Joyce lived with Gogarty in "the tower" at Sandycove Point, southeast of Dublin, for a few days in September 1904. Telemachus realistically depicts the top of the tower and the living space one floor below. It also mentions the military history that produced these defensive fortifications. But Joyce chose this dramatic setting as much for its symbolic resonances as for its basis in lived experience: it gave him a way to begin his novel with parallels to Homer's Odyssey and to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Both of these works tell stories of usurpation and revenge, and both center on the powerful visual image of a royal palace.

JH 2011

The Sandycove tower.

The Sandycove tower in its setting. Source: