A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Author:James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formative years in the life of Stephen Dedalus, a fictional alter ego of Joyce and a pointed allusion to the consummate craftsman of Greek mythology, Daedalus... more ».
Portrait is a complete rewrite of his earlier attempt at the story, Stephen Hero, with which he grew frustrated in 1905. Large portions of Stephen Hero found their way, sometimes nearly unchanged, into Portrait, but the tone was changed considerably in order to focus more exclusively on the perspective of Stephen Dedalus. For instance, several of his siblings made prominent appearances in the earlier novel, but are almost completely absent in Portrait. The incomplete first draft of Stephen Hero was published posthumously in 1944.
In 1916 when Portrait of an Artist was first published it was recognized as a uniqe achievement in fiction. Here is what H.G. Wells said about it: "Like some of the best novels in the world it is the story of an education: it is by far the most living and convincing picture that exits of an Irish Catholic upbringing. It is a mosaic of jagged fragments that does altogether render with extreme completeness the growth of a rather secretive, imaginative boy in Dublin... One belives in Stephen Dedalus as one believes in few characters in fiction."
This definitive text corrected from the Dublin Holograph has been prepared by Richard Ellman, the editor of Joyce's letters.« less