James Joyce's Life and Accomplishments

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James Joyce was a renowned Irish author and poet, most known for writing the book Ulysses, which parallels the events of The Odyssey in a variety of writing styles. Although Ulysses is considered his magnum opus, his other works including Dubliners, A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Finnegans Wake are held in high esteem by many.

Joyce was born in the Irish city of Dublin on the second of February, 1882 and was baptized by the order of his catholic mother and father three days later. By the age of five he had moved to the town of Bray, 12 miles outside of Dublin, there he was attacked by a dog and this sparked his lifelong cynophobia which may be suggested in Ulysses in episode 12 where the dog is described as a bloody mongrel and other negative phrases. By the age of eight Joyce had written a eulogy of a man by the name of Charles Stewart Parnell. In 1893, Joyce was offered a place at the Jesuit school, Belvedere College, the same year his father lost his job marking the beginning of their families decline into poverty. In 1895, Joyce enrolled in English, French, and Italian at the University College Dublin. This was also the time period when he started becoming active in drama and literature circles writing his first publication and a few plays. In 1902, Joyce graduated from UCD and then went to go study medicine in paris, after several months in Paris he received a telegraph from his father that said his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He quickly returned to Ireland where and his mother died soon thereafter, James and his brother refused to join the rest of his family in prayer at her bedside; this is notable because in Ulysses the character Stephen Dedalus refuses to do the same and his aunt is appalled and tell...

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...om the ineluctable modality of the cerebration (hah). Stephen opens his eyes and his thought process continues later analyzing the meter of his own thoughts in the sentence, “Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop.”

Clearly, this is a book about how the everyday events of a common persons life can be written about in the same way that the epic heroes stories are written. To show this Joyce gives the audience a hero that is lost in ordinary human problems, Bloom, and in detail narrates his and a myriad of side characters stories in a way that is reminiscent of The Odyssey while still remaining exceptionally different.

Works Cited

Ulysses - James Joyce

“The Physical Fitness of Leopold Bloom” - Jeff McClung





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