James Joyce statue, Dublin, Ireland

Physical address: 2 Earl St N, North City, Dublin

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Widely acclaimed as Ireland’s most famous author, James Joyce is immortalised in brass, in a life-sized statue on North Earl Street, adjacent to the O’Connell Street GPO. Although he spent much of his life abroad, Joyce wrote prolifically about his home country, and particularly the city of his birth. Both his short story collection, Dubliners, and his seminal work, Ulysses, are set in Dublin, making its heart an ideal setting for him to be honoured.

Erected in 1990, the statue, which was created by US sculptor Marjorie Fitzgibbon, depicts Joyce in a state of calm repose looking out across his beloved city and is passed by thousands of people every day. With hat askew, legs crossed and leaning on a cane with one hand in his pocket, Joyce’s attitude marks him as someone who has found his place, although reputedly the tilt of his chin and elevation of his nose give some the impression that he’s just a little bit too smug. To bring him down a peg or two, the statue has been nicknamed “The Prick with the Stick” although there is likely some affection in the name – Molly Malone’s statue on the other side of the river is referred to as “The Tart with the Cart”.

That Joyce is really an esteemed part of the city’s history is never more evident than on 16 June of each year. The James Joyce statue was unveiled on that date, by the city’s mayor, but Joyce fans may have been too busy to attend the unveiling, instead re-enacting scenes from Ulysses or sipping a pint in one of the pubs and hotels that feature in the book. As the entire epic tale (which is more than 700 pages long) captures events taking place across the city on 16 June 1904, the anniversary of Bloomsday sees a range of festivities for literary fans. And, of course, you can take a photo with Joyce any day of the year.

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