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By James Joyce

"I won't serve that during which I now not think, even if it name itself my domestic, my native land or my church: and that i will attempt to convey myself in a few mode of existence or paintings as freely as i will and as completely as i will, utilizing for my defence the single palms I permit myself to exploit — silence, exile, and cunning."
James Joyce's supremely cutting edge fictional autobiography can also be, within the apt word of the biographer Richard Ellmann, not anything lower than "the gestation of a soul." For as he describes the shabby, cloying, and infrequently terrifying Dublin upbringing of his adjust ego, Stephen Dedalus, Joyce immerses the reader in his rising realization, making use of language that levels from child seek advice from hellfire sermon to a positive artist's manifesto. the result's a singular of great boldness, eloquence, and effort, a piece that inaugurated a literary revolution and has turn into a version for the portrayal of the self in our time.

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Example text

One by one, the gregarious, confident layers of his self peel off, and he surrenders to longer and longer bouts of inaction and brooding. Like Carrie, he sits in a rocking chair, absorbed in the flow of random thoughts and jumbled feelings. Each stage of his decline is marked by some physical gesture: his shabby clothes, stubbly beard, and haggard face; his insatiable scanning of newspapers; his long hours lounging in hotel chairs in order to keep warm and pass the long afternoons; his demented counting of his money as it dwindles, especially after his desperate attempt to recoup at the poker table fails; and his scrimping on food to save pennies.

In the 1890s, Chicago舗s expansion accelerated at a frenzied pace; new buildings sprang up on every block. The cocky city seemed to offer unprecedented opportunities for success to those who could ride the crest of this wave. In the first half of Sister Carrie, the lower rungs of the social hierarchy舒the factory workers and the large armies of the unemployed, the ill, the petty criminals, the unassimilated immigrants, and the poor unable to fend for themselves舒lurk in the shadows of Dreiser舗s canvas.

Paul on business, they measured their success not only by how many orders their customers placed but by how grandiose the hotel they stayed in was. When Hurstwood舗s wife forces him out of their home, he consoles himself by spending the night at Palmer House, Chicago舗s most elegant hotel. On the lam, Hurstwood chooses a hotel in Montreal that he hopes will conceal his identity (detectives are on his trail). Arriving in New York, he registers in a hotel, respectable but not expensive, that his friends are unlikely to frequent (he is mortified at the prospect of encountering old acquaintances who will know the reason for his flight).

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