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Read by Stephen Hogan, Kelly O'Doherty & David Shaw-Parker (Unabridged: 54mins)
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born on the 2nd February 1882 in Dublin into a middle-class family, and the eldest of ten surviving siblings
Admired as a brilliant student he briefly attended the Christian Brothers-run O'Connell School before excelling at the Jesuit schools of Clongowes and Belvedere. From there he went on to attend University College Dublin from 1898, studying English, French and Italian
In 1902, Joyce was now in his early twenties, and went to Paris to study Medicine but soon abandoned his teachings. Back in Dublin to attend to his dying Mother he met Nora Barnacle. They bonded immediately into a life-long match. Together they decided to emigrate to Europe. The couple lived in Trieste, Rome, Paris, and finally Zürich where Joyce pursued a variety of jobs and ventures to supplement his literary pursuits but none of these paid off.
After publishing a poetry volume, ‘Chamber Music’, in 1907, his short story collection ‘The Dubliners’, in 1914, helped establish his talent in the rapidly changing world.
Although far from home Joyce’s literary heart and works were set in his recollections of Dublin. Characters are close resemblances of family and friends and indeed enemies. His landmark work ‘Ulysses’, published in 1922, is set in the streets and alleyways of the city as it parallels Homer’s Odyssey in a variety of styles including its famed stream of consciousness.
His pen continued to produce classics of the order of ‘A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man’ and ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ together with several volumes of poetry and a play ‘The Exiles, in 1918.
On the 11th January 1941, Joyce underwent surgery in Zürich for a perforated duodenal ulcer. The next day he fell into a coma. On the 13th after a brief period of lucidity in which he called for his wife and son he passed. He was 58.