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By James Joyce

Masterpiece of semi-autobiographical fiction finds a strong portrait of the arrival of age of a tender guy of surprising intelligence, sensitivity, and personality. Telling portrayals of an Irish upbringing and education, the Catholic Church and its priesthood, Parnell and Irish politics, sexual experimentation and its aftermath, and issues of paintings and morality.

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Additional resources for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Dover Thrift Edition)

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1923W. B. 1925Poems, 1909-1925, which includes 舖The Hollow Men,舗 is published. Eliot becomes an editor for the publishing house Faber and Gwyer (later Faber and Faber). F. 1927He becomes a British citizen and joins the Anglican Church. 1928For Lancelot Andrewes is published. 1929Dante is published. William Faulkner舗s The Sound and the Fury and Robert Graves舗s Goodbye to All That are published. 1930Ash-Wednesday is published. W. H. 1932- 1933Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932) is published, as is Sweeney Agonistes: Fragments of an Aristophanic Melodrama (1932).

The poems here are philosophical, in a perverse, anti-rational way舒exactly what one might expect from someone who had embraced but then abandoned the discipline of philosophy. Eliot舗s eclectic (and sometimes disorienting) influences in this collection include Lewis Carroll, Henry Adams, John Ruskin, French Symbolists, and Jacobean dramatists, among many others. Three of the poems feature a character named Sweeney. 舗 He is meant to evoke, obviously, an Irishman (with all the class and nationalist prejudices one might expect from an elitist English perspective) who is coarse and boorish but also, disturbingly, casts a powerful presence: He is a loose cannon, sexually potent and physically aggressive.

The poetic narratives, such as they are, are quietly understated and bleakly banal. It is as if the reader is seeing the poem舗s action from a distance, perhaps because the poet cannot bear to approach the scene any more closely. Prufrock worries: What if a potential friend, 舖settling a pillow by her head, / Should say: 舠That is not what I meant at all. 舗 A recent edition of Eliot舗s notebooks from 1909 to 1917, Inventions of the March Hare (edited by Christopher Ricks), generates many fascinating insights into the composition of the early poems.

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