8 James Joyce Facts: A Look at the Artist as a Young Man

By February 2, 2016 January 10th, 2018 Authors

James Joyce was born on 2nd February 1882 and his ground breaking style of writing and experimental use of language would win him fans that would continue long after his death in 1941. The author of many works, Joyce is considered to be one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century.

We know much about Joyce’s books, and most of us are versed in a quote or two, so here are some facts about the author that you may not know.

Bloomsday is a Real Thing

If you’re into obscure dates then 16th June is Bloomsday. The day all events in Joyce’s Ulysses take place. The name comes from Leopold Bloom, the novel’s protagonist.

But Why June 16th?

Well, we know Joyce didn’t just pluck this date out of the air, it was the date he went on the first date with Nora Barnacle, who would become his wife.

They Had Quite the Affair

Today’s teens might think they invented raunchy talk with all their sexting, but when letters from James Joyce to Nora were sold at Sotheby’s in 2004, their contents were quite surprising. “The two parts of your body which do dirty things are the loveliest to me.” Is one of the tamer parts of the letter we will share here.

Joyce had Some Unusual Phobias

Joyce was attacked by a neighbourhood dog when he was a child, leading to lifelong cynophobia, but was also left with keraunophobia after a religious aunt told him that thunder was an angry God sounding his wrath.

Joyce gave us Quark

The word Quark first appeared in Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, as in the cry of a gull. Scientist Murray Gell-Mann had been reading the classic in 1963 when he perfected the unit of measurement ‘Three quarks for Muster Mark.’ Inspired him to take the word.

James Joyce and Virginia Woolf

James Joyce and Virginia Woolf were both groundbreaking authors, but they share many other similarities too. Both authors were born in and died in the same year. Both authors also published landmark modernist novels in the 1920s where the action takes place over a single day (Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway), leading both to be equally considered pioneers in stream of consciousness writing.

The Best Dinner Party of All Time

In 1922, the year that Ulysses was published, Joyce met fellow novelist Marcel Proust for dinner, also present were Pablo Picasso and Igor Stavinsky. The meeting took place in May, before Proust died in the November and much of the meal was spent discussing how ill the pair were, and led to both admitting they hadn’t read each other’s work.

Does Nobody Understand?

These were said to be Joyce’s words when he passed away on January 13th, 1941.

Joyce would in the end be one of Ireland’s greats, as the most influential and groundbreaking author of his day. It may be 134 years since his birth, but his words and influence reverberate through to the present day.

David Walliams would “safeguard libraries” if he was in charge.

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David Walliams, comedian and best selling children’s author, would demand the ‘safeguarding’ of libraries if he was Prime Minister for the day.

During an interview with Radio Times magazine, Walliams described how important libraries can be, and how they influenced his own life. As a father to a five-year-old son, Walliams also finds that moments of sharing a book with your child are key to developing their reading skills.

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8 Hanif Kureishi Quotes fit for a Buddha

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Hanif Kureishi (5th December 1954) is a British novelist, playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker of Pakistani and English descent. He’s written many novels and short story collections, but is maybe best known for the Buddha of Suburbia, his first novel, which was also adapted as a four part mini-series of the same name.

Born in Bromley South London to a Pakistani father and an English mother, His father harboured dreams of writing but his ambitions were never realised. In contrast, his son Hanif is considered to be one of the greatest British writers and actually made the Times list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Read More

Winner of the Bad Sex Award is announced!

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The Bad Sex Award nominees will have to wait no longer to see if they are winners of the tongue-in-cheek literary prize.

The all-male group nominated for their strange or gross depictions of sex included Gerard Woodward, William Wall, James Frey, and a particularly rapey scene written by Haruki Murakami (dude, gross, don’t do that).

The winner was announced at a lavish ceremony hosted by retro pop star Kim Wilde at the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in London.

James Frey and his book Katerina won with his awkward and cringe-worthy passage describing… Well, you know.

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Margaret Atwood is Writing Handmaid’s Tale Sequel and We’re Screaming With Excitement

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I can’t believe I am actually typing this but thirty-three years after the publication of The Handmaid’s Tale and on the back of the hugely successful television series, Margaret Atwood has confirmed that she is writing a sequel!

The author announced the news on Twitter today and gave some information about the upcoming book, which is to be called The Testaments. Here’s what she said:

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John Boyne Chooses His Favourite Reads of 2018

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During an event for Birmingham Literature Festival with John Boyne, he explained that he reads around 120 books a year and believes it is a key part of being a writer. The books he reads each year include many published that year. As Christmas fast approaches, Boyne has taken to Twitter to treated us all to his pick of the best books published in 2018 that he has read this year. In no particular order, these are the book Boyne recommends:
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The World’s Highest Paid Authors

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Have you ever wondered how much your favourite authors are paid, compared say to how much you are paid? Well Wordery.com have created a tool that allows you to compare your wages with the highest paid authors in the world.

The team has researched the world’s highest paid authors and this tool allows you to see how long it takes the five highest paid authors to what you earn. The research is interesting and found that:

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