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By James Joyce

The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin adolescence and adolescence, his quest for id via paintings and his sluggish emancipation from the claims of relations, faith and eire itself, is usually an indirect self-portrait of the younger James Joyce and a common testomony to the artist's 'eternal imagination'.

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Additional resources for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (UK Edition)

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Like West’s, Canetti’s rise to literary celebrity was slow and wrought with difficulty. Unlike West, however, Canetti lived his entire life, quite literally, in exile. Fleeing temporary homes in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, Nazi anti-Semitism forced him to settle permanently in England in 1939. His experience of political oppression almost certainly contributed to the fatalism and paranoia that characterizes much of his work. In addition to Auto-da-fe, Canetti is most known for a psycho-sociological study of crowd behavior entitled Crowds and Power.

The group teasing of both of the barber and later of David himself underscores the threatening nature of verbal communication. David’s own narrative only enhances this effect, generated as it is from his own (mis)translation of actual events. The visual image (David’s face in the barber’s window, or the telephone poles) here and in many other places in the narrative, offers the “safe” translation. A crucial facet of this safety resides in the fact that there is no narrative accompaniment. As David is repeatedly drawn to “a wordless faith, a fi xity, mellow and benign” we see that wordlessness, rather than opening into endless abstraction, seems to signify a stasis of meaning, the ultimate safe haven.

On that day he was enveloped by and “dissolved” into a crowd of irate workers who burned down Vienna’s Palace of Justice in protest over a controversial verdict. In that experience, he “found both theme and image for life’s work . . ”11 An idea for fiction also came to Canetti in 1927, but the novel was influenced more by Canetti’s impressions of paintings—most notably Rembrandt’s The Blinding of Samson and Brueghel’s The Triumph of Death—as well as his fascination with the power of the fixed idea.

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