A 'Laughing Sailor' in an Amusements Arcade on the Sea Promenade is a phenomenon that James Joyce himself may, indeed, have witnessed as a child when his family lived from 1887 - 1892 in Martello Terrace, in the Victorian seaside resort of Bray, on the Co. Dublin - Co. Wicklow border.
" ... and the jackasses all within bawl laughed and brayed for his intentions ..."
from FINNEGANS WAKE
* * *
A LAUGHING SAILOR IN A BRAY AMUSEMENTS ARCADE
"Little me in a Bray amusements arcade looking aghast at a ruddy and red and shiny cheeked sailor, colloquially called, 'Creepy Old Jack', in his blue and white uniform, round band to his cap, and black bristling boots, and his hands on his knees, and him sitting on a money box full of brassed and coppered and worn out old coins, in a Victorian glass case, waiting for daytrippers, and me, to pop in another penny or two or three, before launching into a fit of rollicking and rolling and lurching loud laughter, bending himself forward, and leaning way back, utterly convulsed, his eyes mildly manic, but heartily amused, not confused, by the apparent transience, Transparenz, and jocularity of it all!“
© 2022 Dr. Patrick Patridge
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Pretty 19th century Seafront Cottage, Bray, Co. Wicklow
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