A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Introduction by:
Notes by:

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101200780
  • 384 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


With an Introduction by Hugh Kenner and a New Afterword

A masterpiece of modern fiction, James Joyce’s semiautobiographical first novel follows Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive and creative youth who rebels against his family, his education, and his country by committing himself to the artist’s life. “I will not serve,” vows Dedalus, “that in which I no longer believe.…and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can.” To Dedalus, the artist is like God—one who “remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.” Joyce’s rendering of the impressions of childhood broke ground in the use of language. “He took on the almost infinite English language,” Jorge Luis Borges once said. “He wrote in a language invented by himself.…Joyce brought a new music to English.” As a bold literary experiment, this classic has had a huge and lasting influence on the contemporary novel.

Joyce’s semi-autobiographical chronicle of Stephen Dedalus’ passage from university student to “independent” artist is at once a richly detailed, amusing, and moving coming-of-age story, a tour de force of style and technique, and a profound examination of the Irish psyche and society.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is in fact the gestation of a soul.” –Richard Ellmann

“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

With an Introduction by Richard Brown
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