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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A

Stephen Hero, The Egoist, Dubliners, Ulysses

joyce stephen dedalus life

a novel in five chapters by James Joyce. The novel began its life in 1904 as Stephen Hero, which Joyce abandoned and partly destroyed in 1907 and subsequently rewrote in full by 1914. With the help of Yeats, Pound, and Harriet Shaw Weaver, it was serialized in The Egoist and, after difficulties similar to those experienced with Dubliners, published in the USA in 1916. Apparently autobiographical, it narrates significant episodes from the childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood of Stephen Dedalus, which is also the name of one of the main characters in Ulysses. Born in Ireland towards the end of the nineteenth century, Dedalus inherits the weight of its codes and traditions, service to family, Roman Catholic dogma, Irish history, and nationalist politics. It is in Stephen's negotiation of the conflict between these nets of received wisdom and the open skies of creative freedom that Joyce portrays the development of his artist. Detached and compassionate, the author employs the details of his own life with the irony of hindsight and charts the ways in which an aspiring writer can be both duped and inspired by words. Dedalus's confusion in the midst of opposing interests, countered by his few moments of clarity, serve Joyce as an explanation for his own lifelong exile from a city and a country which he never left alone.

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