Approaches to Joyce's Portrait: Ten Essays

Approaches to Joyce's Portrait: Ten Essays

Approaches to Joyce's Portrait: Ten Essays

Approaches to Joyce's Portrait: Ten Essays

Excerpt

Few novels of the twentieth century have reached the level of total acceptability as has A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Its stature is assured, and it is distinguished by its general availability and readability. It seems a most natural book for college students, finding its way into their hands even when not a part of their curriculum. Titles like Ulysses and Finnegans Wake conjure up overwhelming questions and suggest incongruities, anachronisms, strained associations, endless mysteries, but A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man tells us exactly what it is and what its component parts are. The gap that usually exists between the "average" reader and the scholar-critic is minimal where A Portrait is concerned.

Not that Joyce Portrait has been deprived of the full measure of scholarly attention. It is just that we never have the impression that it has been picked to death, or treated with hushed and reverential awe as a. Great Classic. As portraiture it is intense and vivid, illuminating a way of life at the end of the nineteenth century, a unique social organism that is "British" Ireland, the mores and mannerisms of its bourgeois class, the peculiar nature of the Irish Catholic church and its educational systems, and the personality of a sensitive child growing into adolescence and manhood. The language of the novel, from its initial baby talk to the self-conscious verbalizations in the final diary entries, pleases because of its felicity and yet calls . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.