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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog

Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog

a collection of ten stories by Dylan Thomas, published in 1940. Predominantly in an idiom of straightforward comic realism, much of the material derives from Thomas's autobiographical experience; ‘The Peaches’, among the funniest and most moving of the stories, evokes a visit in childhood to the farm in Carmarthenshire which Thomas later made the setting for the poem ‘Fern Hill’. ‘The Fight’, ‘Where the Tawe Flows’, ‘Old Garbo’, and ‘One Warm Saturday’ are explicitly set in Swansea, his home town: their swift economy of imaginatively heightened description most clearly demonstrates the technique of ‘illuminated reporting’ he claimed was the method of the stories in a letter to Vernon Watkins; it is in these pieces that the ‘young dog’ is most directly portrayed during his schooldays and brief career as a journalist. The conception of centring the book on Swansea was partly a response to Joyce's example in Dubliners; Thomas's title, with its obvious Joycean allusion, was suggested to him by his friend Richard Hughes. The remark by Constantine Fitzgibbon, Thomas's biographer, that ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog … is surely his happiest and most successful prose work’ represents the general consensus of opinion on this enduringly popular collection.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog to Rabbit Tetralogy