What are the best James Joyce quotes?

Accurate and famous quotes by James Joyce about mistakes, love, identity, portals, writing. James Joyce is well-known Irish novelist with many wise quotes. You can read the best of all time and enjoy Top 10 lists. Share the best James Joyce sayings with your friends and family.


  1. 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.


  2. 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.


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


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




  5. Nations have their ego, just like individuals.


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


  7. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to create life out of life.


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


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

    • discovery

  10. You forget that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence: and the kingdom of heaven is like a woman.


  11. No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.

    • authors

  12. 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.


  13. An Irishman needs three things : silence, cunnning, and exile.


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


  15. Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.


  16. I fear those big words which make us so unhappy.


  17. Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

    • discovery

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


  19. Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.


  20. And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.


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


  22. The mouth can be better engaged than with a cylinder of rank weed.


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

    • life

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


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


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


  27. Michael Robartes remembers forgotten beauty and, when his arms wrap her round, he presses in his arms the loveliness which has long faded from the world. Not this. Not at all. I desire to press in my arms the loveliness which has not yet come into the world.


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


  29. Buy a book in brown paper From Faber and FaberTo see Annie Liffey trip, tumble and caper.Sevensinns in her singthings,Plurabelle on her prose,Seashell ebb music wayriver she flows.


  30. Mother is putting my new secondhand clothes in order. She prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels. Amen. So be it. 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.



Top 10 quotes by James Joyce

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James Joyce image quotes

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  1. Picture quote by James Joyce about positive

    Mistakes are the portals of discovery.


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About James Joyce

Where is James Joyce from? James Joyce is Irish who said awesome wise words. Well-known and respected in Irish society for wise sayings. The following quotations and images represent the Irish nature embed in James Joyce's character.

What James Joyce was famous for? James Joyce is famous novelist with many good quotes. Influential and well recognized novelist all over the world. Browse a lot of James Joyce books and reference books with quotes from James Joyce on Amazon.


What are the best mistakes quotes by James Joyce?


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

    • discovery

    Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

    • discovery

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


More mistakes quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best love quotes by James Joyce?


    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.

    • between

    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.

    • love

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

    • love

More love quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best identity quotes by James Joyce?


    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.

    • identity

    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.

    • identity

    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.

    • identity

More identity quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best portals quotes by James Joyce?


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

    • discovery

    Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

    • discovery

    A man's errors are his portals of discovery.

    • discovery

More portals quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best writing quotes by James Joyce?


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

    • authors

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

    • authors

    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.

    • authors

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More quotes by James Joyce

Want some more good quotations by James Joyce? Explore the rest of 53 sayings by James Joyce.


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.

  • life

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.

  • charity

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.


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.




You cannot eat your cake and have it.


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.


Yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.


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?


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

  • mistakes

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


A man's errors are his portals of discovery.

  • discovery

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.


Our civilization, bequeathed to us by fierce adventurers, eaters of meat and hunters, is so full of hurry and combat, so busy about many things which perhaps are of no importance, that it cannot but see something feeble in a civilization which smiles as it refuses to make the battlefield the test of excellence.

  • religion

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.

  • love

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.

  • identity

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.

  • experience

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.


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


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.

  • authors

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.

  • identity

The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.


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


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?


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When was James Joyce birthday? James Joyce was born on October 16.

Who is James Joyce? Some facts about James Joyce from biography. See this thread for more information.James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex ... Read more about James Joyce on Wikipedia or watch videos with quotes from James Joyce on YouTube. Browse a lot of books about James Joyce on Amazon to get more reference.

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