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Discuss the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as a fictionalised autobiography.

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Introduction

Q. Discuss the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as a fictionalised autobiography. A. The question of how much autobiographical material Joyce inserted into the fictional character of Stephen Dedalus has long been a matter of debate. Scholars and critics still produce evidence on both sides of the issue, but for the most part, the question has been largely resolved through the contributions of Richard Ellman, Joyce?s definitive biographer, and Joyce?s brother Stanislaus, who wrote his own book about Joyce, My Brother?s Keeper. Despite the countless similarities between Joyce?s own childhood and that of Stephen Dedalus, Stanislaus Joyce makes it clear that ?Stephen Dedalus is an imaginary, not a real, self-portrait.? Significant details exist to verify this view, including Joyce?s school records at Clongowes and Belvedere, as well as recorded interviews with several of Joyce?s friends. ...read more.

Middle

variety of cups for his prowess in hurdling and walking.? He also recalls that Joyce was less isolated, less retentively bookish, and at times, less manageable than Stephen. In the Clongowes? Punishment Book, we find that Joyce, unlike Stephen, was never pandied mistakenly for an incident involving broken glasses, but the book does record that Joyce received at least two pandies for forgetting to bring a book to class, and on another occasion, he was pandied for using ?vulgar language.? Other variances between Stephen and Joyce are found in Joyce?s treatment of Stephen?s friends, most of whom are clearly intellectually inferior to him. Stanislaus remembers, to the contrary, that Joyce?s friends provided him with significant mental stimulation throughout his adolescent development. ...read more.

Conclusion

at the time were written in a tone of amusement even when he described going from one bar to another.? Joyce?s fictional representations of his friends at the university are just that?fictional. He changed many of their personalities, invented non-existent dialogues, and deliberately excluded significant individuals in the novel. Clearly, Stephen Dedalus is Joyce?s fictional persona, whom he used to express his ideas about the lyrical, epical, and dramatic forms of literature. In conclusion, in spite of the obvious autobiographical similarities, Stephen is a fictional representation of Joyce?s art. Stephen exists, as does the novel, as an example of the author?s ?handiwork,? behind which Joyce is ?invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent . . .? and, probably if he had his way in the matter, is still standing concealed somewhere, ?paring his nails.? ...read more.

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