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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1453813003
ISBN-10: 1453813004
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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.

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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: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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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By Tar Larner on February 20, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The prequel to James Joyce's Ulysses introduces the reader to Stephen Dedalus, through Joyce stream of consciousness technique. We get to know young Stephen from his first thoughts and words as he matures to a tortured college/high school boy, wracked with guilt over his loss of innocence. Written at the turn of the 19th Century, it predicts the turn to self-consciousness that haunts Freudian psychoanalysis and prefaces the self-centeredness of the Boomer generation. It makes a strong case against turning back to simpler times of following the Church's dictums.
The illustrations seem to be randomly gathered from period paintings of 1900 Dublin. They are not insightful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joyce deftly portrays the epiphany of young Stephen Daedelous in his inimitable-for the era- arrogant/empathic style.
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