James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist, poet, and short story writer active during the early 20th century best known for his landmark work Ulysses, which parallels the episodes of Homer’s The Odyssey. Joyce was a part of the modernist movement of this era, and his writing style was ground-breaking in both its complexity and…well…explicit content. Described as “a curious mixture of sinister genius and uncertain talent,” this Irishman was a literary celebrity like so many others during his day, including his drinking buddy and oftentimes bodyguard, Ernest ‘Papa’ Hemingway. Joyce and his wife Nora spent most of their life abroad, living all over the European continent, though Dublin remained the writer’s center of his fictional universe throughout most of his life. What I find somewhat dubious about Joyce is that while there is an abundance of information about his literary work, his personal life is highlighted by his family, his drunken brawls, his daughter’s schizophrenia, and his bad eye sight – something that would plague him incessantly without a cure. However, underneath his career and his public persona, James was a much different character than I originally imagined: he regarded himself as a rebel from a very young age, not wanting to stick to conventional norms of writing or society, wholeheartedly embracing his desire to be viewed as an exiled artist. This troubled writer’s life he so readily sought did eventually bite him in the ass, and he found getting his writing into print to be a far bigger challenge than expected. So who was this ‘sinister genius’ whose lewd and revolutionary work helped to inspire and change the tide of writing itself?
James Joyce, here we go.

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