Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Funkyfacecat’s #CBR4 Review #28: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Stephen Dedalus wants to fly free of the shackles of nation and religion; Ireland and Catholicism alternatively reject him and entice him. Stephen wants to find his own destiny, to become an artist, an author, with an independent vision and the creative power to realise it. An omniscient narrator tells his story from very early childhood in Anglo-ruled Ireland to disaffected young man preparing for exile, encompassing first love, weird ideas about the body, introduction to Great Literature, questions of language and identity during a turbulent time in a beleaguered country and the need for self-creation unfettered by absent/alcoholic fathers and martyred mothers and mocking schoolmates and cruel priests and policemen.

Portrait is a classic, a work of genius, and I admire it greatly, but I didn’t find it much fun to read – somehow, despite flashes of wit, evocative characterisation and the interesting setting of the novel.

Perhaps Stephen’s – and Ireland’s – story is so complex that Joyce had to break the form of the novel and re-forge it as Ulysses to tell it properly; perhaps it’s just not to everyone’s taste.


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s