LITERATURE – James Joyce

James Joyce is one of the most revered writers in the English language and a central figure in the history of the novel he is still hugely important to us because of his devotion to some crucial themes the idea of the grandeur of Ordinary Life his determination to portray what actually goes on through our heads moment by moment what we now know partly thanks to him as the stream of consciousness and His determination to capture on the page. What language really sounds like in our own minds Born in 1882 James Joyce Spent the first 20 [years] of his [life] in and around Dublin and the rest wandering in and between the European cities of trieste Zurich and Paris in Three decades he published two books of poetry one collection of short stories one play and three novels All of them different in scope and scale, but sharing one thing in common Dublin a city he loved and hated Each of my books he once explained to a friend is a book about Dublin Dublin is a city of scarcely 300,000 but it has become the universal [city] in my work at the end of the nineteenth century Dublin was the second city of the British Empire Like his father Joyce was fiercely opposed to Ireland’s status as a british colony and supported the cause of Irish independence Joyce was educated by the Jesuits [and] early on at school began to reveal his knack for foreign languages By the time he arrived at University college Dublin Joyce was writing book reviews poems and short stories But he also needed to find a career. He tried medical school in Paris, but spent more time in brothels and bars than the library In 1904 he met a young woman from Galway named, Nora barnacle who was uneducated But highly erotic and compelling [to] Joyce when she first saw him She thought he [was] a nordic Seaman with electric blue eyes a yachting cap and plimsolls, but when he spoke well Then I knew him at once for just another word Phylis Dublin boaster trying to chat up a country girl But Nora fell in love with him nevertheless and remained devoted through all their difficult years of life together After a few months [noir] agreed to follow Joyce to Europe for a self-imposed exile free from the morality of the Catholic church and the subjugation of the British Empire They eventually landed in trieste an austro-Hungarian port town where they would spend the next [10] years raising two [children] both of them given Italian names Lucia and Giorgio Joyce eked out a meager existence as a language teacher at the Berlitz school and translating Irish writers like Yeats and Oscar wilde into Italian 1914 turned out to be Joyce’s year of breakthrough when a publisher in London finally decided to bring out his book of short stories Dubliners which had been rejected 22 times and the American poet Ezra pound arranged to get his novel a portrait of the artist [serialized] this was followed by the serialization of Ulysses in 1918 the novel which made Joyce’s name around the world For the next 23 years Joyce’s reputation grew and he took his experiments with language and literary form ever further Until his unexpected and sudden death in zurich in 1941. He was buried in Fronton Cemetery just near Zurich smen [Zoo] Joyce’s Principal work ulysses is named after the most dramatic adventure story the ancient Greeks handed down to western Civilization It is seen as a pinnacle of high culture and tells the story of the long wanderings of the hero Ulysses on his journey back [from] the siege of Troy death occur his home But the major character of Joyce’s novel is not a warrior King or a grand hero He is instead a very flawed quite Kindly and quite foolish man Named leopold bloom he works as a minor player in the advertising industry He’s married, but his wife is having an affair He’s been sacked from a string of jobs And he’s very much given to daydreaming about all the things he would love to go right in his life But which we know won’t happen he farts he likes looking at women in the street He dreams of winning competitions in weekly magazines and of owning a cottage by the sea Being Jewish he’s a bit of an outsider in Catholic Dublin And there are various little humiliations which he has to put [up] with all the time [bloom] is very unlike a traditional hero, but he is representative of our average unimpressive Fragile but still rather likable everyday selves Joyce Lavishes attention on Leopold bloom he treats him as deeply worthy of respect and immense interest He someone joyce suggests that we should learn [from] and try in certain ways to be [liked] just as in the ancient world Ulysses was held up as an inspiring model of resourceful and brave conduct We follow bloom for a whole day as he wanders around Dublin. We see him having lunch buying a supper drinking coffee and cocoa He worries about his relationship with his wife and daughter. He goes to work he listens to someone singing he has various conversations Joyce is saying that the apparently little things that happen in daily life eating feeling sorry for someone feeling sorry for oneself Putting the washing on the clothes line these aren’t really little things at all if we look at them through the right lens they are revealed as beautiful serious deep and Fascinating our own lives are just as interesting as those of the traditional heroes It’s just with less good at appreciating them the helpful lens is supplied initially by Joyce’s novel But ideally we should internalize it and make it our own. We should accept ourselves as minor legitimate heroes of our own dignified lives Traditionally novels like most films today show us people speaking in well-formulated clear and relevant sentences And we tend to suppose without really thinking about it that this is a fair reflection of their inner life They speak thoughts and feelings that they have but this isn’t Joyce’s way at all Joyce takes us into our minds and tries to show us. What thinking actually? Sounds like at one point in ulysses leopold muses on the cycle of life while he’s watching the tram cars and people in the street This is [what] it sounds like through Joyce’s microphone trams past one another [in] going out going clanging clanging useless words Things go on the same day after day squads of police marching out back trams in out Those two loonies mooching about Dignam carted off Minor purefoy swollen belly on a bed groaning to have a child tugged out of her one born every second somewhere other Dying every second since I fed the birds five minutes 300 kicked the bucket other 300 born washing the blood off all I washed in the blood of the [lamb] bawling [man] It’s a strange and yet actually perhaps rather familiar muddle of high and low concerns Bloom is thinking about birth and death and the random shortness of life and the idea of religion but he’s also thinking about how he fed some birds the ordinary rhythms of Daily life the noisy trams and the fundamental oddity of language in which sounds we make with our mouths Stand for things in the world if we could slice the top of people’s heads and get a view into the diverse thoughts that Circulate and cut across one another Contradicting and confusing we have a much more [accurate] picture of our fellow humans and one radically at odds with the image We typically have that people are psychological monoliths with clear definite and fixed views who are very certain what they believe [and] care about Joyce like other Modernists describers of stream of consciousness thoughts and feelings is Suggesting that if we knew more [about] what others in ourselves Really thought and felt. We’d have a clearer sense of what it means to be human And we’d perhaps also be slower to Anger quicker to forgive we’d love more and hate less We’d be more curious about the apparently strange by ways of our own and others minds the more Joyce went beneath the surface of our Utterances to reveal the cacophony of our minds the more he felt the need [to] twist and remould language itself To capture how he sound to [ourselves] in his last and truly puzzling novel Finnegan’s wake Joyce decided to create his own [version] of English a tower of babel He called it by mixing together bits and pieces of more than 40 languages Sometimes the words on the page look entirely foreign, but if you sound them out you can often find the sense here We are again means what it says. It’s just that the words are jammed together to reflect the speed of the mind in action Joyce went in for many Portmanteau words two more words stuck together to create a new one [a] fun for all is a fun funeral or a fun for all a bisects cycle is a bisexual or a bicycle for sex Joyce twisted prestigious names so shakespeare became shake his beard and Denty alligator was Dante alighieri The plot insofar as there is one in Finnegan’s wake is about a man called Tim Finnegan who falls from a ladder dies and comes back to life when someone spills whiskey on his face during the wake It’s intended as a universal story about the fall of mankind and the character of Tim Finnegan is also meant to be simultaneously Adam, Noah Richard the third Napoleon and the Irish nationalists Charles Parnell there is indeed a plot in this book it’s just not one joyce explained sarcastically that can be rendered sensible by the use of Wide-awake language cut and dry grammar and go ahead plot in attempting to be completely faithful to real life in all its true Confusion and complexity Joyce ended up writing a book that is fascinating Lee instructively unreadable the fourth sentence of the first chapter runs like this Rot a peg of pars malt had gem or [shen] brewed by arclight and Rory end to the [regan] brow was to be seen ring ‘some on the Aqua face It’s a reminder of how [much] fiction when it seemed logical and understandable is always necessarily a drastic [foreshortening] of what is actually going on in the world and the minds of characters Joy’s pushed one possibility of the realistic novel as Far as it could [possibly] go into a realm as mysterious haunting and perplexing as the dreams of a stranger Joy Spent the greater part of his life writing. What was he hoping to achieve through his art What is art for in his novel the portrait of the [artist] as a young man? Joyce Gets his spokesman Stephen to have a go at spelling out an answer He follows a surprisingly traditional route using two terms from the medieval Philosopher, Sim, Thomas aquinas But the first is integra toss this means that an artist is [someone] who attempts to grasp with unusual vigor the true integrity and identity of what is being studied it might be a tree a Moment of history or the life of a fictional character in 20th Century Dublin, we don’t normally do this We don’t really concentrate on what a person [is] saying or doing or what objects around us really are and look like we don’t normally isolate and study carefully art [has] the job of doing this for [us] and teaching us to do so habitually the second step for an artist in Joyce’s view is to bring clarity or Clarity to things which means shining the light of reason [into] [the] murkier parts of experience and life The Paradox is that Joyce did just this but it is attempt to be utterly clear about what being human is actually like? He created works which are in places. Uh Turley baffling to a reader in a hurry that Shouldn’t surprise us too long though artist Joyce sees it should be a corrective to unnatural but dangerous blindness and inattention to cliche an over Rapid summary if art sometimes puzzles us We know says joyce that it’s doing its job properly. It’s really killing us to the mysteries We have to quickly grown blind to you

Comments 100

  • Dublin was never the 'second city of the British Empire'. The city you were referring to was Glasgow.

  • I can keep listening to the voice 25/24h .. mesmerizing

  • Finnegans wake isn't just about tim Finnegan falling, it's about Humphrey earwicker and his supposed scandal in Phoenix park. He may have been either masturbating or simply peeing across some young girls and a cad (or three cads) saw him and the "quite white villagettes minxt the follyages, the prettilees." Then through gossip and slander Hosty Frosty tells the story of the encounter through song "the Ballad of Persse O'Reilly." This song goes out through all of time and creation and everybody then knows about what earwicker (supposedly) did. In a "notshall" the two sons Shem and Shaun set up the father to overthrow him as patriarch but a letter from the wife, Anna Livia Plurabelle, exonerates her husband of any wrongdoing. I could keep going but it would take a whole 2 pages to get some of the other details in.

  • best writer post-Tolstoy, maybe best post-Shakespeare

  • When I hear this intro, I'm waiting for "Kelly, can you handle this…" 😓

  • Thxs for uploading and the careful selectio of the ( accompaning illustratative video-sequences and pictures

  • Epitome of a pseud

  • It's a pity you didn't describe the collection of short stories "Dubliners", since it's written with the enterior monologue tecnique but it's way more enjoyable than Ulysses, imho.

  • There's a reason he looked like a nordic seaman: We're descended from vikings.

  • Ellsworth Toohey would advocate Ulysses.

  • "rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shem brewed by arclight while rory end of the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface" is painting a word-picture of two boys, Jhem and Shem, brewing beer in a barrel by a harsh electric stage-light, outdoors, next to water where a slick layer is making a spectral rainbow which ends next to them. This, aside from being a beautiful sentence, is setting up the time and place for the novel, except it is lying, because they never do go on to brew that beer in the future. It's like introducing Star Trek by "Well before spacehopping KirknSpock shared kisses on airplanet skies". It's not true, they never do kiss, but it does the novel-job of introducing the characters and setting the time. Sort of. In a postmodern way.

    This sentence is introducing you to "Jhem and Shen", the two sons which form the major conflict in the novel later. It explains that they have a malt-selling father, it's saying that they haven't yet brewed his beer, as a caricature of the way a novel introduces time, it introduces a river at sunset, they are by the river at nightfall, a motif which recurs in book 3, and it ends with a regginbrow (rainbow) on the water's face, and it's end, where wealth is.

    The reason you love Ulysses is that it's superficially a bourgeois novel about some bourgeois idiot. James Joyce understands Bloom, but he is not Bloom, and he does not RESPECT Bloom. In Finnegans Wake, you get to see the full power of the socialist "new man" mind, and how retarded your bourgeois ideas seem next to it. Unfortunately, none of the socialists of his time thought he was actually doing something socialist by being so clever.

    That's the reason people go on and on about Ulysses, and ignore the Wake. The Wake is proletarian and socialist, and STRANGE, while Ulysses superficially seems like a familiar bourgie story.

  • Um, what's wrong with his dad's eye, did he like have a stroke or something

  • She thought he was a "Nordic semen?" I don't get it.

  • Joyce's corrective to humanity's 'natural, but dangerous, blindness and inattention to cliche and over rapid summary' (at 12:34)highlights that his work is more relevant than ever, given the current propensity for the often cliched and simplistic commentary that is all pervasive on social media. This is arguably the most negative consequence of the growth of social media and its infiltration into every aspect of people's daily lives, as it leads to a narrowing of individual perspective increasingly informed and dictated by a global mainstream media dominated by elite interests.
    Any form of productive debate is increasingly circumscribed by a mainstream media that actively disseminates the desired perspective, which is then adopted by members of the general public and reiterated in a simplistic form complete with the relevant catchwords, slogans and labels. The majority of comments on youtube uploads of a political nature are a good example of this, where comments are very often limited to either the narrow middle ground political perspective or aggressively right wing sloganeering and labelling. The inculcation of the hegemonic values of the elite are either condoned or criticised when voiced by Joe Public, depending on the trajectory of current events and the extent of their adherence to the desired opinion, creating a circulatory dialogue of pseudo debate in which no opinion outside of the prescribed perspective will be granted any validity. Just listen to radio phone-ins to witness this phenomenon in effect. Even presenters that claim to be left-leaning in their political perspectives espouse either particularly right-leaning opinions or focus the topic of debate on what amounts to safe non-issues, and then either endorse or criticise their listeners depending upon whether they reiterate the prescribed perspective or profess an alternative perspective, respectively. Mass opinion control has always been an aspect of the democratic myth, designed to keep Joe Public out of authentic political debate and decision making, but the nature and extent of this control has become far more insidious, sophisticated and far reaching since the growth of social media.
    Ask yourself a question, how often do you see comments as long as this particular one on youtube? Moreover, when you see or even bother to read such 'long-assed' comments, doesn't it seem to break the unspecified codes that promote for short pithy sound-bites? Don't such comments appear out of place? It is far easier to control the range of productive debate when people's social commentary is limited to throwaway meaningless expressions made in isolation and directed at a non-existent listener.
    We exist under a kind of Orwellian,global totalitarianism, an existence that Joyce surely would have found intolerable.

  • whats rhe point of creating a nigh unreadable book?

  • Keep coming back to this. Great job 👍

  • Please make a video on Borges or Cortazar. ✒

  • 'When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.' Thank you James Joyce.

  • excelent.thank you

  • لاتوجد ترجمه عربيه ؟!

  • what is the painting at 8:32 called?

  • Not only did I read Finnegans Wake, I translated it into proper English, here's the link: https: //

  • Stream of consciousness is usually credited to the psychologist William James; it's literary application also preceded Joyce. Joyce did take it to another level.

  • We all called him Jay Jay to his face as an attempt at keeping him grounded. The jury is out on the results.

  • How are only 1/10th of the subscribers to this channel interested enough in Joyce to watch this video? Is Joyce that out of favor or is there something fishy about subscriber numbers?

  • I learned recently there that James Joyce used to go out drinking with Ernest Hemingway in Paris and used to pick fights with guys and then hide behind Hemingway; I thought that was pretty funny.

  • Please make one on DH Lawrence

  • Faulkner, please.


  • Does anyone read his books for fun? I was thinking of reading Ulysses next year, but now I'm not sure. I read Mrs Dalloway once and that was bad enough.

  • I love these videos

  • Here we are again: Hereweareagain 9:20: He r é We are Reagain: He are and we are Reagain. : The Joyces, the Garons and the Reagans are family. Thus it was read.

  • Why does Leopold, a Jew, think in terms of Christianity, as illustrated through Joyce's stream-of-consciousness example in this video?
    "The blood of the lamb"

  • He was the mumblerapper of his day.

  • Adds are too loud for headsets

  • Joyce is unreadable!

  • Im gonna get around to reading ‘Ulysses’ one day but I love ‘Dubliners’ so we’ll see if it can top that

  • The captions to this video are actually like reading Joyce. They start off well but get less and less comprehensible as time goes on. (And I love Joyce btw!)

  • Nora got it right.

  • There is a audio book of, "Finnegan's Wake" on YouTube that is narrated well.

  • 1:38 "began to reveal his knack for foreign languages" while "Cá bhfuil an linn snámha", a phrase in the native Irish language, shows up center of screen.

  • I learned more about writing my memoir from your videos than from writing class and writers who told me how I should write so I will begin again….

  • Typical bog donkey challenges the rule of the Brit system then leave the shithole and never go back then spend the rest of their life’s praising it’s beauty and songs buried abroad like the other Richard Harris’s no wonder the kennedys hardly ever goes there

  • Do one on the complicated relationship between Popeye and Olive Oil and her relationship with Pluto whose invasive behaviour and her flirting with him jeapordised the success of their relationship which daily had the potential to explode into a jealous and deadly feud with heartbreaking and tragic ending

  • Would you do a video about Raymond Carver?

  • Ok, I put forth the proposition that if Joyce had been a painter he would have been Matisse.

  • It is not true that Joyce disliked the British. In fact he was a great admirer of English culture and had a first-class English public school education in Ireland. His writings are full of references to English culture and his achievement is entirely within the realm of English letters.

    Joyce was not very political, and certainly was no Irish nationalist. In fact he held on to his British passport after Irish independence. He never became an Irish citizen, he chose to remain British. This is no surprise as Joyce, like many Irish people, was of Anglo-Norman ancestry, as his name suggests.

  • The problem with Joyce is that of exhaustion due to the difficulty of grasping the meanings
    of his creations and his disconnections with meaningless language disconnected with
    his creation of whatever manifests from his brain and sensations….who wants… to figure…
    it all…out?

  • The good for nothing Lilith. She holds up Bank of America in he God Damned mole and Avogadro is her mole to make her tush more beautiful more than ever.

  • The crop is noted to be green where the acres are tears very mean. If the balloon is the tied offering is catechism with a bowl, and the fish of the Buddha hear me never their adore. The sea of the sonnet is blue and assurance then the knocks are very obnoxious to a NOW of proton relief channels. Each eletric passageway is Massechussets Institute of Technologies own love to serrenade their love for a Japanese baby of her n+1 passages out of India and Africa.

  • You had an arse full of farts that night , darling

  • "he farts…"

  • What a sensational video!

  • Finnegan's Wake is nonsensical gobbledygook. It was a step too far after Ulysses.

  • 8:07 What does psychological monolith mean?

  • Joyce and Derrida – @


  • And he was a major ass guy.

  • The School of life is a Tresure for my,makes my life accepteble,normal.

  • Dumb company prints Gibberish and calls it a Novel.

  • good morning everybody, how are you? I'm liking your videos and I'm interesting to your videos, and books. Are you like my videos #Havana

  • The hand that wrote ullyses wrote his love letters

  • The Hero in The Odyssey is not Ulysses it's Odysseus you cunt.

  • JM synge

  • #Dubliners2019 ☘️🤯🇮🇪

  • Excellent synopsis (sounds like a Joycean word).

  • Thank you for this video!


  • Alain, you are a true genius. I am good friend of Andres Roemer.

  • Has anyone over here actually finished 'Ulysses'?

  • Wasn’t short of a few quid then. Great if you like stories that are so fucking bloody slow pointless and boooooorrriiinnng. Mediocre mundanity and farting oh how utterly fascinating…..not my cup of teA.

  • I'm just here because I found his love letters to his wife nora and I feel like I should know him for more than that

  • Where is Nabokov dammit?!

  • I've read all of Joyce. Barely understood Ulysses after 3rd read through. As for Finnegans Wake.. It was the worst jumble of blended crap I ever read and I still have no idea what went on. Being unreadable shouldn't be considered intellectual. I think Joyce was trolling the actual piss out of the readers and the so called literati snobs who get a dose of the vapours whenever they come across someting as indecipherable as chinese algebra and claim only they have cracked the code and talk mashed shite about it ad nauseum.

  • I have Anthony Burgess’ “A Shorter Finnegans Wake”…and I am still not brave enough to finish it (read everything else)…

    Any advice?

  • Subtitles in spanish please.

  • The Grandeur of Everyday Life is perhaps, an echo of ending of Voltaire's "Candide". Agreed. However does Celebrity Culture, Fake News and such endorsements have "grandeur"? I distinguish which everyday matter has Grandeur and which has not.

  • Joyce is the writing equivalent of Pollack. Not a bad or good thing, just is.

  • I loved it…

  • Well presented.
    Burgess’s ‘A shorter Finnegans Wake’ is full of elucidating commentary.
    One thing at variance with your interpretation of FW found there: there is a story to FW and it can be told in three sentences though it is hardly what the book is about since to do so needs ‘wideawake’ language and FW is a nocturne expressing the meld of images and languages for those melded images in sleep. The Ballad of Finnegan is simply used for its combination of the ordinary man in the ordinary situation with ordinary habits with the principle of christian resurrection (Fin=End in french; Egan=Again as in the other song Finnegan-Beginnagain.)
    The ‘wide awake’ story is – a Dublin publican and his wife go to bed where they will make love for the very last time in their married life; a child wakes them up asking for a drink of water; they go back to sleep!
    (If I remember accurately).

  • It's not writing, it's transcribing. Irish people revere anything Irish, no matter how banal.

  • Do Orwell on writing good, clear, comprehensible English please.

  • Joyce was a blubbering drunken mick idolized by english majors who never learned to think for themselves and just went along with other mindless sheep

  • "utterly baffling to a reader in a hurry"
    Well said!

  • Ireland is in Europe.

  • There's some recordings of James Joyce reading Finnegans Wake and I so wish he had found the time to record himself reading aloud the whole book I would have treasured that so much

  • Started reading Ulysses a long while ago but didn't get past the first half of the third page. Maybe try again.

  • Sounds like Joyce took great pleasure in screwing with people's heads. It would drive me insane to read his work. Although I do understand the mundane scramble of thought language.

  • I love james joyce work.I have read all his books and find there are easy to follow,Why say that James joyce story are so deep,so if you are deep person read his books will come easy for you.Well working on book that is very deep story lines.I think as human we need that to continue on reading.

  • Why there'snt Arabic?

  • 10:45 Consuming mouthfulls of old whiskey made (dude who slurred his name) drunk by the evening and after a wild night of drinking he ended up staring into a toilet bowl. GGEZ

  • Do Ernest Hemmingway next please.

  • Or Gertrude Stein.

  • Pretentious twat .

  • I managed to read Ulysses over this previous summer. Until now, I found it impossible to properly describe my experience with the book, still yet this is partially true, yet this video does a fantastic job of condensing Joyce and his glamour. Of explaining what his books are, what they explore. Thank you for this clear and insightful video on Joyce, and helping his readers and nonreaders alike understand his baffling yet fascinating work.

  • Watch "Where Love Is (feat. Judith Hill)" on YouTube

  • Boring another overrated writer that uses word salads and muddies his own waters to appear deep.People that pretend they enjoy his drunken slobberings are intellectual sheep.

  • U lost me at barnacle

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