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on January 22, 2018
love this book
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on December 14, 2017
Read this years ago at Queen’s but reading it again is entirely different. Since then some f Joyce’s writing has become part of our culture. An excellent example of the deep and pervading effects of literature .
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on April 16, 2017
I read Dubliners years ago, but it didn’t make much of an impression. A trip to Dublin and the James Joyce Museum convinced me of the author’s importance so I decided to try A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. In it, we see a largely autobiographical account. There’s young Joyce in the form of the character Stephen Dedalus attending the boarding school of Clongowes, where he comes up against authority; there he is drinking and whoring in Cork; next, see him wrestling with and rejecting Catholicism; finally, we witness him talking about art with one of his learned friends in a lengthy conversation that doesn’t really mean much. In short, not a whole lot happens, but the writing is exquisite. Nearly every sentence is poetry in prose and so the novel is worth reading just for the sheer quality of Joyce’s penmanship. And so, to sum up a piece of classic literature that took the writer a decade to assemble and goodness knows what to get published (the story of Joyce’s struggle to get Dubliners published is amazing): excellent writing, but a story that’s just all right. However, it seems Dubliners and Portrait were mere warm-ups for his Magnus Opus, so perhaps I’ll try that next.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World as well as War Torn: Adventures in the Brave New Canada.
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on January 13, 2017
Perfect condition, came fast! Not my favourite book, but very interesting and worth a read. Joyce is a great writer and this book has depth!
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on September 11, 2016
What to say. One of the greatest writers ever.
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on November 8, 2015
I know this is considered a modern classic, and in many eyes, I am sure it is. Perhaps I just missed it, perhaps I didn't. But I must say that this was one of the most brutally depressing, and oftentimes hard to follow books I have ever read. I found the main character of Stephen Dedalus to at first be one I felt great sympathy for, but his rejection of his faith I found to lead only to a spiritual shrug on his part. He portrays himself so egotistically as some kind of genius artist, and yet I am still uncertain what his art really consists of other than his rejection of his faith and his forming his own spirituality/philosophy.
The book itself is exceedingly difficult to read, as the format he writes is very spontaneous and loaded with new names every few sentences of new characters, of whom the reader has no idea who they are. Chapter II was by far the best chapter, very Augustinian in its approach to sin and redemption. However, Chapter III I really could have done without - an extended, detailed and terrifying meditation on the sufferings of the damned in Hell, it has everything in it that one often associates with the stereotypical notion of "Catholic guilt". Half of the time, I was uncertain as to what was even going on with Stephen beyond that point.
Truly, this novel has moments of pure genius, and there were times where I was in love with its pages. However, at the end of it, I was left with little more than a sour taste in my mouth. A dark, murky, unclear and at times, horrifying read. A knowledge of pre-Vatican II Catholicism will definitely aid the reader in understanding at least the first three chapters.
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on May 8, 2015
💜💜💜 Enough said!!
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on May 3, 2015
This is a story of a one who is called into religious ministry but decides against it because of a romantic affair he has had. Or realistically because of the guilt and nightmarish feelings he has about the affair. Set in a Catholic country at the turn of the century the experience depicted what might have been common in those times. That being said I’m sure that feelings of guilt and shame still happen today for all the same reasons.
I really like the bit where a philosophy of art was depicted in a dialogue amongst school chums. This story is considered a classic and a literary masterpiece. Academic reviewers say that this book is a impressionist work with its monologues by shadowy background figures. I liked the flow and ease of reading. I might read it again to get below the surface and see the implicit, deep meanings.
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on March 15, 2015
Even better the second time.
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on November 26, 2013
Love what I've read so far, but potential buyer should be aware that it is a pocket-sized edition with small print.
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