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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  130,931 ratings  ·  5,482 reviews
The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a universal testament to the artist's 'eternal imagination'. Both an insight into Joyce's life and childhood, and a unique work of ...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published March 25th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1916)
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Greg My edition is 147 pages long. I can't imagine why it would be abridged/censored, etc., as it's a rather short book with absolutely nothing offensive. …moreMy edition is 147 pages long. I can't imagine why it would be abridged/censored, etc., as it's a rather short book with absolutely nothing offensive. (less)
Sequoyah Yukio Mishima’s Confession’s of a Mask is similar in scope, being that it also follows a child’s formative moments until he becomes a troubled young m…moreYukio Mishima’s Confession’s of a Mask is similar in scope, being that it also follows a child’s formative moments until he becomes a troubled young man. Only in Mishima’s book, the child is struggling with sadistic homosexuality rather than religion. It does not compare with Joyce’s writing by any means, and the child’s behavior seems fairly unrealistic; whereas, Stephen’s childhood emotions felt truly real and I felt empathy towards him. Regardless, you might be interested in checking it out for yourself to see how it compares.(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.' ...more
Sean Barrs
“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 awarene
...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 wor
...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
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
Fergus
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am concurrently reading two enormously stimulating and intellectually challenging books - both of which I can recommend strenuously - My Bright Abyss and Holy Desperation.

Each of these, distinctly different and imperiously individualistic, is by a writer who takes James Joyce’s commandment to become the conscience of our race at face value.

Each does that differently - the former by a disinterested poetic conscience - and the latter by a socially committed religious conscience.

But each is - o
...more
Anthony Vacca
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rage-reviews, 2014, irish
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
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it




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 tur
...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 sc
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it liked it
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 g
...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 al
...more
Renato
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 St
...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 ragin ...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 th
...more
John
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 m
...more
Steve
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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 wr ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”

James Joyce's Bildungsroman – A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce's language in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is so evocative. It's not just a story being told (a semi-autobiographical account in which Stephen Dedalus stands in for James Joyce in early childhood to aspiring artist in his youth) but a method at getting to the inner world of his protagonist. This stream of consciousn
...more
Lyn
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed finally reading this, also very much liked Joyce's style.

**** 2021 reread

“Have read little and understood less.”

Joyce’s first published novel is a cacophony, a fireworks display of words, language, ideas, thoughts and expression. A bildungsroman about his alter-ego, Stephen Dedalus, who moves with his unfortunate family from a comfortable rural home to Dublin. We follow Stephen on a journey of discovery, internal and external, through religion, philosophy and identity, as a spiritual and
...more
Madeline
Jun 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Simona B
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1900, in-english
...Sorry I didn't grasp the part about hell. Could you start that all over? ...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 19th
...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 t ...more
Dave 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
Luís
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Joyce is widely recognized as a great writer ... but often obscure. This almost autobiographical novel belies this reputation. We read it without difficulty, and we do not have to look for complicated literary ulterior motives. Stephen Dedalus, a character the author has featured in several of his books, is clearly Joyce's alter ego. In this "Portrait", we see a boy (first attending college) becoming a young adult. Everything is intelligible in this journey. Everything sounds authentic. Bu ...more
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
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6,587 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 allusions ...more

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