A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man


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Joyce's semi-autobiographical chronicle of Stephen Dedalus' passage from university student to "independent" artist is at once a richly detailed, amusing, and moving coming-of-age story, a tour de force of style and technique, and a profound examination of the Irish psyche and society.

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Recent Forum Posts on A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

Father Arnall's Sermon

Hi, I have two related questions on just why the sermon by father Arnall even features in the book. 1. I can clearly see that the sermon scared Stephen into trying a life of piety and spirituality, and only after trying it out, he realizes that that isn't the life for him, but I can't really see too much of a connection between the content and effects of the sermon on how Stephen developed his aesthetic theory. What aspect of Arnall's sermon actually contributed to the development of Stephen's theory ? 2.Was Father Arnall's description of hell an artistic one according to Stephen's later developed aesthetic theory ? I mean, clearly Stephen was traumatized by all those descriptions of hell, but was he affected by it so deeply because it was 'art'? And he is one to appreciate art Hell is described as a very 'kinetic' sort of affair with all the fire, pain, suffering, moaning, torment, etc. But there is that whole sense of 'perpetual'-ness which gives hell a static, everlasting quality. Is Stephen appreciating hell here ? Or is he so repulsed and terrified by the idea that he bases his aesthetic theory on the exact opposite sort of emotions that Father Arnall's sermon relies on? Thanks.


Poor writing, or great?

Having enjoyed The Dubliners, I approached A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man with some enthusiasm, only to be disappointed. Even with heavy reliance on copious endnotes, only the beginning and ending of the novel was cohesive and comprehensible. I concede that a reader thoroughly acquainted with the geography, history, politics and theology of Dublin may have achieved understanding, but for me the novel was a two-dimensional patchwork of meaning. Events and conversations at high school and university remind me of a radio play frequently overwhelmed with static interference. No character other than Stephen comes alive. In reading Virginia Woolf, Arundati Roy and most of Henry James, I've encountered nothing so cryptic, although James's The Awkward Age comes closest. Ulysses was a 'must read', but is no longer.


The Exasperating, Inexhaustible Simplicity of Joyce's "Portait"

i wrote a big review/walkthrough/study of Portrait on my blog looking into the main themes and symbols of the book PLUS a comparison between it and Salvador Dali's painting "The Temptation of St Anthony" please swing by and check it out, leave a comment.....let me know what you think! i'd like see some feedback on it because I'm now moving forward with a chapter-by-chapter study of Ulysses next... here is the link


About Heart of Darkness

hi everybody, I have to write on " How are the issues of race & imperialism woven into Heart Of Darkness" So help me to max. Jasvinder


Portrait of the Artist and Pink Floyd

Hi there, thought I'd post a reasonably fun question about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. When I first read this book I couldn't help but be struck by certain aspects that resemble certain Pink Floyd songs (or rather, vice versa). For example, the lyrics to Comfortably Numb: 'A distant ships smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I cant hear what youre sayin. When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt just like two balloons' This verse seems to me to resemble the passage in Portrait: 'The fire rose and fell on the wall. It was like waves...They were talking. It was the noise of the waves. Or the waves talking among themselves as they rose and fell...A tiny light twinkled at the pierhead where the ship was entering: and he saw a multitude of people gathered by the waters' edge to see the ship that was entering their harbour.' Similarily, the childlike opening of the novel resembles some of the earlier songs of Pinkfloyd ('I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like...', etc). And of course the concern with religious/private education is a reaccurring theme in both Portrait and the songs of Pink Floyd (think 'I don't need no education' etc). So, I was wondering, how many links between James Joyce and Pink Floyd can you find? Be creative, be original, and have some fun!


Are you the living James Joyce?

What are the events that you would like to add to the novel's plot(A portrait of the artist as a young man)? Are you satisfied with the ending? Why?


Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

What are some ways in which the same impulses which draw Stephen toward religion also help him decide to become a writer?


Looking for Critical Essay

We were reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in one of my classes, and because I already read the book, I just used my own copy of it, which was a different edition than the teacher assigned, and apparently in the back of the edition the teacher has are several critical essays on the work and the teacher assigned groups dedicated to each of the essays that we are supposed to read. So I have been trying to find the critical essay online with no luck. Does anyone know where I might be able to find or obtain a copy of the essay: R. Brandon Kershner, “The Culture of Dedalus: Urban Circulation, Degeneration, and the Panopticon”


Meaning of Maroon and Green

Well I am reading this book for the second time for the sake of a class I am currently taking, and there is one thing which had confused me in my first reading, and still remain a bit uncertain about. And that was the significance of the brushes which Dante had, in which it talks about how she had one brush of maroon for Michael Davitt, and one of green for Parnell. Though I did some research on the two men and so I have the background information on who they were, but I do not see the significance of these two colors in relation to them. As the idea of connecting maroon and green to Parnell and Davitt, had appeared more than once within the story.


Chapter 3 - chapter 4 = GARBAGE

Starting midway through chapter 3, and ending midway through chapter 4, is 30-40 pages of some of the worst reading I've ever trudged through. It starts with Father Arnall talking about the upcoming holiday of Francis Xavier. Then there are like 30 something pages talking about how holy priests are and how terrible hell is and how damned Stephen feels his spirit is and how he repents and becomes holier than thou with a spotless soul and all that crud. OK JOYCE, WE GET IT. He could have condensed that entire section into 10 or less pages. The ONLY interesting part throughout that section is the repetance itself. It only ends when Stephen get's offered the opportunity of priesthood and he snaps out of his little religious trance. Like I said, we get it Joyce. We get that the extreme of sin you got to was damaging, and that the extreme of religious morality was unbearable as well. Now cut off 20-30 pages and be done with it. I almost gave up on the book as a whole, honestly, because of how bad that section was. I'm glad I havn't though, since it's picking up now and I'm really enjoying it again. Summary: If faced with the options of reading that part of Portrait again or jabbing myself in the eyes with a fork, I think I'd take the fork.


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