Sunday, December 23, 2007

James Joyce

James Joyce was born on February 2nd, 1882 in Rathgar, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. His father was laid off of a job, but did end up having a significant amount of property due to pensions. But through bad habits, John Joyce eventually went broke. Despite this, James was able to learn how to play the piano and sing opera.

At age six, Joyce was sent to Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school in the countryside. He later went on to attend Belvedere College from 1893 to 1898 in Dublin, where he achieved several accomplishments. And finally from 1898 to 1902, Joyce went to University College where he was well-known for his hatred towards religion, and refusal to join the nationalist movement in Ireland.

While in school, Joyce published a few interesting articles such as one which directly attacked parochialism in Ireland. One year after earning his degree, Joyce’s mother died. Soon after this sad time, James went on to write his first autobiographical novel titled A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Aside from writing novels, Joyce wrote poems. He had his own assortment known as epiphanies – sketches intended to reproduce external scenes in their crudeness. At that time, James immediately knew what his future profession was – literature.

Joyce’s love life sparked in 1904, when he met Nora Barnacle, an unemployed lady from Galway, Ireland. Joyce and Barnacle together ended up in the city of Pula in present day Yugoslavia. Joyce stayed in Pula for a few months until he was transferred as an English teacher to Trieste in Italy. Barnacle and he had two children, a son George (born 1905) and a daughter Lucia (born 1907). They remained in Trieste until 1915.

Joyce was a non-stop worker, but did face a terrible challenge in not having a publisher for his works. A break through came through in 1913 when American poet Ezra Pound agreed to publish a few of Joyce’s book including A Portrait, Dubliners, and the Egoist.

From the l915 to 1919, Joyce resided in Zurich, Switzerland. Joyce received financial support from the editor of the Egoist. This woman, Harriett Shaw Weaver wound up playing a large role in Joyce’s life as a longtime friend.

Joyce’s biggest transformation from semi-popular novelist to immensely famous author occurred in 1922 when American book store owner Sylvia Beach agreed to publish Ulysses, a modernization of the Odyssey by Homer. For the next 17 years, Joyce dedicated his time and effort to his final work Finnegans Wake. Delaying the novel’s release were many obstacles. Among the top obstructions were Joyce’s painfully lacking eyesight and his daughter’s signs of schizophrenia. His daughter’s schizophrenia was especially harmful to Joyce, he worried about it frantically and refused to acknowledge that there was no cure the illness. Finnegans Wake was finally published in 1939, the beginning of World War II. Instead of gaining more success during wartime, Joyce was faced with the task of moving to times (first from Paris to Vichy, France and then lastly to Zurich in 1939).

Unfortunately for Joyce, he was unable to begin any more novels; he was hospitalized with severe stomach pains and later died in 1941 of peritonitis. Joyce was buried in Fluntern Cemetery overlooking the city of Zurich.

Through Joyce’s own narratives, the literature genre was changed from an old fashion style to new methods of original writing. Joyce used a variety of techniques such as an external and internal narrative, the unreliable narrator (a style that focuses mainly on the persons and events described) and promoted the idea that reality could be combined with fictional ideals. Modern literature would be extremely dull and ancient if Joyce had not introduced these revolutionary techniques. Many famous and non-famous writers alike would not write as well as they do had Joyce never introduced these types of systems.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are valued greatly. Please adhere to the decorum on the "First time here?" page. Comments that are in violation of any of the rules will be deleted without notice.

3/11 Update - No Moderation

*Non-anonymous commenting is preferred to avoid mix-ups. Anonymous comments are, at the behest of management, more likely to be deleted than non-anonymous comments.