This is one of the most significant literary works of the 20th century, and one of the most innovative. Young Irish Catholic, Stephen Dedalus, rejects religion and national ties to develop unfettered as an artist. Strongly autobiographical, the novel is one of the founding texts of Modernism and the precursor of Ulysses. Its originality shocked contemporary readers on its publication in 1916, who found its treating of the minutiae of daily life indecorous, and its central character unappealing.With an Afterword by Peter Harness.
James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882. He came from a reasonably wealthy family which, predominantly because of the recklessness of Joyce's father John, was soon plunged into financial hardship. The young Joyce attended Clongowes College, Belvedere College and, eventually, University College, Dublin. In 1904 he met Nora Barnacle, and eloped with her to Croatia. From this point until the end of his life, Joyce lived as an exile, moving from Trieste to Rome, and then to Zurich and Paris. His major works are Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922) and Finnegan's Wake (1939). He died in 1941, by which time he had come to be regarded as one of the greatest novelists the world ever produced.