Title

A Portrait of the Animal as a Young Artist: Animality, Instinct, and Cognition in Joyce’s Early Prose

Publication Date

2017

Journal

Humanities

Volume

6

Issue

3

First Page

56

Abstract

This essay situates James Joyce within the competing discourses of Catholic theology, evolutionary biology, and Nietzsche’s philosophy, with emphasis on their attitudes towards the body and the animal-human boundary. Joyce’s use of “instinct” in his early works (Dubliners, Stephen Hero, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) helps us understand his movement from a view of animals and the human body as frightening or paralyzing to a more open acceptance of the body and its impulses. This transition from portraying the body as an impediment in Dubliners to a source of knowledge or cognition in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man helps us better understand Joyce’s early prose and his embrace of both animal and human bodies in his later works.

DOI

10.3390/h6030056

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