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James Joyce entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
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Writing and Life
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Irish exile James Joyce, hailed by Yeats as a new kind of novelist even before his first novel was published, became one of the leading practitioners of modernism. As well as poems, a play, and a volume of short stories, he produced three important novels, from the last of which he put out several separate sections long before the whole appeared. Joyce encountered obstacles to publishing almost all his books, raised by censors both official and self-appointed. Without the tireless patronage of Harriet Shaw Weaver and Sylvia Beach, his last two books might never have been published at all.
Milestones
2 February 1882 JJ, Irish novelist, playwright, and poet, was born at 41 Brighton Square, Dublin, the eldest survivor from his mother's twelve births and three miscarriages. Bibliographic Citation link.
6 April 1907 JJ published his first book, a collection of poems entitled Chamber Music. Bibliographic Citation link.
March 1918 JJ's novel Ulysses began serial publication in the Chicago-based Little Review, edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap. Bibliographic Citation link.
14 February 1921 The obscenity trial against JJ's Ulysses began in New York, with John Quinn acting for the Little Review. The jury found the publication obscene, and its serialisation was discontinued. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 February 1922 Ulysses was published in Paris by Shakespeare and Company on JJ's fortieth birthday. Joyce gave Harriet Shaw Weaver Copy No. 1 of the de luxe edition; he gave Copy No. 1000 to his wife Nora. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1923 Harriet Shaw Weaver reported in a letter to John Slocum that 499 copies of James Joyce's Ulysses were seized at Folkestone harbour under the Customs Act of 1867; only one copy, sent to London, escaped seizure for obscenity. Bibliographic Citation link.
10 March 1923 JJ began work on probably the first identifiable fragment that went into his third major work, the highly experimental and linguistically inventive novel and central text of modernism which was later known as Finnegans Wake. Bibliographic Citation link.
1927-1937 Eugene and Maria Jolas serialised Finnegans Wake in transition, an international quarterly for creative experiment. It appeared under the title Work in Progress. Bibliographic Citation link.
October 1928 JJ 's Anna Livia Plurabelle, a fragment of Finnegans Wake (1939), was published in book form in New York by Crosby Gaige. Bibliographic Citation link.
November 1932 JJ learned that Ulysses would not be prosecuted in England, and an agreement was struck with John Lane to publish. Because of printers' protests against some passages, the book did not appear until 1936. Bibliographic Citation link.
6 December 1933 Ulysses by JJ was cleared of obscenity charges by an American court in New York; this resulted in British authorities quietly overlooking its publication in England. Bibliographic Citation link.
4 May 1939 After seventeen years of writing and revising, JJ's Finnegans Wake was published in its entirety in London by Faber and Faber and in New York by Viking Press. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 January 1941 JJ, Irish novelist, died at Zurich in Switzerland. Bibliographic Citation link.
1960 In the Caedmon Records Literary Series recording of JJ's Ulysses, soliloquies of Molly and Leopold Bloom were expurgated without any indication of the fact; an instance of the way unofficial censorship haunted the novel. Bibliographic Citation link.
Early June 2004 Commemorations planned to celebrate the centenary of JJ's Ulysses were threatened by the refusal of his grandson and sole surviving relative, Stephen Joyce, to give copyright permission. Bibliographic Citation link.
Life Highlights
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