James Joyce Quotes

Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. repr. in Critical Writings, sct. 46, eds. Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann (1959). "The Mirage of the Fisherman of Aran," Piccolo della Sera, Trieste (Sept. 5, 1912).
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Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Originally published in The Irish Homestead, August 13, 1904. "The Sisters," Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes, Viking (1968). Paralysis is Joyce's key word for the Dubliners collection. For Joyce, the word symbolized the condition of Ireland in the modern world.
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First, in the history of words there is much that indicates the history of men, and in comparing the speech of to-day with that of years ago, we have a useful illustration of the effect of external influences on the very words of a race.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. From a holograph manuscript written during Joyce's matriculation at University College, Dublin, 1898 or 1899. "The Study of Languages," The Critical Writings, eds. Richard Ellmann and Ellsworth Mason, Viking (1959).
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—He's a cultured allroundman, Bloom is, he said seriously. He's not one of your common or garden ... you know ... There's a touch of the artist about old Bloom.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 10, "Wandering Rocks," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). The character, Lenehan, comments on Joyce's Odyssean prototype, Leopold Bloom.
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The Irishman's house is his coffin.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 6, "Hades," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Leopold Bloom comments on Ireland and death.
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He affirmed his significance as a conscious rational animal proceeding syllogistically from the known to the unknown and a conscious rational reagent between a micro and macrocosm ineluctably constructed upon the incertitude of the void.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 17, "Ithaca," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). The best Stephen Dedalus can do in modernist terms on the subject of perfectibility in the catechism section of Ulysses.
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There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. letter, Nov. 22, 1902, in which Joyce declared his intention of leaving Ireland for good; an inaccurate text, taken from a typescript of this letter, is printed in Letters of James Joyce, vol. 1 (1957). From a private collection.
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O thanks be to the great God I got somebody to give me what I badly wanted to put some heart up into me youve no chances at all in this place like you used long ago I wish somebody would write me a loveletter....
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 18, "Penelope," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Molly Bloom thinks about what Joyce, after a fashion, did: write her a kind of love letter.
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When the soul of man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ch. 5. Stephen Dedalus speaks of his relation to Ireland, but the preposition "by" holds a double meaning for the flight-inspired Daedalian artist: both beyond and by means of.
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What went forth to the ends of the world to traverse not itself, God, the sun, Shakespeare, a commercial traveller, having itself traversed in reality itself becomes that self.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 15, "Circe," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Stephen Dedalus's musings describe the essential literary plot for Joyce.
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