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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Written by James Joyce

Narrated by Jim Norton


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Written by James Joyce

Narrated by Jim Norton

ratings:
3/5 (3,553 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 7, 1995
ISBN:
9789629545901
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

In A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man, Joyce describes the early life of Stephen Dedalus: significant memories from infancy, schooldays, family life, his first taste of sin, guilt, repentance – and his passage to freedom as he elects to leave Ireland for ever. This is, in effect, autobiography. Stephen is Joyce; every person he encounters and every incident he experiences, is drawn from life. The writing, though, displays the colour and imagination of the very finest fiction, in language which cries out to be read aloud.
Released:
Oct 7, 1995
ISBN:
9789629545901
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

James Joyce (1882–1941) was an Irish poet, novelist, and short story author and one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. His best-known works include Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artistas a Young Man, Finnegans Wake, and Ulysses, which is widely considered to be the greatest novel in the English language. 



Reviews

What people think about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

3.0
3553 ratings / 78 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    In Portrait, James Joyce dramatises incidents and periods from his own childhood and adolescence, and I don’t really know what to feel about this book. Parts of this were brilliant: the writing, the rhythm, the selection of words and images. This book is excellent at expressing the unscratchable ache that is growing pains: the death of a child’s naïve belief in Justice when unfair punishment is handed out; the intensity of adolescent frustrations, both sexual and religious; and the search for fundamental meaning in life. On the other hand, well, there were numerous occasions where I felt like rolling my eyes at the text, because I’ve read too many books about sensitive, intelligent, precious little main characters who struggle mightily against their schoolboy tormentors and an understimulating environment. I know that I can’t really hold that against this book -- the century of intervening literature that makes this kind of story feel so trite is not this book’s fault. But still: the story feels so trite in many places.This book left me feeling very ambiguous. For example: a very large section of this book is taken up by a series of fire-and-brimstone sermons delivered by a Jesuit hell-bent on frightening children into good old Catholic obedience through extensive and lascivious descriptions of torture. I can appreciate what Joyce was going for here, and it’s well done indeed: I can really taste the hunger for power, the emotional manipulation, the all-encompassing prison that this kind of mentality wants to enforce. But these sermons take up 12% of the text. 12%! That is way, way too long, and spoils the effect. Then there are later bits, where the main character expounds his views on beauty and art which serve as a replacement for his earlier religiosity, and which are intellectually impressive, but they are shoehorned in in the clumsiest of ways. Again, the effect is spoiled.Both of these -- the fire-and-brimstone, and the intellectualizing theories -- overstay their welcome and tip the balance from “Impressive, well done” into “Man, Joyce really loves hearing himself talk”. And self-important smugness is a sin I find hard to forgive. So yeah. Three stars?
  • (3/5)
    I have never read James Joyce before and I had heard that A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man is considered to be his most accessible work so I decided this was where I would start with this author. In this book we follow the early years of Irishman Stephen Dedalus, starting from his boyhood and taking us through to the end of his university years. It is apparent immediately that James Joyce is a master wordsmith. His writing paints vivid pictures but I disagree with those who call this book timeless. I felt it was quite dated and specific to it’s time and place. It is a barely concealed autobiographical piece and takes the main character through his adolescence while he searches for his own identity. His views on family, religion and the very essence of being Irish clearly date this piece as early 20th century writing. Joyce is brilliant but I struggled through this short and quite readable book so I am not reassured that I will appreciate his more complex works and I expect they will be pushed to the bottom of the 1,001 pile.
  • (4/5)
    Despite having been a professor of literature, I haven't read much by James Joyce. I loved his story collection, Dubliners, but I've never tackled what are considered his great novels--and I'm not really sure that I want to. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a short novel that showcases Joyce's stream-of-consciousness style in an accessible way. It's the story of his later hero, Stephen Daedalus, from childhood through his university years. I would agree with those who say that it's tied to a particular time and place (Ireland in the early 20th century); note, for example, Stephen's idolization of Parnell and the overwhelming influence of the Catholic church. Yet many of the struggles young Stephen goes through, such as breaking out from under his parents' wings and finding his own place in the world, are still prevalent for the youth of today. There's a lot of humor in the novel that helps it to rise above the usual coming of age story.I listened to the book on audio, wonderfully read by Colin Farrell, an actor of whom I'm not usually fond. One rather funny note: When I originally downloaded the book, the cover title appears as 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman"! I see that someone must have reported the error and a correction has been made. I usually delete books once I've read them, but this one will stay on my iTunes for the novelty factor.
  • (3/5)
    (Original Review, 1981-02-16)"April 27. Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead."How much I love/hate Joyce when I read about him...how could he have denied his mother on her deathbed? That act disturbed me - he did not even kneel when she died.I am not speaking of hypocrisy here just thinking of a young poseur who was thinking of himself above all - as you do at that age - especially if you are the ''favourite'. How much are the writings of Joyce autobiographical? Is the 'real 'Stephen Dedalus - AKA Joyce - a 'self-obsessed arsehole' - and did Joyce realise that about himself during his writing? As regards the Portrait Joyce changed the original title from ‘Stephen Hero’ - why did he do that? When did Stephen stop being a Hero?Read it again recently - skipped loads of 'the sermon because being brought up a Catholic have kind of heard it all before but have never been on a Retreat where apparently, in the olden days, you would receive the hell-fire message in spades. I found it interesting in the book that Stephen had to find an anonymous confessor to his 'sins'. He seemed too proud or ashamed to confess to a priest at the school who may have recognised his voice.I think one of the best things I learned from The Portrait was how much Joyce loved his jovial, irascible Father. The last chapter in The Portrait seems a bit of a 'cop-out' with its diary entries...a bit rushed-but maybe that was all meant.The last entry is particularly poignant (vide quote above)The bits that stick in my mind aside from the obvious passages (Hell Fire Sermon ) are the childhood passages, Dedalus remembering his uncles' tobacco smoke, listening to and trying to make sense of the adults arguing about current affairs as a bystander, the bewilderment of starting a new and strange school and trying to understand and navigate the adult rules and language of the constitution chimed with my own memories of childhood. The child is the father of the man, I think Joyce says we cannot shake off these experiences, they form who we are. You are always going to be an exile from them even if you leave physically and geographically.
  • (3/5)
    An autobiographical novel, it is very conventional compared to where he was going for the rest of his life. He chooses his framework characters, the male parts of the Daedalus family, and thyeir relationships to the growing Stephen.
  • (4/5)
    The rhythm and detail of Joyce is here as he captures the passion, extremism, and narcissism of the adolescent mind.