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Sample Autograph Signature: James Joyce

Irish novelist and poet; one of the most influential and innovative writers of the 20th century James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882 - 1941) was born and raised in Dublin. His father, who had a drinking problem, barely supported his 10 children having failed in several careers. His father went bankrupt in 1891, and lost his job as a tax collector in 1893. Joyce began his education in 1888 at a boarding school, but left after his father's bankruptcy. He attended Belvedere College in Dublin (1893-97), then enrolled in the University College Dublin in 1898 to study English, French and Italian. Active in theatrical and literary circles, he wrote at least 2 plays (since lost) and his first published work, an essay which appeared in Fortnightly Review in 1900. Many of his lyric poems in Chamber Music (1907) date to this period. Graduating in 1903, Joyce briefly lived in Paris in near starvation to allegedly to study medicine, but returned to his mother's deathbed. During 1904 in Dublin, he made a meager living reviewing books and teaching while carousing, then permanently left Ireland for Zürich with Nora Barnacle whom he would later marry. He didn't have the job he thought he had at the Zürich's Berlitz Language School, but finally found a position with the Berlitz in Pola, Austria (now Croatia) in October 1904 where he taught until March 1905 when the Austrians expelled all aliens. He moved back to Trieste where their first child was born, then briefly had a bank job in Rome until early 1907 when illness forced him back to Trieste where his daughter was born. He taught privately and at Berlitz, but avoided complete poverty through his borrowing skills. Between 1909 and 1913, he made several trips to Dublin in his continuing fight over the publication of Dubliners and a failed attempt to open a cinema. In the next few years, however, he saw the publication of Dubliners in 1914; wrote and published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Manin 1916; wrote his only play, Exiles (1918), during 1914-15; and began work on Ulysses (1922) in March 1914. At the onset of WW I in 1915, he moved to Zürich where they lived in poverty until Ezra Pound introduced English publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver to Joyce's work which lead her to become the first of Joyce's patrons in 1917. After the war he returned to Trieste briefly before moving to Paris in 1920. Ulysses began to appear serially in the Little Review (New York) in 1918, but was censored in 1920 and had to be published in Paris. In 1923, Joyce began Finnegans Wake (1939), which he finished before returning to Zürich in 1940. Joyce's revolutionary contributions to the novel include the use of interior monologue, experimental language, and complex structures of multi-level puns and interconnected symbolic parallels between mythology, philosophy, theology history, and literature. When Joyce was asked why Finnegans Wake was written in such a difficult style, he replied: "To keep the critics busy for three hundred years." And he will.

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