The figure of John Stanislaus Joyce makes its way through a great deal of his son’s work. Like the father of Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats, James Joyce’s father was a great talker and a man of style and wit. Like W.B. Yeats’s father, he was more skilled at squandering money than providing for his family. This very sense of being both rooted and unsettled nourished James Joyce’s genius, and gave us the father in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the figure of Simon Dedalus in Ulysses.