Mar 18, 2017

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

More Interesting than Growing Up

By James Joyce
Irish, 1916
Coming of Age (Bildungsroman), 
Kunstlerroman (Artist’s Development), 
Philosophical

Main Attractions
James Joyce

1. Prerequisite for his Ulysses 
2. Easy to read
3. And difficult to read
4. Coming of Age, has undertones
5. Comical dialogue
6. Lyrical, lighthearted language
7. Awesome archaic words
8. Philosophical & Pretentious
9. Laid back & Audiobook friendly
10. Serious & Scholarly

Travel Advisory:

Lots of bawdy humour and was very scandalous when it first came out.  There are some scenes unsuitable for children or younger audiences.  

There is also a lengthy chapter on the main character’s views of sins and consequences.  It could be disturbing for highly religious people.  There is also a lot of discussion of the Roman Catholic church, practices and philosophy.  It helps to know a bit about the basic routine of church life. But not necessary, by any means.  

It’s still a great book for non-religious people because it helps to understand the historical influence of the church on modern life.  Many of thoughts and choices of the main character are relevant for non-religious people also.  It’s not a ‘preachy’ book.    

Cuisine & Delicacies:

Ranked as: Lasagna or Hearty Casserole
The bawdy humour in this is very saucy!  Lots of cheeky dialogue. Pun intended!  The way this novel unfolds is brilliant!  It begins with the main character seeming like a child.  We journey with him until he’s a mature adult, confident in his point of view of the world.  It’s a journey of his life and time while in school.  But it’s also an exploration into the development of human thoughts.  Under the surface, a lot is happening.  

Without giving spoilers, I can say it’s a great book to read before venturing in Joyce’s Magnum Opus, Ulysses.  It’s also a great book for fans of the Coming of Age Story.  

It would be very interesting to compare this book with Catcher in the Rye, Of Human Bondage or any of the books listed under Alternate Books below.

Destination Summary
Video Coming Soon!

Off the Beaten Path


Boston College Students are planning to release Ulysses as a Virtual Reality game for Bloomsday, June 16 2017!  

This link is for the CBC New Article.  The video also talks about it and you can see it in action!



Packing List
✓ Dubliners by Joyce (1914)- Great precursor to this book
✓ Ulysses by Joyce (19122) - Greet follow up to dive deep into the rabbit hole
✓ Finnegan’s Wake by Joyce (1939) - Great for the ‘point of no return’

Books that are Referenced:
✓ Plato’s Dialogues - Some of the conversations remind me of these dialogues
✓ (Don Juan or Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage) by Lord Byron 
✓ Metamorphoses (8 AD) by Ovid
✓ Inferno  (14th Cent.) by Dante Alighieri - a main character in chapter one is named Dante
✓ Count of Monte Cristo (1844) by Alexandre Dumas
✓ (Ulysses, 1833) By Lord Alfred Tennyson 
✓ Victor Hugo
✓ Poetics (and many others) by Aristotle
✓ Ben Jonson
✓ Summa Theologica (1485) by Thomas Aquinas 
✓ Origin of Species (1859) By Charles Darwin
✓ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
✓ Laocoon (1836) by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
✓ The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) by Sir Walter Scott
✓ There are a tonne of books mentioned so this is a list in progress, feel free to recommend more.

This article on Shmoop has a wonderful list.


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