7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" ist die Geschichte des Künstlers Stephen Dedalus, beginnend mit seiner Kindheit bis hin zum selbstgewählten Exil in Paris.
Wie so oft bei Joyce ist der Inhalt des Romans beinahe weniger wichtig als das Medium, die Sprache. So spiegelt sich die wachsende Reife des Protagonisten in der Komplexität der Sprache wieder. Im ersten Kapitel, die früheste Kindheit Stephens, finden sich nur simple Hauptsätze und einfache Worte.
Im fünften und letzten Kapitel hingegen, Stephen ist mittlerweile ein literarisch ambitionierter Student an einer Universität, befinden sich Sprache und Thematik des Werkes auf einem derart anspruchsvollen Level, dass man die meisten Textstellen mehrmals lesen muss, um sie zu erfassen, vor allem als nicht Muttersprachler. Berühmt geworden ist Stephens Diskurs über sein Kunstverständnis, ein Abriss der Kunst- und Literaturtheorie von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit.
Höhepunkt des Romans ist jedoch Stephens "epiphany", sein Erwachen, am Ende von Kapitel 4. Am Strand entlang spazierend, erblickt er ein Mädchen. Von dessen Schönheit so überwältigt, von der Aussicht auf Liebe, Sex und Lebenslust so hingerissen, beschließt er, den gesellschaftlichen Zwängen seiner Heimatstadt Dublin, vor allem Familie, Religion und Nationalismus, zu entfliehen um seinen Lebenstraum zu erfüllen und Schriftsteller in Paris zu werden.
Wer beim Lesen Spaß daran hat gefordert zu werden und nicht nur mit platten Stereotypen bedient werden möchte, wird "A Portrait..." lieben. Es ist definitiv eine Herausforderung, wenn auch leichter zugänglich als "Ulysses". Wer sich in näherer Zukunft vorgenommen hat Joyce's Hauptwerk anzugehen, sollte vorher unbedingt dieses Buch lesen. Einige Charaktere (vor allem Dedalus) und typisch moderne Erzähltechniken (stream of consciousness) werden hier eingeführt.
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am 30. Juni 1998
This novel is one of the greatest works in the English language. It is not only beautifully written but it can carry a different meaning for people at different stages of their life. Young high school students will find some themes very interesting while a man of 40 can draw new pleasure from reading it a second time. For those interested in Joyce's work, this is a good place to start, for it is easier than his other novels. This is not to say that it is an overly easy book to understand. Anyone who has read The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner knows that the stream of conscienceness style of writing can at times stifle reading comprehension but for the most part give a unique, exciting view of a character. Overall, though, this is an excellent novel and worthy of anyone's effort.
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am 13. Juni 2000
I've seen some reviews that criticize the book for being too stream of consciousness and others for not being s.o.c. enough. The fact is, for the most part it's not s.o.c. at all. (See the Chicago Manual of Style, 10.45-10.47 and note the example they give...Joyce knew how to write s.o.c.). A better word for A Portrait is impressionistic. Joyce is more concerned with giving the reader an impression of Stephen's experience than with emptying the contents of his head. What's confusing is the style mirrors the way Stephen interprets his experiences at the time, according to the level of his mental development.
When Stephen is a baby, you get only what comes in through the five senses. When he is a young boy, you get the experience refracted through a prism of many things: his illness (for those who've read Ulysses, here is the beginning of Stephen's hydrophobia - "How cold and slimy the water had been! A fellow had once seen a big rat jump into the scum."), his poor eyesight, the radically mixed signals he's been given about religion and politics (the Christmas meal), his unfair punishment, and maybe most important of all, his father's unusual expressions (growing up with phrases like, "There's more cunning in one of those warts on his bald head than in a pack of jack foxes" how could this kid become anything but a writer?)
It is crucial to understand that Stephen's experiences are being given a certain inflection in this way when you come to the middle of the book and the sermon. You have to remember that Stephen has been far from a good Catholic boy. Among other things, he's been visting the brothels! The sermon hits him with a special intensity, so much so that it changes his life forever. Before it he's completely absorbed in the physical: food, sex, etc. After it he becomes just as absorbed in the spiritual/aesthetic world. It's the sermon that really puts him on the track to becoming an artist. One reviewer called the sermon overwrought. Well, of course it's overwrought. That's the whole point. Read it with your sense of humor turned on and keep in mind that you're getting the sermon the way you get everything else in the book: through Stephen.
After Stephen decides he doesn't want to be a priest, the idea of becoming an artist really starts to take hold. And when he sees the girl on the beach, his life is set for good. That scene has to be one of the most beautiful in all of literature. After that, Stephen develops his theory of esthetics with the help of Aristotle and Aquinas and we find ourselves moving from one conversation to another not unlike in Plato (each conversation with the appropriate inflection of college boy pomposity). In the end, Stephen asks his "father" to support him as he goes into the real world to create something. I like to think that this is an echo of the very first line in the book. The father, in one of many senses, is the moocow story. The story gave birth to Stephen's imagination and now it's the son's turn to create.
This is such a rich and beautiful book. I suppose it's possible for people to "get it" and still not like it, but I really think if you read and re-read, and maybe do a little research, the book will open up to you the way it did to me.
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am 25. April 2000
I was thoroughly dissapointed with this book. The only reason I read it was because it was required for my AP English class. From its sorted beginning, I knew I was in for one confusing time. Yes, I must admit that it did get better, but not nearly as much as some would like to think. The plot was unclear, and his "journey" through life is easily dubbed a bore. Stephen Dedalus is on a quest of sorts -- he is growing up, discovering who he is. With that comes adventures. But Joyce never elaborates on the ones that are the most dynamic, and continues on to drone about everything in the same monotone style. Mind you, it's all stream of consciousnes, which makes it even harder to digest. I DO NOT reccomend this book to ANYONE. The only reason I give it two stars instead of one is because I want to give him credit for fooling everyone into thinking this book has any literary merit.
am 26. Juni 2000
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN does not so much solicit deep thoughts and great emotions so much as it wrings them out of the reader. To finish this book is not to feel uplifted and encouraged for Stephen Dedalus, but to feel that at least he has made progress and knows enough of his strengths and weaknesses that he may make something of himself. Is this not possibly where we are left at the end of all great coming-of-age novels?
Joyce takes us through five stages of Stephen's youth. As a boy in 1890's Dublin he hears his father arguing that Irish nationalism has been sold out by the Catholic clergy. Soon Stephen's hands are "crumpling" beneath the paddle of an unjust priest. He becomes a leader in his class, an intellectual in a world where many believe: "If we are a priestridden race we ought to be proud of it. They are the apple of God's eye." Later Joyce spends eleven inimitable pages on these apples explaining in colorfully exhaustive detail what it would be like to be baked in a hellpie (for God is loving but God's justice is harsh). Five pages on the physical tortures of the eternal fire, and six more after a break about the mental tortures--Dante himself would be impressed. Fear of hell scares Stephen sufficiently enough to repent from his teenage brothel-frequenting phase. He goes to rather interesting extremes of devotion, even considering the priesthood as a vocation. But his questioning nature is even too intellectual for the jesuits and he discovers another path for himself at and after college.
Joyce writes poetic, often urgent prose: "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to create life out of life!" becomes one of Stephen's clarion calls. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN should be read by anyone looking for one of the best tales of intellectual, physical and spiritual awakening we have. Its beauty is best savored slowly. The rhythms might be difficult to pick up at first, but it really won't take very long until you will have a hard time putting the book down.
am 11. April 1999
This, to me, is the greatest work I have ever laid eyes upon (although let it be known I'm still working on Ulysses.) This work was pure genius, and my only regret was the fact that I was forced to read it in college and may have missed out. I have read the reviews and criticisms, much which seem to revolve around the beginning. The beginning and the end to chapter 4 are Joyce's most striking moments. Consider that the beginning is really from a child's point of view. Psychologically, Joyce is right on target, as he relates everything to how a six year old does...through the senses. The curious asking of 'why?' is what plagues the mind of a child. The major conflict between whether he should give into his carnal desires, or whether he should pursue the ministry out of fear was another stroke of genius. Stephen here is displaying what every adolescent goes through. Erik Erickson would call it the psychosocial stage of "Identity versus Identify-Diffusion". In other words, adolescents' seek to find out "who they are". Stephen does this when he sees the woman at the end...not as a carnal object, and not as something forbidden, but as a thing of beauty. Stephen becomes the "artist", he has found himself. Joyce was years ahead of his time. The fifth chapter, Stephen Hero, probably would have been better left a separate book, but it's excellent to see the character Stephen has evolved into. His wit in "Ulysses" always has me cracking a smile. Those who demonstrate a marked disdain for the book, may wish to try reading it in the shoes of the author and the age the author is in, rather than reading it 3rd person objectively, the difference is astounding.
am 14. August 1999
Now, usually I'm one of those "everyone's entitled to their own opinion" people, but everyone who read this book and just wrote it off as boring or stupid or hard to understand or whatever other comments that often get tacked on to this beautiful book may just have been (a) Not intelligent enough to understand it (b) Not mature enough for it. (c) A sad combination of both. The reason I say that is this: I first attempted to read this book when, in retrospect, I hadn't achieved an appropriate level of intellectual maturity: in my misguided youth I set it aside as impenetrable, overly convoluted, and (yes, I know) boring. Happily, I picked it up again, mostly because of all the literary hype surrounding it, touting it as a Great Book. This same hype made me a little apprehensive about it, since it would be hard for it to live up to all of that. However, I shouldn't have worried: Portrait is a wonderful book not to be missed by anyone with any intelligence. I'm the first to admit all that stream of consciousness business can be irritating and intimidating, but to me it hardly registered in the book. Portrait completely transcends that. Yes, it's pretty fascinating to analyze, but its a work that can stand on its own. Beautifully written, deeply meaningful, its an enrapturing read. Don't pass this up because it was written by James Joyce...It's not even that long, and it bears little resemblance to his other works (ahem, the TRULY imprenetrable Ulysses, the dead bore The Dubliners) in my mind. To me, this is the book he wrote which actually lives up to the reputation of the great writer James Joyce. So do yourself a favor, and click that shopping cart.
am 30. Dezember 1999
Reading the reviews for this book, you'll typically get one oftwo types of people:
1) the sullen high school student which saysthe book "sucks" because it was hard to follow and/or has a boring plot
2) the elitist pedant responding to this who calls the high schoolers are idiots who just aren't "in the know" enough to appreciate this book.
Though I tend to side with the #2ers, I hope to strike a happy medium. Yes, this book is boring if you look at it as a story with a plot and nothing else. No, you can't say this book is great because you didn't understand it but feel obligated to pretend that you did.
This book really isn't that hard to follow, plot-wise. It's a little--very little--stream of consciousness-like in its style, but if you pay attention you'll know what's going on (be grateful; in Joyce's last novel he creates his own language and writes in it). It is, however, a modernist work, which in Joyce's case means it gives the inner mind precedence over the outer world. If you can get into it, it's a wonderful book, very moving at times, and always thought-provoking. Most people place this book in the top 5 novels written this century (Joyce's other famous novel, Ulysseys, is almost always #1).
If you just can't get past the manner in which this book is written, then don't bother with it. Try again in a couple of years; I wouldn't have enjoyed this book much in high school. Otherwise, give it a serious shot--that means actually *reading* the text instead of passing your eyes across it and seeing the words--and you'll probably be very happy with it; I was, at least. END
am 2. Juni 2000
This is a plea from a disappointed reader. I've read this book and thought it tedious for the most part. While I did appreciate certain aspects of the writing, I fail to see how this book "deserves its reputation as one of the greatest novels in the history of the English language," as L.H. of Harbor Bookstore from USA baldly asserts. Certainly, all reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, but I don't understand how a negative opinion of this book proves that the reviewer "missed the boat," as it were. What's on that boat that other reviewers, like myself, have missed? What makes this such a "wonderful novel", and so unlike any other? Enough with the literary cheerleading and ad hominem attacks---give us some substance.
Personally, I didn't like the extended lecturing (it reminded my of Dostoevsky at his artistic worst; say, in the `Grand Inquisitor' chapter of "The Brothers Karamazov"). And, while I detected some early signs of Joyce's mature style, his style in this book left me unmoved, even irritated. Also, the narrative didn't seem like a "stream of consciousness" (our immediate interaction with the world is through our senses, which produce mental images, or experiences); rather, this book gives us a `stream of intelligence' (the ramblings have too much intellectual form and development). What did I miss?
am 27. September 2004
Although the hero of James Joyce's novel is called Stephen Dedalus, the events and characters depicted in it parallel the author's own experiences. In his early childhood, at the very beginning of the 20th century, Stephen was sent to Clongowes, a Jesuit boarding school near Dublin. He disliked the place because his classmates bullied him, because he was taught religion in a dogmatic way and because he was flogged unjustly by his prefect of studies. After that he spent a summer with his uncle Charles in Dublin. Stephen was then sent to Belvedere college, which he disliked as much as Clongowes. The spirit of quarrelsome comradeship couldn't turn him away from his habits of quiet obedience. He mistrusted the agitation and doubted the sincerity of such comradeship, which he felt was an awful anticipation of adulthood.
Stephen was by then aware that he didn't belong. He also felt more and more estranged from his father after having accompanied him once to Cork and witnessed his drinking habits, a journey which ended in Stephen's first experience in love making - a sordid one.
More disappointment followed as Stephen went to university, thus becoming a disillusioned young man - a disillusionment caused by academicism, love and sex, his parents, religion and perhaps also his own country, Ireland...