James Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet born in Dublin in 1882. He was one of the key figures of the Modernist movement, producing works of literature that are notoriously complicated and cutting-edge for the time. His most famous works include Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, Dubliners, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He died in Zurich in 1941. Foster uses several of Joyce’s works to illustrate concepts ranging from weather symbolism to mythological archetype to irony. He also uses Joyce’s oeuvre as an example of literature that is extremely difficult to analyze, claiming that “the only thing that can really prepare you to read Ulysses is reading Ulysses.”
The timeline below shows where the character James Joyce appears in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
...a single meal can contain many complex and even contradictory layers of meaning. In James Joyce’s short story “The Dead” (1914), the main character, Gabriel Conroy, attends a lavish dinner party... (full context)
Chapter 6: …Or the Bible
Chapter 9: It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow
Interlude: Does He Mean That?
...are called the “Intentionalists,” and many were part of the modernist movement. Authors like James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf are known to have deliberately construct their texts using the... (full context)
Chapter 24: Don’t Read with Your Eyes