Top 50+James Joyce Quotes

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Who is James Joyce

James Joyce, Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce’s technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and allusions.

James Joyce was born in Dublin, on February 2, 1882, the eldest of ten surviving siblings, two other died of typhoid. His father was John Stanislaus Joyce, an impoverished gentleman, who had failed in a distillery business and tried all kinds of other professions, including politics and tax collecting. Joyce’s mother, Mary Jane Murray, was an accomplished pianist, whose life was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. In spite of their poverty, the family struggled to maintain a solid middle-class facade.

James Joyce Quotes

1. Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

2. And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.

3. His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.

4. History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

5. I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.

6. You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.

7. I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

8. Love loves to love love.

9. A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

10. He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.

11. Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.

12. A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

13. They lived and laughed and loved and left.

14. All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.

15. Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.

16. Life is too short to read a bad book.

17. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

18. Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?

19. The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.

20. Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.

21. Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.

22. Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid preasure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor.

23. Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.

24. I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.

25. One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.

26. Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.

27. Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.

28. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring.

29. First we feel. Then we fall.

30. Moments of their secret life together burst like stars upon his memory.

31. He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and tangle and veiled grey sunlight.

32. My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.

33. Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.

34. God made food; the devil the cooks.

35. The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.

36. You can still die when the sun is shining.

37. The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.

38. I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.

39. To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.

40. Too excited to be genuinely happy

41. I wanted real adventures to happen to myself. But real
adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad.

42. Let my country die for me.

43. And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird’s life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird’s heart?

44. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

45. What’s in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours.

46. Have read little and understood less.

47. When a man is born…there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.

48. As you are now so once were we.

49. The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant’s heart on the hillside.

50. He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a verb in the past tense.

51. My heart is quite calm now. I will go back.

52. But we are living in a skeptical and, if I may use the phrase, a thought-tormented age; and sometimes I fear that this new generation, educated or hypereducated as it is, will lack those qualities of humanity, of hospitality, of kindly humor which belonged to an older day.

53. Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

54. If Socrates leaves his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend.’ Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-law. But always meeting ourselves.

55. It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.

56. This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am.

57. Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another s soul.

58. The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.

59. He thought that he was sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place.

60. His soul swooned softly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

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