Joyce and Munich

At the turn of the previous century, Munich was the home address for a whole plethora of artists and intellects: Wagner, Kandinsky, Lenin and Thomas Mann, to mention but a few. Although Munich didn't manage to attract James Joyce, it did take a chance on the otherwise beleaguered young artist.

Joyce completed Exiles (an Ibsenesque play about a love triangle) in 1918. Yeats, in the Abbey in Dublin, rejected the work as "unplayable". Joyce finally managed to debut Exiles in the Schauspiel in Munich in August 1919. In part Yeats was right, the play was before its time - not getting its first major showing in London until Harold Pinter staged the work in the Mermaid Theatre in November 1970 - but fair play to the Münchners for taking the chance.