Category Archives: A Portrait of the Artist

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

And I thought I had issues!

Upon reading Sons and Lovers, by DH Lawerence, I came to a realization.  Many of the books we read have Mother-Son issues in them.  No Father-Daughter issues – yet… maybe that is in the next ten.  Let’s begin with Ulysses and Portrait of a Young Artist  -Stephan Dedalus is plagued with his relationship with is Mother.  The fact that he could not bring himself to pray with her on her death bed plagues him through both books.  He continues with a incredible conflict with women and his treatment of them into adulthood.

Lolita?  No, but I bet Humphrey had mother issues too!  He was a mess all around.

Next,  we have Brave New World.  The second half of the book is the tortured relationship of Mother and Son and the demise of both their cultures.

The Sound and the Fury has THREE sons and a neuortic mother.  Neither has a healthy relationship with her and vice versa.  Benjy has no capacity to have a healthy relationship, Jason resents yet loves his mother, and Quentin loved everyone a bit too much.

Sons and Lovers – WOWZA, yes.  Paul describes his mother as if she is his lover.  Can we say dysfunctional?  A mother clinging to life and living vicariously through her living son trying to salvage a life she so wanted.  A son not knowing how to separate his relationship with his mother from a normal relationship with a woman.  The two are intertwined due to this strange defination of life through her son.

Five out of Nine books with Dysfunctional mother/son relationships.  I think I am still sticking by my all writers are nut balls post!

Is it that us daughters are just well adjusted? We get along with our fathers? Or is it male authors?  Or is it all authors?  Am I overthinking this?

Why doesn’t anyone answer my deep questions?  They aren’t rhetorical, I really want to know!!  *smile*

Grab a book, any book and READ!!!

H – Final thoughts on Artist

I have tried and tried and tried to write this final blog posting on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and… I just don’t have much to say about it!

I was so looking forward to reading this book because while Ulysses was not my favorite novel, I did appreciate and sympathize with the character of Stephen. So what could be better than a story line centered on Stephen? Well a lot of things, apparently. Instead of reading I worked on my taxes, read a number of magazines, looked over at the Kindle once in awhile, watched Tangled more than I should have, listened to the iPod, read grammar manuals for heaven’s sake, and I don’t know what else.

I just could not get into this book! I still sympathize with Stephen and think that he is quite a intriguing character. He does go through a lot of deep soul-searching in this novel. I love the coming-of-age premise and actually enjoyed the beginning of the book describing his early boarding school days. It just never captured my attention after that and didn’t pick up some of the story lines I was expecting it too, such as Stephen’s relationship with his mother.  While I still think Joyce is absolutely brilliant, his style of writing is laborious.

So, farewell to Stephen for now and hello to Humbert Humbert from Lolita, who I’m sure will be just as thought provoking as Mr. Dedalus!