The celebrity gallery - James Joyce

James Joyce Time of birth:
02.02.1882 06:00:00
Time zone: 0
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941) – an Irish writer and poet, one of the founders of the modernism, the author of the famous novel "Ulysses".

Interesting facts

The novelty and the diversity (The White Sun, The Black Mars, The Black Jupiter)
Perhaps you can hardly find a writer of the twentieth century, whose work has been so thoroughly studied by the army of literature critics until nowadays. He is one of the founders of the modernist novel, the poetics of which greatly influenced the development not only of the genre, but of the whole literary process. The writer abandoned the traditional manner of narration, preferring the "stream of consciousness", the means, which allowed him to show different shades of the narrator’s feelings and touch a huge number of themes and philosophical ideas. He opened a new dimension of reality - spirituality, which combines different times, cultures and spaces. He created new forms and even a language, which is related to usual as well as unconscious mental processes to conscious.

The lovable character (The White Venus, The White Sun)
Joyce went to the "Night City" (a borough in Dublin, where a lot of brothels were situated) very often when he was young. Later, working as a teacher, he fell in love with one of his students, a daughter of a wealthy Jew, but he impeded the love affair and advised Joyce not to use his fame in relationships with girls.
The greatest Joyce’s love became Nora Barnacle, "a woman with a soul". He chose her and they lived together till the end of life. He loved this woman so much that she devoted a major work of his life "Ulysses" to her. The plot of the novel fits one day, the day when he conceived a passion from her. Being madly in love with Nora, he did not abandon love affairs and still was fascinated with other women.

The Life in debt (The Black Moon)
Joyce lived in debt a major part of his life. He spent a lot on himself and was dependent on a certain level of life and comfort. He had fans who supported him: Harriet Weaver, a clever, generous and patient Englishwoman, who provided financial support, read "Ulysses" by chapter until it was being written, solved million of problems from 1914 until Joyce died; Ezra Pound, who recognized Joyce’s talent, supported him for several years and made him well known in the literary world; Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of "Ulysses".

The Epatage (The Black Saturn, The Black Mars)
Joyce was famous for truly irrepressible language of his literary works, and his "Ulysses" was forbidden in the US and UK because it contained "the obscene passages". His novel produced a furore by its appearance as it had a new format and was absolutely unknown to the reader so far. It was forbidden and was not published for a long time. The whole novel was published only 12 years after finishing the manuscript for the first time. But Joyce was arrogant, he told his opponents: "If "Ulysses" is not suitable for reading, life is not suitable for living".

The Odyssey (The Black Jupiter, The White Mercury)
Choosing the structure of the "Ulysses", Joyce did not invent new systems; the description accurately corresponds Odysseus’s traveling and has analogies with organs of the human body. Actually, Joyce used these storylines as a guide and "fit" into them.
It is also surprising that despite his shocking behaviour, Joyce had never allowed himself any questionable remarks in the presence of the representatives of the opposite sex. This proves that, in spite of everything, he was inclined to follow the accepted rules to some extent.

The Erudite (The Black Jupiter)
Joyce wasn’t a pioneer in the theory of modernism, but he was able to skillfully conceptualize its basic principles. First of all, he used the philosophies of Nietzsche, who followed the "philosophy of life", Freud, who considered art to be a form of psychological abnormality, and Bergson, with his concept of time. In addition, Joyce read a lot, and the range of his interests was extremely wide. Ancient Greek philosophers and playwrights, artists and thinkers of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the representatives of romanticism and realism were among the most favourite. Joyce also had a deep interest in theosophy, theology and spiritualism.

To be remembered for good (The Black Saturn)
Joyce desperately wanted his works to be published and read by as many people as possible. The novel "Ulysses" gave him a worldwide fame and changed the conception of ​​literature, prompting the most contradictory comments. A lot of things in the book are still unclear, but Joyce chose to leave these questions unanswered. As a joked, he said: "I created so many mysteries and puzzles that critics would need centuries to figure out what I meant and this is the only way to ensure immortality".