James Joyce Quotes

A child is sleeping: An old man gone. O father forsaken, Forgive your son!
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish writer. Ecce Puer (l. 1-4). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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I don't mean to presume to dictate to you in the slightest degree but why did you leave your father's house? MTo seek misfortune, was Stephen's answer.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 16, "Eumaeus," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Leopold Bloom in conversation with Stephen Dedalus.
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Of the dark past A child is born With joy and grief My heart is torn
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish writer. Ecce Puer (l. 1-4). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: MIntroibo ad altare Dei.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 1, "Telemachus," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Buck Mulligan opens Ulysses parodying the Catholic mass.
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Richard: lights and offers him a match: There is a faith still stranger than the faith of the disciple in his master. Robert: And that is? Richard: The faith of a master in the disciple who will betray him.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Exiles, Act I, Exiles, introduction by Padraic Colum, Viking (1951). This exchange characterizes Joyce's feeling about some friends and some fellow writers.
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A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what's cheese? Corpse of milk.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 6, "Hades," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). One of Leopold Bloom's unsentimental and witty interior thoughts.
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Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another's soul.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Exiles, notes (written 1914-1915, published 1952).
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If he had smiled why would he have smiled? To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 17, "Ithaca," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Of Leopold Bloom entering his marriage bed.
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Not the least vital of the problems which confront our country is the problem of her attitude towards those of her children who, having left her in her hour of need, have been called back to her now on the eve of her longawaited victory, to her whom in loneliness and exile they have at last learned to love. In exile, we have said, but here we must distinguish. There is an economic and there is a spiritual exile. There are those who left her to seek the bread by which men live and there are others, nay, her most favoured children, who left her to seek in other lands that food of the spirit by which a nation of human beings is sustained in life.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Exiles, Act III, Exiles, introduction by Padraic Colum, Viking (1951). This is an excerpt from Robert's newspaper article on the return of a famous Irish writer (the play's Richard Rowan). Its tone is intentionally denigrating, but it explains an aspect of Joyce's notion of the artist in exile.
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Love, yes. Word known to all men.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Ulysses, ch. 9, "Scylla and Charybdis," The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler, Random House (1986). Stephen Dedalus supplies the answer to the question of what word is known to all men in a passage that was originally excised from Ulysses through a transcription error.
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