Saturday, January 19, 2008

The longest books I have ever red: "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" - a life written by a book

Hi. It is a long time ever since I have posted my latest post, and it is also a long time since I have red the book, that I wanted to write about today. More than 15 years have passed already, since I have taken the thin, inconspicuous book from a shelf in our living room. I do not remember now, what was my main interest in it at the beginning, I think that it belonged to some series of books, that I wanted to read all...


was quite a different book than any other that I have red before. I decided to include it into this series not because it took me years before I have finished it. Not at all. The reading was quite fast, as expected from the book's slim body... The reason is, that I still see this book as one which time lies "on the other side", within myself - just like if it related my own story; at least that was the impression that I still guard within my memory, after all those years after reading it. Let me explain. Usually, when you read a book, the action (time) of the story is taking part in the outside world; if it is quite interesting and absorbing, you can engage your imagination, and even forget for a while about the reality of the world surrounding you, and dissolve your mind into the action. It is sometimes more like watching a movie than reading. But when I was reading "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" I rather felt like it was the book that was reading me. I managed to identify so strongly with the main character (Stephen Dedalus), that I came to believe, that what I lived and experienced as a child and a youngster was very similar if sometimes not the same as his. Now I can wonder, if there is really something, which you could call "a pattern of personality", or if it was just the magic of this man:

Mr. James Joyce, which made me interpret my recollections in such a way, that I believed that they made a similar path, that this of the Joyce's hero? Anyway, it was an amazing experience, and I still can feel a trace of that past enchantment deep within.

Raphael Gadomski