that column. However, he does enter ‘5’ for ‘years of present Marriage has lasted’ and ‘3’ under both ‘Total children born alive’ and ‘Children still living’ in the listing for ‘each Married Woman entered on the schedule’. Others on the form are three children (Oliver, Dermot and Brenda), 1 visitor (Eleanor Duane), and two servants (Margaret English, of King’s County, domestic servant; Sarah Keogh, of Co. Wicklow, cook). All members of the household are Roman Catholic. (See National Archive online.)

  • Hyperthuleana (Dublin: Gaelic 1916).
  • The Ship and Other Poems (Dublin: Talbot 1918).
  • An Offering of Swans, pref. W. B. Yeats(Dublin: Cuala Press 1924; London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1934),
  • Wild Apples, pref. W. B. Yeats (Dublin: Cuala 1928, 1930; NY: J. Cape & H. Smith [1929]).
  • Elbow Room (Dublin: Cuala 1939), [8] 34pp. [ltd. edn. 450 copies], and Do. (NY: Duell, Sloan & Pearce 1940), [7] 52pp.
  • Selected Poems (NY, Macmillan 1933), xxxvi, 177pp. [with forewords: “AE”/George Russell, ‘The Poetry of My Friend’, and another by Horace Reynolds].
  • Others to Adorn, Preface by W. B. Yeats with forewords by “AE” [George Russell] and Horace Reynolds (London: Rich & Cowan 1938), 185pp.
  • Perennial (London: Constable 1946).
  • The Collected Poems of Oliver St John Gogarty (London: Constable 1951), xxvii, 212pp., and Do. (NY: Devin-Adair 1954).
  • Unselected Poems (Baltimore: Contemporary 1954).

Note: Gogarty planned to publish a collection of bawdy ballads entitled Ditties of No Tone or Cockcrows - the title undecided. He is the actual author of the “Ballad of Joking Jesus” which Joyce reproduces in the first episode of Ulysses.

  • Alpha and Omega [pseuds. of Gogarty & Joseph K. O’Connor], Blight: The Tragedy of Dublin: An Exposition in 3 Acts [Talbot Press plays] (Dublin: Talbot Press 1917), 74pp. [18 cm.].
  • The Enchanted Trousers (Dublin: [author] 1919).
  • A Serious Thing (Dublin: [author] 1919); James F. Carens, ed., The Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty (Newark: Proscenium 1971) [ltd. edn. 500 ].
  • Going Native (NY: Duell, Sloan & Pearce 1940), [8], 294pp., and Do. [another edn.] (London: Constable 1941), 294pp.
  • Mad Grandeur: A Novel (Philadelphia & NY: J. B. Lippincott 1941; London: Constable 1943), 406pp..
  • Mr. Petunia (NY: Creative Age 1945; London: Constable 1946).
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Memoirs (autobiographical prose)
  • As I Was Going Down Sackville Street: A Phantasy in Fact (London: Rich & Cowan; NY: Reynal & Hitchcock 1937) [epigram from Bishop Berkeley], and Do. [rep. edn.] (Dublin: O’Brien Press 1994; Chester Springs: Dufour 1995), 330pp.
  • I Follow St. Patrick (London: Rich & Cowan; NY, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1938; London: Constable 1950).
  • It Isn’t This Time of Year At All! (Lon, MacGibbon & Kee; NY: Doubleday 1954).
  • Tumbling in the Hay (London: Constable; NY: Reynal & Hitchcock 1939); Do., rep. edn. (O’Brien Press, 1996.
Collected Editions
A. Norman Jeffares, ed., The Poems & Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty (Oxford: OUP 2004), 896pp.
  • contrib. to Commemoration of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins (1922).
  • “Ireland’s Great Poet: A Review of W. B. Yeats by J. M. Hone’, in The Gazette [ Montreal] (24 April 1943) [TCD Lib.].
  • Imitations (NY: Abelard 1950); Mourning Becomes Mr. Spendlove, and Other Portraits, Grave and Gay (NY: Creative Age 1948), 250pp. [also 1952].
  • James Augustine Joyce (Dallas: Times Herald 1949), [8]pp. [ltd. edn. 1,050 copies; prev. in Times Herald/Book News, 3 April 1949; note].
  • Start from Somewhere Else: A Exposition of Wit and Humor, Polite and Perilous (NY: Doubleday 1955), 189pp.
  • W. B. Yeats, A Memoir (Dublin: Dolmen 1963).
  • James F. Carens, ed., Many Lines to Thee: Letters of Oliver St John Gogarty to G. K. A. Bell (Dublin: Dolmen 1971).

Note: Requiem and Other Poems by Seumas O’Sullivan (Dublin: priv. 1917), 23pp. [ltd.edn. of 100; copy in TCD Lib. contains an autograph manuscript poem on the final blank leaves entitled “Wie geht es Gagenhofer” signed O. St. J. G.]

Note: See reviews & critical ripostes in Robert Deming, ed., James Joyce, The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970) - some excerpted under Joyce, q.v. [“Commentary”, infra] - viz., review of Finnegans Wake, Observer (7 May 1939), p.4 [infra]; see also ‘A Fellow Dubliner’ [auth.], ‘The Veritable James Joyce According to Stuart Gilbert & Oliver St. John Gogarty’, in International Forum, 1 (July 1931), pp.13-17 [infra]; ‘The Joyce I Knew’, in Saturday Review of Literature, XXIII (25 Jan. 1941), pp.3-4, 15-16 [infra]; ‘They Think They Know Joyce’, in Saturday Review of Literature, XXXIII (18 March 1950), pp.8, 9, 36, 37 [abbrev. in Irish Digest, Aug. 1950, pp.19-23; infra].

Collected & Selected
  • A. N. Jeffares, coll., ed. & intro., The Poems & Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 2001), xxxi, 861pp.
  • Sackville Street and Other Stories (London: Sphere 1988), 334, 182, 245pp.
Guy St John Williams, comp. & ed., The Renvyle Letters: Gogarty Family Correspondence 1939-1957 (Monasterevan: Daletta Press 2000), 355pp.

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There is a full and accurate Wikipedia article online; accessed 15.05.2011
  • W. R. Rodgers, A Portrait of Oliver St John Gogarty (BBC 1961) [rep. in Irish Literary Portraits, 1972].
  • Ulick O’Connor, The Times I’ve Seen: Oliver St John Gogarty (NY: Oblensky 1963), 365pp.; rep. as Oliver St John Gogarty: A Poet and his Times (London: Cape 1964), Do. (London: New America Library 1967), Do. (London: Granada 1981), Do. (London: Mandarin 1990), and Do. (Dublin: O’Brien 2000).
  • A. N. Jeffares, in The Circus Animals: Essays on W. B. Yeats (London: Macmillan 1970).
  • J. B. Lyons, Oliver St John Gogarty (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP; London: Associated University Presses 1976).
  • James F. Carens, Surpassing Wit, Oliver St John Gogarty, His Poetry and Prose (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan; NY: Columbia UP 1979).
  • J. B. Lyons, Oliver St John Gogarty: The Man of Many Talents - A Biography (Dublin: Blackwater Press 1980), 348pp. [orig. 1976].
  • Mary Riley, ‘Joyce, Gogarty, and the Irish Hero’, in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 10 (1984), pp.45-54.
  • Ulick O’Connor, ‘Joyce and Gogarty: Royal and Ancient, Two Hangers-On’, in James Joyce: The Artist and the Labyrinth (London: Ryan 1990), pp.330-54.
  • Mary J. Regan, ‘Beyond the Pale: A Wider Reading of Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Mock-Heroic Poems’, in Notes on Modern Irish Literature, 2 (1990), pp.12-18.
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See also remarks in Stanislaus Joyce, The Complete Dublin Diary, ed. George H. Healey (Cornell UP 1962, 1971; rep. Dublin: Anna Livia 1992) [see extract]; Denis Johnson, ‘The Progress of Joyceanity’, in Envoy (April 1951), pp.13ff., and Do., rep. in John Ryan, ed., A Bash in the Tunnel (Brighton: Clifton Books 1970), pp.163-98 [a discussion of Gogarty’s article of 1941 on Joyce, see extract]; Ulick O’Connor, ‘Joyce and Gogarty’, in Ryan, op. cit., pp.73-100 [see note, infra.]; Benedict Kiely, review of James F. Carens, Surpassing Wit: Oliver St John Gogarty, His Poetry and Prose (1979), in The Irish Times (16 June 1979) [see extract].

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W. B. Yeats (1): Yeats wrote of Gogarty in his Introduction to The Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936): ‘Twelve years ago [in January 1923], Oliver Gogarty was captured by his enemies, imprisoned in a deserted house on the edge of the Liffey with every prospect of death. Pleading a natural necessity he got into the garden, plunged under a shower of revolver bullets and as he swam the ice-cold December stream promised it, should it land him in safety, two swans. I was present when he fulfilled that vow. His poetry fits the incident, a gay, stoical - no, I will not withhold the word - heroic song. Irish by tradition and many ancestors, I love, though I have nothing to offer but the philosophy they deride, swashbucklers, horsemen, swift indifferent men; yet I do not think that is the sole reason, good though it is, why I gave him considerable space, and think him one of the great lyric poets of his age. (Cited in Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal, 1977, p.212.)

W. B. Yeats (3): Yeats called Gogarty’s poetry ‘high, insolent, passionate’, in a letter to Dorothy Wellesley (Letters ... to D. W., 1946, 1964, p.151.) See also Gogarty’s reaction to Yeats’s Steinach operation in Saddlemeyer, as infra.)

Padraic Colum: ‘He had a defect that prevented him being a companionable man: he had no reserve in speaking about people, even those he had cause to admire, even those who were close to him. If they had some pitiful disability or shortcoming, he brought it right out. It was an incontinence of speech [...] The result was that people gave him license and kept a distance from him.’ (Our Friend James Joyce, p.67; quoted on Robert Wisdom’s James Joyce pages online; accessed 15.05.2011.] )

George Moore: ‘Gogarty, the arch-mocker, author of all the jokes that enable us to live in Dublin, author of the Limericks of the Golden Age, my youngest friend, full in his face, with a smile in his eyes and always a witticism on his lips, overflowing with quotation ... a survival of the Bardic age ...’ (Salve, p.178; also quoted [in part] in Richard Kain, Dublin in the Age of William Butler Yeats and James Joyce (London 1972, p.167-68). Note that Gogarty calls James Joyce the ‘arch mocker’ in turn - as infra.

Cf. Gogarty on Moore: ‘And then the fate of my friend George Moore crowded in on me. He became a Protestant at sixty, when one’s faculties are not improving. All he got was a blanket and a sack of coal, and that at Christmas; for the members of the Representative Church Body, being gentlemen, never imagined for a moment that a gentleman could repudiate his tradition and turn from the faith of his fathers. So they took him for a poor creature and send him a sack of coal.’ (I Follow St. Patrick, 1938, p.94.)

James Joyce [1]: ‘As for O.G. I am waiting for the S[inn] F[éin] policy to make headway in the hope that he will join it for no doubt whatever exists in my mind but that, if he gets the chance and the moment comes, he will play the part of [Leonard] MacNally and [Thomas] Reynolds. I do not say this out of spleen. It is my final view of his character: a very native Irish growth, and if I begin to write my novel again it is in this way I shall treat them. If it is not far-fetched to say that my action, and that of men like Ibsen &c., is a virtual intellectual strike I would call such people as Gogarty and Yeats and Colm the blacklegs of literature. Because they have tried to substitute us, to serve the old idols at a lower rate when we refused to do so for a higher.’ (Letter to Stanislaus Joyce, 6 Nov. 1906; in Richard Ellmann, ed., Selected Letters of James Joyce , 1975, p.125; and note num. other remarks incl. allusion to Gogarty’s mother [‘beastly dead’], and a response to Cosgrave’s claim to have had sexual relations with Nora [‘I told the story of this miserable blackmail to Byrne and his opinion is that Gogarty and the other are in collusion’: 21 Aug. 1909;SL, p.163.) See also under Stan Gebler Davies, infra.

James Joyce [2]: Gogarty informed Philip Toynbee that ‘James Joyce is not a gentleman’. When Joyce died, a copy of Gogarty’s I Followed St. Patrick was on his bedside table.

James Joyce [3]: In his “Pola Notebook”, Joyce recorded the witticism under the title S.D.: ‘Hellenism - European appendicitis’ (rep. in The Workshop of Daedalus, Northwestern UP 1965, p.91). See further under J. P. Mahaffy, infra

See more on Joyce and Gogarty under Commentary - infra.

Stanislaus Joyce, The Complete Dublin Diary, ed. George H. Healey (Cornell UP 1962, 1971; rep. Dublin: Anna Livia 1992): ‘The truth is, Gogarty - and his mother believes him - hopes to win a literary reputation in Ireland. He is jealous of Jim and wishes to put himself before him by every means he can. The carelessness of reputation is the particular lie he has chosen to deceive himself with. Both Gogarty and his mother are mistaken, however, for Gogarty has nothing in him and precious little character, and is already becoming heavy, while Jim has more literary talent than anyone in Ireland except Yeats - even Yeats he surpasses in mastery of prose, and he has what Yeats lacks, a keen critical intellect. If Jim never wrote a line he would be greater than these people by reason of the style of his life and his character. Gogarty told Jim this incident [Colum’s pretending to have put up the money to enter Joyce in the Feis Ceoil scheduled for 16 May 1904] but Jim has such a low opinion of these Young Irelanders it is really beyond their power to hurt him. If Jim thought there would be a chance of his getting it he would ask Colum for money tomorrow with no very definite idea of paying it back. Jim says he should be supported at the expense of the State because he is capable of enjoying life. Yet Gogarty has friendship for Jim. [...] Shallow Gogarty - “a whirl-wind of pot-bellied absurdities with afund of vitality that it does one good to see. [Ftn. ‘No, he’s very tiresome after the first ten minutes.’] [...] Gogarty tells Jim’s affair to everyone he knows.’ (p.26.)

Complete Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce (Cornell UP 1971; Dublin: Anna Livia Press 1994)

Jorn Barger identifies several remarks, including this: p.26: Gogarty ‘hopes to win a literary reputation ... jealous’ - and remarks, ‘OG had accomplished 1000 times what JAJ had at this point, and his behaviour on losing the Newdigate was exemplary - he remained close friends with the winner for several years at least [UOC73].’ (See Barger, ‘Anachronism in the Dublin Diary of Stanislaus Joyce’, at Robotwisdom - online; accessed 12.12.2010.

Denis Johnson, ‘The Progress of Joyceanity’, in Envoy (April 1951), reflecting on the ‘genuine regard [of American critics] for every syllable [13] of our bad boy from Belvedere’): ‘But what most fascinated me was the effect of all this on Gogarty, who went home in a tantrum, and wrote a scalding article for the Saturday Review of Literature [‘The Joyce I Knew’, Jan. 1941], striking an assassin’s blow at an important industry. Joyce - he said in effect - was a phoney and his Ulysses, a joke. As for Finnegans Wake, the whole thing was a colossal hoax, with no other purpose than to pull the academic leg of the entire world. / Need I say that the reaction was catastrophic! It was as if Gogarty had deliberately belched at Mass. No use in pointing out the ghastliness of his own position. All his life, Gogarty has been a celebrated wit in his own right, but now in his riper years he finds himself being regarded, more and more, merely as a character in the book of an early hanger-on whom he never liked. Would any man of spirit not be entitled to lose his temper, just a little, at being forced into such a role ? What more degrading fate could befall anybody? But the bifocal lenses of Harvard only gleamed more glassily whenever 1 made this speech for the defence. Doubts had been cast on the integrity of the Textus Receptus, and for that there could be no forgiveness. It was, in short, in bad taste.’ (p.14.)

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Stan Gèbler Davies: ‘If Gogarty had preferred to forget the authorship of this tedious blasphemy [“The Song of the Cheerful Jaysus”], he was not allowed to. It is trotted out in Ulysses, slightly improved. Gogarty’s fashionable anti-semitisim Joyce regarded as “stupid drivel”. It was part of current Irish nationalism to deride England as a country crippled by Jewry. Joyce say a lengthy exposition of this inspired point of view written by Gogarty in a November issue of Sinn Féin, organ of the separatists, and remembered with anger. Who were the cultureless Irish to despise the “oldest race on earth”? The vague memory of one Hunter, a Dublin Jew, stirred in his mind and he began to contemplate a story he might call “Ulysses”.’ (James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist, Poynter 1975, p.135.)

Monk GibbonThe Man and the Masterpiece: Yeats as I Knew Him (1959): ‘If Yeats chuckled over Gogarty’s latest [improper] anecdote, my reaction was almost that of a young girl, shocked that her hero should have feet of clay ...’ [104]; Curran once said to me, ‘you know, I have a feeling that Yeats is afraid of Gogarty’ [107]; ‘when Gogarty arrived, jauntily rubbing his hands together with his latest dirty story already well-rehearse ... and Yeats gave a raucous almost forced guffaw of laughter it made on me an instantaneously unfavourable impression [117].

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), Gogarty’s criticism of the fashionable style of Landoresque, cool classicism, ‘This modern admiration for the cold and classic only exists because it is modern and the ‘classics’ are old. Landor is ‘Greek’ and ‘classic’ but he is more classic than Aeschylus and Euripides. Surely every word in Aeschylus must have been as full of mystery and romance as ‘alien corn’ or ‘ancestral voices’ - romance native to the Greeks? Forgetting this, or being out of touch with it, we call the white marble classic. It was coloured once.’ Quoted in O’Connor, Oliver St. John Gogarty (1964), pp.99-100. [93] Further: Gogarty’s classic subjects in finely chiselled poems and epigrams include Virgil, Nymphis et Fontibus, The Isles of Greece, Troy, Choric Song of the Ladies of Lemnos, Europa and the Bull, Leda and the Swan, Centaurs, To Petronius Arbiter, and With a Coin from Syracuse. [p.101]

Marvin Magalaner & Richard M. Kain, James Joyce: The Man, The Works, The Reputation [1956] (London; John Calder 1957): ‘St. John Gogarty are doing their utmost to prove that Joyce’s fame is an unfortunate mistake. One cannot blame Gogarty, the model for Buck Mulligan in Ulysses, for wanting to get even with the eccentric youth who shared his Martello Tower and later revealed him in literature at his Shaun-like worst. Yet there should be a difference between legitimate revelation of Joyce’s weaknesses, literary and personal, and the actual attempt to write off the entire career of the most exciting and influential novelist of this century as “a gigantic hoax ... one of the most enormous leg-pulls in history.” [Ftn31] People who have read the sermon on Hell in A Portrait, or the ending of “The Dead,” or “Proteus” in Ulysses need no reassurance that Gogarty’s condemnation is extravagant. Nevertheless, the fact that it is there and must be taken into account, if only to be discarded, serves to cloud the biographical horizon. And the fact that no proof is offered makes difficult a point-by-point refutation. / This does not prevent Mary Colum from leaping into the breach with a spirited defense of Joyce as a serious artist and an equally lively attack upon Gogarty for the “misinformation” in his article. She complains that, although Gogarty met Joyce only once after his twenty-second birthday, he has made readers think he was an intimate of the mature novelist. Thus “he has succeeded in placing all over the country in strategic positions attacks and misinformations about Joyce, his family, his friends, his readers, and his work.” [Mary Colum, ‘A Little Knowledge of Joyce,’ in The Saturday Review of Literature, XXXIII, 29 April, 1950, p.8.] Mrs. Colum proceeds to detail Gogarty’s inaccuracies in scathing understatement and effectively demonstrates the paucity of fact in his broadside attacks. It should be stressed that even Joyce’s firmest supporter acknowledges his humanity and fallibility as person and artist. The objection is to groundless criticism of the man. / Mention of some of the inaccuracies in this one Gogarty article will indicate the difficulty that the student of Joyce may encounter through indiscriminate acceptance of “expert” criticism: Gogarty attributes the publishing difficulties of Dubliners to the wrong publisher, he misquotes a line from one of Joyce’s books, he calls one female critic “Mr.”, he confuses the name and the nationality of Joyce’s patron, and so on through a long list of small but significant errors. [Ibid.].

Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1959; 1965 Edn.): ‘Gogarty and Joyce never dueled on top of the Sugarloaf Mountain, but they took part in a lifelong battle in which Gogarty was severely worsted’ (p.215; and see passim). Note: ‘On Joyce's desk they found two books [at Joyce's death], a Greek Lexikon and Oliver Gogarty.’ I Follow Saint Patrick" (Ellmann, James Joyce, [1984; rev edn.], p.742; cited by Fritz Senn in Facebook, 15.07.2020.)

Benedict Kiely, review of James F. Carens, Surpassing Wit, Oliver St. John Gogarty, His Poetry and Prose (1979), in The Irish Times (16 June 1979), takes up Richard Ellmann’s scoffing review (1964) of Ulick O’Connor’s biography of Gogarty and defends the humanity of the medical poet. He quotes at length Gogarty’s interpretation of Yeats’s selection in his anthology of modern verse, which he saw as an exercise in personal taste rather than canonical editing, ‘Sappho could not have made a more subjective anthology’. Gogarty went on, ‘God only knows why I am given such undeserved prominence. Possibly because I set my face against the revival of folk poetry and Padraic Columism; and insisted that there were better things to hear and still finer things to see in Ireland than turf smoke and cottage songs.’ Kiely writes with approbation, ‘this book sets out to challenge the Mulligan myth and to judge Gogarty in his own words.’ (The Irish Times, 16 June 1979).

Frank Tuohy, Yeats (1976), for account of Gogarty’s speech in the Senate congratulating Yeats on the Nobel Prize and praising him for setting his face ‘sternly against any false enthusiasm or idealism, or any attempt to make poetry into patriotism, thus inviting ‘a great deal of unpopularity’; also, railing against the presence in Ireland of ‘a regular wave of destruction’, a ‘blindness to the national ideal ... led by a few ferocious and home-breaking old harridans’ (being a reference to Con Markievicz and Maud Gonne’; Glenavy congratulated Yeats on the courage and patriotism which had induced him twelve months ago to cast his lot with his own people here at home, under conditions which were they very critical and called for the exercise of great moral courage ...’ (pp.183-84).

Ann Saddlemyer, ‘James Joyce and the Irish Dramatic Movement’, in James Joyce: A Joyce International Perspective, ed. Suheil Bushrui & Benstock (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1982): ‘By 27 August 1904, even before Joyce’s brief sojourn in the Martello tower at Sandycove, Gogarty wrote to a friend in Oxford, ’I have broken with Joyce, his want of generosity became to me inexcusable, he lampooned AE, Yeats, Colurn and others to whom he was indebted in many ways’. [Many Lines to Thee: Letters to G. K.A. Bell , ed. James F. Carens, Dublin, Dolmen, 1971, p.33.] This was Joyce’s third broadside, "The Holy Office", which he had submitted to St. Stephen’s magazine in response to the editor’s request for something new. Combining his aesthetic argument and stance of the rebel angel with satirical thrusts which were Swiftian in their scatology, Joyce attacked not only the ’mumming company’ but all the Camden Street hangers-on, including Gogarty. ’I am an enemy of the ignobleness and slavishness of people. . We all wear masks’, he declared to his new companion Nora Barnacle; in this last public thrust at his literary compatriots whose cowardice and squeamishness prevented them from open defiance of the trolls, he would perform the holy office of Katharsis.’ (p.200.)

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Ann Saddlemyer, Becoming George: The Life of Mrs W. B. Yeats (OUP 2002), p.477: ‘Word soon got round town of the “gland old man” [thus of W. B. Yeats after his Steinach operation], doubtless spread by both [F. R.] Higgins and [Oliver St. J.] Gogarty, who was miffed that he had not been insulted. Yeats “has undergone Steinach’s operation, and is now trapped and enmeshed in sex”, he wrote to an American friend. “When I parodied his poem into, ‘I heard the old, old men say Everything’s phallic’, little did I think he would become so obsessed before the end. He cannot explode it by pornography (as Joyce) or jocularity as I try to do.”’ (Gogarty to Horace Reynolds, 9 March 1955 [sic] and Oct. 1934; bMS Am. 1787, Harvard; quoted in F. S. Lyons, Thrust Syphilis Down to Hell [Dun Laoghaire] 1998, p.191-92.) Gogarty had earlier asked Yeats to handle the distinguished guests to the Taillteann games in 1923.

John Harrington, The Irish Beckett (Syracuse 1991), cites ‘Dr Gogarty’s Book’, Irish Press (23 Nov 1937), and ‘Books Libel Suit’ (24 Nov. 1934), and gives details of the trial report in which Beckett was cross-examined by J. M. Fitzgerald [Harrington, pp.82-84.

Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature [ ...] 1892-1939 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1977), quotes Oliver St. John Gogarty: ‘President Griffith, the man who had believed in the Irish people, lay on his back. His left arm was outstretched and bloody. “Take up that corpse at once”, I said, letting something of the bitterness of my spirit escape into the harsh word. A moment later, I regretted it. “Take the President’s body into the bedroom.” I perish by this people that I made.’ (As I Was Going Down Sackville St., 1937, p.188). The words being those of Tennyson on King Arthur’s departure to the Isle of Avalon, Costello remarks that his quoting an English poet on a British hero in memory of a Dubliner of planter stock sums up the paradox of the Free State. (Costello, p.208.) Also quotes Gogarty’s unforgiving lines on Michael Collins: ‘Down the memorial ages, he shall have / The fame of Judas who McMurrough clad, / What alien schemer [prob. de Valera] or deluded lout, / What Cain has caught his country by the throat?’ (Quoted in Ulick O’Connor, Gogarty, 1964, p.191; cited in Costello, op. cit., p.210.)

Anthony Cronin, CronSamuel Beckett: The Last Modernist (London: HarperCollins 1996, rep. 1997) - gives an account of Sinclair libel trial, quoting offending verses (pp.258-59); also characterises Gogarty: a ‘swashbuckling figure known not only as a poet, but famed far and wide as a wit. Besides being a literary man he was a surgeon with a fashionable practice, a country house and a Rolls-Royce. He was well known as a friend of Yeats, but another friendship, the intimacy he had enjoyed in his youth with James Joyce, also added spice to the occasion, for he had already been identified as Buck Muilligan of Ulysses, both by the minority who had read it and the majority who hadn’t.’ (p.269ff.)

Terence Killeen, review of A. N. Jeffares, The Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe), 861pp. Killeen writes, ‘Gogarty would not have cared that his resolute refusal to settle for being good at just one big thing would cost him the fame bestowed on some of his contemporaries … To live his life to the full mattered far more to him than any posthumous honours - this was part of the Greek ethos which he valued so highly.’ Notes that Joyce intends Gogarty in the phrase ‘whose conduct seems to own / his preference for a man of tone’. The poem “John Eglinton, my John Joe” is ascribed both to Joyce and to Gogarty. (The poem “John Eglinton, my John Joe” is ascribed both to Joyce and to Gogarty. (The Irish Times [Weekend], 5 Jan. 2002, p.8.)

Edna Longley, review of A. Norman Jeffares, The Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 2001), 861pp. His poem “To a Lady Reviewer” is an attack on Mary Colum: “Maulie Colum / Won’t extol “em / No matter what men may / Put into a volume [...] She knows that she may maul / But she can never moll’em”. Occasional verse in guise of “smutster or funster”; Yeats’s Oxford Book of Verse here called ‘strategically mischievous’; Longley considers that Gogarty’s ‘lack of rhythmical originality betrays a lack of interiority, although Yeats hopefully refers to his “discovering the rhythm of Herrick and Fletcher, something different from himself and yet akin to himself”. Of his politics she writes, ‘he could be crudely pro-nationalist and anti-English before the Rising; he could be crudely pro-English and anti-Republican after the Treaty split.’ Further, ‘he could be also be snobbish, sexist [...] and casually anti-Semitic.’ Gogarty called de Valera ‘the half-breed who split our country’; he campaigned for social causes; his play Blight hit at the religious and capitalist systems behind “charity’s ineffectual farce”. Longley concludes, ‘Gogarty himself really belonged to that Catholic bourgeois Ireland which was Home Rule in preparation and which, to quote Fintan O’Toole, was “upstaged by a gang of Christian Brother boys with revolvers”. Longley considers that Jeffares, like Yeats, was ‘right to bother’. (Times Literary Supplement, 1 Feb. 2002, q.p.)

Edna O’Brien, James Joyce (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1999): ‘James came and went. He stayed with friends or with cousins and was often evicted because of his vagabond ways. He had a definitive sojourn with Gogarty in a Martello tower, formerly a bastion built by the British against Napoleonic invasion and named after the wild myrtle. Their life was wild and bibulous, coopers of porter brought up the rope ladder which served as a stairs and caustic argument. Gogarty liked to get Joyce drunk in the hope that it would thwart his genius. It ended with Gogarty firing a revolver above Joyce’s makeshift cot and so the “wandering Aengus” got up and left in the rain. Gogarty would appear as ‘stately, plump Buck Mulligan’ in the opening pages of Ulysses, holding his shaving bowl aloft and intoning “Introibo ad altare Dei”. Jealous from the outset, Gogarty always saw himself as an “accessory” and took a loathsome revenge after Joyce’s death.’ (p.24.) Further, ‘Oliver St John Gogarty called it the “most collosal legpull since Macpherson’s Ossian” in which the author claimed to have [141] received pyschic communication from the dead [sic]. Gogarty had waited almost thirty years to wreak his revenge, a revenge founded on nothing more or less than that they were contemporaries in Dublin, both writers, the one a genius, the other a satirist. His essay has all the bile and malice which th eleser talent reserves for the greater, or in Anna Livia’s words - “All the greed[y] gushes out through their small souls”. According to Gogarty, Joyce’s mind was hardly consistent with sanity. He concluded his epitaph with the (false) hope that the indiscriminate adulation which Joyce was receiving from the literary dilettantes of Paris would soothe a heart insatiable for fame. [...]’ (p.142.)

Nicholas Allen, ‘Free Statement: Censorship and the Irish Statesman’, in Last Before America - Irish and American Writing: Essays in Honour of Michael Allen, ed. Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2001): ‘[George] Russell’s support of this aspect of the [1928 Censorship] Bill’s most illiberal provision [i.e., the ban on information about birth control] is interesting, especially in the context of Oliver St. John Gogarty’s submissions to the Senate on the matter. Russell had long favoured Gogarty, and Yeats gave him a poetry award at the 1924 Tailteann Games. Gogarty published frequently in the Irish Statesman throughout the latter part of the 1920s, even going to the length of conducting personal exchanges with Russell through verse. Crucially for Russell, Gogarty had also been a Senator since 1922, using his position in the Senate to support his associates’ attacks on the censorship. Like Russell, he fiercely denounced aspects of the Censorship Bill that affected creative literature but was, again like Russell, more circumspect when the question of birth control arose. Gogarty in fact noted that: “No one who has any care for a nation’s welfare can for one moment countenance contraceptive practices, which are a contradiction of a nation’s life. In England the condition of the miners and the unemployed is as it is because England has allowed its capital to go into yellow, brown and black labour, so that the Government tolerates clinics for education in the practice of contraception.” (11 April 1929; Seanad Éireann Parl. Debates: Official Report, Vol. 12, p.87.) / A diagnosis of Gogarty’s racism is suggestive of the dubious assumptions that underpin his subsequent opposition to a literary censorship. Gogarty, Russell and Yeats all shared the idea that the cultivated could be trusted to read even the most morally doubtful texts. What is interesting in Gogarty’s speech is the way in which the shared assumption of national purification is made explicit through his discussion of birth control, an illiberality that is concealed by the rhetoric of detached criticism when he refers to literature. It is hard not to draw the conclusion that many of the opponents to the Censorship Bill were, like Gogarty, motivated to their defence of free speech by a reactionary desire to retain control of the outlets for critical debate from the power of the state.’ (p.96.)

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I Follow St Patrick (1938): ‘Now Let us Praise Famous Men’ [Chap.], gives an account of being shown the landing place of Patrick from the air by Lord Londonderry of Mount Stewart, and embarks on a pæan to the aristocracy: ‘It is not everyone, much less a writer, who has the good fortune to be piloted by an ex-Air Minister of Great Britain, in a private aeroplane, over the most significant territory, in the tracks of St. Patrick. Nor is it every country that has an Air Minister who can fly. This suits me well, I said to myself. I have suffered many disappointments by adhering to my theory of the pre-eminence of the aristocratic type over every other form of humanity - a view which, if you are suspected of holding it, is liable to make you unpopular with your fellows and which, quite conceivably, though quite illogically, might lay you open to the suspicion of being a snob. I myself was once suspected, as this shows’ [here narrates exchange with a personage whom he designates ‘a Slum Snob’] [...; cont.]

Cont.: ‘But a man must have some opinions of his own even in Ireland, if he is to retain his individuality at all. And my opinion is that a good aristocr[acy] is the highest type that humanity or evolution has evolved. It is hard to defend it, because, up to this, I have been able to point out so few examples, which may be due either to my knowing so few or to the fact that the few I known are not quite the most outstanding specimens of the Pre-eminents. Let not a limitation such as this stand in the way of the principle which I have announced and which I maintain. But even if I knew dozens of the best people, there is another obstacle which must yet be overcome. And this is the heresy of Pelagius, which has been driven out of the realms of theology only to infect our social and political life. This heresy excluded the doctrine of original sin and held that a good pagan could be equal to a Christian. We see “patriotic” Pelagianism all around us at the present time. You have only to visit the National Museum, where you could have found until lately, right up against the gold ornaments and miracles of craftsmanship of our heroic age, large dolls of life-size grannies and red petticoats, washy but unwashed children and fishermen of the Gaelic-speaking [160] parts of the country are presumed to wear. You will notice no young women, because they have emigrated long ago. (Since this was written the dolls have been relegated to another part of the Museum.) Here you have Pelagianism at its worst, for here it is implied that the poorest and most illiterate and dole-debauched members of the nation are free from social and political original sin and equal to the best, to the heroes who colonised Wales and made it possible for that blend with the Britons to produce St. Patrick, to the artists who left us the only remains to which we can point as exempting us from barbarianism, and to each and all of us who have had grace enough to enlighten our understanding by study and true patriotic corporal work.’ (I Follow St Patrick, 1938, pp.160-61.)

Further: ‘Meanwhile bullocks are herded on Tara, on the graves of Kings. / Progress and Pelagianism are opposed. We must get rid of our political Pelagians if we are once more to hold up our heads among the nations of the world. Bear with me if I maintain that “one man is not as good as another”, our Pelagians’ way of saying that our worst is equal to our best. As if there were nothing worthy of adulation remaining in Ireland. Let us leave this mental slum.’ [161];

Gogarty on the Orange Order in Ulster: In an extended passage of I Follow St. Patrick, he writes of the Orangemen as Picts ‘sent back to Dalriada from Scotland when Ulster was being planted in the reign of Charles and under the Republic of Cromwell and during the plantation of James’ (pp.83-96). He goes on: ‘Illiberal notions, and perhaps a change of climate, have made it no longer fashionable to go nakedly depicted, so they [83] wear their colours outside their clothes; and very beautiful and striking, if somewhat unvaried, I found them ... The Picts were in full war panoply on July 12th to commemorate a royal legate who, like St. Patrick before him, was confirmed in his mission by the Pope. [84; ... &c.]’.

Further: Gogarty considers the Lambeg drum to be designed to produce inarticulate sense of unity: ‘I envied their unanimity - even though I thought of the poet’s line: ‘hearts with one purpose along / Through Summer and Winter seem / Transmuted to a stone / To trouble the living stream’ (p.90). He continues: ‘Through the drum Orangemen reach to and achieve a spiritual communion which is too deep for words, too primitive or too sacred’ (p.93); ‘thus it came about that I was shut out forever from the greatest middle-class organisation in my country, shut out from the society of men whose ancestors were the first choice of St. Patrick, the oldest Catholics in the land’ (p.95. Finally, he writes: ‘May they never be merged with the South … Athens might as well attempt to bring in Sparta - leave them alone. We want no drums in Dreamland.’ (p.96.) [I Follow St Patrick, 1938.]

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“Ode of Welcome” (on Dublin Fusiliers returning from the Boer War)

The Gallant Irish yeoman
Home from the war has come
Each victory gained o’er foeman
Why should our bards be dumb.

How shall we sing their praises
Our glory in their deeds
Renowned their worth amazes
Empire their prowess needs.

So to Old Ireland’s hearts and homes
We welcome now our own brave boys
In cot and Hall; neath lordly domes
Love’s heroes share once more our joys.

Love is the Lord of all just now
Be he the husband, lover, son,
Each dauntless soul recalls the vow
By which not fame, but love was won.

United now in fond embrace
Salute with joy each well-loved face
Yeoman: in women’s hearts you hold the place.

—June 1900

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W. B. Yeats: A Memoir (1963): ‘I cannot get rid of the impression that Yeats’s dabbling in astrology, magic, séances, and the occult in general was secondary to the poetic devotion of his life. In other words, he dealt in magic to enrich his unconscious nature from which all inspiration flows. With AE it was otherwise. Russell preferred, as Plato before him did, philosophy to poetry, even though for him philosophy was largely theosophy.’

Many Lines to Thee (1971): ‘Yeats was at Moore’s the other Saturday, and drank whiskeys and sodas, and recited a passage from a play he is composing, Deirdre. The effects on his reciting this are not be transmitted to you. He forgot himself and his face seemed tremulous as if in an image of impalpable fire. His lips are dark cherry red and his cheeks too, take colour, and his eyes actually glow black and then the voice sets all vibrating as he sways like a druid with his whole soul chanting. No wonder the mechanics in America are mesmerised. I know no more beautiful face that Yeats’s, when lit with song. Moore of course talked Bawdy. The conversation was very interesting to me. At Moore’s everyone becomes inspired to talk without affectation. Moore is the most sincerely affected man I know. His mannerisms have become real Moore.’ (Letter to G. K. A. Bell; pp.45-46).

Medical Dick and Medical Davy

The first was Medical Dick
The second was Medical Davy
The first had a Bloody Big Prick
The second had Buckets of Gravy
To show - to show - to show what medicals are.

Then out spoke Medical Dick
To his comrade Medical Davy
“I’d swap my Bloody Big Prick
For you with your buckets of Gravy”
To show &c.

“Steady Medical Dick”
Said Sturdy Medical Davy
”There’s very little value in a prick
When you haven’t got the passage of the gravy.”
To show etc.

“Every bullock were a bull
But for the little matter of a ballocks
If your prick can keep the women full
You’ll find they never grumble at its small looks.”
To show &c.

—Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty, ed. A. Norman Jeffares (OUP 2004), p.435.) Note: The poem is copied in in a letter to Joyce of 1902 or 1903 and is quoted in the “Scylla and Charybdis” chapter of Ulysses (U9.908 - [1922] Gabler ed., 1984). {See also Sam Slote, annot., Ulysses, Alma 2015, p.153, n.19.]

Reds: ‘Leisure, and all the accoutrements of leisure, lakes preserved, pictures, silver, and motor-cars, these are as red rags to the congenital “Reds” - the underdogs of all time. We shall be “taught a lesson”. In other words, all we possess that is the outcome of the creative imagination of artists who had the leisure to dream and to give their dream a local habitation, all that took time and loving care to accomplish, be it the cover of the Book of Kells or a silver inkstand, by all that appertains to a household of continuance, aye, even the house itself must be destroyed. And not that anything may live but hate.’ (Quoted in Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal, 1977, p.214.)

We Irish: ‘The feeling for natural scenery comes to us Irish from Ossian and from Finn, as I have indicated above. To Englishmen, who have not a language of their own but a mixture of Low German, French, Latin and the rest, it came in all its sweetness and sincerity from Chaucer and Shakespeare, only to become a matter of conscience in Wordsworth. The long descent of our Irish love for natural beauty is so innate in me that I will spare the reader a description of that loveliest of rivers that St. Patrick crossed, which is my own Anna Liffey [see also philological footnote, p.148: Amha na Life, &c.], that dark, bright, black, perennial water, unsoilable, which is cradled in golden sand and led through flowering irises and broad meadows, verdant always, through the plain of Kildare; never does it fail the land nor leaves its fishes [125] to die from want of freshets. Fortunately for the reader I am on a compas course …’ (pp.125-26; note also his comments on ‘that great principle which made England what it is - Compromise’; p.40.)

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[Gogarty’s remarks on Synge, Lady Gregory and Joyce

As I Was Going Down Sackville Street

Then, farther up the town in Camden Street, Synge would be sitting watching his rehearsals. He sat silent, holding his stick between his knees, his chin resting on his hands. He spoke seldom. When he did, the voice came it, a short rush, as if he wished to get the talk over as soon as possible. A dour, but not a forbidding man. Had lie been less competent it might have been said of him on account of his self-absorption that he ‘stood aloof from other minds. In impotence of fancied power.’ He never relaxed his mind front its burden.
 I asked him if he did not intend his Playboy for a satire to show up, for one thing, how lifeless and inert was the country where a man could be hailed as a hero for doing something kinetic even though it were a murder, and how ineffectual, for, as the event showed, even that had not been committed. He gave me a short glance and looked straight in front of himself, weighing me up and thinking how hard it would be to get the public to appreciate his play as a work of art, when one who should know better was reading analogies and satire into it already. He shook my question off with a shake of his head.
 We were nearer to poetic drama than we shall ever be again. Intellectual life was astir. Joyce and I used to go to see how the actors were getting on with John Elwood, a medical student, who enjoyed the hence allowed to medical students by the tolerant goodwill of a people to whom Medicine with its traffic in Life and Death had something of the mysterious and magical about it. To be a medical student’s pal by virtue of the glamour that surrounded a Student of medicine was almost a profession in itself. Joyce was the best example of a medical student’s pal Dublin produced, or rather the best example of the type, extinct since the Middle Ages, of a Goliard, a wandering scholar. The theatre off Camden Street was approached through a narrow passage. John Elwood got so drunk one night that he lamented that he could not even see the ladies stepping over him as they came out.
 “Synge looks like a fellow who would sip a pint.”
 “John,” I said, “if you had done more sipping and less swallowing you would not have got us all kicked out.”
 Joyce knew far better than I what was in the air, and what was likely to be the future of the theatre in Ireland.
 Who can measure how great was its loss when Lady Gregory gave him the cold shoulder? Maybe her much-announced search for talent did not contemplate the talent latentin medical students’ pals or wandering minstrels. After an unsuccessful interview he met us in a “snug,” where, very solemnly, with his high, well-stocked forehead bulging over his nose, he recited, waving his finger slowly:

There was a kind Lady called Gregory,
Said, “Come to me poets in beggery.”
But found her imprudence
When thousands of students
Cried, “All we are in that catègory”.

The elision of “who” before the “Said” in the second line is a parody on the synthetic folk speech in Synge’s Playboy. And the strained “catègory” the beginning of his own experiment with words. She had no room for playboys except on the stage. ... So Ulysses had to strike out for himself. Dublin Dante had to find a way out of his own Inferno. But he had lost the key. James Augustine Joyce slipped politely from the snug with an “Excuse me!”
 “Whist! He’s gone to put it all down!”
 “Put what down”,
 “Put us down. A chiel’s among us takin’ notes. And, faith, he’ll print it.”
 Now, that was a new aspect of James Augustine. I was too unsophisticated to know that even outside Lady Gregory’s presence, notes made of those contemporary with the growing “Movement” would have a sale later on, and even art historical interest.

—In Maureen O’Rourke Murphy & James McKillop, Irish Literature: A Reader (Syracuse UP 1987), pp.201-02.

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Gogarty’s Remarks on James Joyce

See Gogarty’s remarks on Joyce’s “epiphanies”, in As I Was Walking Down Sackville Street (1937) - viz., ‘[...] Probably Fr. Darlington had taught him. as an aside in his Latin class - for Joyce knew no Greek - that “epiphany” meant a “showing forth”. So he recorded under “Epiphany” any showing forth of the mind by which he considered one gave oneself away. [... &c.]’ (p.285; quoted in Theodore Spencer, Introduction to Stephen Hero [1944], Jonathan Cape 1968, p.22, n.2; see longer extract under Joyce, Notes, infra.)

James Joyce [I] - ‘A Fellow Dubliner’ (1931): ‘For you, a man of our race [...] there is no excuse for [558] falling into the trap which deceived so many Englishmen and which shall have them execrating him who set it when they suspect the deception, or, rather, become aware of their own shortcoming which hitherto they have sublimated at the expense of Scotland - dullness. For Joyce is a joke. No Scotsman could be so fooled. And you Irish!’ ( ‘A Fellow Dubliner’ [auth.], ‘The Veritable James Joyce According to Stuart Gilbert and Oliver St. John Gogarty’, in International Forum, 1, July 1931, pp.13-17; rep. in Robert Deming, ed., James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970 [Vol. 2], pp.556-59; pp.558-59.) Other matter in the article incls. derisive remarks about a ‘panegryic on the classical learning of James Joyce’ met with in Paul Jordan Smith’s book, to which: ‘God help us. One might as well praise the poor galley slave’ - since ‘[i]n the Ireland of my time and Joyce’s we were the galley slaves of classical learning’. (Deming, op. cit., p.558.)

Robert Deming (ed. Critical Heritage) writes: ‘When Ulysses appeared in 1922 and Gogarty saw himself depicted as Mulligan, he was furious [...]: “That bloody Joyce whom I kept in my youth has written a book you can read on all the lavatory walls in Dublin”, he snarled to friend who questioned him abot the book shortly after it appeared.’ (James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, ed. Robert Deming, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970, p.282; see also under Norah Hoult, infra].

James Joyce [II] - review of Finnegans Wake, in the Observer, (7 May 1939, p.4): ‘When I think of the indomitable spirit that plodded on, writing Ulysses in poverty in Trieste, without a hope of ever seeing it published, I am amazed at the magnitude of this work, every word of which in its 628 pages had to be weighed, twisted, and deranged in order to bring up associated ideas in the mind.’ [Discusses “Work in Progress” and calls Anna Livia Plurabelle ‘the most successful experiment in this strange style’.] ‘Mr. Yeats confessed to me that this kind of prose made any other colourless. But that is intelligible compared with the advance on it, if it may be so called (page 293) where a diagram is given entitled “Uteralterance or the Interplay of Bones in the Womb” [quotes paragraph]. This gives only a slight example of the method of comminuting words. The immense erudition employed, and the various languages ransacked for pun and word-associations is almost incredible to anyone unaware of the superhuman knowledge the author had when a mere stripling. In some places the reading sounds like the chatter during the lunch interval in a Berlitz school. Every language living and dead in Europe gabbles on and on. But what is the motive force behind this colossal production? Finnegan’s wake [sic] may be the wake, that is the funeral celebration, as well as the panegyric, of civilisation. Resentment against his upbringing, his surroundings, and finally against the system of civilisation throughout Europe, perhaps against Life itself which Finnegan may [Deming, p.674] represent, created this literary Bolshevism which strikes not only at all standards and accepted modes of expression whether of Beauty or Truth but at the very vehicle of rational expression. This arch-mocker in his rage would extract the Logos, the Divine word or Reason from its tabernacle, and turn it muttering and maudlin into the street. It is impossible to read the work as a serial. It may have a coherency and a meaning. What is wrong with the meaning that it cannot be expressed? Ripeness cannot be all in this instance, nor can a myriad-minded man full of infinite suggestion satisfy the reader with suggestions alone. Perhaps it is wrong to look for a meaning where there is every meaning. It may be unmodern to expect sense. Lewis Carroll stopped short brilligly, but this goes on lapsing as everlastingly as Anna Livia. There is nothing new under the sun: it is only exaggerated. This is the most colossal leg-pull in literature since McPherson’s Ossian. Mr. Joyce has had his revenge. [...]’. (Rep. in James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, ed. Robert Deming, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970 [Vol. 2], pp.673-75; also quoted in part in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965 Edn., p.734.)

James Joyce [III] - ‘The Joyce I Knew’ (1941): ‘[...] when all is said, the choice between the Logos, the Divine Word, “this godlike Reason”, and the large discourse and senseless mutterings of the subliminal mind’s low delirium, yet remains to be taken. / There is room in this world of ours for every form of literature. But thos whose gaze is clear and undimmed and steadfastly fixed on the Vision Beautiful as Yeats’s was, must see what a waste of ingenuity and what nonsense this vast concordance [Finnegans Wake] represents. / To me it is like a shattered cathedral through the ruins of which, buried deep and muted under the debris, the organ still sounds with its stops pulled out at once. [...]’ (in Saturday Review of Literature, XXIII (25 Jan. 1941), pp.3-4, 15-16; rep. in James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, ed. Robert Deming, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970 [Vol. 2], pp.673-75.)

Note: Gogarty was answered by Padraic Colum in a piece of the same title (Saturday Review of Literature, XXIII, 22 Feb. 1941), questioning whether he ever discussed Joyce with Yeats or learnt of the older man’s admiration for the novelist, recalling in particular the phrase ‘lonely intensity’ used by Yeats of Joyce in speaking with him [Colum]. (See Deming, op. cit., p.755.)

James Joyce [IV] - ‘They Think They Know Joyce’ (1950): ‘In the Dublin use of the word “artist” lies the key to James Joyce: the explanation of how this contradictory character, who in his early days knew beauty so well, became chief of the apostles of confusion and ugliness, the leader of the decadents. / In Dublin, “artist” does not denote one who is devoted to painting or any of the arts. In Dublin “artist” is a merry droll, a player of hoaxes.’ Gogarty repeats his assertion that the ‘worshippers of Joyce’ have become ‘the victims of a gigantic hoax, of one of the most enormous leg-pulls in history.’ Gogarty further argues that ‘Joyce’s power of construction was weak, hence the obscene conjunction of Ulysses with the Homeric poem’, and attributes the position of America as ‘chief infirmary for Joyceans’ to the national love the detective story, the crossword puzzle and the smoke-signals.’ (In Saturday Review of Literature, 18 March 1950, pp.8, 9, 36, 37 [abbrev. in Irish Digest, Aug. 1950, pp.19-23; rep. in Deming, op. cit., p.764-65.)

Note: Mary Colum rebutted him with the assertion that Gogarty ‘had no means of knowing the mature Joyce’ and charging by returns that ‘the great compiler of nonsense has been Gogarty himself’ and proceeds to demonstrate the point with the leading allegation that Gogarty knew only the early poems. (‘A Little Knowledge of Joyce’, Saturday Review of Literature, 29 April 1950, pp.10-12; Irish Digest, Sept. 1950, 39-41; Deming, op. cit., pp.765-66.)

James Joyce [IV]: ‘Joyce went one further, and talked himself to sleep: hence Finnegans Wake.’ (Rolling Down the Lea, 1950), pp.116-17; quoted in Deming, op. cit., 1970, p.763.)

See also under James Joyce > Commentary > Gogarty [various files] - as infra.)

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Irish Censorship: Julia Carlson quotes Gogarty’s remark on the irony that ‘we should make use of our recently won liberty to fill every village and hamlet with little literary pimps’ who would pride themselves on bringing books to the attention of the Censorship Board. (Carlson, ed. Banned in Ireland: Censorship & The Irish Writer, London: Routledge 1990, pp.6-7; quoted in Mary O’Hagan, UG Diss., UU 2010).

Ireland: ‘[Ireland] is an island in a key position between the Old World and the New.’ (Quoted p.17 in J. C. Kelly-Rogers, “Aviation in Ireland - 1784 to 1922’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 2, Summer 1971, pp.3-17 - orig. in Gogarty’s contribution to the first issue of Aviation, a magazine founded by Colonel Charles Russell after he retired from command of the Irish Air Corps.)

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Arthur Quiller Couch, ed., Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918 (new ed. 1929), 941-42. ALSO, 17 poems anthologised by Yeats in Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936), counting him among the ‘swift indifferent men’;

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); poems in United Irishman, Dana, and Sinn Fein ‘show a good deal of wit’ .

Desmond Clarke, Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore [Pt. 2] (Cork: Royal Carbery 1985), lists Mad Grandeur (1944).

Robert Hogan, ed., Dictionary of Irish Literature (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1979), under O’Casey, notes that Gogarty had written a slum play prior to O’Casey (p.489). Brian de Breffny, ed., Ireland, A Cultural Encyclopaedia (1983), contains short notice.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991), Vol. 2, selects An Offering of Swans, ‘To the Liffey with the Swans’ [740-51]; Wild Apples, ‘The Crab Tree’, ‘Per Iter Tenebricosm’ [751]; Others to Adorn, ‘Ringsend’, ‘Verse’ [752]; and notes as 770n, 772n., 930, and 780-81, with BIOG [as above]. FDA3, selects As I Was Going Down Sackville Street; remarks at 61 [Buck Mulligan]; 87 [biog. of Joyce], 245n [Beckett on Yeats, ‘Yet when he speaks, in his preface to Senator Gogarty’s Wild Apples [1928] of the ‘sense of hardship borne and chosen out of pride’ as the ultimate theme of the Irish writer, it is as though he were to derive in direct descent the very latest prize canary from that fabulous bird, the mesozoic pelican, addicted, though childless, to self-eviscerations’]; 382 [sect. on autobiographies; ed. rems.], 481 [O’Faolain: ‘McCartan once said an odd but true thing, “Yeats is much more of a nationalist than Gogarty, but Gogarty is much more Irish”. Meaning that Yeats had Ireland in his soul, but Gogarty had it in his body’, Vive Moi, 1964].

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Catalogues & Booksellers
Belfast Central Public Library holds 13 titles. OPAC lists works incl. Souvenir of Dublin University Dramatic Society [DUDS] performance in commemoration of Medical School bicentenary festival: Queen’s Theatre, July 5th, 1912 (Dublin: Waller 1912), contains ode by O. G. [i.e., Oliver St. John Gogarty] & ill. programme of [R. B. Sheridan,] She Stoops to Conquer; G. K. A. Bell [George Kennedy Allen Bell, Bishop of Chichester, 1883-1958], Delphi: being the Newdigate Prize poem MCMIV (Oxford: B. H. Blackwell; London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent 1904), 16pp., and signed ‘G. K. A. Bell, B. H. Blackwell’, printed on large paper, being one of seven copies [presentation copy].

Peter Ellis Books (Cat. 2004) lists Others to Adorn, Preface by W. B. Yeats with forewords by “AE” [George Russell] and Horace Reynolds (London: Rich & Cowan 1938), 185pp.

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In the dock (1): Gogarty’s As I Was Going Down Sackville Street subject of libel case in Four Courts brought by Henry Sinclair in 1937, with Beckett appearing as his witness; Albert Wood for Sinclair. J. M. Fitzgerald, appearing Gogarty examined Beckett [‘Prowst’]; jury found for Sinclair against Gogarty and awarded £900, which was reduced by the judge, Justice O’Byrne. An anonymous juryman explained the verdict, ‘Whatever about the jewman, he [Gogarty] must be made to pay for what he said about de Valera.’ John Harrington, quoting J. B. Lyons’s life of Gogarty, in The Irish Beckett, p.84.]

In the dock (2): The passage and verses in Gogarty’s As I Was Going down Sackville Street which occasioned the Sinclair libel case are quoted in Anthony Cronin, Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist (1996, p.259), together with an account of Beckett’s testimony and the circumstance that Boss Sinclair requested before he died that Gogarty be sued.

In the dock (3): Gogarty subsequently laid a civil suit against Patrick Kavanagh resulting in the withdrawal of The Green Fool, 1938.)

In the dock (4): Gogarty advised Clarke to sue Beckett for his caricature as Ticklepenny, as Clarke recorded in Penny in the Clouds (1974, p.98) where he also spoke of Murphy as having ‘nasty twist’ that the ‘self-evident cleverness and scholarship cannot redeem.’ (p.98)

Stephen Gwynn, Irish Literature and Drama in the English Language [1927], speaks of Gogarty’s An Offering of Swans and Wild Apples as ‘high poetry, yet not specifically marked with the impress of any period.’ [p. 218].

Great pals: Gogarty castigated James Joyce while in New York, to the amazement of a reverent literary public - as he revealed in a review of Finnegans Wake for the Observer ( Observer, 7 May 1939, p.4) where he called Finnegans Wake ‘the most colossal leg-pull in literature since MacPherson’s Ossian’. But note that Gogarty’s I Follow Saint Patrick was on Joyce’s desk at Pension Delphin when he died on 13 Jan. 1941.

Oliver (‘Nol’) D. Gogarty - obit. 25 Dec. 1999; b. and raised Renvyle, the son of Oliver St. John Gogarty; ed. Downside and Oxford; bar 1931; midland circuit to 1948; Inner Bar. (Obit, Irish Times, 14 Feb. 2000; signed ‘T.A.F.’)

Kith & Kin: Dermot St. John Gogarty, RIAI, RIBA, b. 3 Sept. 1908, 2nd son of Oliver St John Gogarty; ed. Downside and Pembroke College, Cambridge; apprenticed under Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens; worked for Vincent Kelly; established a practice in Dublin, 1936; moved to Galway, 1948. (See Wikipedia - online.)

Kith & Kin: A Dermot [St. John Joseph] Gogarty, 1958-2005; b. Cape Town, son of an actuary and kinsman of Oliver St. John Gogarty, ed. by Marists and Cape Town Univ.; m. Kathryn Roos, with whom 5 children; led student strikes and was friends with liberation theologist Albert Nolan; he left Australia rather than do national service; taught at Sherbourne Prep School; deputy head; completed MA in Education - viz., ‘Education for conflict - education for apartheid: with particular reference to the causes of the Soweto riots of 1976’ (Durham Univ. School of Education 1984), appt. headmaster of St John's, Beaumont, at Windsor, which he "turned into one of the most admired prep schools in the country"; died in car-crash. (see a Telegraph obituary - online.)

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Portraits: Oil portrait by William Orpen, signed New Years Eve, London 1911 [in possession of his son Oliver D. Gogarty]. Another portrait, possibly of Gogarty, by Orpen hangs in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin [ill. on front of Gogarty Soc. brochure (Heather Island, Tully Lake, Renvyle, Connemara, Co. Galway]. There is a photo. port. of Gogarty in Lord Dunsany, My Ireland (London & NY: Jarrold’s 1937) [among 31 ills., as infra.].

Errata? Peter Costello (James Joyce: The Years of Growth, Kyle Cathie 1992), records that Gogarty married in September and quotes Joyce: ‘I fancy as he emerged from the church door his agile eye went right and left a little anxiously in search of a certain lean myopic face in the crowd [viz., Joyce’s, but he will rapidly grow out of that remaining sensitivity’ (p.263.)

Ulick O’Connor gives an account of Joyce and Gogarty’s friendship and its ending in his Envoy chapter, but does not make mention of the article in Review of Literature by Gogarty upset so many of Joyce’s friends such as the Colums.

Compare & contrast: Gogarty’s ‘unsoilable sea’ seems to reflect the form and sense of James Clarence Mangan’s ‘untamable sea’.

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