WIKI entry:

Lucia Joyce

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Lucia Anna Joyce (July 26, 1907 – December 12, 1982), daughter of Irish writer James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, was born in Trieste. Italian was her first language and the language in which she corresponded with her father. She studied ballet while she was a teenager, becoming good enough to train with Isadora Duncan. She started to show signs of mental illness in 1930, around the time she began casually dating Samuel Beckett. Her deteriorating mental state caused him to call off the relationship, and in 1934, Carl Jung took her in as a patient. Soon after, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic in Zurich. She died aged 75 in St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton, England. She is buried in Kingsthorpe Cemetery, not far from the grave of Violet Gibson.

Her mental state, and documentation pertaining thereto, is the subject of a recent study by Carol Shloss, who believes Lucia to have been her father’s muse for Finnegans Wake. The study makes heavy reference to the letters between Lucia Joyce and her father, and became the subject of a copyright misuse suit by the James Joyce estate. On March 25, 2007, this litigation was resolved.[1][2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucia_Joyce

Book overview

‘Whatever spark or gift I possess has been transmitted to Lucia and it has kindled a fire in her brain.’ – James Joyce, 1934.

Most accounts of James Joyce’s family portray Lucia Joyce as the mad daughter of a man of genius, a difficult burden. But in this important new book, Carol Loeb Schloss reveals a different, more dramatic truth: her father loved Lucia, and they shared a deep creative bond. Lucia was born in a pauper’s hospital and educated haphazardly across Europe as her penniless father pursued his art. She wanted to strike out on her own and in her twenties emerged, to Joyce’s amazement, as a harbinger of expressive modern dance in Paris. He described her then as a wild, beautiful, ‘fantastic being’ whose mind was ‘as clear and as unsparing as the lightning’.

The family’s only reader of Joyce, she was a child of the imaginative realms her father created, and even after emotional turmoil wrought havoc with her and she was hospitalized in the 1930s, he saw in her a life lived in tandem with his own. Though most of the documents about Lucia have been destroyed, Schloss painstakingly reconstructs the poignant complexities of her life – and with them a vital episode in the early history of psychiatry, for in Joyce’s efforts to help her he sought the help of Europe’s most advanced doctors, including Jung. In Lucia’s world Schloss has also uncovered important material that deepens our understanding of Finnegans Wake, the book that redefined modern literature. – GOOGLE BOOKS REVIEW.


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