Top 82 James Joyce Quotes

His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.


and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.


Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?


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


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


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


God spoke to you by so many voices but you would not hear.


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


‎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 is the only way of insuring one’s immortality.


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


And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird’s life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird’s heart?


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


What dreams would he have, not seeing. Life a dream for him. Where is the justice being born that way?


She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure and fixed: and though she knew the small number of his talents she appreciated his abstract value as a male.


The eyes, too, were reptilelike in glint and gaze. Yet at that instant, humbled and alert in their look, they were lit by one tiny human point, the window of a shriveled soul, poignant and selfembittered.


To discover the mode of life or of art whereby my spirit could express itself in unfettered freedom.


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


He thought that he was sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place.


The peace of the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured a tender influence into his restless heart.


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


He laughed to free his mind from his minds bondage.


He laughed to free his mind from his mind’s bondage.


Jesus was a bachelor and never lived with a woman. Surely living with a woman is one of the most difficult things a man has to do, and he never did it.


One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.


Wombed in sin darkness I was too, made not begotten. By them, the man with my voice and my eyes and a ghost-woman with ashes on her breath. They clasped and sundered, did the coupler’s will.


Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.


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


If you can put your five fingers throught it, it is a gate, if not a door.


A dark horse riderless, bolts like a phantom past the winning post, his mane moonflowing, his eyeballs stars.


For that (the rapt one warns) is what papyr is meed of, made of, hides and hints and misses in prints.


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


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


Gentle lady, do not sing Sad songs about the end of love;Lay aside sadness and sing How love that passes is enough.Sing about the long deep sleep Of lovers that are dead, and howIn the grave all love shall sleep: Love is aweary now.


So beautiful of course compared with what a man looks like with his two bags full and his other thing hanging down out of him or sticking up at you like a hatrack no wonder they hide it with a cabbageleaf


Early morning: set off at dawn. Travel round in front of the sun, steal a day’s march on him. Keep it up for ever never grow a day older technically.


What was after the universe?Nothing. But was there anything round the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began?


He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glasses.


Oblige me by taking away that knife. I can’t look at the point of it. It reminds me of Roman history.


Never back a woman you defend, never get quit of a friend on whom you depend, never make face to a foe till he’s rife and never get stuck to another man’s pfife.


You find my words dark. Darkness is in our souls, do you not think?


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.


Only big words for ordinary things on account of the sound.


And when all was said and done the lies a fellow told about himself couldn’t probably hold a proverbial candle to the wholesale whoppers other fellows coined about him.


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


Justice it means but it’s everybody eating everyone else. That’s what life is after all.


And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird’s life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and wilful as a bird’s heart?


—Pascal, if I remember rightly, would not suffer his mother to kiss him as he feared the contact of her sex.


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


I smiled at him. America, I said quietly, just like that. What is it? The sweepings of every country including our own. Isn’t that true? That’s a fact.


Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all that is: the soul is the form of forms. Tranquillity sudden, vast, candescent: form of forms.


Here’s lumbos. Where misties swaddlum, where misches lodge none, where mystries pour kind on, O sleepy! So be yet!


And you’ll miss me more as the narrowing weeks wing by. Someday duly, oneday truly, twosday newly, till whensday.


Each imagining himself to be the first last and only alone, whereas he is neither first last nor last nor only not alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.


Then, in that case, all the rest, all that I thought I thought and all that I felt I felt, all the rest before me now, in fact… O, give it up old chap! Sleep it off!


Drugs age you after mental excitement. Lethargy then. Why? Reaction. A lifetime in a night. Gradually changes your character.


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


Look at the woebegone walk of him. Eaten a bad egg. Poached eyes on ghost.


The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.


The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.


She was well primed with a good load of Delahunt’s port under her bellyband.


Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid preasure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor.


Our flesh shrinks from what it dreads and responds to the stimulus of what it desires by a purely reflex action of the nervous system. Our eyelid closes before we are aware that the fly is about to enter our eye.


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.


Every life is 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.


Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatesoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the human sufferer.


The present is the now the here through which all future plunges to the past.


To say that a great genius is mad, while at the same time recognizing his artistic merit, is no better than to say he is rheumatic or diabetic.


Unseen, one summer eve, you kissed me in four places.


The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


A nation is the same people living in the same place.


Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America.


Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art it is the part the schools cannot recognize.


Satan, really, is the romantic youth of Jesus re-appearing for a moment.


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


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


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



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