Lucia Joyce: Daughter, Dancer

As research for the novel I’ve been working on, I read a tons of books about dance last year (such a hardship, ha!). One was the fascinating Lucia Joyce: To Dance in her Wake by Carol Loeb Schloss.

It inspired me to try and write an essay but I realised Schloss had done a much better job of saying the things that needed said about the talented daughter of James Joyce so I picked up some charcoal and draw a few pictures with just a short few paragraphs instead. I totally recommend To Dance in her Wake, it’s well work a read.

Impassioned dancer, inspired costume designer, reluctant illustrator, post-modern thinker – Lucia Joyce was many things. She was also the daughter of one of the great names of literature.

To Joyce, Lucia remained a treasure. Even when he demanded she leave the stage and a combination of thwarted ambitions, suppressed talents and unfortunate events strained her nerves.

Career stalled, emotions scrutinised, potential avenues blocked, Lucia’s potential was squandered for another form of art. To some of his fans, Lucia became a danger. Not to herself or to others but to her father’s work. She spent 50 years of her life in a variety of institutions and while her father’s WIP finally came to fruition, her ambitions did not.

She’s since been remembered and reclaimed by some but dance, unlike literature, is only ever truly experience in the moment. One passion cannot be exchanged for another. Sadly, one artist could easily be sacrificed for another.


Portrait of a busy girl

It’s been another busy week in the land of Lynsey, what with trips to London and nasty work deadlines, so I haven’t done any of the things I should have. Nothing has been packed yet, not one story has been revised since last weekend and I’ve barely written anything new all week. So what did I do last night when I got back into town? Doodled instead, typical! I have to say though, after re-discovering charcoal a wee while ago I’ve remembered how much I like drawing.

Lynsey May self portrait charcoal

As you can see, this is not the most finished of pictures and I had to take a photo rather than a scan, but still, I’d say this portrait is a good example of my grumpiness levels when I’ve not had enough time for reading, writing or seeing my most lovely friends. I’m not really sulking though, I’m still too happy about the way various things are working out at the moment. Also, I have a massive stack of new books and comics to read this weekend – yay!