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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday James Joyce

James Augustine Aloyious Joyce was born on this Date February 2, 1882, in Dublin, Ireland, the eldest of ten children.  Joyce traveled around Europe most of his life but all his novels are set in Dublin, Ireland.  Eventually he settled in Zurich, Switzerland with his wife and two children.
The Dubliners (1914)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) This he attempted to publish January 7, 1904 as a short story for a magazine but it was rejected.
Exiles (1918)
Best known for his work "Ulysses" (1922) in which episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles set with precision in the streets and alleyways of Dublin.
It was first serialized in parts of the American Journal, The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920.   In 1919 the U.S. Post Office stopped the distribution of "Ulysses," claiming it was obscene.  Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, published the novel herself in 1922, but it was banned in the United Kingdom and in the United States until 1933.
The Primary date of the action in the novel Ulysses is June 16, 1904, was also the day of the first date James Joyce had with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.  Joyce fans still celebrate June 16 as Bloomsday!
Joyce's last novel, "Finnegan's Wake", was published in 1939, and Joyce died two years later.
Beyond paying homage to the late and great James Joyce, I want to point out to fellow authors that you may get a bad review from time to time, maybe several in a row, but when was the last time your book was banned from a World Power country?  Then again, that might be a goal to shoot for considering history in light of Joyce's success.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its lists of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century. 


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