The night James Joyce spent at the Ljubljana train station
One random night made James Joyce also part of the Slovenian cultural story …
James Joyce (1882-1941), an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century.
But did you know that he had also visited Ljubljana?
Well, not exactly on purpose. In 1904, in his early 20s, Joyce emigrated to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste, Paris and Zürich.
On one occasion, when they travelled by train from Zürich to Trieste, they accidentally got off at the Ljubljana railway station thinking they have already made it to Trieste. They spent the night in a park across the railway station and caught an early train to Italy.
Since 2003 the work of art by Slovenian sculptor Jakov Brdar on the first platform of the Ljubljana railway station has been reminiscent of this event.
Slovenian writers described their view of Joyce’s Sleepy Night in Ljubljana in the 1994 collection of short stories Night in Ljubljana.