Other Works

CRITICAL WRITINGS

Throughout his life in addition to his works of fiction, James Joyce wrote and published numerous pieces of non-fiction. Joyce was concerned with issues such as censorship and cultural identity, but he was also interested greatly in the subjects of aesthetics and critical analysis.

 

Recommended Reading: James Joyce: Occasional, critical and political writing, available from the Oxford World’s Classics range published by Oxford University Press, 2000.

 

STEPHEN HERO

Stephen Hero was published after Joyce’s death from the charred remains of the manuscript that had survived the author’s attempt to burn it. Joyce began writing the text during his university years in Dublin with his brother Stanislaus suggesting the title. The text continued to mutate when he moved to Trieste but was eventually abandoned as Joyce felt it immature and not worth publishing. However one of his private students Italo Svevo read an extract and encouraged him to take up the theme of the emerging young artist again. Joyce reworked the text and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man emerged from the discarded pages of Stephen Hero. It is interesting to compare Stephen Hero to A Portrait in that one can clearly see the transition from the writing of a young apprentice in the wordsmith craft to that of a mature author who has reached the level of master craftsman.

 

Recommended Reading

    • Stephen Hero by James Joyce (Jonathan Cape Edited by Theodore Spencer)

GIACOMO JOYCE

Giacomo Joyce is an unfinished work, published after Joyce’s death. It is an account of frustrated desire experienced by a teacher for his young female pupil. The female protagonist based in part on one of Joyce’s young female language students Amalia Popper, is portrayed as a Southern European seductress, a Jewess who emerges as the object of the writer’s erotic desires. It is an affair of the eyes, unconsummated, more full of lusting gaze than action. Joyce’s preoccupation with heavy lidded brown eyed brunettes is sensuously indulged in throughout. Trieste’s exotic eastern influence permeates the work and although brief the text is linguistically lush and extremely descriptive.

 

Recommended Reading

    • Giacomo Joyce by James Joyce ed Richard Ellmann published Faber and Faber

 

    • The Years of Bloom by John McCourt, Lilliput Press, 2000.

THE CAT AND THE DEVIL

Joyce wrote this version of an old French story for his grandson, Stephen James Joyce. The freshness and humour of his story-telling is brought to life by the illustrations of the medieval town, and caricatures of the clever Lord Mayor and ‘Bellsybabbling’ Devil. Faber and Faber 1965.

 

LETTERS

Joyce was a prolific letter writer and many of his letters have survived. They give a fascinating insight into the life of Joyce the man as well as Joyce the author. By reading the letters we are able to come to a better understanding of how Joyce’s biography influenced his works.

 

Recommended Reading

    • The Selected Letters, edited by Richard Ellmann and published by Faber and Faber, 1975.

 

    • The Collected Letters: Volume I is edited by Stuart Gilbert and Volumes II and III are edited by Richard Ellmann. All are published by Oxford University Press.

BIOGRAPHY

No study of Joyce would be complete without a good biography at hand and although Richard Ellmann’s biography of Joyce is a brilliant piece of work and an intriguing read, there are others available. There are also biographies of those surrounding Joyce and various collections of recollections of Joyce by those he knew, but for a comprehensive all-round look at his life, we would recommend Ellmann’s biography as the first point of reference.

 

Recommended Reading

    • James Joyce by Richard Ellmann published by Oxford University Press, 1983. James Joyce: A Literary Life by Morris Beja, Gill and Macmillan.

 

  • The Years of Bloom by John McCourt, Lilliput Press, 2000.

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