On our next step in our journey through time and exploring "Books by the Decade," I'm selecting a classic that has been on my "to read" list for years. Widely considered the forerunner for a generation of books that came after it, including Catcher in the Rye (which sparked a heated discussion), I think James Joyce's semi-autobiographical tale of his growth as a writer will provide a thought provoking and interesting conversation. Further, I think it will be interesting to compare it with our April book in terms of both writing style and content.
My goal is to find an Irish pub for us to have this discussion!
First published in 1916, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man represents the transitional stage between the realism of Joyce's Dubliners and the symbolism of Ulysses, and is essential to the understanding of the later work.
The novel is a highly autobiographical account of the adolescence and youth of Stephen Dedalus, who reappears in Ulysses, and who comes to realize that before he can become a true artist, he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics and essential bigotry of his background in late 19th century Ireland.