They rescue the life of Lucia, dancer and daughter of James Joyce

The biography of Lucia Joyce was already worthy of a novel: daughter of James Joycehad a series of problems that led to her being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but she also lived with a mother with whom she had a bad relationship, not to mention her brother: and all of this was nurtured Sofia G. Buzali to write the novel My name is Lucía Joyce (Editor Dos Líneas, 2021).

“I was struck by the father-daughter relationship and what was happening within the family, with this alcoholic man, with this world of so many economic problems, with self-exile. He asked me how his life had been with those stimuli from the people who surrounded Joyce ”

‘Samuel Beckett was very close to her.

“Then, I realized that she was a woman well ahead of her time, she had a different world from the women of the moment, because she was rebellious, liberal, in addition to being Joyce’s muse: that world, the social moment in which they lived became a passion for me and everything led me to get into the character and the time”.

The author’s interest arose from a course on Ulysses, from Joyce: from a course, for a year she was immersed in the universe of the Irish writer: she even came to Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday, but when the figure of her daughter began to appear, she raised many questions, some already resolved in more books academic, and others that required the imagination.

“Lucía had many entrances and exits from hospitals and James Joyce always rescued her. There was a very Oedipal relationship between the two; finally he dies in 1941 and Lucía is totally abandoned ”, because she had a mother with very strong problems and there was a lot of jealousy between the two. In addition to “a brother of hers who I don’t know what bothered him about her, to the extent that he was the one who admitted her over the years. When Joyce dies, Lucia is completely adrift.

a complex universe

One of the aspects that most caught the attention of Sofia G. Buzali was trying to understand a personality as complex as Lucy Joycewhose life had already been rescued in some biographies, although the writer was interested in getting a little closer to who became a professional dancer, the critics of the time praised her, and who held conversations with the intellectuals of the time, There was even talk of a relationship with Samuel Beckett. And, in the midst of all that, “he felt the abandonment of his entire family.”

“It took me a long time to understand that voice, that fragile being who, on the one hand, was very creative, had already written a novel and spoke English, German, French: a woman who had a broad internal life, but who I felt the abandonment, the sadness, the longing for my father, to the extent that I imagined that the only thing he wanted in all those years, when he found out that Joyce had died, was to go in search of him”.

My name is Lucia Joyce it is a literary fiction, warns the author of the volume, beyond the fact that the characters and some passages are based on the biographies written about the artist: although, from Sofía’s point of view, it was necessary to recover her soul, what she sought to do with the novel.

“All the family and personal data are real, and everything related to the psychiatric hospital, I mean the characters, are fictitious, which was my way of getting into Lucía’s soul: she talked a lot about her soul they had removed with so many medications that they gave him through the hospitals and doctors he turned to.”

In the form of a diary, Sofia G. Buzali sought to get into the character, to see what she could feel or remember, it became the best tool to go after her and understand her relationship with the family, with the father and, above all things, “with the process of writing or creation of the father”, as one of the great figures of world literature.

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They rescue the life of Lucia, dancer and daughter of James Joyce


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