Life and works
- James Joyce was born in Dublin and was educated at Jesuit schools, then University College, where he studied French, Italian, German and English languages and literatures.
- He believed that the only way to increase Ireland’s awareness was by offering a realistic portrait of its life from a European viewpoint.
In 1904 he fell in love with Nora Barnacle, they moved to Italy (Trieste), where Joyce began teaching English and made friends with Italo Svevo
- In these years he had financial problems and he started to publish his work in book form:
Chamber Music (1907, 36 short poems)
Dubliners (1914, collection of short stories all about Dublin and Dublin’s life)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916, semi-autobiographical novel)
Exiles (1914, naturalistic drama)
In 1917 he received several anonymous donations which enabled him to continue writing Ulysses (1922, Paris)
Finnegans Wake (1939)
Joyce went into voluntary exile at the age of twenty-two, he set all his works mostly in the city of Dublin. He wanted to give a realist portrait of the life of ordinary people doing ordinary things and he represented the man’s mental, emotional and biological reality.
The rebellion against the Church
The meticulous mind of Joyce was formed by the Jesuit, but he challenged Catholicism.
His hostility was the revolt of the artist-heretic against the official doctrine, because the Church had taken possession of Irish minds; but it was also a conflict between a son and his parents linked to the quest for his artistic potentialities.
Joyce was almost blind, but this physical problem was compensated by his sense of ear (sound of words was very important to him).