Happy Birthday, James Joyce!

The Irish Modernist writer James Joyce was born on this day in 1882

From the James Joyce Centre, Dublin:

James Joyce

He was born at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, at 6 o’clock on the morning of Thursday 2 February 1882. He was baptised on 5 February at St Joseph’s Church, Terenure Road East, when his godparents were his maternal grandmother Ellen McCann, and Philip McCann. His birth wasn’t registered until 20 March, when his name was mis-recorded as James Augusta Joyce.

2 February is Candlemas Day, which Joyce thought gave his birthday some religious significance, and it’s also Ground Hog Day. He claimed to have the same birthday as his friend James Stephens, the Irish author, and was born in the same year as Wyndham Lewis, Frank Budgen and Eamon de Valera.

James Joyce

Joyce considered his birthday to be an auspicious day, and he liked to tie events in his life to his own birthday, or the birthdays of friends and family. He celebrated his coming of age with his twenty-first birthday in Paris in 1903. As he had been expecting to receive a gift of money from his family, he was disappointed to receive only a “budget of cards,” though his aunt Josephine sent him a cigarette case. To celebrate, he travelled from Paris to St Cloud and back, and went to the theatre in the evening. [Read More]

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