James Joyce is an Irish author known for his experimental works on language and literary methods. His biggest works include Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). James Joyce was born in Dublin on Feb 2, 1882.
The early life of James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was surrounded by nice of his siblings. He went to study at Clongowes Wood College at the age of six. At this time, the school was also known as the Eton of Ireland. Due to the poor drinking habits of his father, Joyce had a hard time keeping up with the fees and allowances. His father was already in so much debt that his entire family was experiencing poverty. Due to his condition, he could not return to college in 1891 and stayed home for two years to learn from home. Later he got admitted to Belvedere College along with his brother.
Joyce obtained his degree in Arts on Oct 31, 1902. He always wanted to become a writer and wrote verses and passages that he called epiphanies. In order to support himself financially in writing, he decided to become a doctor. Later he abandoned medical studies and dedicated his entire time to reading books and writing reviews.
Joyce was always interested in European literature. In his own way, he wrote Stephen Hero in five chapters under the title – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. In 1909, Joyce visited Ireland twice so he could publish Dubliners and create a chain of Irish cinemas.
Joyce published his novel, Ulysses, from Paris on Feb 2, 1922, under Sylvia Beach, the proprietor of Shakespeare and Company. Ulysses is considered a modern parallel to Homer’s Odyssey. There are three central characters in the story – Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and Molly Bloom. A series of events take place in a single day that explains a lot about the emotions of these characters.
Finnegans Wake is another work of Joyce that he finished while he was in Paris. The novel was named “work in progress” until it was ready to be published in 1939. During this period, Joyce also suffered anxiety due to the mental health of his daughter. Joyce tried everything possible to cure her mental disorder, but she was soon put in a mental hospital near Paris. During this time, he was writing and rewriting Finnegan Wake. The story is about a publican in Chapelizod who has a family of three children and a wife.
The Legacy of James Joyce
James Joyce was a fearless man with mastery over language. He was brilliant in developing new literary forms that made him one of the major figures of literary modernism. His masterpieces are read for his commanding influence on the language as well as the novelists of the 20th century who were inspired by his works.