JAMES JOYCEJames Joyce was a modernist. He was influenced by French authors as Flaubert and Baudelaire who believed in the impersonality of the artist. In Joyce geographical and sociological details are very important. His novels open in “medias res”, with the analysis of particular movement and the portrait of the characters is based on introspection rather than a description. He believed in impersonality of the author, so he use the DIRECT INTERIOR MONOLOGUE, the adoption of the characters thought is a monologue, the INDIRECT INTERIOR MONOLOGUE, present thoughts as seen from within the characters mind, but narrated in 3° person, and the STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS, a flow of thought free associates without apparent logical links.
In the Joyce’s books, the style is realistic, whit a lot of details and moments. He called this moments “EPIPHANIES”, when details or moment buried (seppelliti) for years in one’s memory suddenly surface in one’s mind.
“A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN”: the central figure is Stephen Dedauls. “A portrait of the artist as a young man” is an autobiographical novel because is based on the author’s life. Joyce and Stephen attended the same Jesuit college and break with the Church. This is a symbolic novel: in the story, Stephen escape from Ireland that represents the labyrinth. An implicit element of the myth is Dedalus’s son, Icaro, who felt into the sea because of his pride and arrogance. Joyce use symbols: FLIGHT signify escape from imprisonment; WATER mean danger and captivity (prigionia), LABIRINT signify the imprisonment of Ireland. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death for preaching the new religion (Stephen thinks of accused of heresy himself as a victim of incomprehension of his own lord). Like a martyr, Stephen doesn’t retract his words of his conviction.
Stephen has the rebellious attitude to his teachers and school. Ireland was extremely conservative society. Stephen comes into conflict with key aspect of Irish life and culture. Romanic Catholic Church is described as physically repressive. Stephen has to struggle long and hard to free himself Ireland’s history and culture attract him, but in second time he realise that was only an other way to suffocated the individual.