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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  121,625 ratings  ·  4,840 reviews
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is James Joyce's magnificent and now classic evocation of a Catholic boyhood in Ireland, and the struggle through sin and sanctity towards self-expression.
[- from the back cover]
Mass Market Paperback, 229 pages
Published 1977 by Triad Panther (first published 1916)
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Liam Royle My edition is the one given here (1992, Wordsworth Classics, same ISBN) and only has 196 pages (plus 4 pages of "introduction"). I'm not sure where…moreMy edition is the one given here (1992, Wordsworth Classics, same ISBN) and only has 196 pages (plus 4 pages of "introduction"). I'm not sure where the claim of 238 is coming from on the page.(less)
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Nathan
Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shut up James, you had me at 'moo-cow.'
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
“His soul was swooning into some new world, fantastic, dim, uncertain as under sea, traversed by cloudy shapes and beings. A world, a glimmer or a flower? Glimmering and trembling, trembling and unfolding, a breaking light, an opening flower, it spread in endless succession to itself, breaking in full crimson and unfolding and fading to palest rose, leaf by leaf and wave of light by wave of light, flooding all the heavens with its soft flushes, every flush deeper than the other.”

Thus awareness
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
736. A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man, James Joyce (1882 - 1941)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the first novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It traces the religious and intellectual awakening of young Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce and an allusion to Daedalus, the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology. Stephen questions and rebels against the Catholic and Irish conventions under which he has grown, culminating in his self-exile from Ireland to Europe. The
...more
Rakhi Dalal
"Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes”(And he sets his mind to unknown arts.)
- Ovid
Metamorphoses

The above mentioned quote from Ovid, which appears at the start of the work, best describes the conclusion of a journey of an artist through his self, trying to come up with things that matter most, while still trying to discern his place in this world.

I still remember the day, when as a teenager, ready to explore the world around me, I, once looked up in the sky, which was sunny and inspiring, and
...more
Kenny
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.”
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ~~ James Joyce


1

This novel ... this fucking, brilliant novel ... I don't even know where to start
...more
Anthony Vacca
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, irish, rage-reviews
Forget The Perks of Being an Insufferable Wimp; forget the hollow, hipster-plasticity of Holden Cauliflower and his phony attempts at wry observations on adolescence; forget that clumsy excuse of an experimental storyteller that is Jonathan Safran Foer, aka “Meat is Murder” Johnny, with his nauseating, gee-I-guess-our-hearts-really-are-just-too-big-to-fit-into-one-sentence-after-all mentality; forget all that useless bullshit, if, like me, you can pick up James Joyce’s The Portrait of an Artist ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I read this back in high school (and a few times since) and it blew my mind. The textual maturity grows as Stephen Daedalus grows and it is absolutely captivating. The scene where his knuckles are beaten in class (thank goodness we have moved beyond corporal punishment in schools for the most part!) was so real that my hands ached. You of course see Stephen Daedalus again in Stephen Hero as well as Ulysses.
A must read.
Meredith Holley
Jul 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zach Braff
Recommended to Meredith by: Mat and Patrick Kearney
Shelves: reviewed
This book is a very dry, written version of the Dead Poet’s Society without Robin Williams. I was already grateful to Whoopi Goldberg this week for her reasonable comments about the most recent Sarah Palin ridiculousness, so I feel kind of bitter at having to be grateful for the other half of that daring duo. I had sworn them as my nemeses – minor nemeses, yes, of nowhere near the caliber of Charlie Kaufman, David Lynch, or Harold Bloom, but nemeses nonetheless. Now, I find myself thinking, “It’ ...more
Kalliope




And there he was following the alleys, away from his original filial shell, searching where the way would take him, and there were icons on the walls. Icons of guilt, icons of duty. Some promised a reality beyond those grey walls announcing that there would be more light – but still imagined. Some pretended a glorious past and a glorious and heroic future for the community -- an imaginary polity.

Captivating nets of restricting nationalism, coined discourses and gelled devotions.

He took the
...more
Shine Sebastian
Words, art, life...
Life, art, words...

BEAUTIFUL!


James Joyce,... what a masterful writer!!
This book is insightful, poetic, artistic and profound.
It is , if I may say so, a tour de force of wisdom and language.

I will try to make this review not ridiculously long, but as you can imagine, when a book is this good, there is no way you can write a short review and be satisfied. So let's take a look at Joyce's brilliance,

1. Language - Joyce's language is fresh and unique, his techniques and style
...more
Vit Babenco
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a book of ripening, a story of the complicated and excruciating spiritual struggle.
A boy in the world of adults: he finds out that there is injustice, that there are such things as perfidy and hypocrisy…
It was wrong; it was unfair and cruel: and, as he sat in the refectory, he suffered time after time in memory the same humiliation until he began to wonder whether it might not really be that there was something in his face which made him look like a
...more
Samadrita
He longed to let life stream in through the windows of his mind in all its sordid and colorful glory so that he could sift through the layers of feeling, impulse and meaning and find what his restless soul craved for - that shred of truth too primevally pristine for anyone to begrime. But the world intruded rudely upon his solemn preoccupations, planted seeds of insidious doubt wherever it could find the soft, yielding ground of inchoate perceptions. His oppressors were many and unapprehended - ...more
Manuel Antão
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1981
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Hell-Fire: "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce



(Original Review, 1981-02-16)



"April 27. Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead."


How much I love/hate Joyce when I read about him...how could he have denied his mother on her deathbed? That act disturbed me - he did not even kneel when she died.I am not speaking of hypocrisy here just thinking of a young poseur who was thinking of himself above
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: joyce, novels
CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH : STEPHEN DEDALUS VS. HOLDEN CAULFIELD


(Note : this is not part of the current ongoing Celebrity Death Match series organised by Manny but I thought I would revive it as a companion piece)

****************

BUCK MULLIGAN : Come on, kinch, you fearful jesuit. I’ve got a tenner on this so I have so get in that square ring and batter this lollybogger senseless.

STEPHEN : Pro quibus tibi offérimus, vel qui tibi ófferunt hoc sacrifícium laudis.

BUCK MULLIGAN : Give us a rest of your
...more
Renato Magalhães Rocha
"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
-
Introibo ad altare Dei."
Scratch that.

At the last minute, before witnessing Buck Mulligan mocking one of church's most important celebratory traditions and embarking on my odyssey with Ulysses, I decided to take the time to get acquainted with
...more
Seemita
APRIL 19 (Evening): Alright. This is insane. It has been almost eighteen, 18 (has more impact) hours since I sat down to scribble something about what is going on in my mind but the right words are still elusive. And this eluding is colluding my mind no bounds. No, I did not mean to create any sense of rhythmic rhyme here. Because life is no rhyme. And far from rhythmic. It is a battle – fierce, dark, compounded with many elements and munitions and machineries and what not. It is a forever ...more
Ted
First off, I have too many shelves, so Joyce must sit on the "lit-british" shelf, spinning him in his grave no doubt. (No longer! now an Irish shelf!)

I read the book first in college (not for a course), then a second time a couple years ago. The 40+ year gap provided an interesting test as to what would seem familiar and what wouldn't. I barely recognized the earlier parts of the novel, more recollection (not very detailed) as I progressed. Finally I reached the end, and was shocked as I read
...more
Steve
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Joyce is brilliant. And he knows it. And he loathes it.

Forget the complexity of his prose (see Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake for the really outlandish bits). Forget his literary stature. Forget his Ireland and his guilt and his Christ. Portrait provides the reader with a character with such depth and realism that I almost can’t stop crapping my pants thinking about it. His approach in crafting Stephen Dedalus (and, thus, himself) is profound, and Joyce would be legend by this invention alone. The
...more
John
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
An semi-autobiographic novel, featuring a fictionalized character as Joyce's alter-ego, it traces his formative childhood years that led him ambivalently away from a vocation in the clergy and into that of literature.

There are sections which appealed to me (a priestly sermon on the damnation of ones soul into hell is particularly vivid), but by and large the plot line was too disjointed for me to engage with. Uncertain of exactly where I had been or what path the novel was taking me, I found
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
Joyce delivers again. The first pages are the best - spent as they are in Stephen's consciousness when he was a very sensitive kid. I thought Stephen would be a born rebel (the way I had imagined Joyce to be) - but he seemed to be an obedient and meek child to began with and have taken a lot of time to make up his mind on various institutions (nationalism, religion, arts etc) In fact, for the most part, he is not an artist at all - the moment of epiphany which sets him onto path of becoming a ...more
Agnieszka
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, reviewed

We can read A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man as a prequel to Ulyssess but if we reject for a while first associations then what's left ? An intimate, inner portrait of a young man who attempts to define himself as a man and an artist. If we read it this way - then it is simply an universal story about the torments of adolescence and search for his own identity, his own voice.

Stephen Dedalus, overwhelmed by Irish God-and-Homeland tradition, is suffocating by provincionalism of late
...more
Barry Pierce
Oh my god guys JOYCE. This is genuinely one of the best books I've read so far this year. Not really a plot driven novel but more a character study of the young Stephen Dedalus and his journey through his teen years. While some aspects of this novel may be difficult to understand if you don't have just a little knowledge of Irish history (names like Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Davitt, and Wolfe Tone are mentioned quite a lot), I feel like that doesn't effect the enjoyment you can get from ...more
David Schaafsma
“You have asked me what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning.”

I’ve maybe read the great Portrait three four times in my life, teaching it once,
...more
Simona Bartolotta
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english, 1900
...Sorry I didn't grasp the part about hell. Could you start that all over?
Cheryl
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophical types
My college English professor was a huge fan of Greek mythology. So imagine his delight at dissecting the mind of Dedulus, an illusion to the Greek craftsman, Daedulus. I didn't fully understand Stephen Dedulus then, and I'm still unsure how much I understand him now. Come to think of it, can we ever fully grasp the method of James Joyce, this singular author who has managed to create masterpieces of all his novels? Do most of us even truly understand James Joyce's prose, or is it the pressure of ...more
Madeline
Jun 02, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
James Joyce is full of crap. I'd like to track down whoever invented stream-of-consciousness writing and kick him in the groin.

Read for: 12th grade AP English
Bonnie
Mar 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike Ulysses, which I have tried to read too many times to count (the furthest I made it was halfway), I have read Portrait twice: once in my twenties, and again a few years ago. Although I found the religious sections a bit tedious, I was pleased to discover that my appreciation for the rest of Joyce's portrayal has increased considerably over the years.
Momina Masood
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The student of modernist literature
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

"Already in the preface to Richard Wagner it is asserted that art—and not morality—is the true metaphysical activity of man; several times in the book itself the provocative sentence recurs that the existence of the world is justified (gerechtfertigt) only as an aesthetic phenomenon." –Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

The moon has been sighted, the siren is sounding through the air and Eid celebrations have begun here where I sit writing. The
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Birds in Flight

"For ages, men [have] gazed upward as [they've been] gazing at birds in flight."

Not surprisingly for a novel whose principal character is "Dedalus", its core theme is flight, in two senses: departure (or escape from captivity) and ascent (if not ascension).

When we meet Stephen Dedalus, he is an infant, a "baby tuckoo", a bird whose wings have not yet grown or become functional.

Over the course of five chapters, we witness him flee family, church, politics, country and
...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First thoughts:

Novel - executed in the fine tradition of the autobiographical novels of the European romantic movement.

Artist - an Epicurean with a studied bookish air and an affected intellectual confidence; narcissistic, if endearingly earnest; frightened away from his equals and home; looking for a worthy platform, to place the burden of the blame. An ‘artist’ only by self-definition who concludes too grandly and too futilely and too prematurely. Definitely no Künstlerroman. Can’t wait for
...more
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5,938 followers
James Joyce, Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and ...more
“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.” 1226 likes
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.” 936 likes
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