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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man…

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Signet Classics) (original 1916; edition 2006)

by James Joyce

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16,360154107 (3.7)1 / 536
Title:A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Signet Classics)
Authors:James Joyce
Info:Signet Classics (2006), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (1916)

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English (147)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (152)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
I found this a bit of a trudge in places, but great in others. The early school chapters are vivid and enjoyable, but then I got a bit mired in the hellfire and damnation bit, and now find myself struggling to know what else to say about it. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 22, 2018 |
Va a parecer que necesito justificar mi calificación de este libro. A lo mejor es así. Y es que algo me dice que darle 3 estrellas a una novela de James Joyce constituye sacrilegio. Otro algo (aun más insistente y sabio) me dice que debo ser sincero respecto a lo que pensé mientras la leía; que la relación que uno establece con la literatura es íntima y única y que a veces, en contra de lo que se espera, por una u otra razón, esa relación se estropea.

El stream of consciousness funcionó bien desde la temprana infancia de Stephen Dedalus en que arrancan las páginas del 'Retrato' hasta más o menos los 16 años del joven futuro artista, cuando descubre su verdadera vocación y se desprende del mundo religioso que pretendía invadir su vida hasta convertirlo en sacerdote. Poco después de eso el mismo recurso torna extremadamente pesada la lectura de la novela. Pesada es poco: resulta insoportable. Al punto que estuve por abandonar la lectura en el quinto capítulo, en donde cada página constituía un verdadero tormento (sin mencionar el hecho de que mi edición tenía la letra muy, muy pequeña).

Mi ingenua teoría es la siguiente:

El stream of consciousness funciona de maravilla cuando:

a) tienes una historia corta que contar (los cuentos de 'Dublineses' me parecieron deliciosos), o
b) tienes una historia más bien extensa pero con más de un personaje, de modo que puedes saltar de una consciencia a otra como si de sacar la cabeza del agua para respirar se tratara.

El asunto es que pasar demasiado tiempo dentro de una mente es peligroso para la salud y, lo que es más importante, dañino para la relación literaria. No pude acompañar a Stephen por más tiempo porque su conciencia me abrumó ("como si no tuviera suficiente con la mía", me dije en un punto).
Esto no significa que Stephen Dedalus sea un personaje que vaya a olvidar con facilidad. De hecho, no puedo esperar a encontrármelo de nuevo entre las páginas del 'Ulises'.

Probablemente todo esto no sean más que racionalizaciones para excusar mi holgazanería y mi falta de compromiso con la novela. Debería agregar también que, en contra de toda recomendación (e ignorando las cejas arqueadas de un amigo), decidí leerlo en inglés. Me creí capaz. A lo mejor, ahora lo admito, no estaba listo. ( )
  andresborja42 | Mar 24, 2018 |
Penguin edition.. Second reading. Taking my time and getting quite a bit more out of it, esp after finishing Ulysses about a year ago. Using Tindale 1959 "Reader's Guide to JJ" as aid and assist.

Just finished the Chapter 3 lecture for St Xavier's day. Could have done without that...

Overall, a bit more structured and easier to read and comprehend than Ulysses. Easier to track the main themes as you progress through the novel. A man totally disillusioned w society as he grew up with as a youth... ( )
  delta351 | Jan 6, 2018 |
It's a great novel about all aspects of the Christian life.


The part where he stops being deathly afraid of sin is actually really necessary. (“Supererogation”).

Sunday was dedicated to the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Monday to the Holy Ghost, Tuesday to Guardian Angels, Wednesday to saint Joseph, Thursday to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Friday to Suffering Jesus, and on Saturday he went to the jazz club with Thomas Merton.

It doesn’t mean.... I don’t know.

“Father forgive me; it’s been a day since my last confession, and I looked at Eva Cassidy the jazz singer for twenty seconds.”

“Father forgive me; it’s been eight months since my last confession, and I’ve been really whoring it up the whole time.”

There’s a difference.


Really, by the last part, when he was “disillusioned with church and society”, or whatever, it could very well be, “A Portrait of the Scholastic as a Young Man”. If he was annoyed with the rowdy students, it was because they couldn’t follow all his quotes of Aquinas in Latin. As he was once a rowdy student himself, it’s quite the transformation.

And yet he was not weighed down with a sense of sin, but carried with him a certain satisfaction.


The closest any of them come to sinning, if you will, (excluding, for some reason, “I’ll be the death of that fellow one time”), in the end is questioning various doctrines, which is not a sin.

It’s only a “nationalist” church which would curse that, and it’s not a nationalist book, or, more to the point, a nationalist *reality*.

.... He just doesn’t sound like a cursing cynic to me.

[reposted 2/3/18]. ( )
  smallself | Dec 15, 2017 |
It is somewhat intimidating to critique an author as lauded and revered as James Joyce. " A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" holds the exalted position of Number 3 on Modern Library’s list of best novels of all time… following Joyce’s "Ulysses" which is Number 1 on that very list. Dare I criticize?

Since "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" was Joyce’s first novel, and purported to be the “easiest” to comprehend, it seems like the logical starting point. Loosely based on the author’s own childhood, the novel gives the reader a sense of Ireland’s cultural background, along with Joyce’s mental state by the time he became a published author.

The theme: A coming of age tale about a young boy growing up in an environment of strict Irish Catholic dogma. Catholic school, Catholic friends, Catholic politicians, religious debates at the dinner table, prejudice against Protestants, and ‘God forbid’ if you are not even Christian. That would be considered a certain tragedy.

As the novel begins, Stephen Dedalus is but a child… and as it concludes, he is a college student. Through a third person style of writing Joyce conveys Stephen’s childhood memories, trials and tribulations at school, discussions with friends, and struggles with his sexual desires. To sin or not to sin… that is the eternal question. And as time passes, Stephen begins to question all authority. While very descriptive, and in spite of the impassioned personal conflict of his characters, Joyce’s writing seems dry and unemotional. One illustrative passage, “What did it avail to pray when he knew that his soul lusted after its own destruction? A certain pride, a certain awe, withheld him from offering to God even one prayer at night though he knew it was in God’s power to take away his life while he slept and hurl his soul hellward ere he could beg for mercy. His pride in his sin, his loveless awe of God, told him that his offense was too grievous to be atoned for in whole or in part by a false homage to the Allseeing and Allknowing.” All this angst merely because he lusts for a sexual encounter out of wedlock.

On the positive side, the fact that Joyce experienced growing up in Ireland in the late 1800s, his novel gives a vividly colorful authentic portrait… the drab surroundings and poverty, the stifling family traditions, the conformity of his peers, and the hypocritical behavior of some of the priests.

On the negative side, the telling of the plot is often harshly abrupt moving in time and location unexpectedly, with no lead-up or explanation. And it is very strange to have much of the book told in “stream of conscious” while telling the story in the third person. Stephen’s thoughts often seem scattered and incoherent. They are a real challenge to follow. And it doesn’t help that it was written over 100 years ago, often using very dated language and foreign terminology.

Joyce was academically recognized for his early use of the “stream of conscious” style narrative. Dostoevsky preceded him and- in my opinion- applied it much better. And Proust- who learned the technique 10 years later- perfected “stream of conscious” writing and was the true master. ( )
  LadyLo | Nov 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
"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.
added by KirstenLund | editwww.cappelendamm.no (Apr 19, 2004)

» Add other authors (128 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Joyceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Joyce, Jamesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alonso, DámasoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Chester G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atherton, J.S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atterbom, EbbaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bindervoet, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, AnthonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deane, SeamusContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellmann, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henkes, Robbert-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacques, RobinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keogh, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerner, HughIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masterman, DodieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masterman, DodieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olofsson, TommyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavese, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rathjen, FriedhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichert, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skoumal, AloysTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes." ~ ovid, metamorphoses VIII, 188
Con deidica di Simone
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Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo....
Sometimes a fever gathered within him and led him to rove alone in the evening along the quiet avenue. The peace of the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured a tender influence into his restless heart. The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel, even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld. He did not know where to seek it or how, but a premonition which led him on told him that this image would, without any overt act of his, encounter him. They would meet quietly as if they had known each other and had made their tryst, perhaps at one of the gates or in some more secret place. They would be alone, surrounded by darkness and silence: and in that moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured.
O! In the virgin womb of the imagination the word was made flesh. Gabriel the seraph had come to the virgin's chamber. An afterglow deepened within his spirit, whence the white flame had passed, deepening to a rose and ardent light.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437344, Paperback)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus’s Dublin childhood and youth, providing an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce. At its center are questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive, this coming-of-age story is a tour de force of style and technique.

@Bildungsroman I’m in college. Cool. But I live at home with mom. That doesn’t make me a tool, does it?

Nah, I’m totally cool. Look, I’ve got this cool tweed hat. Yeah, I’m cool. Totally.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:53 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The chronicle of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and young offers an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce. Exuberantly inventive, this coming-of-age story is a tour de force of style and technique.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 40 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437344, 0141182660

Tantor Media

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832394, 1907832408

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