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 :: 1882-1941, Irish Author

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I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use --silence, exile and cunning.
~ James Joyce - [Self-expression]

 

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Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality.
~ James Joyce - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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He comes into the world God knows how, walks on the water, gets out of his grave and goes up off the Hill of Howth. What drivel is this?
~ James Joyce - [Jesus Christ]

 

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What did that mean, to kiss? You put your face up like that to say goodnight and then his mother put her face down. That was to kiss. His mother put her lips on his cheek; her lips were soft and they wetted his cheek; and they made a tiny little noise: kiss. Why did people do that with their two faces?
~ James Joyce - [Kisses and Kissing]

 

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Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.
~ James Joyce - [Language]

 

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Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
~ James Joyce - [Life and Living]

 

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Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another's soul.
~ James Joyce - [Love]

 

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A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
~ James Joyce - [Mistakes]

 

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Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
~ James Joyce - [Mistakes]

 

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Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.
~ James Joyce - [Mothers]

 

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I think a child should be allowed to take his father's or mother's name at will on coming of age. Paternity is a legal fiction.
~ James Joyce - [Names]

 

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I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. Geoffrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colley Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe.
~ James Joyce - [Names]

 

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A nation is the same people living in the same place.
~ James Joyce - [Nations]

 

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Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America.
~ James Joyce - [New World]

 

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All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light, but though I seem to be driven out of my country as a misbeliever I have found no man yet with a faith like mine.
~ James Joyce - [Faith]

 

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When I heard the word ''stream'' uttered with such a revolting primness, what I think of is urine and not the contemporary novel. And besides, it isn't new, it is far from the dernier cri. Shakespeare used it continually, much too much in my opinion, and there's Tristam Shandy, not to mention the Agamemnon.
~ James Joyce - [Fiction]

 

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Saying that a great genius is mad, while at the same time recognizing his artistic worth, is like saying that he had rheumatism or suffered from diabetes. Madness, in fact, is a medical term that can claim no more notice from the objective critic than he grants the charge of heresy raised by the theologian, or the charge of immorality raised by the police.
~ James Joyce - [Genius]

 

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While you have a thing it can be taken from you... but when you give it, you have given it. No robber can take it from you. It is yours then for ever when you have given it. It will be yours always. That is to give.
~ James Joyce - [Giving]

 

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You forget that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence: and the kingdom of heaven is like a woman.
~ James Joyce - [Heaven]

 

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When the Irishman is found outside of Ireland in another environment, he very often becomes a respected man. The economic and intellectual conditions that prevail in his own country do not permit the development of individuality. No one who has any self-respect stays in Ireland, but flees afar as though from a country that has undergone the visitation of an angered Jove.
~ James Joyce - [Exile]

 

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