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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:
3.5/5 (70 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 7, 1995
ISBN:
9789629545901
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

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 bookBook

About the author

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882. One of the most influential writers of the 20th Century, Joyce's life was punctuated by poverty, critical controversy and self-imposed exile. Joyce was one of the pioneering figures of modernism and counted W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound amongst his earliest supporters. Before his death in 1941, Joyce had published Ulysses, Finnegan's Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners; works that today are recognized as amongst the greatest achievements in literature.


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

3.5
70 ratings / 79 Reviews
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  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    It's a great novel about all aspects of the Christian life...........................The part where he stops being deathly afraid of sin is actually really necessary. (“Supererogation”). Sunday was dedicated to the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Monday to the Holy Ghost, Tuesday to Guardian Angels, Wednesday to saint Joseph, Thursday to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Friday to Suffering Jesus, and on Saturday he went to the jazz club with Thomas Merton. It doesn’t mean.... I don’t know. “Father forgive me; it’s been a day since my last confession, and I looked at Eva Cassidy the jazz singer for twenty seconds.”“Father forgive me; it’s been eight months since my last confession, and I’ve been really whoring it up the whole time.” There’s a difference. ...............................Really, by the last part, when he was “disillusioned with church and society”, or whatever, it could very well be, “A Portrait of the Scholastic as a Young Man”. If he was annoyed with the rowdy students, it was because they couldn’t follow all his quotes of Aquinas in Latin. As he was once a rowdy student himself, it’s quite the transformation. And yet he was not weighed down with a sense of sin, but carried with him a certain satisfaction. ...................................The closest any of them come to sinning, if you will, (excluding, for some reason, “I’ll be the death of that fellow one time”), in the end is questioning various doctrines, which is not a sin. It’s only a “nationalist” church which would curse that, and it’s not a nationalist book, or, more to the point, a nationalist *reality*. .... He just doesn’t sound like a cursing cynic to me. [reposted 2/3/18].
  • (3/5)
    When I first started reading this book I really enjoyed it, I lost myself in the flow of the writing. However, towards the middle my interest was lost, not so due to the heavy prose about sinners & hell, although I did think it was overdone, it was more the long soliloquies about things such as the meaning of beauty or the works of classic writers & philosophers. They just seemed self indulgent & didn't bring anything to the story. What I enjoyed most about it was that its one of my favourite types of story - a coming of age tale. I do prefer more modern versions of this type though, mainly because I like to relate to the character & its hard to do that when there is such a gap in the times. I think this is a book you'd gain more from if you knew about the politics and Irish culture of that time. And a knowledge of religion would have helped too, as I'll readily claim ignorance to the different Christian denominations. Overall, long-winded but good.
  • (3/5)
    Zwakke start, als een standaardcollegeroman, maar vanaf hoofdstuk 2 erg intrigerend door de breuk in constructie en stijl. Het hoofdpersonage is erg antipathiek en gecomplexeerd. Sterk autobiografisch. De donderpreekscene is subliem. Prachtige alternatieve Bildungsroman
  • (3/5)
    Zwakke start, als een standaardcollegeroman, maar vanaf hoofdstuk 2 erg intrigerend door de breuk in constructie en stijl. Het hoofdpersonage is erg antipathiek en gecomplexeerd. Sterk autobiografisch. De donderpreekscene is subliem. Prachtige alternatieve Bildungsroman
  • (4/5)
    et ignotas animum dimittit in artesOvid, metamorphoses, viii, 18
  • (4/5)
    A portrait differs from an autobiography in that it is a subjective impression of the character from a certain point of view, and distorted to some degree through the use of a specific style. Whereas biography is more objective.Though the work is predominantly autobiographical in its source material, it is more a self portrait in its presentation, dressed up as a novel on the childhood and young adulthood of "Stephen Daedalus" who later takes a role in Joyce's Ulysses. Two things make this book interesting: the style in which it is written, and the subject matter. Though far more accessible and plainly-written than either Ulysses, or the even more formiddable Finnegan's wake, there are embryonic hints here of his characteristic style that would develop more fully in his later works.Joyce had an atypical childhood both from the modern viewpoint, and to a lesser degree for his time. He was initially educated in a Jesuit college in Ireland, before moving to another one due to his father's financial difficulties.This education seemed to encourage his propensity toward a religious disposition, which he showed for many of his earlier years, before a lapse into temptation and "pleasures of the flesh". Toward the end of the book he goes on to think about aesthetic theory, inspiring discussion with his peers at university. This would be a good introduction to reading Joyce, both because it gives the reader an understanding of Joyce's experiences, and because it is less challenging than his later works.
  • (1/5)
    Totally worthless.
  • (1/5)
    All I can say is: Thank goodness that's over!! I'm sure I really didn't understand it, but it doesn't make me even halfway interested in trying to understand it. At least I know what it's about, and I can mark it off the list!1 like
  • (3/5)
    This is a collection of philosophical arguments and theological sermons framed by the titular artist's school life. All in whole, interesting and introspective in parts, but completely forgettable.
  • (5/5)
    I am usually not a fan of big celebrities reading the classics. They tend to make it about the performance and not the work. Not so with Colin Farrell's brilliant rendition of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Farrell's tone is deadpan and understated. His reading makes the work sound as if it were written yesterday. Extremely entertaining and equally sublime.
  • (1/5)
    I'm probably going to English major hell, but I could not get past the first half of this book.
  • (5/5)
    My all time, hands down, favorite book. The classic coming of age tale of Stephen Dedalus in late 19th, early 20th century Dublin is the golden stadard of wordsmanship. A Portrait is challenging but rewarding with pleanty of depth but more accessible than some of Joyce's later works.
  • (4/5)
    This work shows Joyce's talent. It is well written, easy to follow and portrays characters that the reader can easily like. Man, did Joyce ever change when ego set in.
  • (3/5)
    dude, i don't know. it's a classic. maybe listening to it on audiobook right as the semester starts wasn't the best idea.
  • (5/5)
    The classic Bildungsroman. Of course, I hate to use the term Bildungsroman cause you sound like a pompous ass. However, since I am in fact a pompous ass, it works out ok.
  • (5/5)
    This novel took me three times as long to read as it might have. A third of my time I spent reading it, a third reading about it, and another third lost in daydreaming and memories as time after time Joyce hit something from my experience so squarely on the nose that it sent me reeling.It didn't begin at all well. A title that reads like a subtitle, an opening line about a moocow, a stream-of-consciousness narrative with glimpses of scenes in fits and starts ... I feared the whole novel would be like this, until I understood it was a child's apprehension of the world. Confusion swiftly gave way to respect. James Joyce had a great talent for recapturing not only the events of childhood but also the much more difficult to remember perceptions, how a young boy takes in and processes what he learns about the world. I would never have recalled it quite this way, and yet it echoes with truth. The boy ages and the same truth shines from the page with each passing year and event, as how he perceives and what he perceives alter with time. He discovers the world is not black-and-white, that not all arguments have tidy resolutions, that the opposite sex is only human too, that religion cannot provide definitive answers, that destiny calls from within. He's still got his blind spots, though: he's stubborn about letting the world in, about taking responsibility for anyone or caring about his roots, and he's far too full of himself and his accumulated learning. But what's an artist without a surfeit of pride?I took the title to be self-referential to Joyce, but it's meant more generically; this is the development of a fictional artist's mind from childhood to self-identity as such, although with biographical elements borrowed from Joyce's own life. Surprisingly accessible (if not so much as "Dubliners"), the only sticking part for me were the big long diatribes about hell and damnation which don't really get examined but pull no punches as an example of what was being knocked into Catholic Irish boys' heads, and maybe still are in some dark corners of the world. I'm bound to deeply admire this book, one I'm stunned by for how well it got inside my head and toured me through episodes from my own life, like a tourist guide who remembers me better than I do.
  • (1/5)
    Required reading, college. I have no interest in stream of consciousness writing. It drives me mad.
  • (4/5)
    high school required
  • (5/5)
    Excellent wording and so well written it is scary.
  • (4/5)
    It seems to dwell a little bit on the whole church scene. And the other thing is that it's better to say only the interesting things.Also too much damn politics. All that, and that it's really too boring to criticize properly. (7/10)
  • (4/5)
    One of the most personal books in my reading: incarcerated as I was at the time in a Jesuit prep school, and not Roman Catholic, quite the lode.
  • (3/5)
    I feel like I don't really get Joyce and why he's so admired.
  • (3/5)
    "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life”This is Joyce’s semi-autobiographical account of his formation into an artist - from childhood to adolescence. It’s the story of a young man, Stephen, who tries to grow out of the bondance and restraint of Irish nationalism, politics and Catholic faith - and into the freedom of the artistic senses which he embraces.It’s formed as a series of small episodes or “epiphanies” - with several flashbacks - it is quite hard to follow as a story - as it is more a dreamlike, state of conscience Joyce is describing. There are episodes of great beauty in this novel, great horrors of the mind, great sadness and despair and great “liberation" of the mind in the end. One can understand his need to free himself of the version of Catholic faith that is presented here - the hellfire-and-brimstone preaching of Father Arnall, the fear of death and hell, the total rejection of Stephen's bodily senses in his extreme self-mortification and asceticism. It doesn’t produce the freedom he aches for.The last part of the book is a philosophical formulation of Joyces own aesthetic theories - and I kind of lost the interest after his anguished and dramatic clash with the Catholic Church. This quote from Stephen's diary at the end of the novel kind of describes where we are - rather pompous, methinks. “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the unreated conscience of my race"
  • (4/5)
    The story follows Stephan Dedalus as he grows up in Ireland and eventually breaks away from Irish society. He abandons religion, Irish politics and much of what he’s been taught and what his family holds dear. As a teenager he’s tormented by Catholic guilt, especially concerning his sexual urges. He’s both fascinated and plagued by the thought of women. Stephen eventually goes his own way, to the point of leaving the country.Joyce’s writing style is dense and wordy. Attention must be paid to every word. It can be a chore at times, but the Stephen’s story is fascinating.