• Life and Works:
James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882; he was educated at Jesuit schools.
He grew up a rebel among rebel; at that time, there were some movements that had the objective to free Ireland from English dominance.
His interest was in a larger/wider European culture, and this led him to begin to think of himself as a European rather than an Irishman.
He also spent some time in Paris, but his mother’s fatal illness in 1903 brought him back to Dublin.
In June 1904 he met and fall in love with Nora Barnacle.
They moved to Italy, settling in Trieste, where Joyce began teaching English and made friends with Italo Svevo.
The years in Trieste were difficult, he also had financial problems.
He had problems also with publishers and printers, as there were obscene elements in his prose and the first of his works to appear in book was 36 short poems, Chamber Music.
Dubliners, a collection of short stories all about Dublin and Dublin’s life, was published on the eve of the First World War.
‘Dubliners’ and ‘A Portrait’ alleviated his financial difficulties.
He also received anonymous donations which enabled him to continue writing ‘Ulysses’, which was published in Paris in 1922.
Following its publication, there was a court action in the United States to determine if it was or it wasn’t pornographic; this brought Joyce an unwelcome notoriety.
Ulysses was published in the USA in 1934 and in Britain in 1936.
Joyce died in Switzerland in 1941.
• Ordinary Dublin:
He set all his works in Ireland and mostly in the city of Dublin.
His achievement was to give a realistic portrait of the life of ordinary people doing ordinary things and living ordinary lives.
• The Rebellion Against the Church:
Joyce studied in a Jesuits school, however he challenged Catholicism, which had taken possession of Irish minds.
• A Poor Eye-Sight:
James Joyce was almost blind. This problem was compensated by his sense of ear, and the sound of words was very important to him.
• A Subjective Perception of Time:
The facts become confused in the novel, they are always explored from different points of view simultaneously, and are presented as ‘clues’ and not through the voice of an omniscient narrator.
Joyce meticulously collects and analyses the impression and thoughts that an outer event, at a given moment, has caused in the inner world of the character.
The portrait of the character is based on introspection rather than on description.
Time is not perceived as objective, but as subjective, leading to a psychological change.
• The Impersonality of the Artist:
His style was characterized by a free direct speech, different languages and by the epiphany (rivelazione).