1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 108: A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man, by James Joyce

You know what the difference between Stephen Dedalus and Holden Caulfield is? I mean other than the fact that one is a brilliant, articulate budding genius, and the other is an mumbling, repetitive, ignorant dullard. And I mean other than the fact that one name is well thought out and based upon Grecian mythology, while the other one was likely pulled out a phone book at random. Sure, they were both loners, angst ridden teens, but Dedalus actually had the balls to make it with the prostitute (though he was awfully eager to repent after an epically long, fire-and-brimstone sermon), where as Caulfield just made himself look like a fool. Dedalus, the protagonist of James Joyce’s beautifully written narrative detailing the internal struggles of naïve teen whose reasoning skills eventually eclipse his naivety, and in the process turns his belief system upside down, encouraging the young man to abandon his faith and family. It is what Catcher In The Rye wishes it was, and it is a tragedy that there are 65 million copies of Catcher In The Rye sold worldwide, while A Portrait Of The Artists As A Young Man can’t even manage to get onto a high school reading list! Catcher In The Rye is a cheap imitation of the beautifully written prose of James Joyce, but Joyce’s work, though appreciated by most who read, will remain an underappreciated work while knock-offs like Catcher In The Rye, The Bell Jar and Less Than Zero fill the destitute personal libraries of faux literary geniuses.


Words I thought I’d look up (and I skipped all the Latin phrases… there were a LOT!!!):


Salubrious: Good for health.

Venial: Easily forgiven.

Contrition: Repentance.

Plenipotentiary: Having full power.

Dank: Damp or cold.

Ciborium: Alter canopy.

Dubitative: A large prawn (which is an edible crustacean).

Sodalist: Member of solidarity.

Genuflecting: Kneel.

Humeral: Of the humerus, or the upper bone of the arm.

Dalmatic: A vestment worn by a priest.

Acolyte: Follower or assistant.

Novena: Recitation of prayers.

Novitiate: Probationary period.

Acquiescence: Agree to something passively.

Thurible: a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in the Catholic Church as well as in Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, some Lutheran, Old Catholic, and in various Gnostic Churches.

Execration: A curse.

Sonorously: Producing sound.

Eugenics: Selective breeding.

Arcade: Passageway with arches.

Augury: An omen or portent.

Pediment: A gable on colonnade: in classical architecture, a broad triangular or segmental gable surmounting a colonnade as the major part of a façade, or, a broad rock area: a broad flat rock surface of low relief adjacent to a steeper slope in a dry region, e.g. that of a mountain range, often covered with rock debris

Veneration: Feeling of respect.

Decollated: Separate paper.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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