Walk to Artane

Initial space-time. The first section of Wandering Rocks, like the last, depicts a long journey, this one on the northeastern edge of the city. At 2:55 PM Father John Conmee looks at his watch and reflects that it is a good time to "walk to Artane," a suburb beyond Clontarf and Killester where the O'Brien Institute for Destitute Children housed, fed, and educated orphaned boys. It is a trip of well over two miles, but the priest rides a tram for some of the distance. According to Clive Hart's painstaking calculations he should arrive at about 3:39. Section 1 shows Conmee passing numerous clearly identified urban features, many of which held strong personal associations for Joyce. In a single interpolation it jumps to another section sited in a different part of town. This sentence, and another one that sounds like an interpolation but is not, lead by obscure byways to section 19.

John Hunt 2019

Bartholomew's 1900 map of Dublin, with Father Conmee's route to the O'Brien Institute superimposed in blue arrows. Source: Pierce, James Joyce's Ireland.

Trees flanking Mountjoy Square North, the street that runs along the northwest side of the park, in a 2019 photograph. Source: John Hunt.

The king and queen departing from Cork in a fine carriage in 1903, in a page from the 15 August 1903 issue of The Sphere. Source: Vincent Van Wyk.

The former Free Church on Great Charles Street, home in 2019 to the Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre. Source: John Hunt.

North Richmond Street seen from the North Circular Road in a 2019 photograph. Source: John Hunt.

The building that once housed the Asylum for Aged and Virtuous Single Women on Portland Row. Source: John Hunt.

Aldborough House in the 1940s. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Newcomen Bridge on the North Circular Road, and a lock on the Royal Canal. Source: buildingsofireland.ie.

Trams crossing the Annesley Bridge in 1898. Source: www.pinterest.com.

The O'Brien Institute in a photograph held in the Lawrence Collection of the National Library of Ireland. Source: lawrencecollection.com.