James Joyce

A New Biography by Gordon Bowker

  • Published: Oct 01, 2020

A revealing new biographythe first in more than fifty yearsof one of the twentieth-century's towering literary figures James Joyce is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, his novels and stories foundational in the history of literary... read more

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Details of James Joyce

Exact title of the book
James Joyce
Book author
Gordon Bowker
ISBN
9780374708924
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Jun 05, 2012
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
656
File size (in PDF)
5904 kB

Some brief overview of book

A revealing new biographythe first in more than fifty yearsof one of the twentieth-century's towering literary figures James Joyce is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, his novels and stories foundational in the history of literary modernism. Yet Joyce's genius was by no means immediately recognized, nor was his success easily won. At twenty-two he chose a life of exile; he battled poverty and financial dependency for much of his adult life; his out-of-wedlock relationship with Nora Barnacle was scandalous for the time; and the attitudes he held towards the Irish and Ireland, England, sexuality, politics, Catholicism, popular cultureto name a fewwere complex, contradictory, and controversial.

Gordon Bowker draws on material recently come to light and reconsiders the two signal works produced about Joyce's lifeHerbert Gorman's authorized biography of 1939 and Richard Ellman's magisterial tome of 1959and, most importantly by binding together more intimately than has ever before been attempted the life and work of this singular artist, Gordon Bowker here gives us a masterful, fresh, eminently readable contribution to our understanding, both of Joyce's personality and of the monumental opus he created. Bowker goes further than his predecessors in exploring Joyce's inner depthshis ambivalent relationships to England, to his native Ireland, and to Judaismuncovering revealing evidence. He draws convincing correspondences between the iconic fictional characters Joyce created and their real-life models and inspirations.

And he paints a nuanced portrait of a man of enormous complexity, the clearest picture yet of an extraordinary writer who continues to influence and fascinate over a century after his birth. Widely acclaimed on publication in Britain last year, perhaps the highest compliment paid was by Chris Proctor, of London's Tribune "Bowker's success is to lead you back to the texts, perhaps understanding them better for this rich account of the maddening insane genius who wrote them."

About author

Bowker has written highly acclaimed biographies of Malcolm Lowry (Pursued by Furies, a New York Times Recommended Book of the Year), George Orwell, and Lawrence Durrell, and articles and reviews for The Observer (London), The Sunday Times (London), The Independent, The New York Times, and The Times Literary Supplement. He lives in Notting Hill, London.

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