Claire S's Reviews > A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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Dec 01, 2009

bookshelves: g_cmfrm_eire, fiction-not-at-all, form_complexia, f_interpretations, global, historical, language, on-writing, pol-historical, religion-morality, currently-reading
Recommended to Claire by: Would my ancestors have read him? Have known about him even? Hmm

How did I never run into Joyce at any level in approximately 24 years of some-kind-of-schooling going on? I mean, I heard of him, but not through school at all I don't think. So wrong. So so so wrong.
I believe he's only within my radar now due to Goodreads!
Thank goodness for all of you.
So, finally, I'm preparing to make a start at beginning. And after some moments at M&Q, it appears that this makes a good precursor to Ulysses, as this character (somewhat autobiographical, apparently) also is there, at the beginning atleast. And will be an intro to his zany, richly-laden style and all.
I'd still also like to read my daughter's English books this year (or future eons, more realistically, but what the heck. No harm wanting) - Dante, Heart of Darkness, Lysistrata, Zorba the Greek; but am thinking to have Joyce on as my backdrop through all of that. To venture out from and return to. We'll see..

A snippet that fascinates me: (no quotation marks, since Joyce hated those) --Nothing stirred within his soul but a cold and cruel and loveless lust. His childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple joys, and he was drifting amid life like the barren shell of the moon.

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless... ?

He repeated to himself the lines of Shelley's fragment. It's alternation of sad human ineffectualness with vast inhuman cycles of activity chilled him, an dhe forgot his won human and ineffectual grieving. --

To affect himself internally through literature like that, wow. I've always felt that intense readers make the best writers..

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Reading Progress

12/04/2009 page 12
12/04/2009 page 22
9.17% "Stream of consciousness is more work to read.."
12/06/2009 page 102
42.5% "Finished first part, about a fifth. Wow, very enveloping and rich.."

Comments (showing 1-6)

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message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved this book when I read it in school. I have no idea what I'd think of it now, especially after the abortive Ulysses attempt, but I like to think I'd still love it. I love your project of reading your daughter's English books - I see I have something to look forward to once I get out of Berenstain Bears territory. I'm excited to see what you think.

message 5: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire S Really, you did? I want to have gone to your school.. Thanks much! Yeah, I read your Berenstein Bears tirade.. wow! See, I went in to my daughter's early years with all sorts of fences and walls (Barbie, yikes!), but had not been aware of the Bears at all. And of course it's totally cutesy and nice and 'foreign' that way, but so much was - Disney films, etc.. they kind of flew under my botherance radar pretty successfully. But yeah, I'm really enjoying my daughter's reading lists -- although now, when it's really getting good, there's so much of it! A plethora of succulent morsels.

message 4: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard I haven't listened to it yet, but Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time radio show on BBC just covered this. Bragg is a novelist and journalist who, every week, gathers three experts on a subject and spends 40 minutes delving into that subject. They are always interesting, and sometimes are quite fascinating. You can listen to the podcast on his website, and even download the MP3 for a few more days (after the next show is up, the older ones can only be streamed).

message 3: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire S Oh, ok.. cool, thanks! I confess I still don't like listening to people talk generally, and so have never befriended radio shows much, even the really good ones. But that program really sounds interesting, will try and make an exception. Saturday I should be able to track it down and listen. Thanks much!

message 2: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Since the new show is broadcast Fridays, the might only permit streaming by Saturday, which is kinda annoying -- no loading it onto an MP3 player. If you miss it, you can PM me and I can email it to you. I subscribe to it via iTunes, so I've accumulated several gigabytes of his previous shows.

message 1: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire S Ok, wow! Thanks! I'll try and do it before then. I'm computer-centric at work, so kind of non-gadgety away from work, haven't really adopted all those acronyms quite yet. Thanks!

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