James Joyce Biography

James Joyce Biography

James Joyce, one of the greatest writers of the early twentieth century, suffered from an incurable case of wanderlust. During his 58 years, he lived in many different parts of the world. He began his life in Dublin, Ireland, which was the setting for most of his great fiction. In 1903, he moved to Paris, but returned to Dublin a year later when his mother was dying. While in Dublin he met his life partner, and later wife (they did not marry until 1931) Nora Barnacle, a maid at a Dublin hotel. Shortly thereafter, Joyce and Barnacle moved to Zurich and then on to Trieste where he stayed for a decade teaching English and writing.

Joyce’s life was a troubled one with bouts of alcoholism, depression, and poverty. Despite his problems, he managed to write many influential pieces of literature: Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, the short story collection Dubliners, and a somewhat autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Facts and Trivia

  • Joyce was attacked by a dog as a young boy and ended up with a severe canine phobia that persisted throughout his life. He was also afraid of thunderstorms because his grandmother once told him storms were a sign of God’s wrath.
  • Dedham, Massachusetts, hosts an annual James Joyce Ramble, which is a 10K race. Each mile is dedicated to one of Joyce’s works, and actors in period costumes line the streets and read from his novels as the runners pass.
  • The last story in Joyce’s Dubliners collection, “The Dead,” was made into a film in 1987 by director John Huston. It was Huston’s last major film before he died.
  • Joyce’s grandson, Stephen, has supposedly destroyed many letters written by his grandfather. He has also blocked what he considers “inappropriate” adaptations of his grandfather’s work.
  • The library at the University College in Dublin is named after James Joyce.
  • Upon his death, a Catholic priest offered a religious service for Joyce, a fallen-away Catholic. Nora declined the offer saying, "I couldn't do that to him."
Additional Content
  • Biography (History of the World: The 20th Century)
  • Biography (Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)
  • Biography (Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
  • Biography (Survey of Novels and Novellas)
  • Biography (British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography
  • Biography
  • Biography
  • Biography
  • Biography
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  • Biography

(The entire section is 12740 words.)