Saturday, January 19, 2013

#2 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Somehow James Joyce knows what goes on in my head. He not only knows what I've thought and felt, he knows how I will react to his writing. I don't know how he knows, but he does. Here's the problem: if he's so brilliant, why doesn't he offer any solutions? Ah, see -- he's smart enough to see that he doesn't have any solutions.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is tedious in places. (Did the sermons on Hell have to be so long?*) There are parts that I couldn't penetrate because Joyce lived in a different time and place than me. But for the most part it is shocking how accurate a reflection of my own soul I see in Joyce's fictional alter-ego Stephan Dedalus.

I can't give Portrait four stars as that is suppose to mean "I really liked it." I'm not certain that I did really like it. On the other hand, five stars is meant to mean "it was amazing," which is certainly true.

Oh, and back to my original question of how Joyce can see what I'm thinking. Maybe it's because he had a lumpy pillow, and so do I.


*Actually--yes, yes they did.

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