A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce Summary
With an Introduction and Notes by Dr. Jacqueline Belanger, University of Cardiff. 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' represents the transitional stage between the realism of Joyce's 'Dubliner's and the symbolism of 'Ulysses', and is essential to the understanding of the later work. This novel is a highly autobiographical account of the adolescence of Stephen Dedalus, who reappears in 'Ulysses', and 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 century Ireland. Written with a light touch, this is perhaps the most accessible of Joyce's works. AUTHOR: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 - 13 January 1941) was an Irish writer and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Along with Marcel Proust, Virginia Wolf, and William Faulkner, Joyce is a key figure in the development of the modernist novel. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922). Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Although most of his adult life was spent outside the country, Joyce's Irish experiences are essential to his writings and provide all of the settings for his fiction and much of their subject matter. In particular, his rocky early relationship with the Irish Catholic Church is reflected by a similar conflict in his character Stephen Dedalus, who appears in two of his novels. His fictional universe is firmly rooted in Dublin and reflects his family life and the events and friends (and enemies) from his school and college days; Ulysses is set with precision in the real streets and alleyways of the city. As the result of the combination of this attention to one place and his voluntary exile in continental Europe, most notably in Paris, Joyce paradoxically became both one of the most cosmopolitan yet most regionally focused of all the English language writers of his time.