Today in Wednesday’s book quote, we revisit A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. If you remember in our previous encounter A morning inspiration we examined Joyce’s exceptional discourse about the spirit and unfettered freedom the instant upon his waking in the morning just prior to awakening wholly. Today we delve into what I consider to be his ‘artistic-soul’ transitioning from boyhood to adulthood.
What makes this section most remarkable is he contextualizes it with simply wandering on a beach. I’ve walked on beaches before and had my encounters with waves, birds and even girls which have made me swoon, but this walk where Joyce finds himself he translates all those aforementioned images into mythological wonders which transfigure his youthful artistic-soul into the honed-in dedicated adult artist. Not only that, he has written the most illuminating description about the power and beauty of the feminine upon man: