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Commonly Used Literary Devices

Music in the Works of James Joyce 

James Joyce was known to have a great voice and exceptional talents as a musician; within these talents he played the guitar. Also his father had considerable and near-professional skills as a singer, allowing Joyce to have a superior knowledge of musical matters, most of the time spent with his father was strictly directed towards music. The rich musical environment in which he grew up also magnified all this exposure to music, and helped even more in his enrolment with music in all aspects of his life. The existence of music in James Joyce’s life caused a profound influence of music on the creating of his works. James Joyce introduces his music into his work by his close attention to his diction. The extensive use of puns and clever language along with an immense sensibility in the way he structures his work makes his work become alive as music to one’s ear.

The number of books that Joyce wrote in his lifetime, as it is known is less than any other author, but to his defense they were outstanding books. Each work written by him would push the boundaries he had sent previously by the way of his stylistic approach. In his works Dubliners and Finnegans Wake there is both range and continuity. The variety in the book is seen from the local as seen in the story “people of Dublin” to the universal present in the story “Here Comes Everybody” is accompanied by the evolution in his technique. The permanence is found in his characters, places, and the problems presenting the stories. As an artist James Joyce, never changes direction from presenting them in a language that is primarily pleasing, delicately precise. This pattern of range and continuity is proving of the important role that music plays in the majority of his works. The poems of Chamber Music are not only thought of as song lyrics, which are only missing the music to go along with, simply reading them is enough for one to realize what they really are. James Joyce manages to use the sensibility of his diction to obtain a type of song out of his works. Starting with Dubliners, James Joyce discovers the importance of music in his writing. In each of his works after, Joyce increases demand for music in his works in order for the music itself to carry the stories forward, ending in Ulysses, where music has become completely essential to the storytelling.

Finally, the most affected of his works is Finnegans Wake. In this story even the name is taken from the title of a very known ballad. Also the book is filled with thousands of musical allusions that are woven into the story of the novel. Works like Chamber Music, could be considered as a kind of music more than a piece of writing. Most of his works seem to be done more to be performed than read.  The words in his works would be more appreciated if they were recited aloud and therefore bring to life the words in the pages. There is no better way to explain James Joyce’s writing than following his advice. "It is all so simple. If anyone doesn't understand a passage, all he need do is read it aloud." His words are a perfect example of James Joyce’s purpose in writing. He wrote to inform, and to amuse, not simply to keep scholars busy. 

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