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Introducing Joyce: A Graphic Guide by David Norris

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By David Norris

James Joyce is without doubt one of the such a lot famous—and controversial—writers of the 20 th century. the parable of his trouble has discouraged many readers from works similar to Ulysses, yet David Norris explores his existence and paintings during this enticing and intellectually rigorous introduction.

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With the Dublin Mountains as a backdrop, the sweep of the bay half circles the metropolis like a sleeper’s arms, and the River Liffey – Joyce’s Anna Livia – rises in the foothills and meanders in a wide arc before flowing through the city to the sea. The Irish name for Dublin is Baile Atha Cliath or the town of the ford of the Hurdles, indicating a convenient place for crossing the river. I’M LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN BORN IN A CITY LARGE ENOUGH TO RANK AS A EUROPEAN CAPITAL, YET SMALL ENOUGH TO BE COMPREHENDED AS A WHOLE.

WHAT I AM SEEKING IS THE PERFECT ORDER OF WORDS IN THE SENTENCE. I THINK I HAVE IT. Joyce had a musical ear and the sound of prose was always extremely important to him. A golden rule for the reader is when in doubt, read aloud. There is also in Joyce a rich vein of humour, even at the blackest moments. There are plenty of good old-fashioned belly laughs, but also some sly oblique smiles that reward only the careful reader. A Rigorous Realist James Joyce was possessed by an unswerving devotion to his art throughout his life.

THAT’S MY PRINCIPLE TOO. LET HIM LEARN TO BOX HIS CORNER. The boy has difficulty in sleeping as he puzzles angrily over Old Cotter’s unfinished sentences. He imagines seeing the grey face of the paralytic and tries to exorcize it by thinking of Christmas. But the priest’s face pursues him in the dark, smiling, and with “spittle-moist” lips murmurs a confession, to which the boy responds with a feeble smile of absolution. I ABSOLVE YOU OF THE SIN OF SIMONY… Next day, 1 July 1895, he goes to the dead priest’s house – a drapery shop, closed, with a crepe bouquet on the door knocker.

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