"His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before."
There’s no way to properly introduce Joyce. What is it to say about him? Irish writer? Linguistic innovator? Re-creator of the Babylon? Master of the stream-of-consciousness? One of the giants in the entire literature of the world? How’s that supposed to bring a good measure?
Here’s what you’ll get if you read this book: take the greatest cake you have ever tasted. A cake with infinite layers, and infinite tastes combined by the greatest orchestra director in the world. And think the equivalent of such wizardry in the world of crafted words. This is Joyce and this is how you will recognise him always among other writers.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: this is where Stephen Dedalus is born, this is where he grows up, this is where he conquers the ability to master language, to understand the senses. This is the novel of awaking consciousness. If there’s only one novel by Joyce to try out, take this one.