Fascinating and provocative literary fiction explores the year Irish author James Joyce lived in and loathed Rome, a period of time of which so little is known.
“Cafiero’s biofiction is an outstanding literary achievement. It deserves to be read.” — Amy O’Loughlin, Foreword Clarion Reviews (five stars)
Joyce has become frustrated with life in Trieste and decides to flee the port town on the Adriatic together with his unwedded wife, Nora Barnacle, and their little son Giorgio, and take up a steady job in Rome. He travels full of hope to the most Catholic of capitals that he quickly begins to loathe on account of its vulgar ritualism and immoderate liturgical pomp. It is here where we find James Joyce wandering about like a wayfarer captured by a city he finds ghastly, ghostly even — and meeting detective Mondine.
On behalf of publisher Grant Richards, Mr Angus Craston of the Henderson & Craston Detective Agency in London asks private investigator David Mondine to look into the affairs of a certain Mr James Joyce. It is his morals and reliability that the publisher is interested in, as Joyce has asked him to publish his small volume of short stories, Dubliners. Through the academic study of original letters Joyce has written to his brother Stanislaus, and the illuminating personal diary of Mondine, the friendship between author and investigator is revealed in vivid and captivating detail.
Rome, the legitimate daughter of a city of old myths, mummified glories and fascinating landscapes, set amid majestic ruins and ridiculous buildings erected in honour of a new century, is presented in a whole new light through Joyce’s eyes; his Rome is a lazy corpse, where the frivolous local people lead petty lives and are only concerned with trivialities, and where the lack of money constantly persecutes him and his family.
The author draws fascinating comparisons between Joyce’s native Dublin and Rome, delves into the mind of the literary genius, and accounts the months of farewells, lost loves, new needs, innovative writing, linguistic inventions and irreverent investigations that so deeply impacted Joyce’s craft. James Joyce 1906–1907 — The Ambiguity of Epiphanies analyses ambiguity as the truth of illusion of reality and the necessity to look at reality as a mirror of fiction; and vice versa.
About the author: Giuseppe Cafiero lives in the Tuscan countryside. He has produced numerous cycles of programmes for the Italian-Swiss Radio and Radio Capodistria (Slovenia), written plays that have been warmly welcomed from his natal Italy to Argentina, and published ten works focused on giants such as James Joyce, Vincent Van Gogh and Edgar Allan Poe. His literary achievements have appealed to many, from Mediterranean Europe to Holland to Australia, with their fascinating mix of fiction and biography, intriguing decodings and interpretations, and unique ways of exploring the relationship between author and subject, admiration to obsession.