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

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Sat 26 Apr, 2008 06:47 am
The only way that anything of Joyce should be read, is ALOUD. I read "The Portrait..." years ago and was also guilty of the speed reading syndrome. Not so much that I was failing to savor it, but as I began to read, I was subconsciously copying the dialect which often made me read even faster. Joyce was always a celebration of thoughts , not words.
I didnt find anything in Ulysses until I began just incorporating all the crazy made up words into an erzats phony dialect that was understandable mostly by the page, not by the sentence.

Hints of Joyce--never stop to look up words or you m iss the point. However, since I never found any great revelations or insights in reading Joyce, Id never had him on my top ten.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Sun 4 May, 2008 11:46 pm
dlowan wrote:

These books are my friends!!!!! I did love Heart of Darkness,


No worries. Nobody's perfect!

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If you continue with classics, and I hope you do, I can see that you are going to be mean to all of them!!!!


I like a lot of classics, but am having to read all the ones I've avoided for years (and consequently I doubt I'll like many of them for the reasons I avoided them).

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You pernickety thing you!!! How DARE you confine poetry to proper lined up poetry!!!! Does Shakespeare offend you because he mixes it all up?


I really don't like most poetry at all. The parts where Shakespeare waxes poetic are usually my least favorite parts of his work.

It's not the fact that it's being mixed alone that I dislike, but the fact that I dislike the overwhelming majority of poetry that I have read.

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Perhaps if you tried NOT to gloss, but let the language in without getting all pedantic with it, that might be a fairer way to approach the reading experience? Just suspend that busy critical brain for a moment and flow with the book?


I gave it a try for the text you got all weak in the knees about but it didn't do any more for me...

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You are also interested in a "great character", so the psychological novel classics ought to work for you if you are drawn to the character. But...I am wondering how you define a good story and a great character?


If I like them this much (extends fingers an inch apart) they are "good".

If I like them this much (extends arms outstretched) they are "great".

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I find The Joyce you are reading to have both......but of course we are different people.

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Re the names......mebbe if you jot down who is who on a bit of paper and use it as a bookmark????? Who is who often drives me nuts, too.


If I don't pay much attention to names I don't think I'd ever go through the trouble to actually write them down.

This is one of the few novels that actually posed a problem though, I don't remember any others where I could not keep track of the characters (if not the names) but the way they were used (often not using their names and relying on relationships to other names) made it particularly important to have the characters tied to names.

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If you are not going to "get deep into it" I don't think you'll enjoy a lot of books that others enjoy, because the reward lies in the depth.


While I agree, I think there are plenty of things others enjoy that I simply won't anyway. I'll give this one a nice slow read (it being dull, to me, actually makes me read it more slowly).

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You DO or will have more access to books soon? You speak of Kindle...does that work outside the US?


I don't know. I was hoping to pick up a bunch in Panama but the situation there was much the same and the airport in Panama is the first international airport I recall that didn't have a book/magazine store (and they have a mall in the airport!).

The Kindle is not sold outside the US, but it does work. Thing is, it looses a lot of it's value. It comes with a free network connection from cellular companies. So it's connected just about anywhere in the US for free.

But that won't work outside the US, so you have to connect it to a computer and buy it on the PC and transfer it.

Despite all that I may actually buy one. But it's a huge part of the Kindle's appeal and it's otherwise just an decent ebook reader.

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You prefer not computer screens.


Yes, but the Kindle doesn't use the same technology as a computer screen. A computer screen is backlit and causes stress on the eyes. The Kindle uses e-ink (a form of electronic paper) which is read by light reflecting off the surface like when reading conventional paper and ink.

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Would printing stuff from Bibliomania etc. be too onerous?


Definitely, plus it would cost a lot more than buying books at the most expensive prices due to toner cartridge costs.

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Second hand via Amazon is cheap, except for postage...but you'd likely pay less than I do.


Oh no, I'd pay much more. Costa Rica has no addresses, and delivery is unreliable. Plus the book would have to go through customs and pay almost half it's value in taxes.

I'm probably going to go for a electronic delivery solution like the Kindle, but I'll have to get over the romance of books (hey, they are decorative too!) before I settle for a digital collection.
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 07:28 am
There's something amiss about Joyce, brilliant wordsmith that he was.

It's as if the defences of a dictator's palace are got up with the elaborate skills of a fabulous blacksmith with gleaming spikes on every railing and a crest upon the locked and guarded gate.

Portrait was gestated and written in the time of Nora's pregnancy and the birth of Lucia. By a family man so to say.

Mr Ellmann says that Portrait represents the "gestation of a soul".

Both biologically and emotionally. A tearing away from the nest.

Rejection of family, country and religion preceding flight. There's a running comparison between biological development and psychological soul-birth as artist with the former associated with restriction and the latter with freedom; nutrient and desires, and always moving forwards searching to lose itself again.

But he stops the clock in the last chapter. He's not rejecting sex as his Jesuit masters did but he is not sure that he didn't ought to because there's direction in that as well leading to, and going beyond, Bella Cohen.

Movement is the theme. Physical and intellectual.

It is all very well subordinating family, country and religion to the artistic temperment but after a certain animalistic approach to sex in the young man, a short period for any intellectual, although longer for Rambo types, mental processes come more and more into dominance. And there you go.

I presume that Mr Ellmann, who named his third child Lucy, avoided this theme because he was a family man.

Joyce is the subject of all his books, A flawed genius. A raging narcissist. And under the thumb. The "pram in the hall" problem as C.S. Lewis called it.

Incidentally C.S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley and President Kennedy all died on the same day.

Flaubert, Frank Harris, Proust, Spengler, Hitler, Stendhal and Larkin were free of such encumbrances and, allowing for platonic love, so was Shaw.

Shakespeare just ran off. Then back when things got hot.

And as with sex the same is true, although to a lesser extent, with friendship. Friendship and the "lonely heroism" of the artist don't mix. Exile is more than just shifting your location.

His brother Stanislaus said-

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Jim is thought to be very frank about himself but his style is such that it might be contended that he confesses in a foreign language--an easier confession than in the vulgar tongue.


But that was then. Today he might have said " I'm a bloomers and knicker elastic man" and got a job down the docks. That would have saved us all a lot of trouble as it would have for Jim.

Maybe Mr Spitzer had read the Circe scene in Ulysses.

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Obsit nemon! Floodlift, her ancient of rights regaining, so yester yidd, even remembrance. And greater grown than in the trifle of her days, a mouse, a mere tittle, trots off with the whole panoromacron picture. Her young-free yoke stilling his wandercursus, jilt the spin of a curl and jolt the broadth of a bouy. The Annexandreian captive conquest. Ethna Prettyplume, Hooghly Spaight. Him her first lap, her his fast pal, for ditcher for plower, till deltas twoport.


Finnegans Wake. Quite a ride.
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:32 pm
Is not " till deltas twoport" the funniest pun you ever read in your life?
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:33 pm
If not I advise sticking to Harry Potter,
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:37 pm
spendius wrote:
Is not " till deltas twoport" the funniest pun you ever read in your life?
Not really, i think the description of nuclear war as "fiat lux" in the book Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Michael Miller, Jr is much funnier.
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:39 pm
Do try to not use James as a status symbol.

You will miss the point entirely if you do.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:43 pm
spendius wrote:
Do try to not use James as a status symbol.

You will miss the point entirely if you do.
I advise sticking to Harry Potter
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 04:55 pm
Oh boy dys--

You don't shave and love Canticle. That's a rare combination.

Canticle for Lieobwitz is in my all-time top five. I never try arranging them in any sort of order though.

Was your Dad stationed over here once? At Weeton say.

Have you ever studied Amarcord?
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 05:02 pm
My dad was "stationed" in Saudi Arabia for 20 years working in the oil fields. I've never studied anything and i do arrange books in order of their importance to me, Canticle is also in my top 5 as well as Albert Camus Lyrical and Critical Essays along with Alfred North Whitehead.
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spendius
 
  1  
Mon 5 May, 2008 05:46 pm
I'll check them out. I came on A2K to pick people's brains.
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spendius
 
  1  
Sun 11 May, 2008 05:12 pm
The Books Forum is a bit deserted.

I would change it to Ladies Garments.
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