119 James Joyce Quotes That Will Motivate

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. Here are some James joyce quotes.

“When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the color of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street.”

“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

“The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring.”

“Bury the dead. Say Robinson Crusoe was true to life. Well then Friday buried him. Every Friday buries a Thursday if you come to look at it.”

“I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.”

“You can still die when the sun is shining.”

“His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

“Sometimes he caught himself listening to the sound of his own voice. He thought that in her eyes he would ascent to an angelical stature; and, as he attached the fervent nature of his companion more and more closely to him, he heard the strange impersonal voice which he recognized as his own, insisting on the soul’s incurable loneliness. We cannot give ourselves, it said: we are our own.”

“It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.”

James Joyce Quotes

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

“One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cut and dry grammar and go ahead plot.”

“The heaven tree of stars hung with humid night blue fruit.”

“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”

“Thought is the thought of thought.”

“There’s no friends like the old friends.”

“You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.”

“Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.”

“A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

“Shut your eyes and see.”

“A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all the ways of error and glory.”

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

daily quotes

“The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.”

“All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light…”

“Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality.”

“But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.”

“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.”

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”

James Joyce best quotes on life

“No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.”

“They lived and laughed and loved and left.”

“A way a lone a last a loved a long the Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.”

“The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude.”

“Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.”

“What is better than to sit at the end of the day and drink wine with friends, or substitutes for friends?”

“Our souls, shame-wounded by our sins, cling to us yet more, a woman to her lover clinging, the more the more.”

“Though their life was modest, they believed in eating well.”

“Every age must look for its sanction to its poetry and philosophy, for in these the human mind, as it looks backward or forward, attains to an eternal state.”

“Man and woman, love, what is it? A cork and a bottle.”

“I have left my book, I have left my room, For I heard you singing Through the gloom.”

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”

“When a man is born…there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.”

“Moments of their secret life together burst like stars upon his memory.”

“Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

“The voices blend and fuse in clouded silence: silence that is infinite of space: and swiftly, silently the sound is wafted over regions of cycles of cycles of generations that have lived.”

“Men are governed by lines of intellect – women: by curves of emotion.”

“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”

“The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole Life to reading my works.”

“The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.”

“I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses”

“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”

“I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short time of space.”

“To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.”

“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”

“My words in her mind: cold polished stones sinking through a quagmire.”

“My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.”

“Life is too short to read a bad book.”

written quotes
119 James Joyce Quotes That Will Motivate 10

“I am proud to be an emotionalist.”

“God made food; the devil the cooks.”

“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 calls 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.”

“I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.”

“Absence, the highest form of presence.”

“There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present.”

“A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what’s cheese? Corpse of milk.”

“I wanted real adventures to happen to myself. But real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad.”

“In the particular is contained the universal.”

“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.”

“There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.”

“Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.”

“I have the words already. What I am seeking is the perfect order of words in the sentence. You can see for yourself how many different ways they might be arranged.”

“My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out.”

“White wine is like electricity. Red wine looks and tastes like a liquified beefsteak.”

“Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand.”

“People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but what properly riled them was a bite from a sheep.”

“I hear the ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppled masonry, and time one livid final flame.”

“Beware the horns of a bull, the heels of the horse, and the smile of an Englishman.”

“When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flown at it to hold it back from flight.”

“Ineluctable modality of the visible; at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read.”

“By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or memorable phrase of the mind itself. He believed it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care (saving them for later use, that is), seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments.”

“Ulysses He … saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid flatong flower.”

“Her image had passed into his soul for ever and no word had broken the holy silence of his ecstasy. Her eyes had called him and his soul had leaped at the call. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life! A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all the ways of error and glory. On and on and on and on!”

“Does nobody understand?”

“The only decent people I ever saw at the racecourse were horses.”

“I am damnably sick of Italy, Italian and Italians, outrageously, illogically sick…. I hate to think that Italians ever did anything in the way of art…. What did they do but illustrate a page or so of the New Testament! They themselves think they have a monopoly in the line. I am dead tired of their bello and bellezza.”

“I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. Would you go back to then? Just beginning then. Would you?”

“The swift December dusk had come tumbling clownishly after its dull day and, as he stared through the dull square of the window of the schoolroom, he felt his belly crave for its food. He hoped there would be stew for dinner, turnips and carrots and bruised potatoes and fat mutton pieces to be ladled out in thick peppered flour fattened sauce. Stuff it into you, his belly counselled him.”

“Fall if you will, but rise you must.”

sayings and quotes

“I confess that I do not see what good it does to fulminate against the English tyranny while the Roman tyranny occupies the palace of the soul.”

“And Jesus was a Jew too. Your god. He was a Jew like me. And so was his father.”

“Broken heart. A pump after all, pumping thousands of gallons of blood every day. One fine day it gets bunged up and there you are… Old rusty pumps: damn the thing else. The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead you are dead.”

“I am a worker, a tombstone mason, anxious to please a very buries and jully glad when Christmas comes his once a year.”

“As I am. As I am. All or not at all.”

“The philosophic mind inclines always to an elaborate life–the life of Goethe or of Leonardo da Vinci; but the life of the poet isintense–the life of Blake or of Dante–taking into its Centre the life that surrounds it and flinging it abroad again amid planetary music.”

“Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.”

“My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis. I have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The stories are arranged in this order. I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard.”

“I don’t mean to presume to dictate to you in the slightest degree but why did you leave your father’s house? MTo seek misfortune, was Stephen’s answer.”

“Love, yes. Word known to all men.”

inspiring quotes famous

“I am not likely to die of bashfulness but neither am I prepared to be crucified to attest the perfection of my art. I dislike to hear of any stray heroics on the prowl for me.”

“The romantic temper, so often and so grievously misinterpreted and not more by others than by its own, is an insecure, unsatisfied, and impatient temper which sees no fit abode here for its ideals and chooses therefore to behold them under insensible figures. As a result of this choice it comes to disregard certain limitations. Its figures are blown to wild adventures, lacking the gravity of solid bodies, and the mind that has conceived them ends by disowning them.”

“An improper art aims at exciting in the way of comedy the feeling of desire but the feeling which is proper to comic art is the feeling of joy.”

“The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid, and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalizes itself, so to speak. The aesthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of aesthetic like that of material creation is accomplished. The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.”

“First, in the history of words there is much that indicates the history of men, and in comparing the speech of to-day with that of years ago, we have a useful illustration of the effect of external influences on the very words of a race.”

“Beauty, the splendor of truth, is a gracious presence when the imagination contemplates intensely the truth of its own being or the visible world, and the spirit which proceeds out of truth and beauty is the holy spirit of joy. These are realities and these alone give and sustain life.”

“Ask no questions and you’ll hear no lies.”

famous quotes of life

“Heart of my heart, were it more, More would be laid at your feet.”

“Love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.”

“To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life.”

James Joyce

“All fiction is autobiographical fantasy.”

daily quotes

“Any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptible eons of the gods.”

“I see the regions of snow and ice, I see the sharp-eyed Samoiede and the Finn, I see the seal-seeker in his boat poising his lance, I see the Siberian on his slight-built sledge drawn by dogs, I see the porpoise-hunters, I see the whale-crews of the south Pacific and the north Atlantic, I see the cliffs, glaciers, torrents, valleys of Switzerland – I mark the long winters and the isolation.”

“Frequent and violent temptations were a proof that the citadel of the soul had not fallen and that the devil raged to make it fall.”

“You cannot eat your cake and have it.”

“Never let us do wrong, because our opponents did so. Let us, rather, by doing right, show them what they ought to have done, and establish a rule the dictates of reason and conscience, rather than of the angry passions.”

“Hell is the centre of evils and, as you know, things are more intense at their centres than at their remotest points.”

“Each lost soul will be a hell unto itself, the boundless fire raging in its very vitals.”

“Desire’s wind blasts the thorn tree but after it becomes from a bramble bush to be a rose upon the rood of time.”

“Death, a cause of terror to the sinner, is a blessed moment for him who has walked in the right path.”

“We are all born in the same way but we all die in different ways.”

quotes for life

“The artist… standing in the position of mediator between the world of his experience and the world of his dreams – ‘a mediator, consequently gifted with twin faculties, a selective faculty and a reproductive faculty.’ To equate these faculties was the secret of artistic success.”

“A Classical style… is the syllogism of art, the only legitimate process from one world to another. Classicism is not the manner of any fixed age or of any fixed country; it is a constant state of the artistic mind. It is a temper of security and satisfaction and patience.”

“The artist who could disentangle the subtle soul of the image from its mesh of defining circumstances most exactly and ‘re-embody’ it in artistic circumstances chosen as the most exact for it in its new office, he was the supreme artist.”

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