A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
(Penguin Classics)

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I’m not sure if this is my fourth or fifth reading, but each time it has deeply touched me and has made vivid elements of my own past which I had all but forgotten...In the end I think this novel may endure for historical interests, and for Joyce scholarship.
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Synopsis

'Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo '

So begins 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 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.

For this edition Jeri Johnson, editor of the acclaimed Ulysses 1922 text, has written an introduction and notes which together provide a comprehensive and illuminating appreciation of Joyce's artistry.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
 

About James Joyce

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Irish novelist and poet James Joyce is widely recognized as one of the greatest writers of the modernist avant-garde period, although this recognition did not come until long after his death. In writings such as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and his classic Ulysses, Joyce experimented with the use of language, extensively employed techniques like stream-of-consciousness and inner monologue, and pushed the boundaries of propriety with his explicit content. James Joyce died on January 13, 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland.
 
Published April 2, 2016 by Coterie Classics. 194 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Travel, War, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Crime, Political & Social Sciences, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Science & Math, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Lit Reactor

Good
Reviewed by Brian McGackin on Mar 26 2014

Oh god, you should absolutely 100% read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, or at the very least give the first chapter a try...Joyce presents Stephen's life as a series of universal sensations and allows the reader to create his or her own meaning.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by purplehair on Jul 02 2015

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce outlines the political and religious battle in Ireland using Stephen’s fascination with the colors red and green. The colors represent the different sides...

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Brothers Judd

Below average
Reviewed by brothersjudd on May 14 2003

I started with this one because it's at least approachable. Joyce was just beginning to experiment with his profoundly annoying word games...Who cares about any of these characters? Why would we care about them? There's noone we empathize with &, therefore, no reason to care what happens to them. Reader pass by...

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Above average
Reviewed by Casandra Ioan on Jun 13 2015

The growing understanding of language is paralleled by a growing isolation, an imposed exile that the artist follows in order to detach himself in the end from all the “nets” that are flung at him to stop him from flying...It seems that Joycean texts were able, like the prototype of the artist, to be elusive.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
Reviewed by Casandra Ioan on Jun 13 2015

This tale of awakening, underpinned by intellectual, cultural and religious rebellion, has been hugely influential in its own right, and sets the scene for Joyce’s subsequent literary bombshell, Ulysses.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Jules on Nov 29 2011

While the book is well written and is a good example of a coming of age story...I couldn't connect to the characters...The writing was also very well done, Joyce was an excellent storyteller, but something - in both writing and characterization - fell short to help give his book that extra push from being average to extraordinary.

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http://www2.webster.edu

Above average
Reviewed by Bob Corbett on May 01 2006

I’m not sure if this is my fourth or fifth reading, but each time it has deeply touched me and has made vivid elements of my own past which I had all but forgotten...In the end I think this novel may endure for historical interests, and for Joyce scholarship.

Read Full Review of A Portrait of the Artist as a...

Info Barrel

Above average
Reviewed by Cory Stophlet on Aug 03 2014

Joyce writes each chapter with Stephen facing a scale of turmoil and triumph. The scale leans towards triumph at the end of each chapter until the next chapter begins when turmoil overtakes once again...Joyce's PORTRAIT is a formidable piece, not written for mere entertainment of the reader, but as thought provoking and thought challenging.

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Barton Yahwoo 24 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5