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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Paperback – October 15, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1453813003 ISBN-10: 1453813004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453813004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453813003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882, the oldest of ten children. He was educated at University College, Dublin where his extraordinary talent came to light. He pursued his literary career largely on the Continent, spending considerable time in Paris. He achieved international fame in 1922 upon publication of ULYSSES.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mmoan2 on February 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have come back to this book every few years since my first encounter with it as a wild, aesthetic English Lit. undergraduate student, and I've never ceased to marvel at the absolute mastery Joyce holds over the written word. Grace Paley, a mid-20th century author once said that fiction writing was difficult for her generation because "Joyce had already used up all the words," and this was his first work where Joyce took literary impressionism to new heights. I gave up on Ulysses by the (in)famous "Circe" chapter, and I just don't have the chops to even bother with Finnegan's Wake, but this novel actually became more readable for me by the final chapter. Perhaps being a male Irish Catholic who first read this as an impressionable fledgling aesthetic makes this novel my favorite, but Joyce's ability to make a mundane event crackle with the metaphysical weight of a Kantian treatise is unparalleled. Many one-star reviewers here lament the lack of a "story" in this book, but the magic of Joyce is his ability to elevate everydayness to such heights, armed with such a command of language that he must invent new words increasingly as his literary career moves onward. You don't read Joyce expecting a rollicking Tom Wolfe yarn; Joyce is more like the experience of watching dew drip from a flower in utter silence become more mellifluous than the NY Philharmonic, more eventful than 9 AM on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The dinner fight between Stephen's father and Dante, the hell-fire sermon of Chapter 3, his concluding conversation with Cranly about his choice to choose an aesthetic life over the ascetic, monastic life; all of these very simple events are charged with life, and purpose.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I'll tell the truth: Not all of this novel is exciting stuff. A lot of it is stream-of-consciousness writing that seems to meander about before getting to any kind of a point.

But that's intentional. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young Irish writer from his childhood to his early adult years in the early 20th century. This young man is working out his own belief system, his own philosophy and thoughts about religion and artistry, and rarely does such a thought process occur directly and expediently.

Thus, the rambling text.

But that's not to say there's nothing of import to be found here. If nothing else, this short novel shows the budding work of James Joyce as he builds his writing strengths and style that will eventually become more apparent in his longer, better knows works, Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.

Besides that, for a writer, there is much to learn within this book. Of the handful of stream-of-consciousness readings I've experienced over the years, this one is by far the best. Even though the story meanders here and there and all over the place, a writer can follow Joyce's thought process and how he eventually gets to his own viewpoints and ideas.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ilio on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce is a story about a young boy named Stephen Dedalus, who wants, desperately, to fit in with his peers and to fulfill what he believes his destiny is. Stephen come from a very religious school and is emotionally young in the beginning of this story. However, as time goes by, Stephen struggles with many forms of sin as a way of coping with depressed feelings from being an outcast as well as from family troubles.

This book is unique because the genre is similar to an autobiography. Everything the reader learns about Stephen is through his own thoughts. Fro example, "The ambition which he felt astir at times in the darkness of his sought no outlet." (Ch.1, p.74) In this quote, Stephen shares how he feels at that particular moment in time. Majority of this story is Stephens's critical thinking and decision-making.

For that reason, this book was not often a page-turner for me. Nevertheless, when it was a page-turner, Joyce often foreshadows the events to come, such as, "For some time he had felt the slight changes in his house; and these changes in what he deemed unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish perception of the world." (Ch.1, p.74) In this quote, Joyce foreshadows changes in Stephen's life that will force him form his easy life of boyhood to the hardships of an adolescent who is soon to become an adult.

Another prominent example of foreshadow is, "He had heard about him the constant voices of his father and masters, urging him to be a gentleman above all things and urging him to be a good catholic above all things. These voices had now come to be hollow sounding in his ears." (Ch.2, p.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By frothy on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Actually I found this book quite dull and couldn't get past the second chapter but I'm giving it a five star rating because I'm scared to death of having complete strangers think me an unsophisticated reader.
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