JOYCE’S USE OF LATIN IN A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by acclaimed Irish writer James Joyce is one of the most innovative bildungsroman or Künstlerroman, coming-of-age novels, written in the English language, yet there are many instances of Joyce’s use of the Latin language throughout this semiautobiographical book. Readers may struggle with these Latin words and phrases and ask why they are included in the text. This study both identifies and analyzes those instances, testing two hypotheses: Experience and Authenticity. First, the study finds that an Irish Catholic youth would have grown up in the late 19th century attending regular masses that were conducted entirely in Latin and learning the language as part of the curriculum of a Catholic school. And to be authentic means that Joyce must demonstrate that boys often used the Latin they learned in church and school in their informal bantering. As an aid to readers of the novel, this study provides English translations of the Latin words and phrases in the contexts in which they appear in the novel. This study offers to readers an important guide to understanding why and how James Joyce uses Latin words and phrases in one of his most enduring works of art.
Keywords: Bildungsroman, Ireland, James Joyce, Latin, Portrait of the Artist.