Joyce as Mediaeval Wandering Scholar (Gogarty, 1937)

1.546-47. Oliver St. John Gogarty, As I Was Going Down Sackville Street: A Phantasy in Fact, (London: Rich & Cowan, Ltd., 1937), p. 284. BL 010821.ff.38

An extract from Oliver St. J. Gogarty, As I Was Going Down Sackville Street (1937), on Joyce.

In this extract, Gogarty characterises the young James Joyce, somewhat slightingly, as a “medical student’s pal,” before then adding a rather more striking comment on his being a mediaeval “wandering scholar”:

Joyce and I used to go to see how the actors were getting on with John Elwood, a medical student, who enjoyed the licence allowed to medical students by the tolerant goodwill of a people to whom Medicine with its traffic in Life and Death had something of the mysterious and magical about it. To be a medical student’s pal by virtue of the glamour that surrounded a student of medicine was almost a profession in itself. Joyce was the best example of a medical student’s pal Dublin produced, or rather the best example of the type, extinct since the Middle Ages, of a Goliard, a wandering scholar.