Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog Author:Dylan Thomas Dylan Thomas' collection of short stories, Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog, was published in 1940. The title refers to James Joyce's first novel, the semi-autobiographical A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. — Thomas, like Joyce, fictionalizes events from his own life. In terms of style, the collection marks a transition period between... more » the obscure, dream inspired prose found in Adventures In The Skin Trade and the comic realism of Under Milk Wood.
Several of the stories explore the developing sexuality of the adolescent poet. In Extraordinary Little Cough there is some humour in the story of a girl he loves, even though he claims to not "like anything she said or did". It is a light-hearted look at young love and the trivial nature of these relationships.
A bleaker vision of sexuality is revealed in One Warm Saturday, when he falls in love with a girl and then loses her in a nightmare world of stairs and doors. In these stories love is a frustrating and unsatisfying experience.
For Thomas, the most important relationships are masculine friendships. The Fight details the odd development of a friendship that begins with a fight between two boys, and results in the decision that they will, for fun, edit a paper.
Similarly, in Where Tawe Flows he attends a meeting of men who plan to collaborate in the writing of "a Novel of Provincial Life". Friendship and the creative process are closely linked with each one aiding the development of the other.
As Thomas developed as a writer he also developed as a drinker. Old Garbo sees him revelling in the taste of beer with "its live, white lather, its brass-bright depths". He then goes on to describe a night of legendary and comic indulgence. The events of which are material for his writing and he promises to "put them all in a story by and by". The story shows how careful he was to cultivate his persona as a bohemian alcoholic and a writer.
The Portrait stories, unlike his earlier ones, follow more closely the rules about narrative structure, but he retains the familiar themes of love, death and religion. His approach is a more humorous one and there is a move away from the intense introspection of his poems.« less