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DATING STEPHEN’S DIARY: WHEN DOES A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST END?

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Chapter Summary

Although only a single historical date --1829 -- is specified in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the crucial year during which Stephen writes his diary entries can be established with certainty as 1903. Based on that date, major episodes in the novel can also be dated. The Christmas dinner scene, for example, takes place on December 25, 1891, and all of Chapter III occurs during just a few days in December 1898. Precise knowledge of the dates in A Portrait helps us to recognize the level of control that Stephen gains over his experience by the end of the novel, and to understand the backdrop to Stephen’s reappearance in Ulysses.

10.1163/9789042032385_006
/content/books/b9789042032385s006
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