A blog for the comprehensive understanding of Literature, Applied Linguistics and ELT

February 10, 2018

James Joyce Quick Facts

James Joyce, a 20th century influential Irish writer.




 Profile

  • Birth Name: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce
  • Date of Birth: February 2, 1882
  • Place of Birth: 44 Brighton Square, Terenure, Dublin, Ireland
  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
  • Date of Death: January 13, 1941
  • Place of Death: Zurich, Zurich District, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Place of Burial: Fluntern Cemetery, Fluntern, Bezirk Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Cause of Death: Perforated duodenal ulcer
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in
  • Father: John Stanislaus Joyce (1849 -1931)
  • Mother: Mary Jane (Murray) Joyce (1859-1903)
  • Siblings:
  1. Sister- Katie Joyce (c. 1875-?)
  2. Sister-Elizabeth W Joyce (c. 1879-?)
  3. Brother-John Augustine Joyce (c. 1881 - c. 1883)
  4. Sister-Margaret Alice Joyce (c. 1884 - c. 1964)
  5. Brother- John Stanislaw Joyce (1884-1955)
  6. Sister- Mary Jane Joyce (c. 1886)
  7. Brother - Charles Patrick Joyce (1886-?)
  8. Brother- George Alfred Joyce (c. 1888 - 1902)
  9. Sister- Mabel Josephine Anne Joyce (1893-?)
  10. Sister -Eileen Isabella Joyce (1889-1963)
  11. Sister- Eva May Joyce (1891)
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Spouse: Nora Barnacle (m. 1931) (1884 -1951)
  • Children:
  1. Son - Giorgio Joyce (1905 -1976)
  2. Daughter- Lucia Anna Joyce (1907-1982)
  • Alma Mater: Clongowes Wood College; Belvedere College; University College Dublin
  • Known for: his experiments with language, symbolism, and perfecting the narrative techniques of interior monologue and stream of consciousness
  • James Joyce was criticized for: complicating his writings through vague references or dull descriptions of intimate matters, including sexual activity.
  • James Joyce was influenced by: William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, W. B. Yeats, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Ezra Pound, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Gustave Flaubert, Dante Alighieri, Anton Chekhov, Jonathan Swift, Miguel de Cervantes, Aristotle, Henrik Ibsen, Stendhal, Lord Byron, John Milton, Laurence Sterne, François Rabelais, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Bertrand Russell, Carl Jung, Thomas Aquinas, George Moore, Edmund Spenser, Mikhail Lermontov, Robert Burns, Ben Jonson, Giordano Bruno, Giambattista Vico, Sheridan Le Fanu, John Henry Newman, Otto Weininger, and Jens Peter Jacobsen
  • Joyce's Works Inspired:  James Blish, Anthony Burgess, Philip Dick, William Faulkner, Anthony Burgess, and Leonard Cohen

Quotes

“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.” - James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Major Works

  • Dubliners (1914)
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  • Exiles (1918)
  • Ulysses (1922)
  • Pomes Penyeach (1927)
  • Finnegans Wake (1939)

Major Themes

  • Psychology
  • Exile
  • Myth
  • Catholicism

Did You Know?

  • James Joyce was the eldest of 12 children born to John Stanislaus Joyce and Mary Jane (Murray) Joyce.
  • His father had an unsuccessful career with involvement in several jobs including a position as tax collector for the city of Dublin.
  • His mother was a gifted pianist.
  • Joyce was educated entirely in Catholic schools in Ireland.
  • James Joyce graduated in 1902 with a Pass degree in modern languages.
  • Soon after his graduation, Joyce left Ireland to pursue a medical education in Paris.
  • He returned to Ireland briefly in 1903 upon news of his mother's illness but left for Paris in 1904 after her death.
  • In Paris, Joyce lived in near poverty even after the successful publication of Ulysses in 1922.
  • Joyce's younger brother, Stanislaus Joyce provided him financial support throughout his life.
  • Although Joyce and Nora started living together since1904, the couple finally got married in 1931 and the wedlock continued until Joyce's death.
  • Joyce was plagued by severe eye problems for most of his adult life, which eventually led to near blindness. He underwent a multitude of surgeries for eye problems.
  • Joyce's first published book was Chamber Music (1907), a collection of 36 love poems.
  • His first prose work, Dubliners was published in 1914, which contained 15 short stories and sketches.
  • Joyce's works left a profound impact on the Irish cinema, especially towards the development of the avant-garde film style.
  • Joyce gained international recognition through the publication of Ulysses which many people consider one of the greatest and most original books ever written.
  • Ulysses was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920.
  • Ulysses was published as a complete book in Paris by Sylvia Beach, of the bookstore Shakespeare & Co. on 2 February 1922, Joyce's 40th birthday.
  • Ulysses was banned in the United States from 1922 until 1933.

Media Gallery

James Joyce



James Joyce with his daughter Lucia Anna Joyce, wife Nora Barnacle, and son Giorgio Joyce


James Joyce with his daughter Lucia Anna Joyce
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February 1, 2018

Quotations by Ted Hughes

TED HUGHES, A 20TH CENTURY ENGLISH WRITER OF POETRY, NON-FICTION AND CHILDREN'S BOOKS.

“The dreamer in her Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it. That moment the dreamer in me Fell in love with her and I knew it”  ~ Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

“You were overloaded. I said nothing.
I said nothing. The stone man made soup.
The burning woman drank it.”
~ Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

 “Do as you like with me. I'm your parcel. I have only our address on me. Open me, or readdress me.”
~ Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

“I shall also take you forth and carve our names together in a yew tree, haloed with stars...”
~ Ted Hughes, Letters of Ted Hughes 

 “The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where did he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. Taller than a house the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, at the very brink, in the darkness.”
~ Ted Hughes, The Iron Man

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”
~ Ted Hughes, Letters of Ted Hughes

“So we found the end of our journey.
So we stood, alive in the river of light,
Among the creatures of light, creatures of light.”
~ Ted Hughes, River

“Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business”
~ Ted Hughes, The Thought-Fox

“In the pit of red
You hid from the bone-clinic whiteness

But the jewel you lost was blue.”

~ Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

“The brassy wood-pigeons
Bubble their colourful voices, and the sun
Rises upon a world well-tried and old.”
~ Ted Hughes, Stealing Trout on a May Morning

“You could become internationally famous - you're Gemini, and according to antique authority have a literary talent, which of course your letters prove.”
~ Ted Hughes, Letters of Ted Hughes

“The world’s decay where the wind’s hands have passed,
And my head, worn out with love, at rest
In my hands, and my hands full of dust,”
~ Ted Hughes, Song

“There is no better way to know us
Than as two wolves, come separately to a wood.”
~ Ted Hughes, A Modest Proposal

“He could not stand. It was not
That he could not thrive, he was born
With everything but the will –
That can be deformed, just like a limb.
Death was more interesting to him.
Life could not get his attention.”
~ Ted Hughes, Season Songs

“The Shell

The sea fills my ear
with sand and with fear.

You may wash out the sand,
but never the sound
of the ghost of the sea
that is haunting me.”

~ Ted HughesThe Mermaid's Purse

“where are the gods
the gods hate us
the gods have run away
the gods have hidden in holes
the gods are dead of the plague
they rot and stink too

there never were any gods
there’s only death”
~ Ted Hughes, Seneca's Oedipus

“The dreamer in her
Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it.
That moment the dreamer in me
Fell in love with her and I knew it”
~ Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

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January 21, 2018

George Bernard Shaw Quick Facts

George Bernard Shaw was an Anglo-Irish playwright, literary critic, and novelist.

George Bernard Shaw Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: George Bernard Shaw
  • AKA: Bernard Shaw
  • Date of Birth: July 26, 1856
  • Place of Birth: Portobello, Dublin, Ireland
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo
  • Death: November 2, 1950
  • Place of Death: Ayot St. Lawrence, United Kingdom
  • Cause of Death: Kidney dysfunction after falling from a ladder
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: Irish & British
  • Height: 6 ft 2 in
  • Place of Burial: Cremated (ashes scattered in different places)
  • Father: George Carr Shaw (1814–1885)
  • Mother: Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw (1830–1913)
  • Siblings:
  1. Sister- Lucinda Butterfield (1853–1920)
  2. Sister- Elinor Shaw (1855–1876)
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Spouse: Charlotte Payne-Townshend (m. 1898 –1943) (b. 1857– d.1943)
  • Children: None
  • Alma Mater: Wesley College
  • George Bernard Shaw was Known for: incorporating comic and complex elements to unveil social evils, and exploring philosophical ideas
  • George Bernard Shaw was criticized for: NA
  • George Bernard Shaw was influenced by: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 –1860), Richard Wagner (1813 –1883), Henry David Thoreau (1817 –1862), Karl Marx (1818 –1883), Henrik Ibsen (1828 –1906), William Morris (1834 –1896), W. S. Gilbert (1836 –1911), Henry George (1839 –1897), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 –1900), Joseph Stalin (1878 –1953), and Agustus Montrose.
  • Shaw’s works inspired: T. S. Eliot (1888–1965), Noël Coward (1899–1973), Peter Nichols (b. 1927), Henry Livings (1929–1998), Tom Stoppard (1937), and Alan Ayckbourn (b. 1939)

Notable Awards

  • Nobel Prize in literature (1925) “for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty"
  • Academy Award (1938) for the film adaptation of Pygmalion.

Quotes

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah

Did You Know?

  • Bernard Shaw was the youngest child and the only son of George Carr Shaw and Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw.
  • During his childhood Shaw went to numerous educational institutions, all of which he detested.
  • Shaw wanted to refuse the Nobel Prize in literature, but ultimately accepted it since his wife insisted that it was a tribute to Ireland.
  • Although Shaw accepted the 1925 Nobel Prize, he refused the prize money, arranging instead for the money to go toward funding the translation of Swedish literature into English.
  • During lifetime, Shaw produced more than fifty plays and three volumes of music and drama criticism.
  • Many critics consider Shaw as the greatest English dramatist since William Shakespeare.
  • In 1893 Shaw Published his first play, Widowers' Houses, which he described as an "unpleasant" play.
  • He used the pseudonyms "GBS" and "Corno di Bassetto" as a columnist.
  • Shaw was a vegetarian, and kept himself aloof from alcohol or coffee.
  • It is rumoured that he and his wife never consummated sexual relationship.
  • During his lifetime Shaw maintained relationship with many women which he continued even after marriage.

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January 7, 2018

“The Rape of the Lock” as a Mock-heroic Poem

The Pseudo-classical poet Alexander Pope has been widely hailed as the unchallengeable master of the heroi-comical poetry. This very reputation stems heavily from his brilliant and playful implementation of mock-heroic traditions into his long narrative poem The Rape of the Lock. The poem, without a contest, is the most exquisite paradigm of mock-heroic poetry that can be found in English literature.

Heroic or epic poems, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Milton’s Paradise Lost deal with the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures in elevated style and serious manner. Contrariwise, the mock-heroic poem is a poetic form based on the traditions and devices of a serious epic to deal with a trivial theme by placing it in a framework entirely inappropriate to its importance, thereby producing ingenious humorous effect.

The subject poem, The Rape of the Lock imitates almost all the traditions of the serious epic except the serious theme. In fact, the main incident of the poem is snipping off a lock of hair of a pretty young woman and an ensuing battle. However, Pope treats the incident as if it were comparable to events that instigated the Trojan War. In this way Pope elaborates a trivial episode into a playful and fanciful heroi-comical poem resembling an epic in miniature.

The poem begins with an invocation in epic tradition. However, instead of a divinity, Pope dedicates the poem to his and Arabella Fermor's friend John Caryll, who originally asked him to write it, and to Belinda that is, Arabella, the woman the poem is purportedly about:
“WHAT dire Offence from am'rous Causes springs,
What mighty Contests rise from trivial Things,
I sing—This Verse to Caryll, Muse! is due;
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the Subject, but not so the Praise,
If She inspire, and He approve my Lays.”
To be contextual, the poem is based on an actual episode that provoked a quarrel between two families. Lord Petre had cut off a lock of hair from the head of Arabella Fermor, which caused much indignation on the part of the lady and her family.

Pope also uses supernatural machinery; but instead of gods and goddesses of the classical epics he uses petty spirits like Sylphs, Nymphs, Genomes and Salamanders. We see that the Sylphs are taking care of Belinda as the gods and goddesses in the classical epics would side the heroes when there is a fight:
“Propp’d on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey
The growing combat, or assist the fray.”      
The minuscule spirits play a significant role in the dramatic, thematic and structural development of the poem. Pope intentionally employs them to maintain the triviality of the theme. We laugh when we compare the activities of the tiny spirits with those of the gods and goddesses of epic poems.

Journey to the underworld is another common convention of an epic. Like supernatural beings in the classical epics, the gnome Umbriel descends to the Underworld on Belinda’s behalf and obtains a magical bag full of female screams and cries, and a vial of tears and sorrow from the Queen of Spleen. Umbriel’s intention is to relief Belinda from her mental distress by agonizing her opponents. However, Umbriel puts Belinda into more trouble by dumping the entire contents of the bag over her head instead. Here, it is obvious that Pope designed Umbriel’s journey to the Cave of the Spleen with a view to make fun of the visits of epic heroes to the underworld:
“Umbriel, a dusky melancholy Spright,
As ever sully'd the fair face of Light,
Down to the Central Earth, his proper Scene,
Repairs to search the gloomy Cave of Spleen.”
Dangerous journeys on water are a traditional trait of a serious epic. But here in the poem Belinda takes a relaxed journey on water without any danger. She travels up the Thames in a boat to join Hampton Court to play the game of Omber. Her voyage recalls the voyage of Aeneas on Tiber in Virgil’s epic poem Aeneid.

Like serious epics we have use of weapons and arming of the epic hero in The Rape of the Lock. However, the weapons do not consist of shinning swords and mighty shields but trivial objects like hairpins, cosmetics and amorous looks. Belinda’s dressing is compared to the arming of the epic hero like Achilles described in Homer’s The Iliad:
“Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-dout.
Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms;”
An epic poem is incomplete without battle episodes. Therefore, to maintain such tradition Pope has introduced a number of battle scenes. For example, the game of Omber suggests a mighty battle. Again there is the battle between the lords and ladies fought with fans and snuff. Moreover, there are single fights between Belinda and the Baron and between Clarissa and Sir Plume.

Pope creates a serious mock-heroic effect by employing various similes and metaphors akin to Homer and Milton. For example, at one place he compares Belinda’s eyes with the bright sun. Again, at another place he ironically compares her with Queen Dido and Helen. However, the funniest comparison is made between Belinda's petticoat with the famous Shield of Ajax which was described in Book VII of The Iliad:
“We trust th' important charge, the petticoat:
Oft have we known that sev'n-fold fence to fail,
Though stiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale.
Form a strong line about the silver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.”
Pope further reinforces the mock-heroic effect through his grand style. He uses nemerous poetic devices like periphrases, alliteration, and polished diction to achieve the desired mock-heroic effect. Moreover, he makes the style grander through the use of high sounding words, signs of exclamation and interrogation. He also uses lengthy speeches like the serious epic.

“The Rape of the Lock” as a Mock-heroic Poem


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