A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Overview of The Introduction By Seamus Deane
The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man began life in 1903 as Stephen Hero—a projected 63-chapter semi -autobiographical novel in a realistic style. • After 25 chapters, Joyce abandoned Stephen Hero in 1907 and set to reworking its themes and protagonist into a condensed five-chapter novel, dispensing with strict realism and making extensive use of free indirect speech (stream of consciousness) that allowed the reader to peer into Stephen's developing consciousness. • American modernist poet Ezra Pound had the novel serialized in the English literary magazine The Egoist in 1914 and 1915, and published as a book in 1916 by B. W. Huebsch of New York. • The publication of A Portrait and the short story collection Dubliners (1914) earned Joyce a place at the forefront of literary modernism.
The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Famous Quote - Stephen Dedalus, “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning.” (Joyce)
Introduction A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) ends with a beginning (Deane vii). Stephen Dedalus emerges in the last pages of the last chapters the ‘I’ who will forge…”the uncreated conscience of my race ”(Joyce 275). *pg vii
“Stephen, as a child, as boy and a young man, is seduced time and again by siren voices – parental, political, religious, sexual, literary – but concludes ultimately only to his own voice, or to the ventriloquial version of his own voice that he assigns to his ‘soul’”. *pg vii
“The Portrait is among the most important of Irish novels because it is the first to examine the distorted relationship between the Irish community and oppression and to focus upon the oppressions ultimate resource – the cooperation of the oppressed” * pg vii
The Easter Rising in Dublin Around noon on Easter Monday of 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists--members of the Irish Volunteers--launch the so-called Easter Rising in Dublin, seizing a number of official buildings and calling on all Irish patriots to resist the bonds of British control. *pg viii
Since the outbreak of World War I, the leading Irish nationalist, Sir Roger Casement, had pressed the German government to see the potential benefit of an Irish rebellion against British rule. • Consequently, on April 2, the German merchant ship Aud was sent to the Atlantic coast of Ireland, loaded with some 20,000 rifles and 1 million rounds of ammunition bound for the hands of the Easter rebels. • Before the Aud reached its destination, however, a British ship intercepted it, and the crew members of the Aud scuttled the ship with all its cargo. • When Casement himself traveled from Germany to Tralee Bay, also on the Atlantic coast, three weeks later, he was put ashore by the Germans on an inflatable raft. • He was subsequently arrested, tried and executed for treason by the British authorities.
Meanwhile, plans for the Easter Rising had gone ahead without Casement or German help. • Due to last-minute uncertainty, however, one of its leaders canceled the orders for mobilization on the Saturday before the planned uprising—because of this only 1,600 of an expected 5,000 participants gathered at Liberty Hall on April 24 to march towards the center of Dublin. • There, they seized the post office, several court buildings, St. Stephen's Green and several other locations. • From the steps of the post office, the rebels declared Ireland an independent republic, stating that We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.
Despite the rebels' hopes, the public did not rise to support them, and they were quickly crushed by the police and government forces sent against them, among them some newly recruited troops bound for service in World War I. • Sixty-four rebels were killed during the struggle, along with 134 troops and policeman, and at least 200 civilians were injured in the crossfire. • Fifteen of the uprising's leaders were eventually executed; a sixteenth, Eamon de Valera, was saved from a death sentence because he was an American citizen
In Conclusion – Easter Rising in Dublin Even in its failure, the Easter Rising and the continued volatility of the so-called Irish question demonstrated the thwarted desires for self-determination that still bubbled beneath the surface in Great Britain, as in many countries in Europe, even as the larger matter of international warfare superseded them for the moment. *pg viii
Cultural Resurgence by W. B. Yeats The English thought of the Irish as uncouth barbarians, but a new generation of the Irish looked into their island's past and worked to prove the English wrong. Intellectuals like William Butler Yeats, Douglas Hyde, and Lady Augusta Gregory called for the preservation and appreciation of Irish storytelling, Celtic art, and the fast-fading Irish language. Hyde founded the Gaelic League to promote the Irish language. By 1906 there were more than 900 branches, with more than 100,000 members. In 1903 Yeats and Gregory founded the Irish National Theatre at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and promoted the production of distinctively Irish plays. In these expressions of Irish culture, many Irish people realized for the first time that their people had a history and culture all their own and every bit as worthy as the English. These movements provided Irish people with an identity and a rallying point for their nationalist feelings. *pg viii
The Celtic Revival covers a variety of movements and trends, mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries, which reflected on the traditions of Celtic literature and art. • Although the revival was complex, occurring across many fields and in various countries in North-West Europe. • Also known as the Irish Literary Revival or the Celtic Twilight, Irish writers including Yeats, Lady Gregory, "AE" Russell, Edward Martyn and Edward Plunkett stimulated a new appreciation of traditional Irish literature and Irish poetry in the late 19th and early 20th century. • The Celtic Revival movement encouraged works written in the spirit of Irish culture as starkly distinct from English culture. • The Celtic Revival was due to the political need for an individual Irish identity during the Irish Independence movement at the turn of the 20th century.
In Conclusion -Celtic Revival, Gaelic Revival, or Irish Renaissance • The Celtic Revival was kept alive by invoking Ireland's historic past, its myths, legends and folklore. There was an attempt to revitalize the native rhythm and music of Irish Gaelic. • Figures such as Lady Gregory, William Butler Yeats, George Russell, J.M. Synge and Sean O'Casey wrote plays, novels, poems and articles that reflected the political state of Ireland at the time. • Gaelic revival and Irish nationalism frequently overlapped in public gathering places as well as in writing and art. • pg viii
British Oppression The English colonized Ireland in the 12th century and for almost 800 years oppressed the indigenous people through force, England having a much larger army and greater military resources. They tried to eradicate the religion, language, culture and traditions of the Irish and many historians would say even the Irish people themselves. They dispossessed the Irish from their lands, handing them over to British settlers through a number of "plantations", most successfully the plantation of Ulster, which is why there are many people of British descent and protestant faith (the native Irish being predominantly catholic) in Northern Ireland today. Throughout the 800 years of British rule, native Irish people were beaten, murdered and sold into slavery by the British who considered them a subspecies. As you can imagine this led to a great deal of resentment and hatred on the part of the Irish people. *pg viii
Between 1171 and 1801 a number of laws were enacted to bind the two countries legally, culminating with the act of union in 1801 which included Ireland as a part of an extended united kingdom. • The Irish, both catholic and protestant, rebelled and rose up against their oppressive overlords on many occasions but it was not until the Easter rising of 1916 and the subsequent war of independence that the Irish regain control of most of their homeland. • However, the Anglo-Irish treaty that gave Ireland independence did so on the condition that the six counties of what was to become Northern Ireland were to remain under British rule with the remaining 26 counties to become the sovereign independent nation of the Republic of Ireland. • This was deemed unacceptable by a great many Irishmen who maintained that Ireland was an island comprised of 32 counties and were unwilling to countenance any suggestions of partition of the island or any further British presence in Ireland. *pg viii
A bitter civil war ensued between pro- and anti-treaty forces. The pro-treaty side had the backing of the new government of the Republic of Ireland and it's army and eventually won the war. • However, the strong anti-treaty feelings did not go away and remain to this day. • Because of the plantation of Ulster, the population of Northern Ireland was made up of a majority of protestant people of British descent who were loyal to the British crown and inhabited lands stolen from the native population in the preceding hundreds of years. • However a large indigenous Irish population who refused to be driven out of their ancestral home remained in Northern Ireland. • Under partition these people were treated as second class citizens by consecutive loyalist governments and subjected to severe abuses of their human and civil rights right up until the 1990s and beyond. *pg viii
For many years Catholics and republicans (those who want Ireland to be totally free of British rule and to once again stand united as an island nation) were openly discriminated against in issues of housing and employment and electoral areas rigged (a process called gerrymandering) by the ruling loyalists in order to keep them from gaining any sort of political foothold. • This led the republicans on both sides of the border to again take up arms against their foreign oppressors and a violent and bloody conflict has been ongoing between both sides since the 1950s. • This conflict was not confined to Northern Ireland, with both sides carrying out civilian atrocities in both mainland Britain and the Republic of Ireland. A lessening of hostilities had began to be seen in the past 15 - 20 years and a peace process begun. • However in the last 2 years dissident republican groups have restarted their campaign of violence against loyalists, thought to be due to the fact that they believe that with peace in Northern Ireland comes the end of any hope of a united Ireland. *pg viii
Catholic Church Oppression The introduction of Christianity to Ireland dates to sometime before the 5th century, presumably in interactions with Roman Britain. Christian worship had reached pagan Ireland around 400 AD. It is often misstated that St. Patrick brought the faith to Ireland, but it was already present on the island long before Patrick arrived. The Catholic church was seen as a product of Rome and not of Ireland. It was viewed by Joyce as oppressive due to its greed, restrictive thinking, puritanical sexual restraint and, punitive belief system. The Celts/Gaels were polytheistic The Celts practiced both animal and human sacrifices The Celts were a warrior clan and similar the Scotts Celtic Religion was strong on communal and ritual celebration The Celts beliefs involved a variety of supernatural beings The Celts believed in immortality and life after death Celtic religious practices placed a great importance on plants and animals The Celts believed that the world was alive Celtic festivals are related to four main dates Celtic beliefs did not die after arrival of Christianly Celts were not patriarchal pg vii
So Why did Joyce Reject Yeats and the Celtic Revival? • “Joyce was unforgiving in his analysis of the Irish version of degeneration, but he came to understand that the morbidity of he community's condition was not the consequence of lost wholeness or of a traditional culture. • Instead, it was the adherence to deforming systems of belief and modes of behavior that kept the Irish in bondage. • It was fear of freedom, fear of the body, fear of the complexity of experience that would be in excess of the conventions which attempted to organize it into stereotyped patterns that wounded the Irish sprit. • This fear was all the more pronounced because the conventional systems by which the Irish lived were borrowed, from both London and Rome; even their revival was, in his view a fake, both because it found its ratification in misty and suspect past rather than in the present and because it reproduce – in its valorization of manliness, sexual purity, the glory of defeat, the imaginative destiny of the Celt or Gael, the spiritual and religious character of a race – the very features of its colonial – Catholic oppression that it was trying to erase” *pg ix