James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 in Dublin, Ireland. He was educated at Belvedere College in Dublin. His family was poor, the father was a civil servant and the mother was a pianist. James Joyce graduated from the University in 1902, after which he went to Paris. While there, he held positions as a journalist, teacher and other jobs that did not pay him very well.
James Joyce published “Chamber Music”, which was a collection of poems in 1907. The collection was of 36 love poems. Two years later, he opened a cinema in Dublin. The cinema was not successful and he soon returned to Trieste along with Nora Barnacle (whom he married in 1931) and worked various jobs. In Trieste James Joyce wrote most of “Dubliners”- a collection of short stories portraying Dublin. He published it in 1914. “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” - an autobiographical novel, was published in 1916 and the play “Exiles” in 1918. At the beginning of World War I he moved to Zurich where he began working on the early chapters of ”Ulysses” – published 1922.
James Joyce started working on his second major work “Finnegan’s Wake” in 1923. In April 1924, the first section of the novel was published. The final version appeared in 1939 but there was mixed reaction to this work.
James Joyce is well known for his experimental use of language, symbolic parallels and extensive use of monologue. However, during his lifetime his works were often criticized by literary critics, rejected by publishers and misunderstood by readers.
James Joyce died on January 13, 1941 in Zurich.