The intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus as he begins to question and rebel against the Catholic and Irish conventions with which he has been raised. He finally leaves for abroad to pursue his ambitions as an artist. The work is an early example of some of Joyce's modernist techniques that would later be represented in a more developed manner by Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The novel, which has had a "huge influence on novelists across the world", was ranked by Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the 20th century.
Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
I first read this book forty years ago. Recently, I realized that all I remembered of it was "auntie's skirts." (They are at eye level for the little tot following around after the grownups.) Now after carefully listening to the audio a few weeks ago, I remember the little boy getting hurt and then quickly turning his attention to something to eat. I was reminded of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales, so endearing in its cuteness.
But there isn't much interest for me in Steven Daedalus as a grown man. Is this Daedalus also a builder of a maze? The maze of ideas he attempts to find his way through is boring, especially since we know that the real artist rejected those ideas and the city where he encountered them and vowed never to return to the provincial city of Dublin. I think it is reasonable for the reader to skip over some of the religious ramblings, for we get it! And surely more creativity will follow!
As for the narration, I was willing to wade my way through the Irish brogue to experience the novel in a more authentic manner, but that may be masochistic.
Slower narration with much less accent.
Too fast, to thick accent, no emphasis.
I didn't finish the book.
Just terrible. Disjointed. Wordy. Dated. The last religious rant is just too much for me, I am dumping this. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!!
IF you choose to try the audiobook, do NOT pick the one narrated by Michael Orenstein. The narration is also terrible. I did listen to the sample before purchasing it; I certainly made a mistake.
I do not dump that many books, but this I just cannot stand.
Obviously this is one of the great modern novels. However, this narrator speed reads like the guy who used to do the FedEx commercials. Stick with the Donal Donnelly reading.
A better quality of the narration could have made this book into a 5 star listening experience.
I don't think so! It's not enjoyable to listen to this audio.M.Orenstein reads to fast and it's hard to follow and not very pleasant.
Flame of the Midwest
I started to read "A Portrait of the Artist..." in my late teens, knowing it to be a "classic," but found it stylistically unappealing to me at the time. It had become part of my (61-year-old female) "bucket list," and appealed to me out from the Audible catalogue. Alas, the stylized Brogue of the narrator's voice interfered with the mulitiplicity of literary associations I might have had, and the author's adolescent male anguishes stemming from his Catholic upbringing could not resonate in my Russophilic soul.
Stephen Daedalus, or course.
I fear I am not likely to be a reader of works he might record.
I've been tiptoeing around "Ulysses" for most of my adult life, and fearing "Finnegan's Wake" ever since to coincided with the early bout of insanity chronicled in Sylvia Plath's "Bell Jar."
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