30 June 2011

Mirror Image II

I was leafing through Richard Ellmann’s biography of James Joyce, when a photo of Oliver St John Gogarty caught my eye. Gogarty was an ENT surgeon, poet and wit, sometime friend of Joyce, and was the model for ‘Stately, plump Buck Mulligan’ in Ulysses. I found the photo online:

Gogarty is wearing a double-breasted frock coat. Normally, the left half of a double breasted suit or coat goes in front of the right half. Here, the arrangement is reversed;  or the picture is laterally reversed.

I also found a picture of James Joyce, though I forget where. I did find it, or one very like it on Google:

Joyce had bilateral eye problems for many years, and underwent multiple operations on both eyes. His left eye was the poorer, and more troublesome. All other pictures of him with an eye patch show it over the left eye. I’m not totally convinced that this is a mirror image.

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