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1882 - 1941
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture
ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.
James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 in Dublin, Ireland. His subtle yet frank portrayal of human nature, coupled with his mastery of language made him one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century.
Joyce is best known for his experimental use of language and his exploration of new literary methods. His use of the literary technique, "stream-of-consciousness" reveals the flow of impressions, half thoughts, associations, hesitations, impulses, as well as the rational thoughts of his characters. The main strength of his masterpiece novel, "Ulysses" (1922) lies in the depth of character portrayed using this technique. Joyce's other major works include "Dubliners," a collection of short stories that portray his native city, a semi-autobiographical novel called "A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man" (1916), and "Finnegans Wake" (1939), an experimental novel that first appeared in the form of extracts from 1928 to 1937 as "Work in Progress."
Joyce faced daunting financial and health problems while at work on "Ulysses." Between 1917 and 1930 he endured a series of 25 operations for eye diseases. Despite these problems he continued to work. He was helped by a large grant from Edith Rockefeller McCormick, and by a series of grants from Harriet Shaw Weaver, which by 1930 had amounted to more than 23,000. The generosity of these patrons resulted from their admiration of his work, and their sympathy with his difficulties.
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Books About James Joyce
- James Joyce A to Z: The Essential Reference to the Life and Work - Authors: A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Michael Patrick Gillespie
This reference on the life and work of James Joyce includes some 800 alphabetical entries that encompass the author's work, and provide insight into the culture, history, biography, and criticism of his writings. Includes bibliographies of biographical and critical studies, a chronology of Joyce's writings and publications, a timeline from Ulysses, a working outline of Finnegan's Wake.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "James Joyce A to Z"
- Dublin's Joyce - Author: Hugh Kenner
A comprehensive guide to the works of James Joyce.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "Dublin's Joyce"
- James Joyce - Author: Richard Ellmann
This acclaimed biography won both the James Tait Black and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prizes. Anthony Burgess of 'The Observer' called Richard Ellmann's book, "The greatest literary biography of the century."
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "James Joyce"
- Joyce's Grand Operoar: Opera in Finnegans Wake - Authors: Matthew J. C. Hodgart, Ruth Bauerle
A passionate musician as well as a writer, James Joyce grew up hearing his father sing opera arias and for a time aspired to become a singer himself. In Joyce's Grand Operoar, two internationally respected Joyce scholars join forces to present over 3,000 of Joyce's opera allusions as they appear in Finnegans Wake. The resulting volume will delight both opera lovers and Joyceans. The allusions are organized first by the page and line of their appearance in Finnegans Wake and then cross-referenced by opera composers and their works, librettists, designers, critics, and conductors, as well as by arias, characters, and singers. The rich musical subtext of Finnegans Wake incorporates Joyce's earlier opera allusions in a grand opera finale of his own.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "Joyce's Grand Operoar"
- Joyce's Waking Women: A Feminist Introduction to Finnegans Wake - Author: Sheldon Brivic
This introduction to Finnegans Wake presents a detailed feminist reading of several crucial sections and themes. Includes an introduction concerning Joyce's attitudes toward women.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "Joyce's Waking Women"
- The Aesthetics of James Joyce - Author: Jacques Aubert
How did James Joyce see himself in relation to Henrik Ibsen? What were his views of Nietzsche, Hegel, Coleridge, or Ruskin? When did Joyce begin to devote serious attention to aesthetics and poetics? In "The Aesthetics of James Joyce," Jacques Aubert assesses the role Joyce assigned himself in relation to his literary and philosophical contemporaries and predecessors. First published in French in 1973 this book is the first full-length treatment of James Joyce's aesthetic ideas. It gives a coherent unity to Joyce's scattered writings on aesthetics while placing them in a rich historical context. This 1992 edition is translated and revised by the author.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "The Aesthetics of James Joyce"
Books By James Joyce
- Dubliners - Author: James Joyce
"Dubliners" is a remarkable portrait of a city and its people, dramatizing ordinary life in the modern world. This collection of short stories forms an interwoven tapestry of the struggles of men and women to rise above the constraints of their everyday lives. "Dubliners" is a bold, innovative experiment with both language and structure, which has exerted a lasting influence on contemporary literature.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "The Dubliners"
- A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man - Author: James Joyce
Published in 1916 to immediate acclaim, "Portrait" is semi-autobiographical tale of Joyce's alterego, Stephen Dedalus, who later reappeared as one of the main characters in his "Ulysses." It is the story of his passage from university student to "independent" artist. This is a richly detailed, amusing, and moving "coming-of-age" story, and a profound examination of the Irish psyche and society.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man"
- Ulysses - Author: James Joyce
Joyce takes the English language, starts bobbing and weaving, playing and improvising, and doesn't stop. He takes us into the "stream of thought" of an ordinary man and the story's hero, Leopold Bloom. Admittedly daunting read, too many people shy away from "Ulysses" and never experience the music of one of the most amazing pieces of writing ever published. "Ulysses" was once suppressed for its supposedly explicit sex scenes.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "Ulysses"
- Finnegans Wake - Author: James Joyce
An experimental novel that appeared in the form of extracts as "Work in Progress" from 1928 to 1937, the book was published in its entirety as "Finnegans Wake" in 1939. It is the story of the Earwicker family of Chapelizod (near Dublin), Ireland, but reflects every family of humankind, and the entirety of human history. The motive idea of the novel, inspired by the 18th-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, is that history is cyclic. To demonstrate this "Finnegans Wake" begins with the end of a sentence left unfinished on the last page.
CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "Finnegans Wake"
eText Versions of Books by James Joyce
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Copyright © 1995-2016 Robin Chew
Article written by Robin Chew - February 1996