Almidano Artifoni

The sixth section of Wandering Rocks shows Stephen Dedalus talking in Italian with his voice teacher "Almidano Artifoni," who regrets Stephen's decision not to pursue what could be a profitable vocal career because of his belief that "the world is a beast." Artifoni was a real person, but he was not a musician and he never set foot in Dublin. He was simply a man who had done Joyce good and who should therefore be honored. In Ulysses Joyce seems to have overlaid Artifoni onto an Italian musician he did know from Dublin, Luigi Denza, just as in Stephen Hero he overlaid him on the Jesuit priest who taught him Italian, Father Charles Ghezzi. These layerings become still more complex when, at the end of Eumaeus, Leopold Bloom encourages Stephen to become a professional singer.

Marco Fulvio Barozzi and John Hunt 2021

Photograph of Almidano Artifoni taken ca. 1911. Source:

Photographic portrait, date unknown, of Luigi Denza made by the firm of Pilotti e Poysel, held in the Archivio Storico Ricordi, Milan. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Photographic portrait of Romeo Bartoli, date unknown, held in the Museo Schmidl, Trieste. Source: John McCourt, James Joyce: A Passionate Exile.

1890s photograph of College Green held in the National Library of Ireland, showing Trinity College at top right, the Bank of Ireland on the left, and two trams, one of them part of the city's recently electrified fleet, passing by the statue of "King Billy." Source:

  1900 photograph by Robert French held in the Lawrence Collection of the National Library of Ireland, showing two trams passing by the "blind columned porch of the bank of Ireland" and a stream of pedestrians walking past the "Trinity gates" and the statue of "Goldsmith's knobby poll" inside the railings. Source: