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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,218 reviews
74 reviews27 followers
July 8, 2007
Shut up James, you had me at 'moo-cow.'
Profile Image for Kenny.
507 reviews937 followers
September 22, 2022
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.”
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ~~ James Joyce

This novel ... this fucking, brilliant novel ... I don't even know where to start ... once more, I was awed by James Joyce.

James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man starts with the buoyancy, simplicity and purity of a tale told to a young boy and ends on a note that is tentative, apprehensive, and off kilter. Between the two points we meet our hero Stephen Dedalus, as he navigates the snares of ethnicity, Catholicism, nationalism and clan as they attempt to trap his poet’s soul and destroy Stephen's beautiful dreams.

Joyce’s 1916 novel is a cornerstone of literary modernism. Upon reading the final words, it’s easy to see how Joyce upended the literary world with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Every page drips with brilliance.

The story tells the tale of young Stephen Dedalus, Joyce’s alter-ego, as we follow him along his path to personal and artistic growth. This prose is extremely modern for 1916. The character’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions are portrayed in a continuous flow and interrupt the linear plot of events and dialogue in the tale of Stephen's life. The story starts with the young Stephen reciting a nursery rhyme about a moo-cow.


One of the most brilliant traits of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is evolving with Stephen as the tale develops, not just chronologically and philosophically, but also on a narrative and linguistic level. Young Stephen is deeply impacted by the Jesuits and the education he receives from them. Stephen grows to become a complex and deeply reflective young man who fiercely confronts challenging theoretical encounters about art, sex, language, religion, and nationality.

As the story matures, so too does Stephen’s intellectual development which expresses itself in his developing vocabulary and grammatical style throughout his stream of consciousness monologues. As Stephen’s tale unfolds, his language becomes more poetic, especially after his rejection of religion.

I can relate to Stephen on so many levels ~~ most notably a spiritually ~~ regarding his early relationship with the church and God. I was as devout and God fearing as was the young Stephen, and like the young Stephen, I had my break with the church, and when it was final, it was final. Like Stephen, I had trouble sleeping I could not escape my fear of death and hell. Chapter III ~~ one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I have ever read ~~ features a long sermon about the infinite suffering inherent to hell delivered by a Jesuit who scares the bejesus out of our young hero.

Finally, I believe Stephen to be the most relateable character Joyce has ever created. He is written perfectly ~~ the artist, Stephen is developed brilliantly. In the end, Stephen overcomes every powerful influence that tries to claim his soul as he becomes the artist he was born to be. He abandons all he was anchored to ~~ family, country, and church to pursue his personal illumination. Stephen is brave, strong, and determined to reach the artistic heights he has set for himself. My only regret is that I hadn’t read this in my teens, as I find Stephen to be extremely inspirational. Taking this journey with Stephen can help the reader uncover something wonderful about who they are, and that is what makes this novel a modern masterpiece.

Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
September 18, 2017
“His soul was swooning into some new world, fantastic, dim, uncertain as under sea, traversed by cloudy shapes and beings. A world, a glimmer or a flower? Glimmering and trembling, trembling and unfolding, a breaking light, an opening flower, it spread in endless succession to itself, breaking in full crimson and unfolding and fading to palest rose, leaf by leaf and wave of light by wave of light, flooding all the heavens with its soft flushes, every flush deeper than the other.”

Thus awareness is born, awareness of oneself as the shackles of society are thrown down. Stephen realises that he does not want to be what everyone else has deemed him to be; he wants to be his own man; he wants to embrace his own desires and live the life he wants: he wants to be free.

And who can blame him? It’s his life so he may as well live it a way that will cause him some degree of satisfaction. Please note, I deliberately avoided the word “happy” because Stephen isn’t happy; he realises that such a state is fickle: it will always fade with time. So in this process he assesses his own individuality and slowly begins to define his emerging sense of self. To invoke a cliché, Stephen goes on a journey of self-discovery; however, the extent of which goes far beyond the typical discourse: this is about the soul of his art.

“What is that beauty which the artist struggles to express…..”


Is this not the entire crux of the work? Stephen struggles, and overcomes, the fight to be his true self in the confines of Irish society, and, by extension, Joyce struggles to produce his art in the confines of traditional narrative expectation: he cannot write his masterpiece by following the rules. The beauty he wishes to express will have to take a new form.

So, this becomes a natural precursor to Ulysses. I view this novel as an experiment; it is Joyce dipping his toe into the pool of experimental realism before he dives in head first with his next work. He plays with his writing; he tests it all for the purpose of exploring how far he can push the limits of storytelling: he prepares himself and his reader for his next work. To call this book autobiographical is to invoke the understatement of the year. As Stephen loses his virginity and the binds of social constraints, Joyce breaks free of all sense of artistic conformity. As Stephen explores his growing sexual appetite without any care for the conventional modes of Catholic morality that imbedded Irish culture, Joyce begins to stand up on his own two feet, erect and proud; he is ready to throw his writing into the world.

The artist is born.
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,029 reviews17.7k followers
September 1, 2023
I am concurrently reading two enormously stimulating and intellectually challenging books - both of which I can recommend strenuously - My Bright Abyss and Holy Desperation.

Each of these, distinctly different and imperiously individualistic, is by a writer who takes James Joyce’s commandment to become the conscience of our race at face value.

Each does that differently - the former by a disinterested poetic conscience - and the latter by a socially committed religious conscience.

But each is - or has been for most of their life - a pariah.

A castoff from suburbia.

If you eschew the usual head games and (slightly more outré) games of concupiscence suburbia tends to excel at, you are likely one of us.

I say us, for with this book, like they with theirs, I first became a Stephen Dedalus.

The three of us may fake some kind of obedience to the norm, but our hearts will always be in those mystical epiphanic moments which make life worthwhile: those rare moments which are intimations of immortality, as Wordsworth puts it.

When life is a religious experience it is worthwhile.

And it has to be a life of timeless moments. A day without the maximum effort it takes to generate an epiphanic moment (or much better, a SHARED epiphanic moment) is a day not lived.

Joyce knew that. And he knew he could no longer make Ireland his home. For Ireland back at the turn of the century was ruled by a malicious devil - which Plato calls doksa, or opinion - the symptom of a stagnant society in ferment.

When a land is dangerously deadlocked - as we have witnessed in our own time - that same violent devil, doksa, rears its head: and we get viciously vapid tweets masquerading as moral substance.

But Suburbia rarely confronts, but festers.

Hence its release valve, in games.

However, to outcasts from conformity like James Joyce, Christian Wiman (My Bright Abyss) and Heather King (Holy Desperation) we must CHANGE. We must become Self-Aware. And more importantly than that, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, we must have faith.

Have faith that change is possible;

Have faith that WE can promote Change through Awakeness;

Have faith that the Kingdom is at Hand:

AND have faith that all our literary epiphanies PROVE it.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews36 followers
August 26, 2021
(Book 736 from 1001 books) - A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man, James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the first novel by Irish writer James Joyce.

It traces the religious and intellectual awakening of young Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce and an allusion to Daedalus, the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology.

Stephen questions and rebels against the Catholic and Irish conventions under which he has grown, culminating in his self-exile from Ireland to Europe.

The work uses techniques that Joyce developed more fully in Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939).

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «سیمای مرد هنرآفرین در جوانی»؛ «چهره مرد هنرمند در جوانی»؛ «سیمای هنرمند در جوانی»؛ «چهره یک مرد هنرمند در جوانی»؛ اثر: جیمز جویس؛ ادبیات ایرلند؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هشتم ماه ژوئن سال 2009میلادی

عنوان: سیمای مرد هنرآفرین در جوانی؛ اثر: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: پرویز داریوش؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، اساطیر، 1370، در 318ص؛ موضوع سرگذشتنامه، عنوان دیگر: سیمای مرد هنرآفرین در جوانی؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلند - سده 20م

عنوان: چهره مرد هنرمند در جوانی؛ اثر: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: منوچهر بدیعی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، نیلوفر، 1380، در 384ص، شابک964448095؛ چاپ دوم در 466ص سال 1385؛

عنوان: سیمای هنرمند در جوانی؛ اثر: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: اصغر جویا؛ مشخصات نشر آبادان، نشر پرسش، 1381، در 263ص؛ شابک9646629717؛

عنوان: چهره یک مرد هنرمند در جوانی؛ اثر: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: امیر علیجانپور؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، آوای مکتوب، 1394، در 288ص؛ شابک9786007364093؛

این داستان، ماجراهای پسری را، از دو سالگی، تا بیست سالگی، بیان می‌کند، بسیار پیچیده است، و در آن، به مسائلی از «ایرلند»، «انسان»، «کودک»، «ترس» و «خدا»، پرداخته شده است؛ ناقدان آثار یا همان طوطیان شیرین گفتار پیشین، بر این باور هستند، که این داستان، مقدمه ای بر داستان «اولیس»، شاهکار «جیمز جویس» نیز هست؛ این اثر، به‌ نوعی، خودزندگی‌نامه ی «جیمز جویس» هم هست؛ نویسنده، روایت رمان را، که توسط سوم شخص مفرد، بیان شده، با ذهنیات «استیون ددالوس»، در هم آمیخته، و خوانشگر، در بخشهایی از رمان، با این ادغام «روایت»، و «ذهنیت»، روبرو می‌شود؛ نویسنده به تلاش، و نوسانات روحی «ددالوس»، برای پیروزی روحش، بر عوامل منفی دوروبری های خویش - از جمله بر رفتار نامناسب برخی از آموزگاران، و خشونتی که بین پسرهای مدرسه، رواج دارد - نیز پرداخته‌ است؛ «جویس» در شخصیت اصلی رمان، یعنی «استفان ددالوس»، «تردید» و «آشفتگی»، و «پوچ‌گرایی نسل نو» را هم، به خوانشگرش نشان داده‌ است؛ نگارنده، از تلمیح (اشاره به قصه یا شعر) هم سود برده، و با استفاده از متن کتاب مقدس، صحنه های «مرگ» و «قیامت» را نیز، در این رمان بنگاشته است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 03/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Anthony Vacca.
423 reviews284 followers
July 25, 2016
Forget The Perks of Being an Insufferable Wimp; forget the hollow, hipster-plasticity of Holden Cauliflower and his phony attempts at wry observations on adolescence; forget that clumsy excuse of an experimental storyteller that is Jonathan Safran Foer, aka “Meat is Murder” Johnny, with his nauseating, gee-I-guess-our-hearts-really-are-just-too-big-to-fit-into-one-sentence-after-all mentality; forget all that useless bullshit, if, like me, you can pick up James Joyce’s The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and completely relate with a childhood defined by shyness and subservient silence that, with time and guidance, is fashioned into an all-encompassing fear of divine punishment for being a lowly, flesh-bound mongrel unworthy of its own creator’s love, which, in turn, precipitates a young adulthood embittered with resentment and characterized by self-loathing and drastic, vain attempts at appearing creatively intelligent as you hobnob with your college peers, those equally fucked-in-the-head fakes that use their given academic setting as a way of feeling validated and important, which is a bafflingly absurd denial of the eventual doldrums of disappointment and depression that is living a long life paired with the ability to actually form coherent, analytical thoughts that have no real value since they can’t be expressed in any meaningful way since you’ve wisely given up your ivory-tower dreams of being the famous musician, the beloved artist, the acclaimed novelist, the sensational poet, one of those people whom more than a hundred people will ever know or actually care about and remember once he or she finally dies and discovers firsthand if their deepest, guilt-ridden fear of a snarling, reptilian DevilGod orbiting their every thought and action was always true.
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book937 followers
June 26, 2021
Portrait of the Artist (1916) reads like the story of a missed priestly vocation and the dawn of a literary calling. “Once upon a time and a very good time it was” — introducing Stephen Dedalus, James Joyce’s alter ego, to be reencountered in Ulysses. The novel follows Stephen through his learning years, back in late 19th-century BE-colonised Ireland: episodic scenes about his family, divided between their orthodox Catholicism and the Irish nationalist movement, his upbringing at Clongowes Wood boarding school and the indoctrination imparted by the Jesuits, and finally the years at University College Dublin, and his decision to become a poet. In a way, this is as much a Künstlerroman (fancy for artist-coming-of-age) as Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (mod length and content): Stephen becomes Joyce, just like Marcel becomes Proust.

The brutal, prison-like atmosphere and the teaching methods inside Clongowes Catholic school form a bewildering picture: the bullying among boys, the corporal punishments sadistically administered at every turn, the constant conscience-pricking, the thorough brainwashing with holy water. The series of formidable Father Arnall mindfucking sermons in ch. 3 about Death, Judgement and the roster of multi-layered torments of Hell are particularly enthralling. Even Dante doesn’t get quite as graphic in his descriptions of flames, darkness, stench and the outrageous and endless throes that the damned souls must endure for the smallest of lapses during their lifetime (e.g. giving oneself a hand). But, contrary to Dante, the sermons in Portrait of the Artist are ironic and slightly blasphemous pastiches, similar to Flaubert’s Tentation de saint Antoine, with subtle undertones of Hieronymus Bosch and the “divinMarquis.

On the whole, and even though Stephen Dedalus eventually loses faith, it is pretty evident that his outlook on art and literature is super-saturated with Christian doctrine. Latin quotations abound, philosophical ideas refer almost entirely to medieval theology — Augustine, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle (the Doctor Angelicus’s bedside reading). Joyce demonstrates a scrupulous erudition regarding Aristotle’s Poetics and Aquinas’s philosophy, particularly concerning aesthetics: during one of the many dialogues between Stephen and his friend Cranly (Everyman’s Library, pp. 265-267), the attributes of beauty established by Aquinas — integritas, consonantia and claritas — are laid out with surprising precision. The same is true of the condensed lecture on lyrical/epical/dramatic forms (pp. 268-269). Moreover, how these dialogues unfold is redolent of the philosophical disputationes found in medieval scholastic texts such as the Summa Theologica or the works of William of Ockham.

Joyce blends all this in with the local colour of Irish daily life, stout and drisheens, and some bursts of poetic flourish. Still, underneath all the philosophical discourse, and precisely within these effusive eruptions in Joyce’s prose and the haphazard composition of the novel we are reading, another disruptive form of aesthetics or poetry, musical, sensual and rhythmical, knocking Aristotle and the English language around, is germinating.

Speaking of which, Umberto Eco’s appreciation for the works of James Joyce is noteworthy here. Both Joyce and Eco received a strict Catholic education. Like Joyce’s writings, Eco peppered his essays and novels with Latin quotes and references to the Church Fathers — in the same way, say, David Foster Wallace makes constant reference to tennis. Eco’s thesis, The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas, is nothing else than an extended version of the micro-lectures mentioned above between Dedalus and Cranly. In short, Joyce and Eco (and Tolkien and Borges) are modern authors with medieval souls.

Further still and finally, the whole of Portrait of the Artist could be construed as an inverted image of St Augustine’s Confessions. Augustine expressed his gratitude to God for turning him away from his dissolute and lustful youth and converting him to asceticism and religion. Meanwhile, Joyce describes Stephen Dedalus’s youth as a time of moral torment, sporadic debauchery, romantic encounters and brief glimpses of joy (the epiphany at Dollymount Strand). But, in the end, Dedalus decides to follow the call of the wading bird-girl, emerge beneath the Church’s authority, divert himself away from his family and homeland, and flee into “silence, exile and cunning” (p. 310).

To be continued, then, in Ulysses.
Profile Image for Rakhi Dalal.
212 reviews1,437 followers
February 24, 2014
"Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes”(And he sets his mind to unknown arts.)
- Ovid

The above mentioned quote from Ovid, which appears at the start of the work, best describes the conclusion of a journey of an artist through his self, trying to come up with things that matter most, while still trying to discern his place in this world.

I still remember the day, when as a teenager, ready to explore the world around me, I, once looked up in the sky, which was sunny and inspiring, and said “I wish I could fly so high in the sky that it could take me in its arms!!” That was a wishful fancy. My class group laughed at me, one even expressing her contempt at such a childish sham. That was a moment of revelation for me, a moment when I realized how important it was to set one’s mind free. I was disheartened, because it became apparent that they were not receptive, not receptive to life itself.

The reading of “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” made me remember that instant; that instant, which I recall as one of the most memorable moments of my life. This work by Joyce has taken me down a memory lane, like Proust did :), but unlike Proust, it has made me remember and define those moments which have considerably influenced my thoughts and ideas. Those moments which have, over a time, asked me to break away from the well accepted conventions, if not to live the life of an artist, but then, to be a being that is conscious and hence, living.

This work, which is considered to be semi-autobiographical, captures the mind of Stephen Dedalus effectively and renders the “Portrait” strikingly, without any transition. As Langdon Hammer, in the introduction, said, “Over its decade long composition, the creator of Portrait refined almost out of existence, a key device of novelistic convention: the narrator.” This comes from the theory; Joyce gives at the end of the work:

“The personality of the Artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalises itself, so to speak. The esthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.”

So, what we get, as a result is the revelation of characters’ inner stream of thoughts, without us going through the narrative translation. This style of stream of consciousness, as employed by the author, has made me a Joyce fan. I was astonished to behold the expressions of Stephen, his thoughts, his anxiety, his moment of epiphany. It wasn’t as he experienced them; it was like I myself was going through those moments of reflection. Specifically, where he questioned his faith and religion, his duties and responsibilities as a Christian, more so when offered an entrance into the service of altar.

Starting from his childhood, there were many beautiful expressions which reflected the development of his consciousness; the expressions, which held you captive for their simple representation. But the most enrapturing ones came toward the end of the work, when Stephen attained a more rational approach. I am only going to quote a couple of my favorites:

“His throat ached with a desire to cry aloud, the cry of a hawk or eagle on high, to cry piercingly of his deliverance to the winds. This was the call of life to his soul not the dull gross voice of the world of duties and despair, not the inhuman voice that had called him to the pale service of the altar. An instant of wild flight had delivered him and the cry of triumph which his lips withheld cleft his brain.”

His moment of epiphany:

“Her image had passed into his soul for ever and no word had broken the holy silence of his ecstasy. Her eyes had called him and his soul had leaped at the call. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life! A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all ways of error and glory. On and on and on and on.”

It is here that Stephan comes to acknowledge that it is not a sin to appreciate beauty. That it is beautiful to live, to err, to triumph and to fall even. That it is beautiful indeed to be a human being, to live in consciousness and to acknowledge yourself for who you are.

Profile Image for Luís.
1,947 reviews611 followers
June 20, 2023
James Joyce is widely recognized as a great writer but often obscure. This almost autobiographical novel belies this reputation. We read it without difficulty and do not have to look for complicated literary ulterior motives. Stephen Dedalus, a character the author has featured in several books, is Joyce's alter ego. This "Portrait" shows a boy (first attending college) becoming a young adult. Everything is intelligible in this journey. Everything sounds authentic. But Joyce introduces us to an era and a country that seem very distant. At the end of the 19th century, Ireland is trying to enter the modern era, but it is still very archaic. The hold of the Catholic Church is heavy. She is compassionate inside the religious school where the young Stephen D. studies. The preachers' speeches - both soothing and terrifying - sound almost unbelievable. This pressure very powerfully influences the young boy. Also, the Eire is still under British law, causing severe divisions among the Irish (even now, there are substantial remnants in Ulster).
There is, therefore, a coexistence between an unmistakable authenticity (underlined by the numerous notes collected at the end of the book, which refers to his personal experience of Joyce) and the impression of strangeness I mentioned above; that may surprise me. But this makes it a fascinating novel.
Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,274 followers
June 18, 2009
This book is a very dry, written version of the Dead Poet’s Society without Robin Williams. I was already grateful to Whoopi Goldberg this week for her reasonable comments about the most recent Sarah Palin ridiculousness, so I feel kind of bitter at having to be grateful for the other half of that daring duo. I had sworn them as my nemeses – minor nemeses, yes, of nowhere near the caliber of Charlie Kaufman, David Lynch, or Harold Bloom, but nemeses nonetheless. Now, I find myself thinking, “It’s a good thing Whoopi is on the View. Otherwise it might turn into some kind of evil vortex,” and “It’s a good thing that Robin Williams was in Dead Poet’s Society, otherwise those kids all would have been running around having conversations like I’m reading right now.” What type of conversations am I referring to, you ask? Here is an example from when Stephen is, I believe, supposed to be around 12 years old:

“-- And who is the best poet, Heron? asked Boland.

“-- Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron.

“-- O, yes, Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all his poetry at home in a book.

“At this Stephen forgot the silent vows he had been making and burst out:

“-- Tennyson a poet! Why, he's only a rhymester!

“-- O, get out! said Heron. Everyone knows that Tennyson is the greatest poet.

“-- And who do you think is the greatest poet? asked Boland, nudging his neighbour.

“-- Byron, of course, answered Stephen.

“Heron gave the lead and all three joined in a scornful laugh.

“-- What are you laughing at? asked Stephen.

“-- You, said Heron. Byron the greatest poet! He's only a poet for uneducated people.

“-- He must be a fine poet! said Boland.

“-- You may keep your mouth shut, said Stephen, turning on him boldly. All you know about poetry is what you wrote up on the slates in the yard and were going to be sent to the loft for.

“Boland, in fact, was said to have written on the slates in the yard a couplet about a classmate of his who often rode home from the college on a pony:

“As Tyson was riding into Jerusalem
He fell and hurt his Alec Kafoozelum.

“This thrust put the two lieutenants to silence but Heron went on:

“-- In any case Byron was a heretic and immoral too.

“-- I don't care what he was, cried Stephen hotly.

“-- You don't care whether he was a heretic or not? said Nash.

“-- What do you know about it? shouted Stephen. You never read a line of anything in your life except a trans, or Boland either.

“-- I know that Byron was a bad man, said Boland.

“-- Here, catch hold of this heretic, Heron called out. In a moment Stephen was a prisoner.

“-- Tate made you buck up the other day, Heron went on, about the heresy in your essay.

“-- I'll tell him tomorrow, said Boland.

“-- Will you? said Stephen. You'd be afraid to open your lips.

“-- Afraid?

“-- Ay. Afraid of your life.

“-- Behave yourself! cried Heron, cutting at Stephen's legs with his cane.

“It was the signal for their onset. Nash pinioned his arms behind while Boland seized a long cabbage stump which was lying in the gutter. Struggling and kicking under the cuts of the cane and the blows of the knotty stump Stephen was borne back against a barbed wire fence.

“-- Admit that Byron was no good.

“-- No.

“-- Admit.

“-- No.

“-- Admit.

“-- No. No.

“At last after a fury of plunges he wrenched himself free. His tormentors set off towards Jones's Road, laughing and jeering at him, while he, half blinded with tears, stumbled on, clenching his fists madly and sobbing.”

Who are these kids? The Grand Inquisitor? I don’t know, maybe the boys in the Dead Poets Society were having conversations like that, even with their fun-lovin’ teacher. It’s been years since I saw it. I really wish Robin Williams had come and slapped Stephen Dedalus around for a little while somewhere in this book, though. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a perfect example of how I instinctively dislike people who aren’t funny. And if you tell me that he actually is funny, I say to you that if it takes you longer than 1 minute to explain the joke and at the end of explanation it leaves me with only a vague uneasy feeling, it doesn’t count. The following passage comes closest to being funny of any passage in the book (but still, yawn! Also, note to Joyce, “tundish” is not that interesting a word – Wikipedia, usually so long-winded, barely gives it a page: ):

“-- One difficulty, said Stephen, in esthetic discussion is to know whether words are being used according to the literary tradition or according to the tradition of the marketplace. I remember a sentence of Newman's in which he says of the Blessed Virgin that she was detained in the full company of the saints. The use of the word in the marketplace is quite different. I hope I am not detaining you.

“-- Not in the least, said the dean politely.

“-- No, no, said Stephen, smiling, I mean --

“-- Yes, yes; I see, said the dean quickly, I quite catch the point: detain.

“He thrust forward his under jaw and uttered a dry short cough.

“-- To return to the lamp, he said, the feeding of it is also a nice problem. You must choose the pure oil and you must be careful when you pour it in not to overflow it, not to pour in more than the funnel can hold.

“-- What funnel? asked Stephen.

“-- The funnel through which you pour the oil into your lamp.

“-- That? said Stephen. Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish?

“-- What is a tundish?

“-- That. The funnel.

“-- Is that called a tundish in Ireland? asked the dean. I never heard the word in my life.

“-- It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra, said Stephen, laughing, where they speak the best English.

“-- A tundish, said the dean reflectively. That is a most interesting word. I must look that word up. Upon my word I must.”

I kind of want to see Holden Caulfield and Stephen Dedalus cage fight, or at least hear Holden talk for a little while about what a phony good ol’ Dedalus is.

I did not hate this book as much as I thought I would, to be quite honest. A lot of readers that I have great respect for have told me this book is completely unbearable, and Virginia Woolf is so persuasively critical of Joyce in her Writer’s Diary. I don’t know about unbearable. It has mostly unbearable parts, but a couple of bearable boogey-man Catholic Church parts. I can handle the dramatic conversion chapter, but mostly Stephen is such a pipsqueak!

This book fails to be transcendent in my opinion. By that I mean that I believe it does try to be timeless – and fails. I know the counterargument is that it is documenting a specific time and culture. I get that. So are The Iliad, Macbeth, and Pride and Prejudice, though, and they are still fun or tragic and reflective of some basic humanity. Things happen in them. A Portrait of the Artist…, if it is reflective of anything, is reflective of self-absorbed young men, and that is a culture I find it impossible to be patient with. Sorry guys! I want to “accidentally” spill things on your record collections and replace your hair gel with Nair. I think we should go our separate ways.

Goodreaders, I do not forbid you from reading this book, as it is unquestionably influential, but I do warn you that if you are bothered by the use of the word “moocow” in the first sentence, you may not like the rest. Also, don’t listen to the audio version. The reader is a slow-talking, simpery-voiced, Joycian. I’m sure he’s a veryniceperson, and I apologize if I have been scathing. So that you are not left with the impression that I “hate everything”, which I have been criticized for in the past, and to end on a positive note, I leave you with a summary of the things mentioned in this review that I love: Tennyson, Byron, lamp, Virginia Woolf, Holden Caulfield, The Iliad, Macbeth, and Pride and Prejudice. Things I love also include, but are not limited to, baby animals, ice cream, Dr. Seuss, and the Velvet Underground, if you want to know.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,633 followers
February 10, 2017
I read this back in high school (and a few times since) and it blew my mind. The textual maturity grows as Stephen Daedalus grows and it is absolutely captivating. The scene where his knuckles are beaten in class (thank goodness we have moved beyond corporal punishment in schools for the most part!) was so real that my hands ached. You of course see Stephen Daedalus again in Stephen Hero as well as Ulysses.
A must read.
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,466 reviews3,632 followers
July 9, 2019
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a book of ripening, a story of the complicated and excruciating spiritual struggle.
A boy in the world of adults: he finds out that there is injustice, that there are such things as perfidy and hypocrisy…
It was wrong; it was unfair and cruel: and, as he sat in the refectory, he suffered time after time in memory the same humiliation until he began to wonder whether it might not really be that there was something in his face which made him look like a schemer and he wished he had a little mirror to see. But there could not be; and it was unjust and cruel and unfair.

Indoctrination passes as an education: God is above all and there is no free will but only the will of God and everything that is done against the will of God is sin… So eventually, God turns into a frightful monstrosity.
That was the work of devils, to scatter his thoughts and overcloud his conscience, assailing him at the gates of the cowardly and sin corrupted flesh: and, praying God timidly to forgive him his weakness, he crawled up on to the bed and, wrapping the blankets closely about him, covered his face again with his hands. He had sinned. He had sinned so deeply against heaven and before God that he was not worthy to be called God’s child.

But boy is growing up – he acquires knowledge, he obtains some life experience so his childish and adolescent fears are left behind… Thus a boy becomes a youth full of poetical visions and artistic hopes… Now Stephen Dedalus is capable of doing daedal deeds…
His heart trembled; his breath came faster and a wild spirit passed over his limbs as though he were soaring sunward. His heart trembled in an ecstasy of fear and his soul was in flight. His soul was soaring in an air beyond the world and the body he knew was purified in a breath and delivered of incertitude and made radiant and commingled with the element of the spirit. An ecstasy of flight made radiant his eyes and wild his breath and tremulous and wild and radiant his windswept limbs.

To become a true artist one must break the chains of all dogmas.
Profile Image for Kalliope.
691 reviews22 followers
February 16, 2016

And there he was following the alleys, away from his original filial shell, searching where the way would take him, and there were icons on the walls. Icons of guilt, icons of duty. Some promised a reality beyond those grey walls announcing that there would be more light – but still imagined. Some pretended a glorious past and a glorious and heroic future for the community -- an imaginary polity.

Captivating nets of restricting nationalism, coined discourses and gelled devotions.

He took the turn of one of those alleys and enjoyed the walk but it left nothing but pleasureless pleasure in his soul. They were dancing paths that entangled him more and more. He took a side turn, again after that promising light. But he was just getting into darker caves of fear, where guilt there always was: the Minotaur of sin lurking on each of those barren and sordid alleyways. The Order, the militant Order. Fleeing and escaping, not yet flying, but led by the force of hope, a dizzy hope.

He met other ghosts in those alleys but they were not more real than the icons.

Some white shone. Pearl white. A feather as small as a word. The fascination led him to other feathers that seemed to mark the way out of the trapping Labyrinth of stilted ideas. But one has to be careful with words. They can embody banality. Or emptiness. He knew the words of prayer, the words of nationalism. Words had also brought sorrow to that first martyr, Stephanos, the saint from the classical lands of ancient Greece. He was punished for his speech, his utterances. Words exchanged for stones: evil stones, words of evil and stones of god. Words of god.

But those feathers, did the sweet Guardian Angel drop them? Or was it the heroic Attican figure with Apollonian wings?

For those feathers of beauty grouped into systems of calming order. They formed an ordered and powerful structure - the syntax of thought. They led the way, clustering into meshes that winged the thoughts. Inventions could now fly. The wings of text, wings of writing, wings of beauty could help the soul glide away.

Diving upward dropping the weight of morality into eternal Stasis.

In free pursuit of liberating aesthetics, in all its splendour: with Integritas, Consonantia and Claritas – Wholeness, Harmony and Radiance.

Added 5th August, 2014.

I am now rereading the Odyssey in preparation for Ulysses... and the expression "winged words" springs up in Homer's text... so suitable for Daedalus and the young Joyce.... Words are also compared to arrows in Homer's
Profile Image for Shine Sebastian.
113 reviews92 followers
February 7, 2017
Words, art, life...
Life, art, words...


James Joyce,... what a masterful writer!!
This book is insightful, poetic, artistic and profound.
It is , if I may say so, a tour de force of wisdom and language.

I will try to make this review not ridiculously long, but as you can imagine, when a book is this good, there is no way you can write a short review and be satisfied. So let's take a look at Joyce's brilliance,

1. Language - Joyce's language is fresh and unique, his techniques and style a touch of sheer genius.
The sentences, especially descriptive ones, are so expressive and vivid, so that the images and scenes are felt so strongly and clearly, oozing out of the pages.

"The rain had drawn off; and amid the moving vapours from point to point of light the city was spinning about herself a soft cocoon of yellowish haze. Heaven was still and faintly luminous and the air sweet to breathe, as in a thicket drenched with showers; and amid peace and shimmering lights and quiet fragrance he made a covenant with his heart."

"The music passed in an instant, as the first bars of sudden music always did, over the fantastic fabrics of his mind, dissolving them painlessly and noicelessly as a sudden wave dissolves the sand-built turrets of children."

these are a few examples of the sweet poetic beauty of the writing. So colourful and soothing...!!

2. Profoundness, Wisdom and Knowledge -

"The phrase and the day and the scene harmonised in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the grey fringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their colours: it was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and colour? Or was it that, being as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language many coloured and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose?"

"To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!"

"The soul is born, he said vaguely, first in those moments I told you of. It has a slow and dark birth, more mysterious than the birth of body."

"Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the human sufferer. Terror is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the secret cause."

"The esthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of esthetic, like that of material creation, is accomplished. The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyound or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."
"I imagine , Stephen said, that there is a malevolent reality behind those things I say I fear."
"The past is consumed in the present and the present is living only because it brings forth the future."

Makes me think of this quote, - "Word after a word after a word is power." !
- - - - - - - - - -

"These questions are very profound, Mr. Dedalus, said the dean. It is like looking down from the cliffs of Moher into the depths. Many go down into the depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can go down into those depths and explore them and come to the surface again."

This is, the birth, growth, and rebirth of a fascinating soul. An artist's soul, desperately in want of freedom to express itself wholely and freely, its journey, its waking.
Stephen Dedalus, goes down into the dark, bottomless depths of his soul's secrets, his hidden and silent conciousness in repose, his true being, and like his ancient father, the old brilliant artificer, Daedalus, he uses the mighty wings of language and imagination and reason, to emerge anew, a surging new life, an ARTIST

"To speak of these things and to try to understand their nature and , having understood it , to try slowly and humbly and constantly to express, to press out again, from the gross earth or what it brings forth, from sound and shape and colour which are
the prison gates of our soul, an image of the beauty we have come to understand - that is art."

Profile Image for Fernando.
685 reviews1,127 followers
February 22, 2021
"-Usted es un artista, ¿no es verdad, Dédalus? -dijo el decano levantando la cara y guiñando los ojos descoloridos-. El fin del artista es la creación de lo bello. Qué sea bello, eso ya es otra cuestión."

Con el correr del tiempo y de las lecturas de sus libros, James Joyce se ha transformado en un escritor realmente interesante para mí. Su maestría literaria y su genialidad narrativa lo transforman en un artista todo terreno. Además de “Dublineses”, libro que pienso releer pronto, de “Ulises” que mi gran desafío literario cumplido el año pasado y del que leeré este año, me refiero al “Finnegan’s Wake” y este libro que pasa a formar parte de aquellas novelas que leo con tranquilidad, dejándome llevar por su forma tan poética y amena al relatar y que me dejan un recuerdo agradable cuando las termino. En ella relata la etapa inicial en la vida de Stephen Dedalus, desde sus tres años hasta sus años universitarios sin dejar inconcluso el paso por la niñez, la pubertad y la adolescencia. Es de destacar la forma en que acompaña transcurso de los años del personaje y este proceso es identificado claramente en los diálogos y en la forma de pensar de Dedalus.
Este es uno de los libros más “entendibles” del gran autor irlandés junto con “Dublineses” puesto que todavía no utiliza en forma desenfrenada su famosa invención del “stream of conciousness” o “monólogo interior” como tampoco esa parafernalia lingüística que enloquece o desorienta al lector en "Ulises", sino un tratamiento del “estilo indirecto libre”, diálogos perfectamente construidos, narración clásica en tercera persona y un final con unas cuantas fechas anotadas en un diario (primera persona) escrito por Dedalus.
Stephen, quien será uno de los protagonistas principales junto con Leopold Bloom en “Ulises” se nos presenta aquí como una persona sensible, de nobles sentimientos y genuinos ideales que son puestos a prueba a partir de su férrea educación religiosa en distintas escuelas jesuitas especialmente las de Clongowes y Belvedere. Y es en este aspecto en donde nos encontramos a Joyce tratando el tema de la religión en todos sus aspectos. Los personajes vuelcan sus ideas y definen sus pensamientos defendiendo la doctrina católica como condenándola desde distintos puntos de vista y todos son válidos.
Dedalus marca claramente la diferencia como el alumno distinto, altamente dotado de los mejores atributos intelectuales, una innata predisposición para la poesía y de una marcada sensibilidad artística que se complementa con su personalidad tan especial y noble.
Es que en un momento de su vida, Stephen se siente agobiado al auto inculparse por su vida promiscua, pecadora y desenfrenada. Se siente acorralado y piensa que Dios lo castigará sin compasión, se pierde en sufrimientos y elucubraciones que lo atormentan y todo ello eclosiona luego de asistir en la Iglesia al sermón que da el padre Arnall. Y aquí hago un párrafo aparte para destacar algo:
pocas veces en la literatura he leído una porción de texto que me absorbiera y me shockeara tanto como la descripción tan aterrorizante y detallada que utiliza Joyce para contarnos cómo es, según él, el infierno. La manera tan vívida, asfixiante y atormentadora con la describe los tormentos que sufren los condenados haría quedar realmente helado al mismísimo Dante Alighieri.
En muy pocas páginas, no sólo nos clarifica perfectamente cómo es el juicio final sino que estas pocas páginas alcanzan para equiparar la descripción del infierno que Dante le lleva todo el primer libro de la Divina Comedia. Realmente escalofriante.
Finalmente, rescato y reconozco nuevamente algo que ya había hecho luego de leer el "Ulises" y es ese dominio total que James Joyce tenía del mapa de Irlanda en su cabeza y creo que funciona como un complemento del recorrido que Dedalus y Bloom realizan en "Ulises". Si uno quiere visitar algún día Irlanda tan sólo necesita identificar cada una de las calles, pueblos y ciudades que marca Joyce en sus novelas para tener solucionado como debería ser un auténtico circuito turístico de Irlanda.
Excelente libro, recomendable, con dosis poéticas de alto calibre y con el sello inconfundible de este genio que se llamó James Joyce.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,218 reviews9,913 followers
September 16, 2011

(Note : this is not part of the current ongoing Celebrity Death Match series organised by Manny but I thought I would revive it as a companion piece)


BUCK MULLIGAN : Come on, kinch, you fearful jesuit. I’ve got a tenner on this so I have so get in that square ring and batter this lollybogger senseless.

STEPHEN : Pro quibus tibi offérimus, vel qui tibi ófferunt hoc sacrifícium laudis.

BUCK MULLIGAN : Give us a rest of your gobshite and pannel the wee dodger.

STEPHEN : Not so wee, he’s six foot if he’s an inch.

BUCK shoves him in the ring. HOLDEN CAULFIELD eyes STEPHEN miserably. His psychiatrist has explained that contests of physical strength and agility will raise his spirits and shake him out of his depressive spiral. He can’t say that he gives a rat’s ass about the whole thing. In fact he’d rather be pretty much anywhere but here.

THE REF pockets a tenner secreted insouciantly to him by stately, plump BUCK MULLIGAN.

BUCK : And another where that came from.

REF : Seconds away, Round One.

STEPHEN closes his eyes and walks vaguely about the ring, ashplant dangling from limp left hand. You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o'er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably. I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do. WHAM !

HOLDEN has been thinking he may as well get this feeble thing over and done with as quickly as possible and he has strode up and flailed – there is really no other word - a long thin arm vaguely in STEPHEN’S direction. More by luck than judgement he connects with STEPHEN’s bullockbefriending ear which then commences issuing gouts of redblooded blood.

STEPHEN (Throws up his hands.) O, this is too monotonous! His lips lipped and mouthed fleshless lips of air: mouth to her womb. Oomb, allwombing tomb. His mouth moulded issuing breath, unspeeched: ooeeehah: roar of cataractic planets, globed, blazing, roaring wayawayawayawayawayaway.

REF issues a standing count : A one. A two. A three.

HOLDEN sits down, scratches his private parts and produces a cigarette. lights it and sneers at the crowd.

REF : A four. A five.

HOLDEN : What a bunch of phonies.

CISSEY CAFFREY : Who are you callin a phoney and what kind of accent do you call that anyway? Is he an American? O Lor, he is as well. And aren’t they all rich? So they are. Here what’s your name darlin? You look awfy young to me.

HOLDEN : Well I act quite young for my age sometimes. It's really ironical, because I'm six foot two and a half and I have gray hair. I really do. The one side of my head--the right side--is full of millions of gray hairs. I've had them ever since I was a kid. And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve. Everybody says that, especially my father. It's partly true, too, but it isn't all true. People always think something's all true. I don't give a damn, except that I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am--I really do--but people never notice it. People never notice WHAMBLAM! Ooof! Shit!

STEPHEN has roused himself from his solipsistic torpor and delivered a mighty blow to HOLDEN’S temple with the ash plant.

ASHPLANT : Jaysus, I felt that!

REF : Hey, back in your corner you holy terror, this is Marquis of Queensbury rules! No ashplants! I’m going to have to disqualify you forthwith! So I am!

BUCK MULLIGAN waves another tenner in his purview.

REF : If you do it again!

STEPHEN, disgusted with his actions, throws his ashplant out of the ring. It is deftly caught by LEOPOLD BLOOM , an all round decent fellow with a really plumpacious sexy milf of a wife with tremendous bazooms. Let me tell you. In fact did I ever mention that one time me and her were DING DING!

End of round one.

STEPHEN limps over to the prone form of his lanky young opponent. He rouses him, pats him down, hauls him to his feel, and apologises. By the time HOLDEN's vision clears he finds he's been propped in his seat and a beer is in his hand, proffered by the gay crowd whose relish of the contest appears to know no bounds.

LEOPOLD BLOOM pokes his head into the proceedings.

BLOOM : You know, lads, this isn't the way. life doesn't have to be all about biff bang pow and the best man wins and all. let's go down the pub.

Exeunt BLOOM, HOLDEN AND STEPHEN in the direction of the Butcher's Arms Public House.

BUCK MULLIGAN : Dedalus wins on a TKO!

CROWD : Did he bollocks!

General melee ensues.
Profile Image for John.
136 reviews7 followers
January 29, 2008
An semi-autobiographic novel, featuring a fictionalized character as Joyce's alter-ego, it traces his formative childhood years that led him ambivalently away from a vocation in the clergy and into that of literature.

There are sections which appealed to me (a priestly sermon on the damnation of ones soul into hell is particularly vivid), but by and large the plot line was too disjointed for me to engage with. Uncertain of exactly where I had been or what path the novel was taking me, I found myself struggling through long pages in search of moments of clarity.

There were moments where Joyce's deft handling of the english language carried me away from my confusion over the plot line, but unfortunately these were not frequent enough for me to forgive the novel as a whole. There were few, if any, characters that were developed well enough to carry my interest and advance the plot.

As I neared the end of Portrait I felt cheated. One of the reasons I had selected this novel was the desire to read a classic of modern literature (it is ranked #3 on the modern language's top novels of the 20th century), and ultimately I was left questioning my ability to grasp the depths of this novel.

For a well written review espousing a contrary opinion refer to Mohsen, 17Dec07.
Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,678 followers
February 16, 2015
He longed to let life stream in through the windows of his mind in all its sordid and colorful glory so that he could sift through the layers of feeling, impulse and meaning and find what his restless soul craved for - that shred of truth too primevally pristine for anyone to begrime. But the world intruded rudely upon his solemn preoccupations, planted seeds of insidious doubt wherever it could find the soft, yielding ground of inchoate perceptions. His oppressors were many and unapprehended - the cruel compulsions of academic discipline, the acts of adolescent savagery of compeers who were abysmally ill-equipped to deal with a difference of opinion, the steadily visible socioeconomic squalor of the milieu which threatened to blunt his senses and the omnipresent fear of every thought or deed of his being tantamount to execrable heresy.
"He had tried to build a break-water of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life without him and to dam up, by rules of conduct and active interest and new filial relations, the powerful recurrence of the tides within him. Useless. From without as from within the waters had flowed over his barriers: their tides began once more to jostle fiercely above the crumbled mole."

But he rebelled and won victories against the accompanying inebriety of religious indoctrination and those who demanded from him an obligatory patriotic fervor for the sake of a suffering fatherland. The relentless barrage of catechisms so forcefully dismissive of humanly considerations failed to induce him to self-loathing and guilt; he found a holiness in carnal love and an enduring beauty in the quiet surrender to mortal desire instead. The labyrinth of diverse lures could no longer throttle his ambition of escaping its narrow confines. Thus, even as friends, enemies and competitors in the arena of life busied themselves with the pursuit of social relevance and prestige, young Stephen Dedalus remained unperturbed.
"This was the call of life to his soul not the dull gross voice of the world of duties and despair, not the inhuman voice that had called him to the pale service of the altar. An instant of wild flight had delivered him and the cry of triumph which his lips withheld cleft his brain."

He now aspired to the fulfillment of a greater goal, having found his one true faith in the legitimacy of art and in its power to bestow sense on the perpetual chaos of existence.


P.S.:-This is a Künstlerroman whose author presupposes his own greatness and the conspiratorial insensitivity - villainy, even - of those who surround him. The author's ideas on women are also quite overtly simplistic and even somewhat patronizing. Thus I choose to save my 5 stars for the artist's heftier and more celebrated tomes.


Originally published on:- October 19, 2014
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,992 followers
July 10, 2021
First read back in High School – 2 Stars

Reread as an adult – 4 Stars

This is a Bildungsroman – that is a word I always think sounds fun but I always forget what it means. I only realized this book is one because of my followup review of it on Wikipedia for extra facts. For those who are like me and think it is a fun word but can’t always place how to use it, it is “a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood . . . . in which character change is important.” Basically, a coming of age story.

I didn’t remember a lot about this book from the first time I read it, but I remember that I didn’t like it. And, in rereading it I can definitely tell why I didn’t like it. While my most recent experience with this book is 4 stars, it does get a bit wordy, long winded, repetitive, and maybe even a bit boring at times. I think teenage me was probably needing something a bit more exciting to keep his attention and interest.

Two things I think helped me appreciate this book more this time around:

- More life experience to reflect on - much like the main character and author are reflecting on their coming of age
- Listening to it made the experience very enjoyable. Colin Farrell did a great job!

I have read one other Joyce (Finnegans Wake) and that one is complete nonsense. I know someone is going to see that and want to preach at me why it is not, but . . . sorry, it is incomprehensible nonsense. This one was much more pleasant and easy to follow and I really did enjoy watching the protagonist’s journey from boy to man as he struggles with school, authority, religion, sex, relationships, and “What is Art?” It is worth the read and its classic status.
Profile Image for Phoenix  Perpetuale.
207 reviews66 followers
July 24, 2022
I have listened to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Irish writer James Joyce on Audible. It represents a young man living in Ireland. The schooling of young men is very close to religion.
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews510 followers
June 10, 2017
Non Serviam :بندگی نخواهم نمود
گفتم دین بیمارستان نیست که آدم تویش بستری بشود. مادر گذشت کرد. می گفت ت�� ذهن عجیبی داری و زیاد چیز خوانده ای. درست نیست. کم خوانده ام و کمتر فهمیده ام. بعد گفت تو بالاخره یک روزی به دین برمی گردی چون ذهن بیقراری داری. این یعنی کلیسا را از در عقب گناه ترک کردن و دوباره از پنجره سقفی توبه به آن وارد شدن. نمی توانم توبه کنم

این کتاب تصویری است از اسارت نوجوانی ایرلندی در چنگ افکار سنتی؛ خانواده و مذهب و ملی گرایی
و رهایی اش از آنها و آشنا شدن با دنیای بزرگ هنر و پیدا کردن من ِ واقعی خود
او حتی تا کشیش شدن پیش می رود اما نیرویی درونی به کمکش می آید و او را نجات می دهد

غریزه ای که نیرومندتر از تعلیم و تربیت و دینداری بود در هر قدم که به آن زندگی(رهبانیت) نزدیکتر می شد بیشتر در درون او به جنب و جوش می افتاد، غریزه ای تند و تیز و خصمانه که او را بر ضد تمکین مسلح می ساخت. یخ زدگی و نظم آن زندگی او را می رماند...از این متحیر شد که روح او از آنچه تا آن زمان پناهگاه خود می دانست تا چه اندازه دور است، از این متحیر شد که وقتی قرار باشد یک عمل قطعی و برگشت ناپذیر آزادی او را به خطر نابودی ابدی، در هردو عالم با زمان و بی زمان، در اندازد، آن بندی که سالیان دراز نظم و اطاعت بر او نهاده بود تا چه اندازه سست است. سرنوشت او آن بود که حکمت خود را جدا از دیگران بیاموزد یا حکمت دیگران را بخود با سرگردانی در گیرودار عالم بیاموزد

:رهایی اش از ملی گرایی

.دیوین: تو آدم وحشتناکی هستی، استیوی. همیشه تنهایی
استیون: این ملت و این مملکت و این زندگی مرا پرورانده است. من باید خودم را همانطور که هستم ظاهر کنم. اجداد من زبان خودشان را دور انداختند و زبان دیگری را برگزیدند. به یک مشت خارجی اجازه دادند روی سرشان سوار شوند. تو خیال می کنی من حاضرم قرضهایی را که آنها بالا آورده اند با جان و تن خود ادا کنم؟ برای چه؟
.دیوین: برای آزادی خودمان
استیون: از زمان "تون" تا زمان "پارنل" هیچ آدم شرافتمند و صادقی نبوده است که زندگی و جوانی و محبت خود را در کف شما بگذارد و شما او را به دشمن نفروخته باشید یا در وقت احتیاج رهایش نکرده باشید یا به او ناسزا نگفته باشید یا ولش نکرده باشید و دنبال کس دیگری بروید...وقتی که روح کسی در این مملکت به دنیا می آید تورها را روی آن پرتاب می کنند تا جلو پرواز آن را بگیرند. تو درباره ی ملیت و زبان و دین با من سخن می گویی. من کوشش می کنم از میان این تورها فرار کنم

او از عشق هم رهایی می یابد. با اینکه می توانست دختر مورد علاقه اش را بدست آورد اما در نهایت از ابراز عشق خودداری می کند و او را به فراموشی می سپارد. و تنهایی و با خود بودن را به چنان عشقی ترجیح می دهد. چون شاید این عشق او را از شکوفایی استعدادهایش باز می داشت
آری بگذار مردگان با مردگان زناشویی کنند
من از تنها بودن یا به خاطر دیگری عقب رانده شدن یا رها کردن آنچه باید رها کنم نمی ترسم. از اشتباه کردن هم نمی ترسم حتی اگر اشتباهی که یک عمر طول بکشد و شاید تا ابد ادامه داشته باشد

:شیفته هنر شدن

هنر عبارت است از کار انسان در نسق دادن به امر محسوس یا معقول با غایت زیباشناختی. درباره این جور چیزها حرف زدن و سعی در فهمیدن ماهیت آنها کردن و پس از فهمیدن آن آهسته و با فروتنی و تدام کوشیدن بر اینکه از دل خاک تیره یا هرچه از آن سر می زند، از صدا و شکل و رنگ که دروازه های زندان روح ما هستند، صورتی از زیبایی را که به فهم آن رسیده ایم پدید آوردن، یعنی از نو بیرون کشیدن – این یعنی هنر

اکویناس می گوید: چیزی زیباست که درک آن لذتبخش باشد. سه چیز برای زیبایی لازم است، تمامیت، هماهنگی و درخشندگی

:سرود پیروزی

حنجره اش از هوس آنکه فریاد بلندی بکشد به درد افتاده بود، فریادی چون فریاد شاهین یا عقابی از فراز آسمان، فریادی نافذ تا از تسلیم خویشتن به بادها خبر دهد. این ندای زندگانی بود خطاب به روح او نه آن صدای زمخت عالم تکلیف و نومیدی، نه آن صدای غیرانسانی که او را به خدمت بی فروغ محراب فرا می خواند. یک دم پرواز بی تابانه او را نجات داده بود و فریاد پیروزی که لبهایش جلو آن را گرفته بود مغزش را می شکافت

با حرکتی عصبی از روی تخته سنگ بالا پرید چون دیگر نمی توانست شعله ای را که در خونش بود خاموش کند. احساس کرد که گونه هایش گر گرفته است و حنجره اش از ترانه در تپش است. در پاهایش چنان هوس سیر و سفری بود که از شوق عزیمت به انتهای کره ی زمین می سوخت. گویی دلش فریاد برداشته بود که به پیش! به پیش! شامگاه بر فراز دریا تیره تر می شد، شب به دشتها فرا می رسید، سپیده ی صبح پیش پای مسافر را روشن می کرد و کشتزارها و تپه ها و چهره های بیگانه را به او نشان می داد. کجا؟

نقش آن دختر(این دختر دیگری است که اتفاقی او را در ساحل می بیند و تحت تاثیرش قرار می گیرد) تا ابد در روح او جای گرفت و هیچ کلامی سکوت قدسی سرمستی اش را برهم نزده بود. چشمان آن دختر او را ندا داده بود و روح او با این ندا از جا جسته بود. زیستن، خطا کردن، سقوط کردن، پیروز شدن، زندگانی را از دل زندگانی از نو آفریدن! فرشته ای وحشی بر او ظاهر شده بود، فرشته ی جوانی و زیبایی فانی، سفیر دربار باشکوه زندگی تا در یک آن جذبه ی دروازه های همه ی راهها�� خطا و افتخار را به روی او بگشاید. به پیش و به پیش و به پیش

:و رهایی

من چیزی را بندگی نخواهم نمود که دیگر به آن اعتقاد ندارم چه اسمش خانواده باشد چه وطنم و چه کلیسایم: و سعی خواهم کرد با نوعی شیوه ی زندگی یا شیوه ی هنری هرقدر که می توانم به آزادی و به تمامی ضمیر خود را بیان کنم و برای دفاع از خود فقط سلاحهایی را به کار برم که خود در استفاده از آنها مجاز می دانم – سکوت، جلای وطن و زیرکی

طلسم بازوان و صداها: بازوان سفید جاده ها، نویدشان که تنگ در آغوش می گیرند و بازوان سیاه کشتیهای بلند که در جلو ماه می ایستند، افسانه ی آنها درباره ی مردمان دوردست. بازوان برافراشته اند تا بگویند: ما تنها هستیم. بیا. و صداها همراه آنها می گویند: ما خویشان تو هستیم. و هوا سرشار است از حضور آنان که مرا، خویش خود را، فرا می خوانند، آماده ی رفتن می شوند، بالهای جوانی با نشاط و سهمگین خود را تکان می دهند
Profile Image for Renato.
36 reviews142 followers
November 26, 2015
"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei."
Scratch that.

At the last minute, before witnessing Buck Mulligan mocking one of church's most important celebratory traditions and embarking on my odyssey with Ulysses, I decided to take the time to get acquainted with Stephen Dedalus. I figured going to a party where I at least knew one person would be better than facing a whole crowd of strangers.

"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 coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo."
I ended up reading Joyce's autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in only three days, and in a way I feel sorry about it because I think I should've given it more time. On certain occasions it felt too dense and it was my own fault for not letting it sink in properly before starting each chapter. It was like watching a film in fast-forward mode.

Even so, it was fascinating accompanying the whole process and conditions in life that turned Stephen Dedalus into an artist. It is said that, at the age of twenty one, Joyce noticed he could become an artist himself by writing about how one becomes an artist. And that he did.

This coming of age story covers Stephen's formation since his early childhood and is divided in five episodes - or epiphanies - and, each one of those, distinctively, had a big impact on his personality - his consciousness and identity - and the artist he eventually became. As the title suggests ( a young man), Stephen still has a long way to go. And the prospect of watching Stephen's continued development in Ulysses is very exciting.

What made this novel so interesting for me wasn't the fact that Stephen became an artist, it was to watch his gestation as a person. To see and to understand how the surroundings impacted him and how he responded to each and every situation that was sent his way made me try to create a parallel to my own history: I wanted to identify some of the epiphanies I went through to form the person I am today.

Joyce chose a very interesting period to depict in his novel as when we're younger, there's no denying we're more receptive to all kinds of stimuli and in the case of Stephen, his psychological response to them were heightened as he already possessed a sharp sensitivity - something that was key to his final decision of choosing art over his family, the church and his nation.

Also covered here is one of the subjects that usually spark my interest the most: one's devotion to religious life. As I am not a religious person myself, it was very enticing to understand the entire process that built Stephen's decision to follow the religious path, from his encounters with prostitutes, to how impressed he was by Father Arnall's sermons to his sore confession of guilt. I feel books appeal more to me when the characters are as different from me as possible, because I get to study and try to comprehend points of view that I would never have myself. This episode alone encompasses the whole novel's proposition: how the events that happen to you mold you as a person.

"His throat ached with a desire to cry aloud, the cry of a hawk or eagle on high, to cry piercingly of his deliverance to the winds. This was the call of life to his soul not the dull gross voice of the world of duties and despair, not the inhuman voice that had called him to the pale service of the altar. An instant of wild flight had delivered him and the cry of triumph which his lips withheld cleft his brain."
However, to put the whole argument that we're products of our environment in perspective and show us that there are other factors in play here, we witness how Stephen's vocation as an artist was stronger than the events that had molded him to that point. When it seemed he would indeed go through the religious route, our young man struggled and freed himself from his early decisions to finally follow his true calling, whether he was exercising his free will or following his fate: to be an artist. And to be able to clearly show this through masterful writing is where Joyce excelled in becoming an artist himself.

Rating: Joyce continues to impress me with his writing qualities and how he develops his stories with originality and precision: 4 stars.

Now, back to Ulysses:
"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei."
Profile Image for Dream.M.
507 reviews90 followers
January 26, 2023
نمیدانم از چه چیزی باید به چه چیزی پناه ببرم. از خودم به کجا باید، می توانم، ناگزیرم بگریزم که مجبور به مواجهه با این موجود کدر و اهریمنی برخاسته از زیر خاکستر سکوت نباشم.
میخواهم از این من نامعلوم بگریزم اما نمیدانم چطور و به کجا. هرروز بیشتر مطمعن میشوم که انسان، این موجود عجیب، احتمالا حاصل یک اشتباه محاسباتی ست. وگرنه چطور ممکن است اینهمه تعارض اخلاقی، اجتماعی ، فرهنگی، آیینی، سیاسی و غریزی را یکجا در خود حمل کرد و از هم نپاشید؟

کتاب رو به شدت دوست داشتم، قلم جویس جادویی بود، لذتی که بردم ربطی به سبک یا موضوع نداشت، من واقعا شیفته نثر شاعرانه و جادویی جویس شدم که مثل جویبار بود و من رو مثل یک برگ با خودش می‌برد.
خیلی وقت بود ، شاید هم اولین بار، مطمعن نیستم، که کتابی اینطور در من اثر کرد و باهاش احساس همذات پنداری و درک داشتم.
Profile Image for Pink.
537 reviews502 followers
October 17, 2013
Here's three reasons you might like this book -

1. You read 'clever' books, so that you seem cultured and intelligent "Oh yes I like to read James Joyce in my spare time,for fun"

2. You have problems sleeping at night and need something more powerful than sleeping pills.

3. You're the sort of person that thinks mountains are there to be climbed and books are there to be read, in which case it's one to tick off the list.

It wasn't all bad...but I won't be rushing to try Ulysses just yet.
Profile Image for Seemita.
180 reviews1,615 followers
November 5, 2015
APRIL 19 (Evening): Alright. This is insane. It has been almost eighteen, 18 (has more impact) hours since I sat down to scribble something about what is going on in my mind but the right words are still elusive. And this eluding is colluding my mind no bounds. No, I did not mean to create any sense of rhythmic rhyme here. Because life is no rhyme. And far from rhythmic. It is a battle – fierce, dark, compounded with many elements and munitions and machineries and what not. It is a forever raging battle where I always find myself fighting, well, ME. Yes, I am always up against myself. A Present ME vs A Future ME, A Strong ME vs A Weak ME, A Hopeful ME vs A Dejected ME, A Sure ME vs A Doubtful ME. The last one, seems, perennially raging, blazing like the eternal flame of a glorious soul. Ah, Soul . Why did I even write that word? While the whole world tells me it is the purest part of a body, the guardian of noble deeds and the first thing to leave a body that has rotten beyond repair, I have seen it the most corrupt. In my case at least. I mean what was the soul doing when I was bartering my innocence for shrewdness in school? What kept the soul busy when I bargained my mother’s love for an empty vessel of ego? And where was the soul snoring when I engaged my skin in disgusting deflowering acts? I don’t believe in soul. it just my soul? Tarnished, contaminated, listless, condemned? Does the soul have two doors? That if I enter through one, I would see wistful smoke, pious fragrance and bright lights of goodness and if I enter through the other, the room would turn black, with nauseating stench and coarse rays of sin everywhere? Is it an eternal dilemma of which door shall I push open? The Ever and Never of Soul? Of Life? Oh I don’t know. This is all so maddening.

Mother told me I will get answers in the home of God. And so, I have made a good number of visits to his house. Let me say I like him. Wherever he is, talking to him, makes me feel good. Basically, he always lends an ear, the luxury which none of my friends are willing to extend. So, I talk to him. I believe in him, like I do in a friend. I fight with him, I lie to him, I sing songs with him, I spend many hours of silent confessions with him. But when I am asked to treat him as a superior, rather the most Supreme, I raise my hand in hesitant protest and ask him questions – Why should I delegate you up there? Why should I pray to you? Why should I be religious? What good it is to be a member of your community? I had respect for you and even placed my faith in you. I believed in your assurance under which I dared to offer my loving heart to another beautiful creation of yours. But by letting seep the venomous stream of unrequited love into me, you killed a part of me. Should I not blame you for that? Weren’t you supposed to safeguard my innocent emotions if I were under your refuge? In my hours of adolescent wretchedness, when foul smell of arrogance and vanity emanated from my unabashed openings, why did you not arrest it with a warm blanket of your wisdom? I started losing faith in you and you stood there, watching. Why did you not protect me when atheistic shower was pounding on my vulnerable heart?

Well, I can keep pointing fingers at you because it is easy and requires no preparation. You don't answer and I can throw my missiles at you. But whether it is likely that I went wrong somewhere? No clear answer.

May be I should search. May be I should read. Read more of Aquinas and Aristotle. And other great minds. I am learning anew to swim in their submersible waters. They talk about beauty and sin, glory and pity, truth and myth. Sometimes, I grab a bunch of answers and sometimes, I grapple in nothingness. But mostly, I get navigators. You ask navigate where to? Oh, I need to find answer for that one too! But by deploying the triple weapons of silence, exile and cunning, I have seen the answers are not that obscure. Really. Whether my filial duties and academic tenacities would contribute in this quest is something I don’t know. But this questioning would. And I think I would continue doing that no matter how much worthy mass the process accumulates and how much filth it throws my way. Yeah, it sounds good.

Oh wait! I just wrote a whole page, didn’t I? Not bad for someone who was swimming in a wordless sea just a few minutes back. Good Lord! Alright then. Time to go. I have a walk to take and a few more questions to ask for the day. See you at another junction. And don’t ask me where.

- Anonymous Stephen Dedalus My Alter Ego
Profile Image for Matthew Ted.
767 reviews660 followers
February 22, 2023
129th book of 2021.

2nd reading. 4.5. Reading this post-Ellmann was pretty illuminating and helped me see the novel in a different light. This essentially is a memoir-like being from Joyce, right down to him having to cut out his brother mostly to make his 'hero' more alone and down to deciding where to end this novel, eventually settling on Joyce's own choice to exile himself in Dantean fashion. I got more (terror?) out of the fire sermon this time, which made it oddly more annoying, distracting from the main narrative but also being interesting in itself. Nothing beats the whimsical opening with Stephen as a child or the bits later in the novel as they ramble around Dublin and argue about Byron or whatever else. At the end of the day the novel is beautifully written, internal, mythical. Woolf's stream-of-consciousness might be better but there's something so charming about Joyce's too. Maybe his humour. My loved-up juvenile review from first reading lurks below. A perfect novel for one's 20s.

100th book of 2020.

My journey through Joyce is completed, albeit, in the wrong order. I began with Dubliners, then last year read Ulysses, earlier this year I read Finnegans Wake and here I am closing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. And, I have travelled through time, reversing time, to find Stephen a young boy again, and not the man I knew from that day: June 16th, 1904.

Stephen is young, in fact, he’s a child, but he grows older as the book transpires, as we grow older. How can we not adore him? His foolishness? His naivety? His love of literature? How can I not see elements of myself reflected back at me. He strolls Dublin, and it is so real – the street names, the colleges, the buildings, they emerge from the narrative, textured, and there goes our hero! Dedalus, wandering along. He is thinking about the girl he likes, but he will not talk to her. He is reciting poems in his head, Dublin rain falls on his stooped head. I wish to jump from a side-street and cry, “Dedalus, my friend!” and he will smile at me. We can then walk in the rain discusses whatever we choose to discuss; the rain does not bother us, or disturb our conversation. O Icarus!

This book filled me with great happiness to read. That Dedalus is a kindred soul. I understand him and I get the impression he understands me. And though Joyce tests us at times, with the religious debates within, he paces the novel exceptionally. Chapter III tested me the most, the incredibly long speech about Hell and sin… But when we feel as if we have had enough, Joyce sweeps us away again with Dedalus and his friends arguing about Byron, talking pig-Latin – their conversations are funny, Joyce had me smiling, even. And after the tricky terrain of Finnegans Wake, I was reminded once more how well and how beautifully Joyce can write: In the wide land under a tender lucid evening sky, a cloud drifting westward amid a pale green sea of heaven, they stood together, children that had erred. A chapel flooded by the dull scarlet light and the rain! It would rain for ever, noiselessly.

But listen. Stephen is kindred because he is drifting, he is hurt, he wonders if there is more in life for him. He is an artist. His father shouts, –Is your lazy bitch of a brother gone out yet? to his sister, and Stephen says to her, –He has a curious idea of genders if he thinks a bitch is masculine. Even now, in 2020, Stephen Dedalus is relatable. His mother says to him, –Well it’s a poor case, she said, when a university student is so dirty that his mother has to wash him. And I thought, O, when I took a bag of washing home with me to see my parents. Boys stand outside the university and claim –Our end is our acquisition of knowledge when asked about women… Joyce makes me smile, he makes me remember walking across rainy car parks myself, or arguing (about Joyce even!) late into the night about literature, quoting books… And my mother saying exactly as she says to Stephen (sans the “queer mind”, admittedly) - Said I have a queer mind and have read too much. Not true. Have read little and understood less. All the while, the final paragraph of the first chapter continues to echo through my head, as if I share the memory with Stephen – The fellows were practising long shies and bowling lobs and slow twisters. In the soft grey silence he could hear the bump of the balls: and from here and from there through the quiet air the sound of cricket bats: pick, pack, pock, puck: like drops of water in a fountain falling softly into the brimming bowl. – I can hear and taste this day, this sweet summer’s day, in someone else’s memory.
–And were you happier then? Cranly asked softly. Happier than you are now, for instance?
–Often happy, Stephen said, and often unhappy. I am someone else then.
–How someone else? What do you mean by that statement?
–I mean, said Stephen, that I was not myself as I am now, as I had to become.

I think I must shave. I didn’t sleep last night, but I caught the sunrise. Lunch calls. I wonder, where does one go from here, how can one leave Stephen? But of course, I do know where to go from here. I have been.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

And here, alas, is our companion, Dedalus, once more, older, different, but the same.

Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak…
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
June 2, 2007
James Joyce is full of crap. I'd like to track down whoever invented stream-of-consciousness writing and kick him in the groin.

Read for: 12th grade AP English
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
588 reviews87 followers
November 13, 2021
من از تنها بودن یا بخاطر دیگری عقب رانده شدن یا رها کردن آنچه باید رها کنم نمی ترسم.از اشتباه کردن هم نمی ترسم حتی اگر اشتباه بزرگ باشد،اشتباهی که یک عمر طول بکشد و شاید تا ابد ادامه یابد.
گفته شده که شخصیت اصلی کتاب یعنی استیون ددالوس همان جیمز جویس، نویسنده‌ی کتاب هست. داستان استیون را می‌خوانیم، از دوران کودکی که در مدارس فوق���العاده سختگیر بوده و مورد خشونت قرار گرفته و چالش داشته تا دوران نوجوانی و جوانی او که درگیر چالش‌های جدی در مورد مذهب می‌شود.
او را در سفر زندگی‌اش فردی شجاع، قوی، جستجوگر و مطالبه‌گر دیدم که چقدر زیبا داستان را به یک شاهکار مدرن تبدیل کرده. هنرمندی گرچه دوران کودکی و خشونت‌هایی که با آن‌ها مواجه شده بود بسیار غم‌انگیز بود ولی شاید همین‌ها باعث انقلابی درونی در وجود او در دوران جوانی شده بود. هنر را نادیده نگرفته چرا که شاید همین‌هاست ما را به آنچه هستیم و خواهیم بود آگاه می‌سازد، همین رنج‌ها...
Profile Image for Simona B.
898 reviews3,008 followers
October 31, 2021
Can we just agree to disagree that there are some classics (yeah not just books but *cue gasp* classics) that simply do not click with you, and that not being able to read some or other of these classics specifically for pleasure doesn't automatically make you a philistine? And that the rating one gives here on Goodreads refers to one's personal enjoyment of the book (at least, that's so in my case) and not to some """objective""" value that we're purportedly trying to assign to it? Yes? Great. Thank you very much.
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548 reviews134 followers
March 2, 2023
Роман, написанный самобытным джойсовским смутным, неясным и зыбким языком, на грани, но еще не достигший состояния потока сознания, по сути является программным документом ко всему творчеству писателя, ибо здесь описаны его молодые годы, период идейного блуждания, поисков и становления, как художника, творца, те зыбкие картины памяти, из которых неясно вырисовывается детство Стивена Дедала, чья фамилии является символичной и «говорящей». Для Джойса творчество – это лабиринт, который одновременно и строится творцом, и для нахождения пути из которого требуется путеводная нить. Первые главы – это взросление героя, описание той среды, в которой формировался характер, закалялись его личные качества, те метания юной души от блуда к религии и отречения от нее, от семьи к школе, от политики к любовной лирике и, наконец, разрыва ограничивающих его пут для воспарения к искусству. Но самое ценное в романе – это эстетическая концепция Стивена Дедала, базирующаяся на трудах Фомы Аквинского и существенно переработанная.
Анализируя понятия сострадания и страха, как «фазы» чувства трагического, он акцентирует на статичности этих чувств. Красота, выраженная художником, не может возбуждать кинетических эмоций, но порождает эстетический стасис – идеальное сострадание или идеальный страх – которые возникают и длятся и наконец разрешаются в том, что Дедал называет ритмом красоты. Согласно Фоме Аквинскому, «прекрасно то, восприятие чего нам приятно.». « Платон говорит, что прекрасное — сияние истины. Не думаю, что это имеет какой-нибудь иной смысл, кроме того, что истина и прекрасное тождественны. Истина познается разумом, приведенным в покой наиболее благоприятными отношениями в сфере умопостигаемого; прекрасное воспринимается воображением, приведенным в покой наиболее благоприятными отношениями в сфере чувственно постигаемого. Первый шаг на пути к истине — постичь пределы и возможности разума, понять самый акт познания. Вся философская система Аристотеля опирается на его сочинение о психологии, которое в свою очередь опирается на его утверждение, что один и тот же атрибут не может одновременно и в одной и той же связи принадлежать и не принадлежать одному и тому же субъекту. Первый шаг на пути к красоте — постичь пределы и возможности воображения, понять самый акт эстетического восприятия.» Фома Аквинский говорит: «Три условия требуются для красоты: целостность, гармония, сияние». Эстетический образ, воспринимаемый органами чувств в пространстве и времени, тем не менее воспринимается целостным, единым. Фома Аквинский считает, что высшее свойство красоты – «свет, исходящий из какого-то иного мира, в то время как реальность — всего лишь его тень, материя — всего лишь его символ.» Дедал считал, что под словом claritas тот подразумевал художественное раскрытие и воплощение божественного замысла, сила обобщения и целостности, заставляющая сиять изнутри вовне. Между тем, сияние, о котором говорит Аквинский, - «самость веща», эстетический образ, зарождающийся в воображении художника, его сияние в момент осознания сознанием, остановленным очарованием его гармонией, духовный момент, который Луиджи Гальвани назвал завороженностью сердца. У Джойса этого нет, но мне кажется, такое же состояние описывают слова Гёте «Остановись, мгновенье, ты прекрасно!».
По Джойсу/Дедалу: «искусство делится на три последовательно восходящих рода: лирику, где художник создает образ в непосредственном отношении к самому себе; эпос, где образ дается в опосредствованном отношении к себе или другим; и драму, где образ дается в непосредственном отношении к другим.»
«Личность художника — сначала вскрик, ритмический возглас или тональность, затем текучее, мерцающее повествование; в конце концов художник утончает себя до небытия, иначе говоря, обезличивает себя. Эстетический образ в драматической форме — это жизнь, очищенная и претворенная воображением. Таинство эстетического творения, которое можно уподобить творению материальному, завершено. Художник, как Бог-творец, остается внутри, или позади, или поверх, или вне своего создания, невидимый, утончившийся до небытия, равнодушно подпиливающий себе ногти.»
Ясность, как сила обобщения и целостности, является эстетическим манифестом Джойса и если приглянуться, то «поток сознания» - ни что иное, как совокупность фрагментов, единых в их обобщенности и целостности, когда из мути этого потока вырисовывается ясная картина.
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