James Joyce pp 184-186 | Cite as

Ecce Puer

  • Stephen Joyce


We met up with James Joyce’s grandson, a blue-eyed, redcheeked fifteen-year-old, in an apartment on Central Park West the other afternoon. He bears the name Stephen, as did a famous character of his grandfather’s before him. Young Stephen was spending his Easter holidays from Andover with his uncle, Robert N. Kastor,1 treasurer of the Camillus Cutlery Company, who has been supervising his career since he arrived here from Zürich in December. With a lilt that almost hid the merest hint of a Teutonic accent, Stephen told us right off that he hadn’t read any of his grandfather’s works except a handful of poems, among them ‘Ecce Puer’, in which Joyce sang of the death of his father and the birth of Stephen. ‘I don’t think I’m old enough to read James Joyce, ’Stephen told us, ‘and anyhow English is my worst subject. I think mostly in German now, because I’ve been studying that language in Switzerland. In English, I like Wild West stories by Zane Grey. My favourite poem is ‘Sohrab and Rustum’. When we were in St Gérand-le-Puy, near Vichy, before the Germans came in 1940, Grandfather lived quite near, and he used to drop in before breakfast to talk to me about Greek mythology. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten most of it now. ’‘Do you remember who Dedaius was? ’we inquired. ‘Wasn’t he a Greek in a bier battle with somebody? ’said Stephen.


White Wine Catholic School Actual Writing Soccer Team Greek Mythology 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1990

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  • Stephen Joyce

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