James Joyce: A Literary Life

Overview

Morris Beja's concise yet thorough biography of James Joyce fills a void in Joycean studies by offering students and general readers a short, readable account of the great writer's life, concentrating on Joyce's sense of himself as an artist and on the ways in which he drew upon his life in weaving his fictions. James Joyce, arguably the most influential twentieth-century writer in any language, and certainly one of the major figures in world literature, led a fascinating life, triumphant and sad, constantly ...
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Overview

Morris Beja's concise yet thorough biography of James Joyce fills a void in Joycean studies by offering students and general readers a short, readable account of the great writer's life, concentrating on Joyce's sense of himself as an artist and on the ways in which he drew upon his life in weaving his fictions. James Joyce, arguably the most influential twentieth-century writer in any language, and certainly one of the major figures in world literature, led a fascinating life, triumphant and sad, constantly battling both self-created problems and those forced upon him. He began his life within an affluent family and saw it decline into poverty and debt. As a youth he was popular, yet found himself feeling increasingly isolated from his contemporaries. He gave himself to his art with fanatic devotion, but upon achieving the status of a notable force in literature, he had to endure agonies in his private life - including a daughter with severe mental illness and a son without a career or sense of direction. Beja demonstrates that the more we have learned about the smallest details of Joyce's life, the more we have come to see correspondences between his life and his art. Beja traces these correspondences throughout the canon and chronicles the ways in which Joyce's confidence in his art and his genius led to his triumph as a writer. This insightful biography will interest any students, general readers, and scholars seeking an accessible account of Joyce's life and work.
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What People Are Saying

Hugh Kunner
Finally, a biography of Joyce that keeps the stress on why his life is worth our attention…
—Hugh Kunner
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814205990
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Imagination as Memory
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
1 As All of Dublin: The Years of Youth, 1882-1904 1
2 Standing by the Door: The Early Work 26
3 The Curve of an Emotion: The Years of the Portrait, 1904-1914 40
4 A Touch of the Artist: The Years of Ulysses, 1914-1922 63
5 Work in Progress: The Years of Finnegans Wake, 1922-1941 88
Appendix: The Joyce Family 126
Notes 130
Works Cited and Selected Bibliography 135
Index 140
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