James Joyce 1882–1941

  • Neil McEwan
Part of the Macmillan Anthologies of English Literature book series (AEL)


James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born in Dublin and educated at Clongowes Wood College, Belvedere College, Dublin, and University College, Dublin. He visited Paris in 1902 and soon afterwards finding Ireland’s Catholicism narrow and intolerant he left, to spend the rest of his life abroad. Ireland, none the less, was to be the inspiration of all his writings. He taught English in Trieste, living with Nora Barnacle, the mother of his son and daughter. They moved to Zurich in 1915 and lived in Paris after the war, struggling with poverty and illness. Joyce published a volume of verse, Chamber Music, in 1907 and Dubliners, a collection of stories, in 1914. A play Exiles was performed in Munich in 1918. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, an autobiographical novel about a Catholic upbringing, appeared as a serial, 1914–15. Joyce outraged the Church, the Law and much of the literary world with his second novel Ulysses, published in Paris in 1922 and confiscated by the British Customs in 1923. (It was not legally available in Britain until 1933.) This strange masterpiece is unusual in its structure, which depends on correspondences with Homer’s Odyssey, and in its style, which records the minds of its characters during one Dublin day, in a ‘stream of consciousness’, full of puns, allusions, fantasy, parody and unfastidious realism.


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Neil McEwan

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