Developing literary fame

Dubliners title pageDubliners

From 1910 to 1913, Joyce was busy revising A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and battling to get Dubliners published. In 1914, thanks to the enthusiasm of fellow Modernist writer Ezra Pound, Dubliners was serialised in the Egoist, a literary journal. Later that year, Dubliners was finally published as a novel by Grant Richards.

Writing after Dubliners

Whilst other young men were going off to fight in the First World War, Joyce began a productive writing period; in the last few months of 1914, he wrote Giacomo Joyce (a semi-autobiographical, multilingual novelette which Joyce never attempted to publish), drafted Exiles (Joyce's only play), and began writing Ulysses (Joyce's famous modern epic).

Zurich and Ulysses

In 1915, due to the war, the Joyce family left Trieste for Zurich in neutral Switzerland. For the next few years, aided by grants from the Royal Literary Fund and the British Civil List (secured by Yeats and Pound), Joyce continued to write. He finished Exiles in May 1915 and, despite undergoing his first eye operation in August 1917, continued with Ulysses. In 1918, Exiles was published by Grant Richards and in 1919 it was performed in Munich.

Attempting to publish Ulysses

From 1918 to 1920, Ulysses (still unfinished) was serialised in the Little Review, a literary magazine. However, several copies of the magazine were confiscated and burned by the US Postal Authorities, as Ulysses was considered to be obscene. The Egoist successfully published and distributed edited versions of several Ulysses episodes.

In 1921, the Little Review was formally convicted of publishing obscenities and terminated publication. Joyce, now living in Paris (the whole family moved there in October 1920), befriended Sylvia Beach who offered to publish Ulysses – in its entirety – under the imprint of her Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. Joyce agreed to Beach's offer; after many revisions before and during the proof stages, the first copies of Ulysses were published on Joyce's fortieth birthday, the second of February, 1922. 

1922 Egoist Press edition of Ulysses

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