James Joyce - Part Five: Return to Zurich Summary & Analysis

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Tired and impatient, Joyce watches the war coming with dread. Nora still has not read any of his books. Joyce's biography is in its final stages; Léon helps to "clarify" a few things, allowing Joyce to work in his own version of events and settle some scores with old enemies. Lucia is supposed to be moved from Paris to the countryside for the war, but this does not happen when the institution tells Joyce it will. She is finally settled outside Paris at the same time that Helen, George's wife, begins to have more breakdowns.

Many people are leaving Paris at this time and the Joyces go to Saint-Gérand. Joyce is having bad stomach pains, at times crippling, which are diagnosed as "nerves" but which are actually a duodenal ulcer. He goes to stay at Vichy for a time, but comes back when Paris falls and many friends come to visit him. He spends his time correcting misprints in Finnegan's wake and thinks about moving to Zurich, especially for Lucia's sake. He applies for visas, but is refused on the grounds that he is Jewish (which he is not). He reapplies and the authorities relent, though they want a financial guarantee. By the time he gets it, he needs permission from unoccupied France to leave, which he gets for everyone except for George. Nora's mother dies at this time. George accompanies them to the border and finally, though James and Nora's passports have expired, everyone gets through and finally settles in Zurich.

There, Joyce spends time playing with his grandson Stephen. However, on January 7th, he is diagnosed with a perforated ulcer and is operated on at once. He has a huge fear of being unconscious, but George convinces him to have the surgery. He signs over his bank accounts to his family and makes it through the surgery well, though later weakens. He falls into a coma and dies on January 13th, 1941. He is buried in Switzerland. Lucia is notified, but refuses to believe that her father has died. Nora lives in Zurich for the rest of her life, dying in 1951. Stanislaus dies in 1955, as do many others related to the Joyces. Stephen Joyce marries and moves to Paris.

This section contains 372 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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