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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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The first, shortest, and most approachable of James Joyce's novels, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays the Dublin upbringing of Stephen Dedalus, from his youthful days at Clongowes Wood College to his radical questioning of all convention. In doing so, it provides an oblique self-portrait of the young Joyce himself. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, published for the novel's centennial, is the definitive text, authorized by the Joyce estate and collated from all known proofs, manuscripts, and impressions to reflect the author's original wishes.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

The story of the childhood and youth of an Irish poet-scholar, Stephen Dedalus, who questions his Catholic faith as he reaches manhood in turn-of-the century Dublin. Exuberantly inventive in style, the novel subtly and beautifully orchestrates the patterns of quotation and repetition instrumental in its hero's quest to create his own character, his own language, life, and art.


'One believes in Stephen Dedalus as one believes in few characters in fiction.' -- H. G. Wells

'[Mr. Joyce is] concerned at all costs to reveal the flickerings of that innermost flame which flashes its myriad message through the brain, he disregards with complete courage whatever seems to him adventitious, though it be probability or coherence or any other of the handrails to which we cling for support when we set our imaginations free.' -- Virginia Woolf

'[A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man will] remain a permanent part of English literature.' -- Ezra Pound

About the Author

James Joyce

James Joyce was born on 2 February 1882, the eldest of ten surviving children. He was educated by Jesuits at Clogowes Wood College and at Belvedere College (just up the road from the Centre) before going on to University College, then located on St Stephen’s Green, where he studied modern languages. After he graduated from university, Joyce went to Paris, ostensibly to study medicine, and was recalled to Dublin in April 1903 because of the illness and subsequent death of his mother. He stayed in Ireland until 1904, and in June that year he met Nora Barncale, the Galway woman who was to become his partner and later his wife.

Joyce’s last and perhaps most challenging work, Finnegans Wake was published on 4 May 1939. It was immediately listed as “the book of the week” in the UK and the USA. Joyce died at the age of fifty-nine, on 13 January 1941, at 2 a.m., in Schwesterhaus vom Roten Kreuz in Zurich where he and his family had been given asylum . He is buried in Fluntern cemetary, Zurich.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th July 2016


James Joyce

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Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


336 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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