James Joyce

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (February 2, 1882 - January 13, 1941) was an expatriate Irish writer and poet, and is widely considered one of the most significant writers of the 20th century.

Table of contents
1 Life
2 Quotations
3 Related topics
4 External links

Life

James Joyce was born into a well-off Catholic family in Dublin which suffered numerous setbacks and slid into poverty. He studied literature at University College Dublin, where he rejected Catholicism.


James Joyce — detail of portrait by Jacques Emile Blanche

Joyce made his first visit to Paris in 1902 to be part of the growing artist movement in Montparnasse and Montmartre at the time. He left the city in 1904 to return to Ireland as his mother was dying. He met Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid, on June 16th of the same year and later the pair went into "exile" (his only play was titled Exiles) to spend the rest of his life on the Continent. He returned to Paris in 1920 and, apart from two visits to Ireland, would remain there for the next twenty years until just before his death in 1941.

His Irish experiences are essential to his writings, and provide all of the settings for his fiction and much of their subject matter. The early volume of short stories, Dubliners, is a penetrating analysis of the stagnation and paralysis of Dublin society. The stories are epiphanies, a word used particularly by Joyce, by which he meant a sudden consciousness of the "soul" of a thing.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, largely autobiographical, shows the process of attaining maturity and self-consciousness by a young gifted man. The main character is Stephen Dedalus, Joyce's representation of himself. In this novel some glimpses of Joyce's later techniques are evident, in the use of interior monologue and in the concern with the psychic rather than external reality.

In Ulysses, Joyce employs stream of consciousness, parody, jokes, and virtually every other literary technique to present his characters. The action of the novel, which takes place in a single day, June 16, 1904, sets the ancient myth of Ulysses, Penelope and Telemachus in modern Dublin and represents them in the characters of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, parodically contrasted with their lofty models. The book explores various areas of Dublin life, dwelling on its squalor and monotony.

Joyce's method of stream of consciousness, literary allusions and free dream associations was pushed to the limit in Finnegans Wake, which abandoned all conventions of plot and character construction, and is written in a peculiar and obscure language, based mainly on complex multi-level puns. (His approach here is similar to, but far more extensive than, that used by Lewis Carroll in "Jabberwocky".)

This series of works makes up a volume of short stories and three novels, all three of which would be named as part of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editorial board of the American Modern Library. In their selection, the board chose Ulysses as #1 book of the century and his other two novels as #3 and #77.

He also wrote a play and two collections of poetry: Joyce's work has been subject to intense scrutiny by scholars of all types, and he is one of the most noted writers of the twentieth century. Finnegans Wake is the source of the physicist's word "quark", the name of one of the main kinds of elementary particles. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida has written a book on the use of language in Ulysses, and the American philsopher Donald Davidson has written similarly on Finnegans Wake in comparison with Lewis Carroll. Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges often drew on Joyce as well.

James Joyce died on January 13, 1941 at Zürich, Switzerland and is buried in the Fluntern Cemetery, in Zürich with his wife, Nora.

The life of Joyce is celebrated annually on June 16, Bloomsday, in Dublin and in an increasing number of cities worldwide.

Quotations

from Joyce

about Joyce

Related topics

External links


">
" size=20>

 
 

Browse articles alphabetically:
#0">0 | #1">1 | #2">2 | #3">3 | #4">4 | #5">5 | #6">6 | #7">7 | #8">8 | #9">9 | #_">_ | #A">A | #B">B | #C">C | #D">D | #E">E | #F">F | #G">G | #H">H | #I">I | #J">J | #K">K | #L">L | #M">M | #N">N | #O">O | #P">P | #Q">Q | #R">R | #S">S | #T">T | #U">U | #V">V | #W">W | #X">X | #Y">Y | #Z">Z