A Study of the Catholic Sources in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) is one of the paramount testimonies to Joyce’s molding of religious and artistic discourses, which are threaded throughout the narrative by the establishment of precise intertextual ties with St. John Henry Newman, and with the Christian spiritual tradition. This contribution sets out to offer a detailed study of these intertextualities and their function in the novel’s discourse, so as to expand upon and, possibly, problematize further our understanding of Joyce’s ‘Catholic Literacy’. To this end, the analysis will move from an interpretation of Stephen’s overall Bildung as an act of real assent, modelled on Newman’s notion as exposed in An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870), to an overview of Joyce’s employment of mystical discursive practices in the narrative.