James Joyce (1882 - 1941) was an author and poet born in Dublin, Ireland, to Roman Catholic parents. He supported Irish nationalism, and worked at reviving the Irish dialect although somewhat skeptical of that as a political movement.
Joyce was initially educated by the Jesuit order, but became anti-clerical and rejected Catholicism by the age of 16. Despite this tempestuous early relationship with the Irish Roman Catholic Church, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas would remain a strong influence on him. But Joyce wrote a savage anonymous review of the work of the Irish poet William Rooney, which may have been partly politically motivated.
He lived in poverty until the publishing of his controversial novel Ulysses in 1922. Joyce revolutionized the treatment of plot and characterization in fiction and is best known for his use of the stream of consciousness style. While his works are near inaccessible to many, Joyce is considered a master of Modernism, and frequently ranks highly in lists of famous authors. He married Nora Barnacle in 1931; a son was born in 1905, and a daughter in 1918. He died in Zurich in 1941.
- Dubliners, a collection of short stories set in Dublin
- Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, his semi-autobiographical first novel
- Ulysses, considered his masterpiece
- Finnegans Wake, the peak of his experimentalism
- "I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church ..."
From, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ch 5
- "I confess that I do not see what good it does to fulminate against the English tyranny while the Roman tyranny occupies the palace of the soul."
From, his lecture: "Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages"