Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Wordsworth Classics)

by James Joyce | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1853260061 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 8/7/2003
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, August 07, 2003
(23/04) Finished (I won't get those hours back again!) - review to follow

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, March 24, 2005
I had high hopes for this, having enjoyed The Dubliners (albeit a challenge), and the cover of my Wordsworth Classics edition says, ‘Written with a light touch, this is perhaps the most accessible of Joyce’s works’. Yeah right! I’ve not read such turgid, overblown, frankly incomprehensible literature for a long time. Of course I’m willing to accept that this incomprehension might be my fault ;-)

Also from the cover blurb, ‘The novel is a highly autobiographical account of the adolescence and youth of Stephen Dedalus…(who) comes to realise that before he can become a true artist, he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics and essential bigotry of his background in late 19th C Ireland’

Dedalus (Joyce?) comes across is a serious, self-absorbed prig, more concerned with his own sexual mores, religious convictions & aesthetic leanings than his family and friends. If this was written towards the other end of the century, I’m sure we’d be looking at an angst-ridden teenager like Holden Caulfield, maybe?

Read this if you must, I can’t really recommend it :-(

A couple of quotes that I quite liked

Stephen and his friend Cranly talking about the most profound sentence ever written,

"Reproduction is the beginning of death" - nice

And Stephen again, after admitting to giving his mother all sorts of grief, says,

"Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not"

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan at on Friday, May 13, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (5/14/2005 UTC) at

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Pre-release for tomorrow's Ipswich meet-up

Journal Entry 4 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, May 15, 2005
Picked up at the Ipswich meetup in a vague attempt to overcome my school-induced hatred of the classics. Bookgroupman's review doesn't fill me with hope though!

Journal Entry 5 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Saturday, May 19, 2007
The most imaginative and creative aspect of this book is the blurb on the back "the most accessible of Joyce's works." After months of trying to read this, I admit defeat. I will return it to the Ipswich OBCZ.

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