By A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Michael Patrick Gillespie
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Additional info for Critical Companion to James Joyce: A Literary Companion to His Life And Works
Now, O now, in this brown land” Poem 33 (XXXIII); in sharp contrast to the opening song of the suite, where “Strings in the earth and air / Make music sweet” (I), the speaker now realizes that he and his beloved will no longer together hear their songs of love. They must part “at close of day,” but without grieving. ) Joyce told the composer C. Molyneux Palmer in a letter of July 19, 1909, that this verse is “vitally the end of the book. 67). 158). ) “All day I hear the noise of waters” Poem 35 (XXXV); this poem Joyce added in 1906.
Although the Lord Chamberlain’s jurisdiction did not extend to Dublin, he tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent its performance there. The play had its premiere on August 25, 1909, at the ABBEY THEATRE, whose codirectors, William Butler YEATS and Lady Augusta GREGORY, had been instrumental in securing its production. Joyce, with his son, was in Ireland visiting his family, and he had arranged beforehand to cover the opening performance of the play for Il Piccolo della Sera. In the article that he wrote afterward, Joyce applauds the Abbey’s victory over censorship, a problem that had begun to plague his own writings.
Another version of the origin of the title is given in Herbert Gorman’s biography of my brother, but the story there told . . is false, whatever its source” (p. 209). In Gorman’s version, Joyce and a friend one evening visited a widow, who after hearing Joyce’s poems and drinking beer, withdrew behind a screen to use a chamber pot. The following numerical sequences of Chamber Music represent two different arrangements of the poems. The order of settings in Arabic numerals represents Joyce’s intentions as found in the 1905 manuscript now at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, and reflects the thematic and musical development of the suite.
Critical Companion to James Joyce: A Literary Companion to His Life And Works by A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Michael Patrick Gillespie