Synopses & Reviews
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.
"An eminent novelist was asked recently by some troublesome newspaper what he thought
of the literature of 1916. He answered publicly and loudly that he had heard of
no literature in 1916; for his own part he had been reading "science." This was
kind neither to our literary nor our scientific activities. It was not intelligent
to make an opposition between literature and science. It is no more legitimate
than an opposition between literature and "classics" or between literature and
history. Good writing about the actualities of the war too has been abundant,
that was only to be expected; it is an ungracious thing in the home critic to
sit at a confused feast and bewail its poverty when he ought to be sorting out
his discoveries. Criticism may analyze, it may appraise and attack, but when it
comes to the mere grumbling of veterans no longer capable of novel perceptions,
away with it! There is indeed small justification..." H.G. Wells, The New Republic, 1916
(read The New Republic's entire review
About the Author
James Joyce (1882-1941) was born in Dublin, the oldest of ten children in a family that struggled with poverty. His works include Finnegans Wake, Dubliners, and the modern epic Ulysses.
Seamus Deane, novelist and professor of modern English and American literature at University College, Dublin, has been a Fulbright Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and a visiting professor at several American universities.