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James Joyce

Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was the most influential novelist of the 20th Century bringing a new approach and sensibility to the art of the Western novel that has not been surpassed since the publication of Ulysses in 1922. His technical innovations and use of language are largely responsible for the modern novel that represents a break with the traditional naturalistic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries of Henry Fielding, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert and Daniel Defoe among many others. In 19th century novels, ôeven in (Henry) James and (Joseph) Conrad, the novelist figured as reporter or historian, recounting a sequence of actions ended before the reader takes up the novel to read. But with Joyceà.readers, areàat the cutting edge of the charactersÆ minds; we share the continuous present of their consciousness. There is, obviously, an immense gain in intimacy and immediacyö (Allen 416). Modernism was a revolt against traditional literary forms and subjects that manifested itself strongly after the destruction of World War I ôshook menÆs faith in the foundations and continuity of Western civilization and cultureö (Abrams 108). As another early modernist, poet T.S. Eliot, wrote in his 1923 review of JoyceÆs Ulysses, the traditional and inherited mode of arranging a literary work assumed a relatively coherent and stable social order that could not harmonize with ôthe immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history (Abrams 108).

More than any other practitioner of the art of fiction in the post World War I period, Joyce was the master of the modern novel, a form that consciously attempted to express the turbulent post war society through the art of fiction and a different kind of writing. As literary critic Harry Levin writes:

Above all, Joyce was an innovator; the revolutionary literary techniques that he introduced in Ulysses signaled the beginning of a new kind of writi...

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James Joyce. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 01:36, March 22, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1708502.html