I traveled to Sweny’s to pay homage to Ulysses in July 2010. I just wanted to comment on the extraordinary experience I had at your shop. I’m from Louisiana, USA, and went to Cambridge this past summer for a course in Joyce’s wonderful masterpieces. Naturally, I visited Dublin, and honestly Sweny’s provided a most unique experience I will never forget. I had difficulty finding your shop. However, upon finding it, the lady behind the counter indulged my fascination and curiosity. After meeting the sweet dog, I was introduced to your copies of James Joyce Quarterly for sale. I wanted to purchase them all, but I had to attain money for these collections and the DART (to go to Martello Tower of course). I trekked to the nearby cornershop, but my card did not work to withdraw cash. I had to narrow my purchase. Upon returning to the shop, two older ladies (regulars I believe) had added to your shop’s quirky charm. In my part of the world, these ladies should be treated with quiet reverence. However, when I asked the shop worker how much DART tickets were, she informed me of its fee. Happily, I had money to purchase one JJQ and one DART ticket. The ladies in your shop immediately came to and offered me an enormous amount of financial assistance to safely see my return from Martello. In addition, your shop keeper notified the Martello staffer of my impending arrival. I have never in my life felt so cared for, as if I were a child of your community.
I expected to find a shop encapsulating Joyce in an unapproachable bubble. I found an absolute representation of community who loved and respected creation, history and people. Your shop alone made me realize why Bloom’s thoughts are so approachable in his judgments and cataloging of life. It seems as if he was telling the story of a city of mothers, familiars and genuinely caring people.
I would love to become involved in your shop in any way possible from around the world. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to support such a unique expression of timeless character.