Fμckbird and Jim: James Joyce’s letters to Nora Barnacle

Imagine if every drunken tweet you ever sent was posted on the Internet and flagged for the world to see. It would be something like this.

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SEXY BEAST: Just look at this fine ensemble. Like a louche waiter on a very stylish pirate ship. Filthy lapels. Dashing face topiary.

The letters below were originally presented on my main site as part of the background research material for a new episode in my performance lecture series; this one was to be called ‘One-Eyed Monster’ and explore the posthumous ownership and exposure of artists’ private lives, focusing on James Joyce. Although this project is on hold for the moment, the evident interest of both scholars and perverts in James Joyce’s smutty letters and the difficulty of obtaining access to them has persuaded me to maintain the material here.

‘One-Eyed Monster’ was inspired by the ongoing public fascination with the private lives of famous writers, artists, musicians and performers. I’m particularly interested in the ways that a person who achieves any significant measure of success or recognition in…

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