A Year in Books/Day 173: John Stanislaus Joyce

  • Title: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father John Stanislaus Joyce
  • Authors: John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello
  • Year Published: 1997 (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Year Purchased: 2002/2003
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: Even though they leave us more evidence of their existence than nearly any other (loosely aligned) group of people, opportunities to gain genuine insight into the lives and larger motivations of writers is exceedingly rare, and often unreliable. In according the elder Joyce a thorough and rigorous biographical treatment, the authors have given us a double-wonder: a fresh and informative look at the tender years of the singular writer of Ulysses and an introduction to his amazing father, whose remarkable storytelling ability influenced and shaped his son. Even if, like me, you come to this book because of James, you will leave with a keen appreciation and respect for the complex, colourful John Stanislaus.
  • Motivation: See above. I bought it because of what James Joyce means to me. I’m glad I did, because JSJ is second to only John Butler Yeats as my favourite famous father.
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 97: “Mr. and Mrs. John Stanislaus Joyce decided on a honeymoon abroad. It was another beacon to the world of John’s confident social expectations. As if to spite his mother for dragging him back from there when he was a boy, he took his bride to the capital of the Empire, London, where William Gladstone was currently busy, at the age of seventy-one, forming the Liberal government of 1880. An opportunity to meet Irish members was not to be neglected-to remind some of them the debt owed to John Stanislaus.”

    James Joyce in 1888 at age six. Possibly in Br...

    James Joyce in 1888 at age six. Possibly in Bray, a seaside resort south of Dublin. The Joyces lived there from 1887 to 1892. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Happiness Scale: 10+++

2 thoughts on “A Year in Books/Day 173: John Stanislaus Joyce

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