A guide to James Joyce
Who was James Joyce?
Born in Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland on 2nd February 1882, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was a novelist, poet
James Joyce – like many other famous Dublin literary figures – lived for a time in Mountjoy Square. His formative years in Mountjoy Square clearly influenced him, as he wrote of locations and characters from there in his later works such as Finnegans Wake and Dubliners.
Joyce initially wrote lyric poems, and his first publication was an essay on Ibsen’s “When We Dead Awaken” in 1890. He
Joyce returned to Dublin because his mother was ailing, and after her
Although Joyce lived in France and Switzerland for most of his later life, he always wrote about Dublin saying, “if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world.”
Joyce died on 13th January 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland.
What was James Joyce most famous for?
In 1907 Joyce published ‘Chamber Music’, a collection of poems, then ‘Dubliners’ in 1914, and ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ two years later.
1918 saw his play ‘Exiles’ published, then arguably his most famous novel, ‘Ulysses’ was published in 1922.
Ulysses had a troubled history, as it was considered both obscene and difficult to read, due to Joyce’s use of modernist writing and different literary techniques such as jokes,
Around 1923, with
What legacy has James Joyce left?
James Joyce has been credited with influencing generations of Modernist writers and scholars. Ulysses for
Joyce also brought a greater focus to Dublin and Irish writers and
In recognition of the influence of Ulysses and James Joyce, fans even celebrate Bloomsday on 16th June in Dublin, the date the novel is set on. This event is named after Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of the book, and involves literary walks around locations from the book, public readings, and even participants dressing up as characters.
A number of writers have written stage adaptations of Joyce’s novels, novellas
Ulysses, often cited as the most difficult book to read, in the English language, was adapted for stage by Dermot Bolger. It eventually came to the stage after 18 years, in Dublin, Cork and Glasgow in 2012, directed by the Tron’s Andy Arnold.
Other dramatic adaptations of James Joyce’s Dubliners by American writer David H. Klein, include a full length play An Evening with Joyce’s Women, and three one-acts
all published on the imprint