James Joyce left Ireland for the continent in 1904, moved to Paris in 1920, and spent most of the rest of his life there. Unlike the American expatriates, Joyce kept mostly to himself, but frequented Paris cafes, bursting into song after a few drinks, rolling home drunk in a taxi. Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Beach, among others, were there at the same time and provided the cultural background for Joyce to work on Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake.
In presentations on the Semester at Sea May 2013 Enrichment Voyage [http://www.enrichmentvoyages.org/], at the Birmingham [UK] Irish Heritage Association, and the Birmingham & Midland Institute, we have looked at Joyce’s development from a young Dublin aspirant writer at the beginning of the last century to the Paris-based crotchety author of Ulysses in the 1920s. In February, at the Irish Heritage Association, we even celebrated his birthday with cake!