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James Joyce Biography | Poet

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James Joyce Early Beginnings

People who are familiar with James Joyce partly through his very pithy name will be surprised to learn that he was born James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, a name that reflects his Irish Catholic upbringing. James Joyce was born on February the second in the year 1882 and he passed away on the day January thirteenth in the year 1941. He was born in Rathgar, Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and he managed to pass away far from his birthplace, specifically in Switzerland. Many people known James Joyce as a result of Ulysses, a story that managed to modernize Homer's Odyssey.

The Educative Beginnings of James Joyce

He studied at Clongowes Wood College, so he could not be considered the sort of poet who managed to get where he was without any higher education. This was very common at the time, but for the people who really managed to change a lot of art forms of the day and important paradigms, it was significantly less common. People need to be able to draw on some of the forms of the day in order to really change them, and that means that they need to be able to really know about them and to know how they can change them in order to avoid inventing the wheel yet again. This was already common by the twentieth century. James Joyce went on to attend the University College Dublin.

The People in the Life of James Joyce

James Joyce could be described as a very neurotic and fearful person, and this was partly owing to the fact that he had a terribly superstitious aunt who more or less believed that all random and bad occurrences were signs of God's wrath. He was afraid of dogs and afraid of a lot of other things as a result, and this helped to give him more of a reason to continue with the works that he chose. Writing for him could be considered a form of escape in many ways. He spent a good portion of his life abroad, and yet he connected a lot of his writings with his Dublin home.

James Joyce spent a portion of his life trying to make a living as a singer, a teacher, and a book reviewer, at which point he was something of a heavy drinker. His heavy drinking may have been due to grief over the death of his mother. James Joyce had somewhat ambiguous religious convictions, and his mother was devoutly religious and feared for her son's piety. People have been debating about how James Joyce's lapsed Catholicism may have influenced his work ever since.

The Works That Made James Joyce James Joyce

When people bring up James Joyce, they're almost always going to talk about his 1922 work Ulysses. Of course, his 1916 book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man has a title that has been parodied so many times that some people would say that its cultural impact is particularly important. Other people will reference his 1939 book Finnegans Wake. A good portion of James Joyce's most famous works have been published posthumously, including Finn's Hotel, Stephen Hero, and the Cats of Copenhagen.

The Legacy of James Joyce

Many people all around the world at least have a passing familiarity with James Joyce, even if they have not read a single work of his. He tends to be a poet and a writer that rolls off the tongue of a lot of people, even if they don't know why. Having a pithy name certainly helps, and many people are going to appreciate the fact that he is a poet and a writer who managed to be so honest and authentic. However, people should know more than just the basics of James Joyce. For many people, his legacy is rich. For others, it might as well be empty and based on his pithy name.

For many Irish people, James Joyce is very important for being one of the most famous and influential of the Irish poets and writers. This was during a time period were a lot of Irish people were still suffering under terrible British rule, and people like James Joyce gave them a certain sense of freedom.

However, even beyond that, he is a writer who is famous for the fact that he helped pioneer the modernism of the genre. He helped to make modern writing the solid and realistic stuff that it is today, and this was during a time period were spectacle prevailed in the arts and people were not especially big fans of realism. Artists like him were able to triumph over all of that.

James Joyce was one of the pioneers of the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. While this style has become standard today and really took off during the mid-twentieth century, he was one of the first writers to truly make it a thing of beauty. His books are also heavy on the wordplay and even multi-lingual puns, which is a style that many people associate with Vladimir Nabokov and which is very hard for even very talented writers to replicate. 

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