- "Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves."
- "One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
His stream-of-consciousness style made him a literary innovator. His exploration of language and new forms of story-telling made him famous. His examination of everyday lives made him popular. And the explicit content of his novels made him a celebrity and brought about landmark legal decisions on obscenity.
Born James Augustine Aloysius Joyce in Dublin in February 1882 AD, he was the eldest of ten children. His father John was a talented vocalist, reputedly one of the finest tenors in the land, but didn’t provide a stable household - he liked to drink. James graduated from University College Dublin in 1902, and promptly left for Paris, ostensibly to study medicine. But he returned to Ireland upon learning of his mother’s fatal illness. He remained for a short while, long enough to “step out” with Nora Barnacle, a hotel chambermaid who would bear him two children. And, like his father, he began imbibing large quantities of alcohol.
During Joyce’s stay, he made his first literary sale to the 'Irish Homestead' magazine. But it wasn’t enough to keep him in Ireland; over the next few years he and Nora would live in Pula, Trieste, Rome, Paris and Zurich (during World War I). His first book, 'The Dubliners,' a series of short stories, was published in 1914 and his first novel two years later. Joyce then embarked on writing his landmark novel: 'Ulysses,' recounting the events of a single day in Dublin. Published in 1922, it was promptly banned by self-appointed censors in both America and Britain; what with all the controversy, sales soared.
Financially secure at last, James made Nora an “honest woman,” moved back to Paris, wrote 'Finnegans Wake,' moved back to Zurich at the onset of the German invasion of France in World War II, and died there in January 1941.