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Quotations From JAMES JOYCE

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  • 31.
    Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. lecture, February 15, 1902, University College, Dublin; repr. in Critical Writings, sct. 8, eds. Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann (1959). "James Clarence Mangan," (first published 1902).

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  • 32.
    All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light, but though I seem to be driven out of my country as a misbeliever I have found no man yet with a faith like mine.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. letter from a private collection, Nov. 22, 1902. in which Joyce declared his intention of leaving Ireland for good. An inaccurate text, taken from a typescript of this letter, is printed in Letters of James Joyce, vol. 1 (1957).

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  • 33.
    My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Letter, February 19, 1907, to his brother, Stanislaus Joyce. Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann, vol. 2, Viking (1966).
  • 34.
    Love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Mr. Duffy, in Dubliners, "A Painful Case," (1914). Of his relationship with Mrs. Sinico.

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  • 35.
    I am not likely to die of bashfulness but neither am I prepared to be crucified to attest the perfection of my art. I dislike to hear of any stray heroics on the prowl for me.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Letter, February 28, 1905, to his brother, Stanislaus Joyce. Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann, Viking (1975). Joyce explains to his brother the balance of pride and practicality that governed the public side of his career as writer.
  • 36.
    Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Letter, September 5, 1918. Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann (1975).
  • 37.
    I think a child should be allowed to take his father's or mother's name at will on coming of age. Paternity is a legal fiction.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. letter, Sept. 18, 1905, to his brother Stanislaus. Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann (1975).

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  • 38.
    You forget that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence: and the kingdom of heaven is like a woman.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Robert Hand, in Exiles, act 2 (1918).

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  • 39.
    An improper art aims at exciting in the way of comedy the feeling of desire but the feeling which is proper to comic art is the feeling of joy.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Manuscript notebook composed in Paris, 1903-1904. Paris Notebook, The Critical Writings, eds. Richard Ellmann and Ellsworth Mason, Viking (1959). Many of the entries in this notebook were later transposed into Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922).

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  • 40.
    Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America.
    James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. repr. in Critical Writings, sct. 46, eds. Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann (1959). "The Mirage of the Fisherman of Aran," Piccolo della Sera, Trieste (Sept. 5, 1912).

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