Friday, September 01, 2006

New to Me: James Joyce

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Though I am sure the book is required reading for most English major types, I was thoroughly impressed by the description of Stephen Dedalus' artistic epiphany - some devastatingly life-transforming satori:
- Stephaneforos!
His soul had arisen from the grave of boyhod, spurning her graveclothes. Yes! Yes! Yes! He would create proudly out of the freedom and power of his soul, as the great artificer whose name he bore, a living thing, new and soaring and beautiful, impalpable, imperishable.

Her image had passed into his soul for ever and no word had broken the holy silence of his ecstasy. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life! A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all the ways of error and glory. On and on and on and on!

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