|James Joyce by Michael Iakovlev
LOUIS MENAND / JAMES JOYCE IN EXILE
JAMES JOYCE'S LEOPOLD GETS HIS OWN BOOK FOR BLOOMSDAY
JAMES JOYCE / A BIOGRAPHY OF GORDON BOWKER
PADRAIC COLUM / WITH JAMES JOYCE IN IRELAND
STEPHEN SPENDER / THE DAYTIME WORLD OF JAMES JOYCE
AFTER THE RACE
THE BOARDING HOUSE
A LITTLE CLOUD
A PAINFUL CASE
IVY DAY IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM
JAMES JOYCE / CHAMBER MUSIC
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce
(1882 - 1941)
Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). During his career Joyce suffered from rejections from publishers, suppression by censors, attacks by critics, and misunderstanding by readers. From 1902 Joyce led a nomadic life, which perhaps reflected in his interest in the character of Odysseus. Although he spent long times in Paris, Trieste, Rome, and Zürich, with only occasional brief visit to Ireland, his native country remained basic to all his writings.
"But when the restraining influence of the school was at a distance I began to hunger again for wild sensations, for the escape which those chronicles of disorder alone seemed to offer me. The mimic warfare of the evening became at last as wearisome to me as the routine of school in the morning because I wanted real adventures to happen to myself. But real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad." (from Dubliners)
James Joyce was born in Dublin. His father, John Stanislaus Joyce, was an impoverished gentleman, who had failed in a distillery business and tried all kinds of professions, including politics and tax collecting. Joyce's mother, Mary Jane Murray, was ten years younger than her husband. She was an accomplished pianist, whose life was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church and her husband. In spite of the poverty, the family struggled to maintain solid middle-class facade.
From the age of six Joyce, was educated by Jesuits at Clongowes Wood College, at Clane, and then at Belvedere College in Dublin (1893-97). Later the author thanked Jesuits for teaching him to think straight, although he rejected their religious instructions. At school he once broke his glasses and was unable to do his lessons. This episode was recounted in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). In 1898 he entered the University College, Dublin, where he found his early inspirations from the works of Henrik Ibsen, St.Thomas Aquinas and W. B. Yeats. Joyce's first publication was an essay on Ibsen's play When We Dead Awaken. It appeared in Fortnightly Review in 1900. At this time he began writing lyric poems.
After graduation in 1902 the twenty-year-old Joyce went to Paris, where he worked as a journalist, teacher and in other occupations in difficult financial conditions. He spent in France a year, returning when a telegram arrived saying his mother was dying. Not long after her death, Joyce was traveling again. He left Dublin in 1904 with Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid (they married in 1931), staying in Pola, Austria-Hungary, and in Trieste, which was the world’s seventh busiest port. Joyce gave English lessons and talked about setting up an agency to sell Irish tweed. Refused a post teaching Italian literature in Dublin, he continued to live abroad.
The Trieste years were nomadic, poverty-stricken, and productive. Joyce and Nora loved this cosmopolitan port city at the head of the Adriatic Sea, where they lived in a number of different addresses. During this period Joyce wrote most of Dubliners (1914), all of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the play, Exiles (1918), and large sections of Ulysses. Several of Joyce's siblings joined them, and two children, Giorgio and Lucia, were born. The children grew up speakin the Trieste dialect of Italian. Joyce and Nora stayed together althoug Joyce fell in love with Anny Schleimer, the daughter of an Austrian banker, and Roberto Prezioso, the editor of the newspaper Il Piccolo della Sera, tried to seduce Nora. After a short stint in Rome in 1906-07 as a bank clerk ended in illness, Joyce returned to Trieste.
In 1907 Joyce published a collection of poems, Chamber Music. The title was suggested, as the author later stated, by the sound of urine tinkling into a prostitute's chamber pot. The poems have with their open vowels and repetitions such musical quality that many of them have been made into songs. "I have left my book, / I have left my room, / For I heard you singing / Through the gloom." Joyce himself had a fine tenor voice; he liked opera and bel canto.
In 1909 Joyce opened a cinema in Dublin, but this affair failed and he was soon back in Trieste, still broke and working as a teacher, tweed salesman, journalist and lecturer. In 1912 he was in Ireland, trying to persuade Maunsel & Co to fulfill their contract to publish Dubliners. The work contained a series of short stories, dealing with the lives of ordinary people, youth, adolescence, young adulthood, and maturity. The last story, 'The Dead', was adapted into screen by John Huston in 1987.
It was Joyce's last journey to his home country. However, he had became friends with Ezra Pound, who began to market his works. In 1916 appeared Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, an autobiographical novel. It apparently began as a quasi-biographical memoir entitled Stephen Herobetween 1904 and 1906. Only a fragment of the original manuscript has survived. The book follows the life of the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, from childhood towards maturity, his education at University College, Dublin, and rebellion to free himself from the claims of family and Irish nationalism. Stephen takes religion seriously, and considers entering a seminary, but then also rejects Roman Catholicism. "– Look here, Cranly, he said. You have asked me what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using my defence the only arms I allow myself to use – silence, exile, and cunning." At the end Stephen resolves to leave Ireland for Paris to encounter "the reality of experience". He wants to establish himself as a writer.
There once was a lounger named Stephen
Whose youth was most odd and uneven
He throuve on the smell
Of a horrible hell
That a Hottentot wouldn't believe in
(Joyce's limerick on the book's protagonist)
At the outset of the First World War, Joyce moved with his family to Zürich, where Lenin and the poet essayist Tristan Tzara had found their refuge. Joyce's WW I years with the legendary Russian revolutionary and Tzara, who founded the dadaist movement at the Cabaret Voltaire, provide the basis for Tom Stoppard's play Travesties (1974).
In Zürich Joyce started to develop the early chapters of Ulysses, which was first published in France, because of censorship troubles in the Great Britain and the United States, where the book became legally available 1933. The theme of jealousy was based partly on a story a former friend of Joyce told: he claimed that he had been sexually intimate with the author's wife, Nora, even while Joyce was courting her. Ulysses takes place on one day in Dublin (June 16, 1904) and reflected the classic work of Homer (fl. 9th or 8th century BC?).
The main characters are Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertising canvasser, his wife Molly, and Stephen Dedalus, the hero from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. They are intended to be modern counterparts of Telemachus, Ulysses, and Penelope. Barmaids are the famous Sirens. One of the models for Bloom was Ettore Schmitz (Italo Svevo), a novelist and businessman who was Joyce's student at the Berlitz school in Trieste. The story, using stream-of-consciousness technique, parallel the major events in Odysseus' journey home. However, Bloom's adventures are less heroic and his homecoming is less violent. Bloom makes his trip to the underworld by attending a funeral at Glasnevin Cemetary. "We are praying now for the repose of his soul. Hoping you're well and not in hell. Nice change of air. Out of the fryingpan of life into the fire of purgatory." The paths of Stephen and Bloom cross and recross through the day. Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature.
From 1917 to 1930 Joyce endured several eye operations, being totally blind for short intervals. (According to tradition, Homer was also blind.) In March 1923 Joyce began in Paris his second major work, Finnegans Wake, suffering at the same time chronic eye troubles caused by glaucoma. The first segment of the novel appeared in Ford Madox Ford's transatlantic review in April 1924, as part of what Joyce called Work in Progress. Wake occupied Joyce's time for the next sixteen years – its final version was completed late in 1938. A copy of the novel was present at Joyce's birthday celebration on February 1939.
Joyce's daughter Lucia, born in Trieste in 1907, became Carl Jung´s patient in 1934. In her teens, she studied dance, and later The Paris Times praised her skills as choreocrapher, linguist, and performer. With her father she collaborated in Pomes Penyeach (1927), for which she did some illustrations. Lucia's great love was Samuel Beckett, who was not interested in her. In the 1930s, she started to behave erratically. At the Burghölz psychiatric clinic in Zürich, where Jung worked, she was diagnosed schizophrenic. Joyce was left bitter at Jung's analysis of his daughter – Jung thought she was too close with her father's psychic system. In revenge, Joyce played in Finnegans Wake with Jung's concepts of Animus and Anima. Lucia died in a mental hospital in Northampton, England, in 1982.
After the fall of France in WWII, Joyce returned to Zürich, where he was taken ill. He was diagnosed of having a perforated duodenal ulcer. Joyce died after an operation, on January 13, 1941, still disappointed with the reception of Finnegans Wake, published on 4 May, 1939, by Faber and Faber. His last words were: "Does nobody understand?" Joyce was buried in Zürich at Fluntern cemetery.
Finnegans Wake was the last and most revolutionary work of the author, partly based on Freud's dream psychology, Bruno's theory of the complementary but conflicting nature of opposites, and the cyclic theory of history of Giambattista Vico (1668-1744). There is not much plot or characters to speak of – the life of all human experience is viewed as fragmentary. Some critics considered the work masterpiece, though many readers found it incomprehensible. "The only demand I make of my reader," Joyce once told an interviewer, "is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works." When the American writer Max Eastman asked Joyce why the book was written in a very difficult style, Joyce replied: "To keep the critics busy for three hundred years." The novel presents the dreams and nightmares of H.C. Earwicker (Here Comes Everywhere) and his family, the wife and mother Anna Livia Plurabelle, the twins Shem/Jerry and Shaun/Kevin, and the daughter Issy, as they lie asleep throughout the night. In the frame of the minimal central story Joyce experiments with language, combines puns and foreign words with allusions to historical, psychological and religious cosmology. The characters turn up in hundreds of different forms – animal, vegetable and mineral. Transformations are as flexible as in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The last word in the book is 'the', which leads, by Joyce's ever recurrent cycles, to the opening word in the book, the eternal 'riverrun.'
Although the events are set in the Dublin suburb of Chapelizod, the place is an analogy for everywhere else. Wake's structure follows the three stages of history as laid out by Vico: the Divine, the Heroic, and Human, followed period of flux, after which the cycle begins all over again: the last sentence in the work runs into the first. The title of the book is a compound of Finn MaCool, the Irish folk-hero who is supposed to return to life at some future date to become the savior of Ireland, and Tim Finnegan, the hero of music-hall ballad, who sprang to life in the middle of his own wake.
James Joyce Dies; Wrote 'Ulysses'
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
ZURICH, Switzerland, Monday, Jan 13- James Joyce, Irish author whose "Ulysses" was the center of one of the most bitter literary controversies of modern times, died in a hospital here early today despite the efforts of doctors to save him by blood transfusions. He would have been 59 years old Feb. 2.
Joyce underwent an intestinal operation Saturday afternoon at the Schwesternhaus von Rotenkreuz Hospital. For a time he appeared to be recovering. Only yesterday his son reported him to have been cheerful and apparently out of danger.
During the afternoon, however, the writer suffered a sudden relapse and sank rapidly. He died at 2:15 A.M. (8:15 P.M., Eastern standard time).
His wife and son were at the hospital when he died.
Hailed and Belittled by Critics
The status of James Joyce as a writer never could be determined in his lifetime. In the opinion of some critics, notably Edmund Wilson, he deserved to rank with the great innovators of literature as one whose influence upon other writers of his time was incalculable. On the other hand, there were critics like Max Eastman who gave him a place with Gertrude Stein and T.S. Eliot among the "Unintelligibles" and there was Professor Irving Babbitt of Harvard who dismissed his most widely read novel, "Ulysses," as one which only could have been written "in an advanced stage of psychic disintegration."
Originally published in 1922, "Ulysses" was not legally available in the United States until eleven years later, when United States Judge John Monro Woolsey handed down his famous decision to the effect that the book was not obscene. Hitherto the book had been smuggled in and sold at high prices by "bookleggers" and a violent critical battle had raged around it.
Judge Woolsey's Decision
"'Ulysses' is not an easy book to read or understand," Judge Woolsey wrote. "But there has been much written about it, and in order properly to approach the consideration of it it is advisable to read a number of other books which have now become its satellites. The study of "Ulysses" is therefore a heavy task.
"The reputation of 'Ulysses' in the literary world, however, warranted my taking such time as was necessary to enable me to satisfy myself as to the intent with which the book was written, for, of course, in any case where a book is claimed to be obscene it must first be determined whether the intent with which it was written was what is called, according to the usual phrase, pornographic, that is, written for the purpose of exploiting obscenity.
"If the conclusion is that the book is pornographic that is the end of the inquiry... But in 'Ulysses," in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic."
On the passages dealing with sex, Judge Woolsey paused to remark that the reader must not forget that "the characters are Celtic and the time is Spring." His decision was hailed as one of the most civilized ever propounded by an American judge. After he had admitted Ulysses to the country, there was a rush to but the almost immediately available authorized and uncensored edition published by Random House. Since then the book, unlike many another once banned by the censor and then forgotten, has been read widely; less for the passages once objected to than for the book as a whole.
Although Joyce appeared in many of his writings, "notably "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and "Ulysses," as Stephen Dedalus, many details of his life are missing. The most comprehensive study is Herbert Gorman's biography published in 1940.
Was Born in Dublin
The writer was born Feb. 2, 1882, in Dublin, Ireland, the son of John Stanislaus Joyce (The Simon Dedalus of "Ulysses" whom Bloom hears singing in the Ormond bar) and Mary Murray Joyce. His father supposedly had one of the finest tenor voices in Ireland. James Joyce had an equally fine voice.
The Joyce family was not prosperous and it was large. James stood out among his brothers and sisters and, at the age of 9, is supposed to have written an attack on Tim Healy, the anti-Parnellite, which was printed but of which no known copy exists. Since he was literary it was decided to give him an education and he was sent first to Clongowes Wood College, then to Belvedere College, also in Ireland, and later he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal University in Dublin.
He was an amazing scholar, and an independent and solitary figure. When he was 17 he read Ibsen's plays and wrote an essay for the Fortnightly Review about the author of "The Doll's House." Dissatisfied with the English translations, Joyce learned Norwegian when he was 19 years old so that he might read his literary god in the original. At the same time he was reading and studying Dante, all the Elizabethan poets, St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle.
In those days, according to Padraic Colum, who knew him at the Royal University (later reorganized as the National University), Joyce was a tall, slender young man with "a Dantesque face and steely blue eyes," who sauntered along the street in a peaked tennis cap, soiled tennis shoes, carrying an ashplant for a cane. Stephen Dedalus carries a similar cane in "Ulysses" and frequently talks with it! He loved to sing and recite poetry in his fine tenor voice, but he spoke harshly and used "many of the unprintable words he got printed in 'Ulysses.'"
Conceit and arrogance were his characteristics. When he first met Yeats he remarked:
"We have met too late; you are too old to be influenced by me."
AE (George Russell) recognized his "keen and cold intelligence," but told the young man, "I'm afraid you have not enough chaos in you to make a world."
Joyce was in continuous rebellion against Ireland and its life and said: "When the soul of a man is born in this country there are no nets flung at it to hold it back from flight."
The words are Stephen Dedalus's in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," but it was Joyce speaking, and, at the age of 20, he left Ireland for Paris where he intended, and for a time pretended, to study medicine.
At this time he started the stories that were eventually published as "Dubliners" (this book was later publicly burned in a Dublin public square) and started his first novel. This, the "Portrait of the Artist," was ten years in the writing. His first published work- except for the forgotten attack on Tim Healy- was "Chamber Music," a collection of Elizabethan-like verse, which were printed in 1907.
It was at this time that he met Nora Barnacle, "a sleek blond beauty" from Galway, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Healy Barnacle. They soon went to the continent to live (their marriage was not regularized until twenty-seven years later, when they visited a London registry office to legalize the status of their two children, George and Lucia). In Trieste, where they settled after some wandering, Joyce taught English at the Berlitz School and the Commercial Academy. He knew seventeen languages, ancient and modern, including Arabic, Sanskrit and Greek.
"Dubliners" Issued in 1914
In 1914 Dubliners was published in London. In the same year he also finished his novel "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
When war was declared Joyce and his wife, who were British citizens, were in Austria. He was forced out of his job as a teacher, and the couple moved to Zurich.
While living in Zurich Joyce began to suffer from severe ocular illness and eventually underwent at least ten operations on his eyes. For years he was almost totally blind and much of his later writing was done with red crayon on huge white sheets of paper.
"Ulysses" was begun under this difficult situation. Much of it was published by Margaret Anderson in The Little Review, the magazine which Otto Kahn, New York banker, once subsidized for his Greenwich Village friends. Chapters appeared between March, 1918, and August, 1920, when the Society for the Suppression of Vice had The Review stopped by court order.
After the war the Joyces returned to Trieste, where they lived with Stanislaus Joyce, the author's brother. Then, in 1919, they went to Paris, where they made their home until the next war sent them again to Zurich to occupy the house they had known in 1914.
In 1922 Joyce's greatest book, "Ulysses," was published in Paris. Great Britain, Ireland and the United States banned the book.
For many years after "Ulysses" was done Joyce worked on what he called "Work in Progress." Much of it appeared in Transition, the magazine published in the Nineteen Twenties in Paris by Eugene Jolas. In May, 1939, it was published as "Finnegan's Wake," a book "distinguished" by such "words" as Goragorridgeorballyedpuhkalsom, to name one of the simpler ones, and many puns. In it Mr. Joyce suggested the book was the work of "a too pained whitelwit laden with the loot of learning."
During all his years as a writer Joyce was carefully protected by his wife, who once said she cared for him despite "his necessity to write those books no one can understand." His conversation was clear, never anything like his writing, and his wit as keen.
Joyce's son, George Joyce, married the former Miss Helen Castor of Long Branch, N.J. They had one son, Stephen James Joyce. James Joyce and his wife made their home with his son for many years before the present war.
For further reading: James Joyce by Herbert Gorman (1939); Introducing James Joyce, ed. by T.S. Eliot (1942); Stephen Hero, ed. by Theodore Spencer (1944); James Joyce by W.Y. Tindall (1950); Joyce: The Man, the Reputation, the Work by M. Maglaner and R.M. Kain (1956); Dublin's Joyce by Hugh Kenner (1956); My Brtother's Keeper by S. Joyce (1958); James Joyce by Richard Ellmann (1959); A Readers' Guide to Joyce (1959); The Art of James Joyce by A.W. Litz (1961); Surface and Symbol: The Consistency of James Joyce's Ulysses by R.M. Adams (1962); J. Joyce-again's Finnegans Wake by B. Benstock (1965); James Joyce's 'Ulysses': Critical Essays, ed. by Clive Hart and David Hayman (1974); A Conceptual Guide to 'Finnegans Wake' by Michael H. Begnal and Fritz Senn (1974); James Joyce: the Citizen and the Artist by C. Peake (1977); James Joyce by Patrick Parrinder (1984); Joyce's Anatomy of Culture by Cheryl Herr (1986); Joyce's Book of the Dark: 'Finnegans Wake by John Bishop (1986); Reauthorizing Joyce by Vicki Mahaffey (1988); 'Ulysses' Annotated by Don Gifford (1988); An Annotated Critical Bibliography of James Joyce, ed. by Thomas F. Staley (1989); The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce, ed by Derek Attridge (1990); Joyce's Web by Margot Norris (1992); James Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' by David Seed (1992); Critical Essays on James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake ed. by Patrick A. McCarthy (1992); James Joyce and the Language of History: Dedalus's Nightmare by Robert E. Spoo (1994); Gender in Joyce, ed. by Jolanta W. Wawrzycka (1997); A Companion to James Joyce's Ulysses, ed. by Margot Norris (1999); Toiseen maailmaan. James Joycen novelli "Kuolleet" kirjallisuustieteen kohteena by Pekka Vartiainen (1999); The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste, 1904-1920 by John McCourt (2000); Joyce's "Ulysses" for Everyone, Or How To Skip Reading It the First Time by John Mood (2004)
- CHAMBER MUSIC, 1907
- DUBLINERS, 1914
- films: A Painful Case, 1984, prod. Channel 4 Television Corporation (Ireland), dir. John Lynch; The Dead, 1987 (based on the last story in the collection) dir. by John Huston, starring Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Dan O'Herlihy, Donal Donnelly; The Dead, 2004, prod. PIB Productions, dir. Prince Bagdasarian, screenplay Celin Cuadra
- A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, 1916
- film 1979, dir. by Joseph Strick, starring Bosco Hogan, T.P. McKenna, John Gielgud
- EXILES, 1918
- ULYSSES, 1922
- films: 1967, dir. by Joseph Strick, starring Barbara Jefford, Molo O'Shea, Maurive Roeves, T.P. McKenna; Uliisses, 1982, prod. Werner Nekes Filmproduktion (West Germany), dir. Werner Nekes, starring Armin Wölfl, Tabea Blumenschein, Russel Derson, Shezad Abbas; Bloom, 2003, prod. Odyssey Pictures (Ireland), dir. Sean Walsh, starring Stephen Rea, Angeline Ball, Hugh O'Conor, Neilí Conroy
- POMES PENYEACH, 1927
- COLLECTED POEMS, 1936
- FINNEGANS WAKE, 1939
- films: 1965, prod. Expanding Cinema, dir. by Mary Ellen Bute, starring Martin J. Kelley, Jane Reilly, Peter Haskell, Page Johnson, John V. Kelleher; The Wake, 2000, prod. Wake Film (Denmark), dir. Michael Kvium, Christian Lemmerz
- STEPHEN HERO, 1944
- THE PORTABLE JAMES JOYCE, 1947
- THE ESSENTIAL JAMES JOYCE, 1948
- THE LETTERS OF JAMES JOYCE, 1957-66 (3 vols.)
- THE CRITICAL WRITINGS, 1959
- 'LIVIA PRULABELLA' – THE MAKING OF A CHAPTER, 1960
- A FIRST DRAFT VERSION OF 'FINNEGANS WAKE', 1963
- GIACOMO JOYCE, 1968
- SELECTED LETTERS OF JAMES JOYCE, 1975
- THE JAMES JOYCE ARCHIVES, 1977-80 (63 vols.)
- ULYSSES: A READER'S EDITION, 1997 (ed. by Danis Rose)