What makes James Joyce important?
James Joyce wrote the novel Ulysses in 1922. This novel is viewed by many as the most influential novel of the 20th century. This novel included various styles of writing and contained a significant number of allusions and puns. James Joyce’s Ulysses was about a single day, June 16, 1904, in the life of a middle-aged Jewish male who was living in Dublin, Ireland. The novel follows the man, Mr. Leopold Bloom, using a steam-of-consciousness style of writing. This style of writing enabled the reader to follow Bloom’s actions as well as his thoughts, needs, desires, and despair. Joyce’s novel almost broke free of realism, which was a literary goal that aimed to portray people and events as they might exist in the real world. James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is credited with changing contemporary ideas about what a novel could do and what a novel was in general. Perhaps the most significant thing about Joyce was that more than any other author before him, he realized that the way an author writes determines what they are capable of writing about. Basically, he understood that form cannot be separated from content and vice versa. Most writers who recognized this as fact simply lamented the fact, but unlike them Joyce tried to master several styles of writing instead of being constrained by them. In a way he desired to have his writing be capable of saying anything. Ulysses by James Joyce is best known for the style it is written in, stream of consciousness. This style made the readers become more intimately aware of the characters' thoughts, even if they were disorienting and fragmented. The style of the novel is flexible, however. This gave Joyce the ability to change his form of writing to suit the content of what he was writing. Joyce’s Ulysses was able to move the epic journey out of the realm of external adventures and into the realm of the mind. Joyce dared to take an ordinary man and portray him as a heroic figure. Though the novel Ulysses is difficult to read, what it was able to do was reveal that the ordinary can be extraordinary.
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