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A portrait of James Joyce as an artist

The Irish writer derived from the past to illuminate the present.

James Joyce was born in Dublin on this day in 1882.

When an Oxford man told Henry James that he eagerly wanted to do the best he could with his pen, James quipped, if his intentions are serious then "there is one word — let me impress upon you — which you must inscribe upon your banner, and that word is loneliness".

In case of Irish novelist, poet and dramatist James Joyce (1882-1941), loneliness (he worked sixteen hours a day on Ulysses) that came along with his choice of profession bore little monetary fruits, not at least in his lifetime — his royalties were meagre and his struggle for recognition was long. Joyce was no Flaubert, Tolstoy or Toulouse-Lautrec with aristocratic background that he would have continued with his artistic occupation without worrying about the returns. For he relied on his writing to support his family. His letters suggest that he was struggling to make ends meet throughout his life, and often wrote to his brother and others for loans.

james-jo-690_020218034952.jpgJames Joyce was widely misunderstood by readers. Photo: DailyO

Despite this lack of financial stability,

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