Biography of James Joyce (1882-1941)

James Joyce.

Poet and Irish storyteller, born in Dublin on February 2, 1882 and died in Zurich (Switzerland) on 13 January 1941. Author of one of the masterpieces of world literature, the novel Ulysses (Ulysses, 1922), is regarded as the writer-along with the French Marcel Proust and his work À la recherche du temps perdu (in search of lost time, 1913-1927) - greater influence wielded in the prose of fiction of the 20th century.


Born in the bosom of a wealthy family strongly marked by Catholicism and nationalism, he/she was the eldest son of extensive offspring of John Stanislaus Joyce - civil servant who led a fundraising office of tax - and Mary Jane Murray - Irish County Longford and daughter of a prosperous merchant of wines - natural. Despite the many mouths that had that feed, John Stanislaus Joyce lived with SAG thanks to their advantageous jobs in the Administration, and enjoyed huge popularity in Dublin by his excellent talent for singing (was reputed as one of the best tenors of the amateurs of Ireland).

The small James inherited, in part, the good voice of his father, but also his artistic concerns and his nationalist efforts; and so, when he/she was only nine years old revealed already as a promising writer thanks to a pamphlet which wrote in defense of the ill-fated Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), staunch supporter of the Home Rule (Autonomous Government of Ireland), whose career had declined rapidly following the discovery of relationships maintained with the wife of William O'Shea, another nationalist leader. The political turmoil which lived throughout Ireland during this episode, which threatened to unlink first nationalism and Catholicism (as the Church hierarchy disapproved of divorce from the wife of O'Shea and his subsequent marital link with Parnell), arrived to sink very deep in the spirit of the young James Joyce, so far as urge you to write this pamphlet which touched and thrilled his fatherwho made it to print under a false name and distributed it throughout Dublin.

Necessarily, the academic formation of adolescent Joyce went through religious education. Enrolled in the Jesuit School of Clongowes Wood, he/she was powerfully attracted by the spiritual and intellectual example of the fathers of the society of Jesus, and came to experience a fleeting priestly vocation that soon faded among the concerns of his rebellious spirit; in spite of this, the author himself would recognize, years later, the powerful influence that had left the Jesuits, especially in capacity acquired along with them to "gather material, order it and submit it" in his training (even some of the criticism has pointed out the condition of "examination of conscience Jesuit" presenting Ulysses, where it can be read as a self-analysis in which one assumes the accusation and the) guilt).

Joined then - thanks to a scholarship that father Conmee, got him a Jesuit that Joyce would reappear in his work developed in character Ulysses-in another prestigious school of the society of Jesus, the Belvedere College, where completed his secondary education. Already in full youth, he/she enrolled in the no less famous University College, Dublin, in the Faculty of Arts and letters began to show credible signs of that accused literary vocation that would accompany him for the rest of his life. Soon became known as a poet among his teachers and classmates, though, by then, nobody diomed in the universal genius to write Ulysses (in a back log of University College, an anonymous hand left annotated "during his student days, James Joyce was not taken seriously. It was that he/she possessed a mysterious talent, but none of the students had thought that he/she was destined to achieve a near-universal Fame"). Despite this initial disdain towards his new writings, the young Joyce showed well soon his extraordinary literary sensibility and remarkable personality, pushing him to be very lonely and jealous of its independence, as if to suggest that the rest of his companions was not at its height; and so was the only student of the Faculty of Arts, which refused to sign a letter of protest directed against The Countless Cathleen drama (the Countess Catalina, 1892, although represented for the first time in 1899), the work of the poet and Irish playwright William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), which had caused a loud scandal because its protagonist sold soul to the devil in Exchange for the salvation of Ireland. With details like this, Joyce stressed his independence and his early intellectual maturity, sunset manifest also in the trial, about the work of Ibsen (1828-1906), published in the Fortnightly Review when only had seventeen years of age; Ibsen was, by then, the favorite writer of the young Joyce, and so much devotion came to feel for his work he/she learned Norwegian to read it in its original version and maintain an epistolary relationship with the already elderly Nordic playwright (who had sent Joyce a letter of appreciation for his article). In addition, his early passion for literature urged him plunge fearlessly in the works of other great universal classics as Aristotle (ca. 384-ca. 322 BC), santo Tomás de Aquino (1221-1274), Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the Elizabethan poets of the English Baroque, at the time showing its amazing ability to language learning and its keen interest in some philological disciplines such as comparative linguistics. But his literary passion of those years remained the theatre and everything surrounding the art of Talia: in 1901, only nineteen years old, wrote, in collaboration with other students, The Day of Rabblement, a swollen pamphlet that attacked viciously against the Irish National Theatre (the national theatre of Ireland, one of the visible flags of nationalism) and intended to divert budgets that were keeping you to mount, in Irish scenarios, the masterpieces of European theatre.

During those years of student in University College, Dublin, James Joyce began to distinguish itself by its cavalier, and severe air accentuated by his high stature and his extreme thinness, his face always serious and the coldness of his gaze. I used to walk, leaning on a cane of fresno, and just talked with classmates and professors, which brought him a justified reputation for arrogant, well put of relief by the author himself in Dublin when, in the center of higher learning that was registered, had the opportunity to converse with the aforementioned Yeats. Whatever the already consecrated poet and English playwright - who should be awarded the Nobel Prize in 1925, award that was systematically denied by the Swedish Academy to the father of the Ulysses - exceeded the age of Joyce in almost a quarter century, it turned to the author of The Countless Cathleen with the following words: "we have known too late": is you too old to be influenced by me".

Despite this assurance in his sobreafirmada personality, humanistic knowledge and their ability to critically and creatively, after obtaining the title of "Bachelor of Arts" (something like "Licentiate in letters") in 1902 James Joyce felt deeply disappointed by the race that had chosen and culminated, and decided to take on other higher education much more practical, capable of producing social benefits andespecially materials (should start thinking about staying on your own). Things with the vague pretext of studying medicine at the Sorbonne University, in the fall of 1902 he/she moved to Paris, where he/she met then the difficulties of matter that was intended to study and assuming his failure, immediately returned to Ireland. But life in the House of his parents - around a family of seventeen members, in which the economic problems had already left to notice for some years - is made him unbearable, so at the end of that year of 1902 returned to Paris and stayed for eight months in the French capital, more engaged in the composition of poems than in the study of the science of Hippocrates manuals. Without hardly means to survive - it malvivía the product of some journalistic collaborations, and provide private language lessons in English-, then began to experience these economic difficulties that would accompany him, from then on, until the end of his days, much more painful to the extent that, during his childhood and adolescence, had not spent any deprivationby which was not accustomed to shortages and the narrowness.

Day and night wandering through the streets of the gala capital, Joyce had the opportunity to meet some Irish writers that, at the time, were settled on the banks of the Seine, the great playwright of Rathfarnham (Dublin) John Millington Synge (1871-1909), who soon honored him with their friendship and came to allow him to read the original manuscript of his just-concluded piece Riders to the Sea (riders to the sea)premiered in 1904 in Dublin with great success of critics and the public. But its fruitful wander through Paris concluded tragically in the summer of 1903, when the young writer was back with precipitation to Ireland after having received a telegram in which it announced the imminent death of his mother, mortally stricken with an incurable illness (liver cancer).

From the death of Mary Jean Murray (struck in August 1903), the entire family began to spend economic calamities, so Joyce was forced to find a job that make sure you keep. That was how he/she began to earn a living as a professor in the school of Clifton, work that combined with not yet definitively interrupted his medical studies, and with her for that then intense dedication to creative writing, which yielded fruit some of the fifteen stories that, at the end of a decade, would have to print the volume compilation entitled Dubliners (Dubliners1914). It was not complicated "gather material, order it and present it" - as had said his former Jesuit teachers - to develop these stories that reflected perfectly the forms of life and the idiosyncrasies of their neighbours, since, at the time, after having definitively left the paternal House, it was delivered to a haphazard and dissolute Bohemian life thatin the company of his comrades of studies, it made him a regular parishioner at nearly all brothels and taverns of Dublin. Whatever that spent more than that entered as teacher of school - trade which, in the conditions in which he/she lived, could not last more than four months - was forced to borrow money and to wear the clothes worn with his fellow daytime studies and nocturnal raids; socorrían you However, within this disorder dissipated and Bohemian it kept intact their creative powers, and this almost begging during his youth began to write another of its famous narrations, conceived previously as an essay and entitled, at the end, A portrait of the artist as a young man (portrait of the teenage artist, 1917).

At the end of the spring of that intense year of 1904, James Joyce met on a street in Dublin Norah Joseph Barnacle (daughter of Thomas Barnacle and Ann Healy), an uneducated maid hotel which fell in love instantly and which would remain attached for the rest of his days. This passion fulminant and overwhelmed him began to withdraw the cantinas and brothels that so often had been visiting, but not so radically as to stop starring in some bizarre and bohemian episodes that would be decisive in his life and in his future literary. The first of them took place at the end of June 1904, when, six days after his encounter with Norah - and not yet determined to give yourself completely to it-, solicitous in middle of the night the favors of a lady without a warning - by then was already a myopic incorrigible - who was accompanied by a soldier. Accurate punch-this gave the bones of Joyce on the hard pavement in Dublin, which helped him to incorporate a Jew well known in those districts for public infidelities of his wife. Two years later, during a brief stay in Rome, the Irish writer recalled the lance of his previous night Hunter life and decided to turn it into a new episode of his series Dubliners, under the title of "Ulysses"; but, in line with the juicy metaliterarias implications and cartoonish which gives this matter (a Knight who wanders - as Ulysses – is driven to its particular Ithaca by a Jew in a parodic twinning of Hellenistic and Hebraic cultures: the Greek Navigator and the wandering Jew), the still unwritten stamp was winning in projection and, setting at rest in the imagination of Joyce fabuladoraended up becoming his immortal novel.

The second Bohemian lance starring Joyce shortly after to have known Norah was directly related to those friends of nocherniegas adventures that, despite its goal: start a new life beside the loved woman, couldn't get away. In September 1904, together with a companion of career - Oliver St. John Gogarty, who came to professionally practicing medicine and cultivate sporadically literary creation - and an English student - surnamed Trench-interested in Irish language and culture, Joyce was installed in one of the so-called "Martello towers" (near Glasthule), cylindrical constructions erected by hundreds in 1804 along the coast, for fear of a Napoleonic invasion. Missing the threat that justified its military toughness, the Martello towers had been reduced to awkward housing for the humblest people. Joyce, Gogarty and Trench planned naively converting those buildings in the culture of Ireland Forum, although this noble attempt was soon abandoned by the future author of Ulysses, who left the Tower occupied at the end of a week when the difficult coexistence between the three "promoters of Irish cultural revival" degenerated into gunfire that pierced some pans hanging over his head. This illusory project was not, however, failed at all, since, despite the brief stay of Joyce at the Martello Towers, during that period he/she began to write some of the poems that would form, after four years, his first volume of poems, published under the title of Chamber Music (Chamber music, 1908). In addition, fellow in residence would be caricatured in detail in his masterpiece: the plump Buck Mulligan is the literary transcript of Gogarty - who definitely earned the eternal hatred of Joyce after spread that a mutual friend had had sexual intercourse with Norah in the first bars of their engagement with James-, and English Haines is inspired by the real figure of Trench.

The disagreements that have arisen in the circular platform of the tower where the Irish national culture should have re-emerged did meditate to Joyce, who, convinced of the need to move away from friendships and environments Dubliners who, unwittingly, led you a life marked by failure (would later confess, through letters, his wife: "I can not go in the social order but as a tramp.) I have begun to study medicine three times, right once, music once. A week ago was arranging leave as Peddler"), he/she decided to again leave Ireland to be performed in Europe. Read, by mistake, in an announcement that the Berlitz School of Zurich required a Professor of English language, and immediately arose there accompanied of his already since Norah inseparable; but, once you arrive to the Swiss city, both found that where it is offered as a teacher was at the Berlitz School in the Adriatic city of Pola (population then subject to the domain then belonging to Italy, Austro-Hungarian, and later, included in the map of the former Yugoslavia, where became the Croatian sovereignty under the current name of Pula).

After a brief stay in the Adriatic port, got established as a teacher in the town of Trieste - on those dates, Austro-Hungarian city - where would come into the world the two children he/she had with Norah: Giorgio (1905), who inherited the beautiful and powerful voice of the grandfather and was under singer; and Lucía Ana (1907), which had more artistic until madness overshadowed its existence. The turnaround that Joyce had printed to your life advised, in effect, taken now more seriously the teaching, activity that, although he/she wouldn't spend economic troubles, could at least keep his own. Worked for some time as a teacher at the commercial Academy, ever more integrated in a community - the triestina - which came to writing policy articles in the Rotary Il Piccolo della Sera (where also commented the Irish today). His command of the Italian language was perfect, but also knew how to navigate with ease in other seventeen languages, thanks to those brilliant studies of Comparative Linguistics, as well as modern European languages, they had allowed him to learn latin, Greek, Sanskrit and Arabic. This facility to speak with correction in so many different languages would have shed some sazonadisimos fruit in the Ulysses, authentic display of linguistic gold.

Since Professor's salary was not enough will to live free from narrowness, in 1906 he/she decided to try his luck in a new job and moved to Rome to work there as an employee of a bank. The experience was unrewarding for the Irish writer, who asphyxiated by office work, a year after he/she returned to Trieste practically ruined; Dam, in addition, a virulent rheumatic fever which pushed him up to Delirium, he/she saw how his daughter Anna Lucía came to the world in the Pavilion of poor in the hospital of Trieste. To make matters worse, from London came you news that the editor that had assumed the publication of Dubliners was reluctant to release to the market for fear of reactions that could cause between nationalists, British Puritan and the Royal House (which is alluded to with little tact in different passages of Tales). On the other hand, yes was born in the British capital, during that same year of 1907, his poetry collection Chamber Music, the work that the own Joyce considered as somewhat expires from the stylistic point of view, in comparison with new narrative runways that penetrated his prose.

It is possible that rheumatic fevers had come upon you as a result of a dental infection, in turn aggravated by his long-standing fondness for drink. As good Irish, consuming alcohol in large quantities, although his preference was not aimed beer (so expensive to their fellow citizens Dubliners), but white wine, whose runaway consumption complicated his delicate health eye until eventually leaving him virtually blind. Thanks, in part, to the economic assistance provided by Stanislaus Joyce (the brother that always kept a special relationship, who also worked at Trieste as a teacher), James, Norah and their two sons were able to overcome the deep pothole and survive in the Austro-Hungarian city; but the writer was aware of that subject could not continue for a long time at that job insecurity, for which, between 1909 and 1912, made three visits to Ireland in search of new opportunities in his native country. In one of them, starred in a MADCAP business adventure worthy of any of his characters: the opening of the "film Volta", the first Chamber of film exhibition opened in Dublin, business that would have been able to be profitable if Joyce had not left it in the hands of his subordinates to return to Trieste, where it was found again - already without movie theatre - in 1912sunk morally and almost in poverty. Thank you, again, for a loan of Stanislaus, the Joyce good avoided his eviction from the house occupied and managed to survive until Fortune finally smiled at the Irish writer with a Professor of English language at the Istituto Revoltella, a trade school which, after the first world war, would be integrated into the University of Trieste.

Surrounded, thereafter, of a certain intellectual prestige among the academic community triestina, Joyce began to shine for his gifts of lecturer - putting clear their vast literary, oratorical, rhetorical and linguistic knowledge - and by his journalistic articles appeared in the local press, always in a neat and correct Italian (language that spoke to their children). Always needed to broaden their sources of income, he/she began to teach to people of higher social rank than their eventual alumni, and was as well as he/she ran into the industrial Jew Ettore Schmitz, who, after having hired Joyce as an English teacher, confessed that he/she had previously published two novels that had passed virtually unnoticed. It was a vita (life, 1892) and Senilita (old-age, 1898), works which, read with surprise and admiration for the Irish writer, earned praise from Joyce and assumed - after the prestige acquired by him after the publication of his Ulysses-the revelation of a shy but brilliant author who signed his works under the pseudonym Italo Svevo (1861-1928).

It remained, meanwhile, writing and maturing the idea of his future masterpiece with such delivery and dedication as which they consecrated to the consumption of white wine, so their vision problems were on the rise. In 1914, after the emergence - finally - of Dubliners, sought the attention of the great American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972), then installed in London as a Secretary of the old Yeats, who suggested him to solicit Joyce any collaboration for the English magazine The Egoist. Thanks to this request of Pound, the narrator in Dublin concluded - already definitely in as young form of novel - his famous portrait of the artist man (portrait of the teenage artist), who "raised" serials monthly within the pages of The Egoist, once it had been saved by a sister of Joyce - also based in Trieste - of the bonfire to which its authordesperate for the lack of editors, had thrown it. Encouraged by this success publishing, intensified its rigorous and elaboradisima writing of Ulysses and, simultaneously, wrote the theatrical piece exiles, a drama of ibseniano cut which can be classified, without any doubt, as "less good" in the literary production of the author.

The outbreak of the first world war, despite the apparent indifference that showed towards her Joyce ("ah, Yes, I have heard that there has been a war out there", said at the end of the same) forced him to leave Trieste, which, due to its belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Irish became to be considered enemies (must not be forgotten that)(, at that time, Ireland still not be had independent of the United Kingdom). Stanislaus Joyce was taken to a concentration camp, but the authorities allowed his brother James, by its status as parent and its manifest visual disability (making it useless for the militia), leaving Trieste under the mere promise that there was to help the cause of the allies. James, Norah and their two children were established in the neutral Zurich, where it resided from June 1915 until October 1918 (and where, apparently, the Dublin writer had a vague extramarital adventure with a Fleischmann such Martha).

In 1916 he/she appeared in New York the portrait of the teenage artist as free book, and a year later was the London Edition of this work. By that time, with the desire of an undertaking to conclude his great narrative project, Joyce thought of go publishing serial episodes of Ulysses who already had written. He/She offered the serial to Harriet Shaw Weaver, editor of The Egoist and true advocate of the work of the Irish author, which had fascinated him since the portrait reading...; but this couldn't find typographers who dared to print texts considered obscene by the British Puritan mindset of the first third of the 20th century, so you just got to see print chapters 2, 3, 6 and 10. For its part, the writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) and her husband Leonard (1880-1969), who possessed an own press, refused offer collaborating as co-editors, which encouraged Joyce to try his luck in the United States of America, through the mediation of Ezra Pound. The modest New York publication Little Review dared to publish Ulysses serials, but soon censorship was launched on the magazine and confiscated and gave to the bonfire numbers that appeared chapters 8, 9 and 12.

Finished the International War conflagration, the Joyce, after an attempt to settle in Trieste, arrived in Paris, where thought to remain only a few days before settling permanently in London. Ezra Pound advised the writer in Dublin which was established in the capital city gala, converted then into the largest literary forum in the world, because the asylum provided by that then some American writers such as Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), William Faulkner (1897-1962) and, among many others, Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) and the own Pound. Through mediation of Sylvia Beach - a young American who had recently opened in Paris a bookshop specializing in English-speaking authors-, some samples of the Ulysses came into the hands of the writer Valéry Larbaud (1881-1957), who, fascinated by the prose of James Joyce, translated into French some fragments that appeared in la Nouvelle Revue française. At that time until Paris news arrived of the Court ruling which sentenced the editors of the Little Review by playing back some chapters of Ulysses, news that pushed definitely the game Sylvia Beach to face the final edition of James Joyce's masterpiece at your own risk. That was how, despite delays caused by the own Irish writer - a thousand times that correcting typographical testing; He/She added and deleted words, phrases and even whole paragraphs; It concluded the last chapters of the book while they were already in press the first; and it continuously away their modifications, when you embrollaba them not because of their advanced myopia-, came to light at last the first edition of Ulysses (Paris, 1922), on the day in which the narrator in Dublin was forty years old.

Consecrated, from then on, as one of the living authors of most prestigious universal - although the sale of his Magnum Opus not threw succulent dividends, among other reasons because it was not freely spread by the United States until 1933, and by the United Kingdom until three years later-, Joyce maintained contact with other literary greats maids in Paris, as Louis Aragon (1897-1982), Paul Éluard (1895-1952), Thomas S. Eliot (1888-1965), Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) and Samuel Beckett (1906-1990). Beckett was precisely, according to some biographers of the author of Ulysses, the indirect cause of dementia with Lucía Ana Joyce, who apparently began to lose the reason after fall for the author of waiting for Godot and not feel matched. In 1934, Joyce made personal contacts with the famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), in a desperate effort to regain the mental health of his daughter; from these relationships with Jung, the author of Ulysses deepened the knowledge of psychology, as evident well was in his next novel, written over seventeen years and published under the title of Finnegan's Wake (1939). It is a work in which the extreme intensification of the linguistic resources exploited in Ulysses just to eliminate any narrative pretext, and mere condensation of words becomes a protein magma that, above myths, symbols and daily events, nourishes and gives meaning to all novel.

Meanwhile, the Irish writer's health was deteriorating rapidly. In 1917, because of glaucoma, had been intervened for the first time in his left eye, organ, then subjected to many other surgical operations (in 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926...), he/she ended up losing almost all of its functions, by which Joyce chose to cover it with a triangular patch that distinguished even more her figure during its last years of existence. Married to Norah in 1931, since that same year began to suffer from serious emotional imbalances of his daughter, and in 1940 fell victim to a severe depression, caused by the plight of Ana Lucía and accelerated loss of vision that was suffering. The outbreak of the second world war and the occupation of France by the German troops provoked the departure of James and Norah to Zurich, where the fragile health of the writer was undermined by the pain that caused him the remoteness of his daughter (to which the nazis had prevented abandon mental hospital where was interned). As a result of this grief, escalated an intestinal problem that had been suffering for some years, and was necessary to subject you to a surgical intervention that, initially, Joyce refused, because it suited him too expensive for its ailing economy. Having received two blood transfusions after the delicate operation, it suffered a perforation of duodenal ulcer who suffered and lost his life in the Swiss town at the beginning of 1941, at the age of fifty-eight.




Chamber music (Chamber music, 1907), the first collection of poems by James Joyce, consists of thirty-six short compositions in which the author Dubliner already shows his preference by phonic language resources, with special attention to the steady pace and the musicality of verse (phenomena that would then offer high performance in their production in prose). The images captured by Joyce in these poems - all of them simple and well harmonized with the contents - delve into a non-too-original themes within the tradition of Western poetry: love, the exaltation of feminine beauty, the feeling of melancholy, the breach of due to being loved, fidelity etc. It is clear, moreover, the direct influence of the Elizabethan poets - as read by Joyce during his youth - and the lyrical English at the end of the 19th century.

Five years after the emergence of the Parisian Edition of Ulysses, Joyce returned to offer a sample of his poetic talent in poems penyeach (poems apples, 1927), in which, together with other characteristics of his earlier poems, an adaptation to his poetic work of the same linguistic devices tested in his prose (especially the word game that destroys a cliché and gives a new and unexpected meaning) can be seen.

In the mid-1930s saw the light a collection of poetic writings of Joyce, published under the title of Collected Poems (complete poems, 1936). Other lyrical works of the Irish writer are the titled "El Santo Oficio" (1904) and Giacomo Joyce (written around 1914, but unknown until 1968, when his biographer Richard Ellmann published it).


The only dramatic piece written by Joyce is Exiles (exiles, 1918), work significantly inspired by the theatre of Ibsen, and regarded by critics as a kind of spiritual autobiography of the Irish author. In reality, it can be said that all the writings of Joyce hide numerous autobiographical components; but none as this theatrical piece the reflection of the experiences and feelings of the writer itself becomes so apparent. Although the literary quality of his text is rather scarce, this work is interested in the joyceanos because it anticipates some of the most relevant thematic aspects of the Ulysses, and, against the extreme complexity of this novel, exiles is read without any difficulty, due to its plain and simple dramatic structure.

The work puts in scene Richard Rowan, a writer who returns to his native Ireland after a long exile from nine years in which it has been accompanied by Bertha. When both left Ireland, Bertha was a simple and ignorant, woman recently arrived from the field to the city, and courted by the journalist Robert Hand. On his return to Dublin, the woman has become a lady elegant and sensual, possessor of a special charm that has acquired in his new life. Robert, who is also the best friend of Richard, is hinted to Bertha, who, in turn, doubt the love of Richard, because he/she is afraid that this has tired of it and feel more attracted by his cousin Beatrice, a piano teacher of Archie (a child born and raised in Europe, fruit of the relationship between Richard and Bertha). The turbulent relations between the triangle formed by the writer, journalist and the protagonist will be interrupted when Robert leaves Ireland, after an encounter with Bertha in which nobody - except for them - can know if they have maintained or not sexual relationships.



The fascination I felt Joyce by his hometown prompted you compose, based on several independent stories, a both realistic and allegorical portrait of Dublin at the beginning of the 20th century, whose capital became the best symbol of "paralysis" - according to the words of the author-that crossed all the Irish people. Using avant-garde techniques that anticipated some of the key resources in the Ulysses (like the inner monologue and stylistic induction), Joyce was highly scrupulous when it comes to translating "those sudden spiritual manifestations that derive from the vulgarity of speech, a simple gesture or a memorable mental phase itself", and that were very useful in its purpose of "writing a chapter of the moral history of my country"; but, at the same time, it was setting up an allegorical volume thanks to the accumulation of some short stories that transcended the specific situation of the Dublin of his time to reflect some of the most characteristic features of the human condition in any urban conglomerate.

But, above any other characteristic theme or style of these stories, Dubliners is a singular role the use of a technique as old as the Bible narrative: the Epiphany. Through this construction procedure - which, in its Greek origins, literally means "revelation" - Joyce tried to capture those fleeting moments that only art can transform into memorable, with the conviction that the true mission of the artist is apprehending these epiphanies and consign them with extreme delicacy. Thus, of the fifteen stories that comprise Dubliners, the first fourteen were conceived by Joyce as others so many epiphanies or revelations, organized according to an organic model, reflect four evolutionary stages of citizenship of Dublin: childhood, youth, adulthood and public life in general (dominated by disappointment, failure, frustration, and the evident need for a "" voluntary exile to escape the unproductive paralysis).

The part devoted to children includes the stories titled "The Sisters", "A gathering" and "Araby"; This youth-centered stories group composed of "Eveline", "after the race", "Two Gallants", "La Casa de Huéspedes" and "A puff"; the maturity is reflected by "Revenge", "Clay" and "A regrettable case"; and public life Dublin is recorded in "The day of the Ivy at the headquarters of the Electoral Committee", "Mother" and "Grace". For its part, the last story of the volume, entitled "The dead", is excluded from the narrative sequence of the epiphanies and is presented as a brilliant culmination of themes, motives, environments, situations and types human accumulated over the previous fourteen tales.

Portrait of the teenage artist(1917)

Conceived first as a trial and transformed, to the dessert, in an autobiographical novel in which Joyce alternating the critical vision of himself with the praise directed towards your status of artist, this work reflects the very emotional and intellectual development of the author in Dublin since childhood so far that left their country to discover, in the midst of the "silence", the distance and reflection", the way of life through which his spirit could express "with emptied freedom". Genuine Bildungsroman - or "novel of formation" - portrait of the teenage artist picks up the adventures and concerns of the little Stephen Dedalus, who, away from their parents in a Jesuit boarding school where he/she studied, lived some everyday experiences (a childhood disease, an unfair punishment, etc.) which, magnified by his young age, seem you very important. Soon get you other experiences that Yes will more deeply marked his change of school or their sexual initiation, in a Dublin brothel. Shortly after, during a spiritual retreat, convincing eloquence of a preacher is about to drive you, in the midst of the confusion of adolescence itself, by way of the priesthood. But his Maverick spirit rebels against these youth aspirations and, during his university studies, pushes it to withdraw from the religion, politics, family and any other link that threatens his aesthetic ideal of fullness. As did Daedalus on the mythical labyrinth, Stephen should also escape from the Dublin that grips you and search, far away from the stifling atmosphere of his native Ireland, a space where I can flap their wings freely and unleash their creative aspirations.

A part of the original of this work, found in a manuscript that was preserved in the library of Harvard College, was published three years after the death of Joyce under the title of Stephen Hero (Stephen hero, 1944). Although appear the same topics and key motifs in the final drafting of the work (the concerns of the small Stephen, your friends and family, his life in Dublin, the obsession with art and Catholicism, etc.), the truth is that in this initial release less psychological intensity there is that in the last writing of the novel, where the axis of action tries to overcome all ballasts plot always into the interior of the consciousness of the protagonist.


Ulysses, beyond the ubiquitous parallelism between the vulgar vicissitudes of its protagonist and the immortal works of Homer, is a vast, ambitious and suggestive compendium of all the everyday circumstances that surround the modern man in his relations with the society of which it forms part. The routine events that Leopold Bloom Irish Jew living in the end of a day, Joyce reflects all the insignificance and, at the same time, the greatness of the human being, which is described in all its possible facets (comic, tragic, pathetic, pious, ridiculous, poignant, pedantic, sentimental, etc.).

(To find a more extensive information about this masterpiece of world literature, see the entry Ulysses).

Finnegan's Wake(1939)

During more than three decades, a James Joyce released ardent elaboration of the Ulysses fought is another narrative project equally laborious, but at least got to his masterpiece dessert. Based on the theory of the corsi and ricorsi of the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico (1668-1774) - according to which history progresses in a constant cycle that, after undertaking a 'corso' which flows through theocratic, aristocratic, chaotic, and democratic phases experiences a 'ricorso' which leads you back to the phase initial-, this complex story of Joyce is part of a weak plot pretext based on the story of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker - owner of a pub in Chapelizod-Dublinhis wife Anna Livia Pluravelle, his daughter, Issy and his sons Shem and Shaun. The dynamic structure of the novel raises all these characters (as well as the environments in which they move and narrative situations that lead) to evolve constantly, into a frenzied time coordinates in which Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker - or their multiple personalities, always summarized in the initials HCE, as Haveth Childres Everywhere ("have children everywhere"), or Here Comes Everybody ("here comes everybody") - is identified with AdamThe legendary Irish hero Finn or Parnell. Similarly, his wife Anna Livia Pluravelle acquires numerous personalities historical and legendary; their children embody various facets of personality (Shem is the artist shy and failed; Shaun, bold and successful public man); and his daughter adopts the most varied female types.

In what refers to the formal plane, Finnegan's Wake stands out for its extreme intensification of those linguistic resources that, as the pun and the deformation of phrases, marked stylistic of the Ulysses guidelines, now complicated with other licenses - such as spelling and grammar - alteration that accentuate the complexity of the novel until it virtually unintelligible to a reader foreign to the protein and over Joyce's literary universe.


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