A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

3.9 58
by James Joyce
     
 

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James Joyce's first and most widely read novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the noteworthy story of Stephen Dedalus, a young man struggling to decide between a religious vocation and an artistic one. As the story unfolds, we begin to witness Stephen's metaphoric change, from a confused, fraught young man to an individual who, through his trials,

Overview

James Joyce's first and most widely read novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the noteworthy story of Stephen Dedalus, a young man struggling to decide between a religious vocation and an artistic one. As the story unfolds, we begin to witness Stephen's metaphoric change, from a confused, fraught young man to an individual who, through his trials, is given the chance to test his faith as a member of those who seek the truth. James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is also a teacher and a companion for those who desire a moment in the mind of one of Ireland's greatest novelists.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is in fact the gestation of a soul.” –Richard Ellmann

“One believes in Stephen Dedalus as one believes in few characters in fiction.” –H. G. Wells

“[Mr. Joyce is] concerned at all costs to reveal the flickerings of that innermost flame which flashes its myriad message through the brain, he disregards with complete courage whatever seems to him adventitious, though it be probability or coherence or any other of the handrails to which we cling for support when we set our imaginations free.” –Virginia Woolf

“[A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will] remain a permanent part of English literature.” –Ezra Pound

With an Introduction by Richard Brown

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140042214
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
07/24/1964
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. . . .

His father told him that story: His father looked at him through a glass. He had a hairy face.

He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne lived: She sold lemon platt.


O, the wild rose blossoms
On the little green place.


He sang that song. That was his song.


O, the green wothe botheth.


When you wet the bed, first it is warm then it gets cold. His mother put on the oilsheet. That had the queer smell.

His mother had a nicer smell than his father. She played on the piano the sailor&rsquos hornpipe for him to dance. He danced:


Tralala lala,
Tralala tralaladdy,
Tralala lala,
Tralala lala.


Uncle Charles and Dante clapped. They were older than his father and mother but Uncle Charles was older than Dante.

Dante had two brushes in her press. The brush with the maroon velvet back was for Michael Davitt and the brush with the green velvet back was for Parnell. Dante gave him a cachou every time he brought her a piece of tissue paper.

The Vances lived in number seven. They had a different father and mother. They were Eileen's father and mother. When they were grown up he was going to marry Eileen. He hid under the table. His mother said:

--O, Stephen will apologize.

Dante said:

--O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes.--


Pull out his eyes,
Apologize,
Apologize,
Pull out his eyes.

Apologize,
Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes,
Apologize.


The wide playgrounds were swarming with boys. All were shouting and the prefects urged them on with strong cries. The evening air was pale and chilly and after every charge and thud of the foot-ballers the greasy leather orb flew like a heavy bird through the gray light. He kept on the fringe of his line, out of sight of his prefect, out of the reach of the rude feet, feigning to run now and then. He felt his body small and weak amid the throng of players and his eyes were weak and watery. Rody Kickham was not like that: He would be captain of the third line all the fellows said.

Rody Kickham was a decent fellow but Nasty Roche was a stink. Rody Kickham had greaves in his number and a hamper in the refectory. Nasty Roche had big hands. He called the Friday pudding dog-in-the-blanket. And one day he had asked:

--What is your name?

Stephen had answered: Stephen Dedalus.

Then Nasty Roche had said:

--What kind of a name is that?

And when Stephen had not been able to answer Nasty Roche had asked:

--What is your father?

Stephen had answered:

--A gentleman.

Then Nasty Roche had asked:

--Is he a magistrate?

He crept about from point to point on the fringe of his line, making little runs now and then. But his hands were bluish with cold. He kept his hands in the side pockets of his belted gray suit. That was a belt round his pocket. And belt was also to give a fellow a belt. One day a fellow had said to Cantwell:

--I'd give you such a belt in a second.

Cantwell had answered:

--Go and fight your match. Give Cecil Thunder a belt. I'd like to see you. He'd give you a toe in the rump for yourself.

That was not a nice expression. His mother had told him not to speak with the rough boys in the college. Nice mother! The first day in the hall of the castle when she had said good-bye she had put up her veil double to her nose to kiss him, and her nose and eyes were red. But he had pretended not to see that she was going to cry. She was a nice mother but she was not so nice when she cried. And his father had given him two five-shilling pieces for pocket money. And his father had told him if he wanted anything to write home to him and, whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow. Then at the door of the castle the rector had shaken hands with his father and mother, his soutane fluttering in the breeze, and the car had driven off with his father and mother on it. They had cried to him from the car, waving their hands:

--Good-bye, Stephen, good-bye!

--Good-bye, Stephen, good-bye!

He was caught in the whirl of a scrimmage and, fearful of the flashing eyes and muddy boots, bent down to look through the legs. The fellows were struggling and groaning and their legs were rubbing and kicking and stamping. Then Jack Lawton&rsquos yellow boots dodged out the ball and all the other boots and legs ran after. He ran after them a little way and then stopped. It was useless to run on. Soon they would be going home for the holidays. After supper in the study hall he would change the number pasted up inside his desk from seventy-seven to seventy-six.

It would be better to be in the study hall than out there in the cold. The sky was pale and cold but there were lights in the castle. He wondered from which window Hamilton Rowan had thrown his hat on the haha and had there been flowerbeds at that time under the windows. One day when he had been called to the castle the butler had shown him the marks of the soldiers&rsquo slugs in the wood of the door and had given him a piece of shortbread that the community ate. It was nice and warm to see the lights in the castle. It was like something in a book. Perhaps Leicester Abbey was like that. And there were nice sentences in Doctor Cornwell&rsquos Spelling Book. They were like poetry but they were only sentences to learn the spelling from.


Wolsey died in Leicester Abbey
Where the abbots buried him.
Canker is a disease of plants,
Cancer one of animals.


It would be nice to lie on the hearthrug before the fire, leaning his head upon his hands, and think on those sentences. He shivered as if he had cold slimy water next his skin. That was mean of Wells to shoulder him into the square ditch because he would not swop his little snuffbox for Wells-s seasoned hacking chestnut, the conqueror of forty. How cold and slimy the water had been! A fellow had once seen a big rat jump into the scum. Mother was sitting at the fire with Dante waiting for Brigid to bring in the tea. She had her feet on the fender and her jewelly slippers were so hot and they had such a lovely warm smell! Dante knew a lot of things. She had taught him where the Mozambique Channel was and what was the longest river in America and what was the name of the highest mountain in the moon. Father Arnall knew more than Dante because he was a priest but both his father and Uncle Charles said that Dante was a clever woman and a well-read woman. And when Dante made that noise after dinner and then put up her hand to her mouth, that was heartburn.

What People are saying about this

Frank O'Connor
The first page, which looks like a long passage of baby talk, is an elaborate construct that relates the development of the senses to the development of the arts.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books

Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award

Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:

"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
Fast Company

“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times

"Drool-inducing."
Flavorwire

"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
Redbook

Alfred Kazin
Joyce dissolved mechanism in literature as effectively as Einstein destroyed it in physics. He showed that the material of fiction could rest upon as tense a distribution and as delicate a balance of its parts as any poem. Joyce's passion for form, in fact, is the secret of his progress as a novelist. He sought to bring the largest possible quantity of human life under the discipline of the observing mind, and the mark of his success is that he gave an epic form to what remains invisible to most novelists...Joyce means many things to different people; for me his importance has always been primarily a moral one. He was perhaps, the last man in Europe who wrote as if art were worth a human life... By living for his art he may yet have given others a belief in art worth living for.

Meet the Author


James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882. He came from a reasonably wealthy family which, predominantly because of the recklessness of Joyce's father John, was soon plunged into financial hardship. The young Joyce attended Clongowes College, Belvedere College and, eventually, University College, Dublin. In 1904 he met Nora Barnacle, and eloped with her to Croatia. From this point until the end of his life, Joyce lived as an exile, moving from Trieste to Rome, and then to Zurich and Paris. His major works are Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922) and Finnegan's Wake (1939). He died in 1941, by which time he had come to be regarded as one of the greatest novelists the world ever produced.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 2, 1882
Date of Death:
January 13, 1941
Place of Birth:
Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:
Zurich, Switzerland
Education:
B.A., University College, Dublin, 1902
Website:
http://www.jamesjoyce.ie

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Illustrated + FREE audiobook link + Active TOC) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This James Joyce's most personal novel written about one man's impressionable childhood and follows him through to his college years as he comes to a greater understanding of individualism and intellectulal freedom and throws off the limitations of his catholic upbringing. The novel is a masterpiece of writing style that defies time and place and becomes a book of everlasting, and everpresent importance. The book is written in a stream of conscience style (somewhat similar to Dostoevsky but more so) that can at times be difficult to follow. This is certainly not your typical beach reading, or grocery line novel. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a terribly moving novel, but it must be read with great patience, and presence of mind. You have to be willing to work for it to feel the true and indescribable force of this novel. The novel is required reading for any serious reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Joyce is one of the world's greatest authors of all time. He wrote poetry and prose and, in his final book, Finnegans Wake, created his own language. This book is a great tale of Stephen Deadalus through his early life that, in analysis, provides a 'portrait' of the young James Joyce. Probably Joyce's best book for the beginner Joyce-fan, this Penguin Putnam Classic is fully annotated by an ingenious scholar to help the reader who does not understand all of Joyce's plays on words and tricks. This is essential for everyone's personal library!
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is ranked by the Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the twentieth century. I have no idea why. I just found it to be extremely boring. The book is the semi-autobiographical coming of age of Stephen Dedalus, the alter ego of James Joyce. From his questions and anxiety over the roles of women and his dealings with them to his on-again-off-again struggles with religion, A Portrait of the Artist...just didn't keep my interest. It's not a bad story really but I just did not dig the prose. I haven't given up on James Joyce yet but I really hope his other books won't put me to sleep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has less typos than the other edition on b&n, but theres still some issues. If you haven't read much joyce, i suggest picking up a (dare i say it) physical copy...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an old favorite and recently purchased as a graduation gift.
ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
We are introduced to the character Stephen as a young boy as he grows to manhood.  Stephen is sometimes strange, smart, brave and shy.   Emphasis on the strange most of the time. This is a book I almost wish I had read it for a class so there would be a discussion and I would understand it better.    I am not sure how Joyce considers this young man an artist because he is inches away from becoming a priest.  Unless this is suppose to be Joyce’s story.  The first chapter is gibberish to me and I almost didn’t go past it. But  I did and it got better. Although as soon as it got better and I understood what Stephen was talking about he would on OCD rant about pretty much on anything like hell, authors, philosophy … I know a lot of people dislike this book and sadly I am one of them. 
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James Joyce artfully crafts his novel to examine a struggle that everyone must go through at some point or another: finding yourself and your own path. Joyce is brilliant and it is my opinion that everyone should read this book.
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