All posts tagged: A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man

Modernist novels that I love and hate

A Conversation Between Two Modernists

I’ve been reading a handful of modernist novels lately. In fact, I picked this as the theme for the book discussion that I hosted for our book club last month. Currently, I’m reading some palate cleansers to resume my modernist streak. But I want to go back soon. It’s evident with my choice of topic for today’s Writing 101 challenge. Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a …

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

Before Ulysses, there was a portrait – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

There was an occasion when one of my commenters pointed out that I haven’t finished Ulysses yet when I claimed to have finished all the books that I list on my monthly reading plans. A keen observer, I should say, for yes, the book completely slipped off my mind when I made that claim. I went ahead to explain that I still do read Ulysses, but only during the weekends. But when these weekends come, I find myself procrastinating, especially if I am in the midst of a book that I am enjoying so much. Why stop reading and replace the entertainment with tedious labor? Before I read Ulysses, I already have my prejudices dead set against it although there’s still a flicker of hope that I could somehow appreciate it. These prejudices have been formed when I read his other slimmer work, A Portrait. It is somehow a prequel to Ulysses for one of its main characters is the former’s hero, Stephen Dedalus. –You made me confess the fears that I have. But I …

Best of 2011

The Best And The Worst Reads Of 2011

Again, I am taking a break from the weekly book write-up to sort of honor the best books that I have read this year. There are already a lot of book blogs with similar posts, and I am tempted to pattern my best and worst list from some. I chose not to because I know I would never finish this post. So what I did is that I thought of a pseudo-award for each book included in my list. Let me just state for the record that 2011 is the most voracious reading year in my life. Ever. Hurrah! That’s 52 books, if you want to know, which is more or less one book a week. I hope to do an encore next year. Or even beat this record. Below is the list of books that I gave five stars, in alphabetical order. They are 12, so I might as well call them The 12 Books of 2011. Titles with an asterisk (*) are books that are in my Top 5. Without further ado here …

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man – James Joyce

Date Started: May 29, 2011. 11 PM. The first chapter was promising despite the shifty narrative. I even confused myself for mistaking a character named Dante for a man. Dante is a woman. Isn’t Dante too masculine a name for a woman? And after all the good impressions, everything went plummeting down on the second chapter. I no longer get it. I wonder if it could redeem itself on the third chapter.