By James Joyce
The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin youth and formative years, his quest for identification via paintings and his slow emancipation from the claims of kin, faith and eire itself, can be an indirect self-portrait of the younger James Joyce and a common testomony to the artist's 'eternal imagination'.
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Additional info for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Enriched Classics)
That night, when they are lying at separate ends of the boat, they both feel as if they were 舠sitting perfectly silent at the bottom of the world舡 (p. 269). They seem finally to have surrendered to each other, but they are united in a strange isolated place, a darkness akin to the bottom of the sea. Helen has a strange and somewhat ambivalent response to the news of Terence and Rachel舗s engagement and impending marriage, which occurs in one of the most discussed and ambiguous passages in the novel: A hand dropped abrupt as iron on Rachel舗s shoulder; it might have been a bolt from heaven.
She also had similar feelings of unworthiness and confusion, as she wrote in a letter to her friend, 舠To be 29 and unmarried 舒 to be a failure 舒 childless 舒 insane too, no writer舡 (Letters, p. 466). Like Rachel, Woolf wanted male companionship, but she didn舗t know if she could ever surrender to marriage itself. When Leonard Woolf 舒 Thoby舗s old Cambridge friend who had just returned to England and joined the Bloomsbury fold 舒 proposed marriage, she hesitated. In a letter to him she wrote of her concerns: 舠I go from being half in love with and wanting you to be with me always ...
The embankment juts out in angles here and there, like pulpits; instead of preachers, however, small boys occupy them, dangling string, dropping pebbles, or launching wads of paper for a cruise. With their sharp eye for eccentricity, they were inclined to think Mr. 舗 as he passed. In case they should proceed to tease his wife, Mr. 舗 in chorus. Although Mrs. Ambrose stood quite still, much longer than is natural, the little boys let her be. Some one is always looking into the river near Waterloo Bridge; a couple will stand there talking for half an hour on a fine afternoon; most people, walking for pleasure, contemplate for three minutes; when, having compared the occasion with other occasions, or made some sentence, they pass on.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Enriched Classics) by James Joyce