A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

By James Joyce

"I won't serve that during which I now not think, no matter if it name itself my domestic, my place of origin or my church: and that i will attempt to convey myself in a few mode of lifestyles or paintings as freely as i will be able to and as fully as i will be able to, utilizing for my defence the single fingers I permit myself to take advantage of — silence, exile, and cunning."
James Joyce's supremely leading edge fictional autobiography can be, within the apt word of the biographer Richard Ellmann, not anything under "the gestation of a soul." For as he describes the shabby, cloying, and occasionally terrifying Dublin upbringing of his modify ego, Stephen Dedalus, Joyce immerses the reader in his rising recognition, using language that levels from child check with hellfire sermon to a positive artist's manifesto. the result's a unique of great boldness, eloquence, and effort, a piece that inaugurated a literary revolution and has turn into a version for the portrayal of the self in our time.

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Sample text

Even now after you have written such a scathing letter to me, I can reply that not only do I forgive your harsh words but I commend you for your anger. I too have a brother whom I love, and my feelings for him guide me in this matter. I ask you likewise to understand my feelings. You must realize that when your brother attacked me harshly with such bitterness and 19 H O W T O R UN A CO UN T RY without cause, I could not simply surrender to him. On the contrary, in such a situation I had every right to expect support from both you and your army.

Still, I will say that no one ever had a more popular or praiseworthy term of service. By Hercules, I believed back then that all of Rome must have been talking about nothing except the marvelous job I was doing in Sicily. I managed to ship large amounts of 14 H O W T O R UN A CO UN T RY grain to Rome in the middle of a critical food shortage. I was courteous to all the businessmen, fair to the merchants, generous to the tax collectors, and honest in my dealings with the natives. Everyone there thought I had done a wonderful job handling my duties, and the Sicilians honored me like no previous quaestor.

Africanus imitated his father and profited not at all from his conquest of Carthage. And remember his colleague in the censorship, Lucius Mummius? Was he a penny richer when he destroyed Corinth, that wealthiest of cities? He preferred to adorn Italy, not his own house, though it seems to me by benefiting Italy he adorned his own house all the more. But I digress from the point of our discussion, which is that there is no greater vice than greed, especially among those governing our country. For to use public office for personal 41 H O W T O R UN A CO UN T RY gain is not only immoral, but also criminal and just plain wicked.

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