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Author Spotlight: James Joyce

abstract:James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882...


February 01, 2004
— Born outside of Dublin, Ireland, James Joyce lived abroad for most of his adult life in a legendary literary exile. One of the most radical innovators of twentieth-century writing, Joyce's epic, Ulysses, is a tour de force of linguistic genius. It was published in 1922 on his 40th birthday by bookseller Sylvia Beach under the imprint Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France. All 1,000 copies were sold out within a month. It was subsequently labeled blasphemous, obscene, and unreadable—and a modernist masterpiece.


Four Major Works:

Recommended Resources and Links:

Intimidated by Joyce's reputation for difficulty? Read "The Artfull Eye," a somewhat fanatical essay on why you should read Joyce.


Dubliners Resource Web: background information—Irish politics, history, Catholicism, and life in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century—for the study and appreciation of Dubliners.


Brandon Kershner's Portrait Page: biography, criticism, and notes for A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by the editor of the Bedford Books edition of the novel.


The Internet Ulysses: a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of Ulysses with Homeric parallels, maps, links, and real audio readings.


Ulysses Annotated: by Don Gifford, this is the essential bible to reading the novel.


Finnegans Wake: this online introduction to Finnegans Wake is a work-in-progress.


James Joyce Resource Center: presented by the International James Joyce Foundation, these pages provide primary reference sources for anyone interested in Joyce.


Also, consider viewing:

  • The Dead (1987), starring Anjelica Huston, based on the Joyce short story of the same name (in Dubliners).
  • Nora (2002), starring Ewan McGregor as Joyce and Susan Lynch as his wife Nora, a film about the famous literary lovers.



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