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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
by James Joyce
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Skimmed some, read some, didn’t always keep my attention ( )
“I’m a spiritual lyrical individual” - James Joyce
Joyce has held the title belt of English prose since 1916 and I don’t see anyone else claiming it. Maybe Nabokov could have gotten it if he’d been a native speaker. Anyway it’s really a sublime piece of art and one I will return to - once again - later in life. I look forward to reading Ulysses sometime soon, hopefully this year.
Also: this read was via audiobook, read by Gerry O’Brien, who was fit for the role
Very interesting story, once you get past Joyce's intricate use of vocabulary and grammar (you can see precursors to Ulysseys in the grammatical structure). In terms of plot, it was reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye, although Stephen Daedelus is not a whiny, self-absorbed Holden Caulfield, in terms of seeing a semi-quasi-autobiographical sketch of the development of the author from childhood to the brink of manhood. Daedelus's struggles are more serious, more religious, more existential. In all, a much more enjoyable read than Catcher.
How should one review a great classic novel that has stimulated so much analysis and criticism that the paperback version in our library contained more pages devoted to analysis than to the novel itself? I’ll just describe how it affected me personally since I am unlikely to add much to the enormous existing corpus of literary commentary.
I read the book first when I was a freshman at the University of Notre Dame. There I first encountered James Joyce’s semi-stream-of-consciousness technique, which made for quite challenging reading for a college freshman but very enjoyable for a grizzled old lawyer and graduate of a “Great Books” program. This semi-autobiography of Joyce resonated a great deal with my own experience of growing up in the Catholic Church.
The book is a growing up and coming-of-age story about Stephen Dedalus, who would also feature in Joyce’s tour de force, Ulysses. Stephen has to establish his individuality apart from the tentacles of family, religion, and country, then - and until quite recently - in the throes of political upheaval.
Stephen argues with family and with friends at college, and this enables us to experience his thoughts on Irish nationalism, poetry, art, sex, and more basically, what he wanted to do with his life. For me, the passage that provide the most fun was the description of a Jesuit’s fire and brimstone description of hell. For one unacquainted with this sort of thing, the passage might read as parody. But I know better: that old Jesuit’s tirade was almost exactly the same sermon I heard 50 years after the book was published at a religious “retreat” that my Catholic high school required me to attend.
Occasionally, Joyce gets carried away with his own extraordinary ability to compose complicated syntax employing his sesquipedalian vocabulary. Like William Faulkner, he sometimes seems to be just showing off. But there are aspects of life that he really, really gets: like the great relief a true believer experiences when his mortal sins are washed away through the sacrament of confession (technically, “Penance”). He also has a meticulously authentic ear for English spoken by Irishmen.
Evaluation: I think this is one of the great novels in English that all truly educated people should read at least once.
To be honest, I'm so confused. I don't understand what I just read.
"Øynene hennes hadde kalt på ham, og sjelen hans hadde sprunget henne i møte. Å leve, å feile, å falle, å seire, å gjenskape liv av liv! En vill engel hadde vist seg for ham, ungdommens og skjønnhetens - forgjengelighetens engel, et sendebud fra livets fagre hoff som var kommet for i et øyeblikk av ekstase å åpne for ham porten inn til all verdens synd og herlighet. Videre og videre ... "
Stephen Dedalus er et portrett av James Joyce som ung mann. Historien om Stephen Dedalus ble påbegynt i 1904, først påtenkt som novelle under tittelen Stephen Hero, etter hvert utviklet til en roman. Deler ble først trykt i tidsskrifter; hele boken utkom i USA i 1916, i England året etter.
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Is contained in
Dubliners, A portrait Of The Young Artist, Ulysses (Three Acclaimed Classics In One Volume) by James Joyce
4 James Joyce Novels: Ulysses, Portrait of The Artist As a Young Man, The Dubliners, Chamber Music (Illustrated) by James Joyce
Has the adaptation
Is replied to in
Has as a reference guide/companion
Has as a study
James Joyce: Ulysses / Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Icon Reader's Guides to Essential Criticism) by John Coyle
Twentieth century interpretations of A portrait of the artist as a young man; a collection of critical essays by William M. Schutte
Has as a commentary on the text
Has as a student's study guide
James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man and Dubliners (Monarch Notes) by George Quasha
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is one of the twentieth century's great coming-of-age novels.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823.912Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction Modern Period 1901-1999 1901-1945
2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.
Editions: 0142437344, 0141182660
An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.
2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.
Editions: 1907832394, 1907832408
An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.