Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What I Like About Joyce' A Portrait

The most appealing thing about the whole novel is the stream of conciousness narrative. Due to this kind of narrative, the reader is able to wholly immerse himselfin the novel and cut himself off from the surrounding world. The narrative is totally involved with stephan dedalus and his thoughts. The other characters recede somewhere in the background as we get more and more into the narrative. At all points it is Stephan who is most important. I like this kind of self obsession. Perhaps this is because I myself am self obsessed. But that is one feature which appeals to me most.

The other one is the whole religious debate going on inside Stephan. This again resonates with thoughts that I have personally experienced. Religion was a big issue once in my life. I have transformed from a totally ignorant child to a devoutly religious teen to finally an atheist. When I say an atheis I do not mean some one sho does not believe in god. God may exist for all I know. It is just that I do not need god in my life. I do not need to pray. I do not need to believe in an almighty. My philosophy of life resonates a lot with Stephans and hence (according to critics) with Joyce's. I want to break free of all systems. I want to recognise that although some systems may be desirable and the others despicable, they are, in the end, just that - systems. All are man made, made to suit the requirements of certain place, time and people. They should not be given undue importance in life. No man should feel more attachment to them than is necessary. If it becomes necessary to change them - change them. If it becomes necessary to throw them away - throw them away. That is why I keep no attachments with the past. I don't like to keep photographs. For me they are mans attachment with his past. He should break out of it as soon as possible. All things are ephemeral, after all.

The sexual debate is not something that I can Identify with. Perhaps due to entirely different cultural background. Or perhaps I am yet to come to terms with my sexuality. I don't know. This particular thing is too complicated to think about.