A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780192839985: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Oxford World's Classics)

James Joyce's Portrait of an Artist is one of the most significant literary works of the twentieth century, and one of the most innovative. Its originality shocked contemporary readers on its publication in 1916 who found its treating of the minutiae of daily life as indecorous, and its central character unappealing. Was it art or was it filth?
The novel charts the intellectual, moral, and sexual development of Stephen Dedalus, from his childhood listening to his father's stories through his schooldays and adolescence to the brink of adulthood and independence, and his awakening as an artist. Growing up in a Catholic family in Dublin in the final years of the nineteenth century, Stephen's consciousness is forged by Irish history and politics, by Catholicism and culture, language and art. Stephen's story mirrors that of Joyce himself, and the novel is both startlingly realistic and brilliantly crafted, not to mention that it is one of the founding texts of Modernism and the precursor of the acclaimed Ulysses.
For this edition Jeri Johnson, an eminent Joyce scholar, has written an introduction and notes which together provide a comprehensive and illuminating appreciation of Joyce's artistry.

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From the Publisher:

Perhaps Joyce's most personal work, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man depicts the intellectual awakening of one of literature's most memorable young heroes, Stephen Dedalus. Through a series of brilliant epiphanies that parallel the development of his own aesthetic consciousness, Joyce evokes Stephen's youth, from his impressionable years as the youngest student at the Clongowed Wood school to the deep religious conflict he experiences at a day school in Dublin, and finally to his college studies where he challenges the conventions of his upbringing and his understanding of faith and intellectual freedom. James Joyce's highly autobiographical novel was first published in the United States in 1916 to immediate acclaim. Ezra Pound accurately predicted that Joyce's book would "remain a permanent part of English literature," while H.G. Wells dubbed it "by far the most important living and convincing picture that exists of an Irish Catholic upbringing." A remarkably rich study of a developing young mind, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man made an indelible mark on literature and confirmed Joyce's reputation as one of the world's greatest and lasting writers.

From the Back Cover:

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen's Dublin childhood and youth and, in doing so, provides an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce. At its center are questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive in its style, the novel subtly and beautifully orchestrates the patterns of quotation and repetition instrumental in its hero's quest to create his own character, his own language, life, and art: "to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race".

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