James Joyce


January 24, 2022

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (Dublin, February 2, 1882 - Zurich, January 13, 1941) was an Irish writer, poet and playwright. Although his literary production is not very large, he was of fundamental importance for the development of 20th century literature, especially the modernist current. Especially in relation to the linguistic experimentation present in his works, he is considered one of the best writers of the twentieth century and of literature of all time. His nonconformist and critical character towards Irish society and the Catholic Church is reflected in works such as The Dubliners or People of Dublin (Dubliners, 1914) - revealed by the famous epiphanies - and above all in Portrait of the artist as a young man (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, in 1917), also known in Italy as Dedalus. His best-known novel, Ulysses, is a real revolution with respect to nineteenth-century literature, and in 1939 the subsequent and controversial Finnegans Wake ("The vigil of the Finnegan" or more properly "The vigil for the Finnegan") it is extremization. During his lifetime he embarked on many journeys across Europe, but the setting of his works, so firmly linked to Dublin, made him one of the most cosmopolitan and at the same time most local Irish writers.


Childhood and adolescence

James Joyce was born in Rathgar, an elegant suburb of Dublin (in the then British Ireland), on February 2, 1882 in a deeply Catholic middle-class family, the eldest of ten surviving children (two of his brothers died in fact at a very tender age due to fever tifoidea) by John Stanislaus Joyce and Mary Jane Murray. In 1887, his father, after leaving his job as a customs officer, was appointed tax collector by the Dublin Corporation and therefore the family moved permanently to Bray, a town about twenty kilometers south of Dublin. Here Joyce was bitten by a dog, an episode at the origin of his cynophobia; he also had a disproportionate fear of thunderstorms because a very religious aunt told him they were a sign of God's wrath. Fears would always be part of Joyce's identity, and although she had the power to overcome them, she never did. In 1891, at the age of 9, he wrote his first work, an accusatory pamphlet against Timothy Healy (an Irish nationalist, politician, journalist, and one of the most controversial Members of Parliament in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) , guilty of having abandoned the leader of the autonomist party Charles Stewart Parnell in the midst of a scandal, who died in 1891. With the death of Parnell, Irish autonomy was further away and John Joyce, a convinced autonomist, was infuriated by this affair, so much to have some copies of his son's first work printed and one even sent to the Vatican Library. All copies have been lost. In November of the same year, John Joyce was suspended from work and could no longer pay the tuition at the prestigious Clongowes Wood College, which James had attended since 1888. James studied at home for some time, then briefly at the Christian Brothers school, until , thanks to the excellent grades, he was received free of charge at Belvedere College, a Jesuit college, also with the hope of a vocation. At sixteen Joyce had already developed the nonconformist and rebellious character that will distinguish him in the future and rejected Christianity, even if the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas will have a strong influence on his life. At Belvedere College he achieved excellent results and won more than one academic competition. In 1893 the family's already precarious economic situation worsened and in order to pay a debt, his father was forced to sell his properties in Cork (his family's hometown). John's alcoholism and mismanagement of finances

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