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By James Joyce / B. W. Huebsch / 1921
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was originally serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915. The semi-autobiographical novel recounts the story of Stephen Dedalus, Joyce’s alter-ego, as he rejects his Irish and Catholic identity and makes his way as an artist. The name Stephen Dedalus is a reference to Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Daedalus, the Greek craftsman who constructed wings for his son, Icarus.
Modern Library lists Portrait as the third-best English-language novel of the twentieth century. It is written in a flow-of-consciousness manner, employing Joyce’s modernist technique. The technique was employed by Joyce in Ulysses and had a profound influence on fiction writing in the twentieth century.
The Noet edition of Joyce’s works is fully indexed and tagged, allowing for near-instant search results. Use the dictionary lookup tool to dig deeper in to Joyce’s novel use of English words. The books are linked with the rest of your library.
James Joyce (1882–1941) was born in Dublin. He received his early education at two Jesuit schools, Clongowes and Belvedere. In 1898, he enrolled in University College in Dublin, where he studied English, French, and Latin, graduating in 1902. While at university, Joyce was involved in the theater and literary movements in the city. Following graduation, Joyce moved to Paris to study medicine. When the French lectures proved too difficult to follow, Joyce dropped out and returned to Dublin. Following his mother’s death in 1904, Joyce moved to Zurich and then to Trieste (at the time in Austra-Hungary), where he was a school teacher for 10 years. On the eve of WWI, Joyce moved back to Zurich, where he gained a patron whose support allowed him to focus on writing instead of teaching. In 1920, Joyce moved to Paris until 1940, when he returned to Zurich to escape the Nazis. He died in 1941 after surgery for a perforated colon.