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James Joyce

(1882 - 1941)

James Joyce was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, and one of the most influential figures in modernist avant-garde literature. Born in Dublin, Joyce is best known for his groundbreaking narrative techniques and experimental use of language, particularly in his epic novel "Ulysses" (1922), which details the events of a single day in Dublin using a stream-of-consciousness technique.

Joyce's literary career began with the collection of poems "Chamber Music" (1907) and is marked by a relatively small output with an immense impact. His first important work, "Dubliners" (1914), is a series of short stories that capture the everyday lives of the middle class in Dublin, reflecting their paralysis and epiphanies. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" (1916) is a semi-autobiographical novel that traces the intellectual and philosophical awakening of its protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, who reappears in "Ulysses."

The complexities of "Ulysses" with its layers of allusion to the Odyssey and its rich character portrayals, have established it as a monument of modern literature. Joyce's final work, "Finnegans Wake" (1939), is an even more revolutionary exploration of language that depicts the dreamstate with a polyphonic narrative quite unlike anything else in the English language.

Despite dealing with financial troubles, recurring health issues, and problems with his eyesight, Joyce’s devotion to his art never wavered. His contribution to literature has been described as Joyce's attempt "to forge the uncreated conscience of his race," and his work has left a legacy of innovation in narrative form and linguistic expression.

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