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"A masterpiece of subjectivity, a fictionalized memoir, a coming-of-age prose-poem, this brilliant novella introduces Joyce's alter ego, Stephen Daedelus, the hero of Ulysses, and begins the narrative experimentation that would help change the concept of literary narrative forever." (AudioFile)
Having re-read, again 30 years after first reading, having picked up off the shelf in Byrne?s bookshop in Dungarvan - probably about my fifth or sixth time to read, Joyce?s story of the young Stephen Dedalus is another old friend. The set pieces lose none of their power and, if anything, with the passage of time and middle-age seem more immediate and vibrant in the writers pre-occupations. Still a relatively young man when he wrote Portrait, James Joyce is able to bring the immediacy of young childhood, the shocking wanting to cry of an unjust punishment, the ambiguity of mortal sin, the wonder of the Hellfire sermon and the sheer enjoyment of intellectual investigation, argument and counter argument and the place of the great classic scholars in our day to day life. To be read again, undoubtedly, but really enjoyed on this visit....maybe onto Ulysses....but till the next time, Stephen..what a treat if you've not read it before - go on yourself..go on..
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