J is for Joyce


James Augusta Aloysius Joyce was born in 1882 in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century he wrote his first poem at the age of 9.

He attended University College Dublin and after graduating went to Paris to study Medicine, but returned to Ireland when he heard his mother was dying, where he made a meager living by doing book reviews after her death.

In 1904 he tried to publish an essay entitled “A Portrait of The Artist” unsuccessfully, and years later, completely reworked as a novel this became “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”

After various stints in Europe (mainly Zurich and Paris) where he met Harriet Shaw Weaver (who became his mentor and gave him thousands of pounds to allow him to write and not have to work) he wrote his famous short story collections and novels such as “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake.”

Joyce perfected the stream of consciousness technique of writing and his fiction is centered on Dublin, his characters resembling friends and relations he had there.

An alcoholic, he died at the age of 59 due to a perforated ulcer.

My favourite Joyce quotes:

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

“No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.”

“When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.”

”I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. Geoffrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colley Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe.”

Clip of Joyce:

Ok, so he pioneered “stream of consciousness” aka “interior monologue” in his novels, which means I have a lot to thank him for. I love using interior monologue (although i call it internal monologue) perhaps too much lol. Do you use interior monologue in your writing?