Discussion on James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Joyce had a copy of Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” with him. Joyce had a deep respect for Wilde, and felt a relationship with him, due to the fact that both of them were Irish. After reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, Joyce had an objection over suppressed sexual references in the novel, and wished Wilde had developed a better approach, as he stated in his letters. Keeping that in mind, when he wrote his novel, “The Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man”, he used a more modern and open approach, in order to make sure his novel did not have any suppressed emotions, unlike Wilde’s.
Quite a lot of similarities can be noticed among the two writers mentioned above. Both of the novels support aesthetics theory and were marked as immoral by the critics. Both writers seem to support “beauty” as an ideal thing, created by artists, hiding behind in the shadows, yet they describe artists who portray themselves through their art. Both claimed kinetic arts as trifle, still they were clearly engaged in it. Lastly Wilde and James, both supported Irish nationalism and Irish War of Independence.
Wilde had to face immediate criticism as soon as his novel was first published. It was called, unclean and he was forced to edit many parts of his story, and even add a preface. It was hard to get it accepted as a read by the public. Although it gained fame, it became a taboo that everyone was afraid of discussing. Modern era however, views his work as a device which was never pushed to its fullest.