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Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Dubliners A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Author:James Joyce Dubliners: Each of the beautifully written short stories in this collection precisely details a brief scene in the life of a resident of Dublin at the turn of the 20th century. Although the characters do not know each other, their experiences unfold along the same streets and often overlap thematically. Their tragedies mirror that of Ireland, a... more » country struggling for political identity and held back, in Joyce's view, by rigid religious ideas and adherence to tradition. Joyce's great skill at dialect offers a sense of the city's complex social structure, while themes of isolation, emotional paralysis, violence, regret, and death run throughout the collection and link all of the stories. Chronologically, too, the stories appear to progress; portrayals of youthful confusion and disillusionment in the opening story, "The Sisters," become the haunting midlife meditations of "The Dead." Like his masterpieces Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake, James Joyce's Dubliners displays consummate control of nuances, emotions, and images.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: A masterpiece of subjectivity, a fictionalized memoir, a coming-of-age prose-poem, this brilliant novella introduces Joyce's alter ego, Stephen Daedelus, the hero of Ulysses, and begins the narrative experimentation that would help change the concept of literary narrative forever. It describes Stephen's formative years in Dublin; as Stephen matures, so does the writing, until it sparkles with clarity. The style presents numerous, almost insurmountable, problems for the oral interpreter, particularly one with the limited vocal range of John Lynch. But Lynch pays no attention to the problems. Instead, he identifies so completely with Daedelus, throws himself so lustily into the book, that it is as if the passionate young artist himself is bursting out of your speakers.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, providing 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, this coming-of-age story is a tour de force of style and technique.« less