James Joyce (Oxford Lives S)
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Richard Ellmann has revised and expanded his definitive work on Joyce's life to include newly discovered primary material, including details of a failed love affair, a limerick about Samuel Beckett, a dream notebook, previously unknown letters, and much more.
least one incident to herald it. This was aflirtationwith a young maid servant. Stanislaus Joyce describes a scene between the two as 'a kind of catch-as-catch-can cum-spanking match,' and prefers, since it came to the notice and disapproval of the Jesuits, tofindin it more innocence than perhaps it 22 23 24 25 26 J A M E S 48 [ 1894-1898 ] had.* At any rate, it was followed by a more serious episode. On his way home from the theater, where he had seen a performance of Sweet Briar, Joyce
German, a language which until then he had disliked and avoided. What is notable about his reading is its variety. He was as interested in naturalistic detail, though he thought it a little passe, as in lyrical images. So in 1901 he bought George Moore's Vain Fortune and a strange little book that Yeats introduced, Horton's A Book of Images; the second put the real world as resolutely behind as Vain Fortune attempted to put it before. Hauptmann's Hanneles Himmelfahrt, purchased a few months
earlier, juxtaposed a naturalistic setting with apparitions of Hannele's father and mother in a way that crudely foreshadows the Circe episode of Ulysses; Hannele's visionary characters appear with the same authority as the living villagers. Like everyone else in 1900, Joyce was eager tofinda style, and turned for this, perhaps in part as a result of Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature, published the year before, to the French. He practiced translating Verlaine,* who had died in
influence in helping him put English literature out of countenance. Joyce made friends with a Siamese who was also reading at the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, and arranged with him to go to Tours to hear a remarkable tenor sing there at the cathedral. On the way he picked up at a railway kiosk a book by Edouard Dujardin, whom he knew to be a friend of George Moore. It was Les Lauriers sont coupes, and in later life, no matter how diligently the critics worked to demonstrate that he had borrowed
she might help her sister-in-law. Mrs. Joyce had tried to be lighthearted; she nicknamed the dapper doctor 'Sir Peter Teazle,' but sickness frayed her temper, and in the summer her vomiting grew worse. James sang to her, as he had sung to his brother George, Yeats's lyric, 'Who Goes with Fergus?', ac21 22 23 * Yet it affects his story, 'The Dead,' where Gabriel also discovers his doll has a mind and heart distinct from his own. / A M E S i 6 3 [ 1903-1904 ] companying himself on the