the omphalos

June 16, 2013 — 2 Comments

Do you pay rent for this tower?

Twelve quid, Buck Mulligan said.

… Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it?

Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos.

martello tower 2

James Joyce spent six days staying with a couple of friends in a Martello tower in Sandy Cove, Dublin, in 1904, and later set the first chapter of his novel Ulysses there. Built during the Napoleonic era as a defensive position against a feared French invasion, the tower is one of a string of Martello towers in England, Ireland, and Wales.

Now known as the James Joyce Tower, it has been made into a museum, and furnished as it was during Joyce’s time there. For Joyce devotees who make the pilgrimage to visit it, the tower may indeed be an omphalos, a sacred conical object.


2 responses to the omphalos

    Livon Diramerian June 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Round forms are the best environment to live in.


    Very interesting details you could have mentioned, thanks for posting.

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