"A Portrait of the Artist" James Joyce's semi-autobiographical first novel, tells the story of Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive and creative youth who rebels against his family, his education, and his country by committing himself to the artist's life. The book starts with Joyce recalling a few childhood memories which will most likely stir memories in the reader as well. Joyce has very colorful descriptions of his parents, relatives, and his teachers, especially various Irish Catholic priests. The prose and writing in "A Portrait of the Artist" is
"A Portrait of the Artist" James Joyce's semi-autobiographical first novel, tells the story of Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive and creative youth who rebels against his family, his education, and his country by committing himself to the artist's life. The book starts with Joyce recalling a few childhood memories which will most likely stir memories in the reader as well. Joyce has very colorful descriptions of his parents, relatives, and his teachers, especially various Irish Catholic priests. The prose and writing in "A Portrait of the Artist" is among the most impressive that most will ever see. The book contains beautiful descriptions of Joyce's childhood, then Catholic schools, then his college days. Laced with Irish expressions and phrases, the prose and vocabulary avoids lengthy Hemingway-like phrases. Expressive and sometimes rambling, James Joyce's prose is truly creative though not always very well structured. Joyce provides no narration in "A Portrait of the Artist," instead, writing as if we are watching a movie, mostly going forward in time but not always. The reader is left to sort out the time and place or if it is real or just a dream as we travel from scene to scene through the book. It is up to the reader to determine what it all means from the dialogue. "A Portrait of the Artist" is truly superb, making it easy to appreciate why Joyce became famous.
Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)
Meet the Author
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish writer and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Along with Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner, Joyce is a key figure in the development of the modernist novel. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922). Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Although most of his adult life was spent outside the country, Joyce's Irish experiences are essential to his writings and provide all of the settings for his fiction and much of their subject matter. In particular, his rocky early relationship with the Irish Catholic Church is reflected by a similar conflict in his character Stephen Dedalus, who appears in two of his novels. His fictional universe is firmly rooted in Dublin and reflects his family life and the events and friends (and enemies) from his school and college days; Ulysses is set with precision in the real streets and alleyways of the city. As the result of the combination of this attention to one place and his voluntary exile in continental Europe, most notably in Paris, Joyce paradoxically became both one of the most cosmopolitan yet most regionally focused of all the English language writers of his time.
James Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882. He was the oldest of ten children in a family which, after brief prosperity, collapsed into poverty. Nonetheless, he was educated at the best Jesuit schools and then at University College, Dublin, where he gave proof of his extraordinary talent.
In 1902, following his graduation, he went to Paris, thinking he might attend medical school there, but he soon gave up attending lectures and devoted himself to writing poems and prose sketches, and formulating an "aesthetic system'." Recalled to Dublin in April 1903 because of the fatal illness of his mother, he circled slowly towards his literary career. During the summer of 1904 he met a young woman from Galway, Nora Barnacle, and persuaded her to go with him to the Continent, where he planned to teach English.The young couple spent a few months in Pola (now in Yugoslavia), then in 1905 moved to Trieste, where, except for seven months in Rome and three trips to Dublin, they lived until June 1915. They had two children, a son and a daughter. His first book, the poems of Chamber Music, was published in London in 1907, and Dubliners, a book of stories, in 1914. Italy's entrance into the First World War obliged Joyce to move to Zürich, where he remained until 1919. During this period he published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Exiles, a play (1918).
After a brief return to Trieste following the armistice, Joyce determined to move to Paris so as to arrange more easily for the publication of Ulysses, a book which he had been working on since 1914. It was, in fact, published on his birthday in Paris, in 1922, and brought him international fame. The same year he began work on Finnegan's Wake, and though much harassed by eye troubles, and deeply affected by his daughter's mental illness, he completed and published that book in 1939. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he went to live in Unoccupied France, then managed to secure permission in December 1940 to return to Zürich. Joyce died there six weeks later, on 13 January 1941, and was buried in the Fluntern Cemetery.