trieste,  7/25/2014

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Gilberto SenigagliaSENIGAGLIA, Gilberto                                    
Born in Trieste, January 6, 1872 (other sources say Jan. 7). Studied medicine in Graz, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology (other sources say degree from Vienna, 1895). Apparently served as a military physician for a time.  Returned to Trieste and in addition to his private practice also directed the obstetrics department at the Poliambulanza. Possibly already a student of Joyce’s he delivered Giorgio at Joyce’s home in July 1905 and thereafter became a sort of family physician, caring for Joyce during his rheumatic fever episode in May-June 1907, assisting Nora  during her pregnancy with Lucia  and again during the ill-fated 3rd pregnancy in 1908. Senigaglia married Angelina Persich in August 1906, with whom he had had a relationship for 6 years and possibly fathered a child out of wedlock (which makes it seems strange that he should advise Joyce to say he was married when registering Nora at the Ospedale Maggiore for Lucia’s birth).
Senigaglia was a socialist (possibly another  reason for his good relations with Joyce) and was elected by the Socialist Party to the city council from 1909-13. He was appointed head physician of the worker’s medical insurance fund, the Cassa Ammalati when it passed under socialist control in 1909 and was also a member of the very progressive Socialist cultural association, Circolo di studi. He remained in Trieste during WWI and had a private clinic at v. Battisti 26. He died unexpectedly July 5, 1919, apparently infected by one of his patients. His obituary in the socialist paper, Il lavoratore, July 6, 1919 praises his work for the Socialist Party and the working class. 

Senigaglia was of Jewish origin, though he always declared himself to be ‘without religion’, and was the object of a vicious slander campaign in 1904 by the local anti-semitic paper, Il Sole. The case went to court but was thrown out on a technicality. He was also a fencer and was involved in at least one duel in 1902. 

Joyce and Trieste


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