Title: Stephen Hero
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: 1944
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1944. New Directions. 1st American Edition. Some Discoloration to Boards Along The Top and Bottom Edge, Otherwise Very Good in Worn Boards. No Dustjacket. Edited from the manuscript in the Harvard College Library, and introduction and editorial note, by Theodore Spencer. 234 pages. hardcover. Frontispiece portrait by Augustus John. keywords: Literature Ireland Joyce Ireland Literature. inventory # 4920. FROM THE PUBLISHER - STEPHEN HERO is an early version of Joyce’s PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, probably completed about 1906. It is said that when the manuscript came back to Joyce after rejection by the twentieth publisher, he threw it into the fire, from which his wife was able to rescue only a portion. The 383 pages which first came to light were edited by the late Theodore Spencer and published by New Directions in 1944 through the courtesy of the Harvard College Library; they gave a long, connected section of the original – a sequence complete in itself. The first printing was immediately exhausted and a second, very large one lasted only several years. When twenty-five additional manuscript pages, forming a complete short incident, were found, New Directions held up reprinting so that they could be included. Edited by John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon, the Joyce bibliographers, who also contribute an interesting foreword, the new section is here printed with the permission of the Yale University Library. It throws new light on Joyce’s attitudes and, like the rest, makes excellent reading in itself. STEPHEN HERO differs extensively from the published text of PORTRAIT both in content and it treatment; it includes many characters and incidents later cut for the sake of compression. It is more an autobiography of Joyce and less an objectivized novel. As such it throws valuable light on the development of his extraordinary genius. As a human document it is profoundly moving – the candid story of a sensitive and brilliant young Irishman’s struggle against conventions of the Dublin of his day. The new incident, which precedes the earlier published sequence in time, takes this young Irishman into cities of central Ireland, which Joyce nowhere else describes, and shows them and persons he met there with flashing insight and vividness. The main manuscript rebegins shortly after Stephen (Joyce) enters the national University, and breaks off just as his emancipation from all that the University implies reaches a kind of climax. The love interest, only briefly sketched in PORTRAIT, is developed at some length in STEPHEN HERO, and also there is much detailed material about Joyce’s family background. Perhaps because Joyce was instinctively so superb a literary craftsman, the writing of STEPHEN HERO gives little indication of being a first draft. Passage after passage offer memorable examples of his pure and powerful prose style. His wit and irony are a continual delight, particularly in Stephen’s conversations which are very fully reproduced, and in his satiric comments on people and their ideas. In addition to the new foreword which ties the new manuscript to the one originally published, Professor Spencer’s long introductory essay is reprinted. It tells the history of the manuscript, compares its structure and technique with that of the final version, analyzes its principal themes and underscores its special literary values. The volume contains relevant illustrations. Some Discoloration to Boards Along The Top and Bottom Edge, Otherwise Very Good in Worn Boards. No Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 4920
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