Item description for A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce...
Published in 1916, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man follows the progress of Stephen Dedalus from infancy to early manhood. The richness of the language and Joyce's mastery of literary style as he describes the Dedalus family, young Stephen's education by the Jesuits, his sexual awakening, his intellectual development and his eventual revolt against the religion in which he has been raised have ensured the novel's place as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century literature.
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James Joyce (1882-1941), an Irish poet and novelist, was one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century. His works include Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
James Joyce was born in 1882 and died in 1941.
James Joyce has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man?
terrible, terrible, terrible book Jun 3, 2008
I don't know where to start. It's pretty difficult to review a book in which nothing takes place. This book lacks... well, just about everything. It lacks half a sentence of substance. Nothing in the story is connected; I read the book and wondered, "What is this about? What was the story?" Actually, I have a confession to make: I didn't actually read the book in its entirety; I read the first half and was so disgusted by it that I had to read the summaries for the rest of the chapters online. It is that bad.
Normally I listen to other people's opinions but I am making it a fact in my mind that this book is the worst book I have ever read. If you disagree, you are wrong. That is how terrible this book was. It was a complete waste of my money. It was required reading for school. I always read the books regardless of whether I like them or not, only reading summaries after finishing to make sure I understood the whole story. This is the first book I have ever relied on reviews to finish. My teacher worhips this book but there is nothing good about it. If anybody can explain to me what this book is about in a way that makes sense, I will give them ten dollars.
So far, everyone in my school has failed to explain it to me. This book is everything Flowers for Algernon tries to be (that's not a good thing).
challenging but worth it Jun 3, 2008
As many do, I read this in preparation for tackling Ulysses, in which Stephen Dedalus makes a return appearance. This has been called Joyce's most accessible work, however I found Dubliners faster paced reading personally.
The style of the book changes as the title character matures from a young child to a young man. The part that affected me most was the episode at school where, after he has fallen to immoral ways, a speech is given on Hell that is as riveting and detailed as Dante's Inferno. The fiery pits are described as an abomination across all the senses, where not just pain from sensory touch is there but in smell, sight, taste, hearing - and quite effectively described.
Stephen's subsequent change after confession and struggle to achieve harmony with God is inspiring even given the eventual outcome of that attempt.
The latter part of the book bogs down considerably as it falls into philosophical debates on questions that many a young (and old) person ponders. The ending is hopeful but uncertain.
good intro to joyce May 29, 2008
"marooned"--an utterly wrenching and boundlessly suggestive term to describe the situation of the young artist.
Up For A Challenge ? May 3, 2008
Joyce lives up to his reputation for being a brilliant yet exceedingly difficult author. In Portrait he gave us a semi-biographical subjective peek into the development of his own thought through the creation of his alter-ego Stephen Dedalus. Short on plot but full of incredibly beautiful phrasing that makes the reader stop and read certain passages a second or even third time to make sure it's fully absorbed, Portrait follows the intellectual, spiritual and social development of young Stephen as he manuevers through family, church, school and friends relying entirely on his own point of view at the time. The most intense section of the novel deals with his spiritual struggle and personally, I've never read a more gripping description of a young soul grappling with these questions. Joyce evolves the style of writing to reflect the subjects growing maturity and the choice of language and the pacing at the end of the book are markedly different from at the beginning. All in all a bit of a tough read but I felt rewarded in the end and am feeling ready to tackle Ulyses next.
A Classic-? Jan 27, 2008
This book contains some of the most horridly tedious prose in the English language. Joyce is known for his stylistic innovations, yet his books go mostly unread because they art monumentally dull. Allegedly, the author could account for every line in his books. Unfortunately, he could not account for how soporific his prose is. This is one of those books that makes people hate literature--even people who like literature.