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My Place in This World : The Role of Art and the Artist According to James Joyce and Virginia Woolf



Through Joyce's and Woolf's works, the nature of art and the role of the artist in society is a major concern for both writers. In A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man and To The Lighthouse, both writers form their ideas of the role of the artist in modern society through the characters of Stephen Daedalus and Lilly Briscoe respectively. Their aesthetics are compared and contrasted to each other as well as examined in how they hold up to the perspective of the artist in today's global society.
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JUNE 22, 2016
ABSTRACT: Through Joyce’s and Woolf’s works, the nature of art and the role of the arst in
society is a major concern for both writers. In A Portrait of the Arst As a Young Man and To
The Lighthouse, both writers form their ideas of the role of the arst in modern society through
the characters of Stephen Daedalus and Lilly Briscoe respecvely. Their aesthecs are
compared and contrasted to each other as well as examined in how they hold up to the
perspecve of the arst in today’s global society.
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The nature of art and the role of the arst in society are major concerns for both James
Joyce and Virginia Woolf. The narrave form and structure of Joyce’s A Portrait of the Arst as
a Young Man and Woolf’s To The Lighthouse contribute to the discussion of the role of art and
arst in their modern society through characters like Stephen Daedalus and Lily Briscoe. Both
characters’ arsc aspiraons can be examined closer to understand Joyce’s and Woolf’s own
perspecves on art/arst as well as understand how their perspecves measure up to the
views of today’s society. One queson to ask is whether their aesthecs were dened for their
me period and whether a more complex aesthec is necessary in today’s ever expanding
global community.
Before we can examine Joyce’s and Woolf’s ideas of art and the arst, we must rst
explore the development of the art/arsc concepts through the characters of Stephen and
Lily respecvely. As we progress through Joyce’s novel, we see the growth of Stephen as an
arst who believes that he must be free to create and must be free from constraints in order
to create art. Stephen’s growth is evident from the text in both content and form. In Stephen’s
aesthec theory (“Three things are needed for beauty, wholeness, harmony, and radiance”
(Joyce, 243), he states that there are three stages of literature. First is the lyrical form in which
“the form wherein the arst presents his image in immediate relaon to himself” (245). This
stage is the simplest form displaying the arst’s personal emoon/experience. It is the most
subjecve and almost like the immediate outcry of the soul. Second is the epical form, “the
form wherein [the arst] presents his image in mediate relaon to himself and to others”
(245). This is the next stage and the form is no longer simply personal, but also displays the
arst’s emoon/experience in relaon to others. The arst creates some distance and it is the
midway point between arst and audience. The last and truly the highest form is the dramac
form, “the form wherein [the arst] presents his image in immediate relaon to others” (245).
This form is where the arst’s emoon/experience passes into the narraon completely
(impersonal) and the arst is invisible to others as well as where characters are fully realized
and detailed.
To Stephen (Joyce echoing Gustave Flaubert), “the arst, like the God of creaon,
remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, rened out of existence,
indierent, paring his ngernails” (246). In order to be a true arst of the highest caliber, one
must be like God who is free from constraints, from limits, and is invisible. A true arst must
be “free to create” and have no constraints. In Paul Sporn’s arcle, “James Joyce: Early
Thoughts on the Subject Maer of Art,” Sporn states that “for Joyce these theories were
convicons which formed a view of man, the universe and society opposed to the
convenonal instuons of church, state and family” (19). The opposion to these types of
instuons, for Stephen, starts as the novel opens. The opening text shows Stephen as a child
freely expressing his innate desire or aracon toward Eileen. Stephen says he's going to
marry Eileen, who is a protestant, and Stephen is scolded for his free expression. His fear
makes him run under the table (an aempt to become invisible). His mother asks him to
apologize and his aunt, Dante, says, “O, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his eyes”
(Joyce, 62). Since Stephen is young, inexperienced as an arst, and cannot fully express
himself freely, he turns what Dante says into a sing-song poem. The form is very basic and
lyrical where he takes his fear and punishment and creates poetry. Later in the novel, Stephen
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will begin to feel the pull of his family's problems (which become a constraint on his freedom
to create).
At Clongowes Wood College, Stephen experiences another constraint. A boy quesons
him about his father's social rank (“What is your father?...Is he a magistrate?” (63)) through
which Stephen learns about “class” and how one should act or what one should possess in his
“class”. The boy asks him about kissing his mother and Stephen responds that he does to
which he is laughed at. Stephen retracts and then gives a response that he feels might
conform to what the boys are thinking, but that response is also laughed at. It seems that he
cannot escape these voices and feels confused and trapped. Stephen again cannot express
himself freely since his expressions are contrary or made fun of by the boys in his school.
Near the end of chapter two, Stephen goes to the bank to cash in the prize money he
has won for his essays. He uses his money to buy presents for his family, take them to
restaurants, and make investments for his family’s future. He hopes this would make up for his
family’s poor nancial standing and his father’s poor handling of their nances. Unfortunately,
when the money runs out, “his household returned to its usual way of life…He too returned to
his old life at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces” (143). Stephen’s aempts to
get closer to his family and possibly raise their class fails and ulmately he realizes “how
foolish his aim had been! He had tried to build a break-water of order and elegance against
the sordid de of life…He had not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to approach
nor bridged the restless shame and rancour that had divided him from mother and brother
and sister” (143). Again, Stephen feels trapped by both family and class. The failure to raise his
family’s nancial standing pushes him to turn to his more erce longings of his heart and he
dives head rst into his lusul passions.
Later, as Stephen gets older, he hears a message from Father Arnall at a retreat. The
message is about the physical and the spiritual nature of the torments in hell. Stephen is
haunted by the sermon and repents of his sinful ways. He then makes his body conform to
resisng dierent sins. He does this to work toward becoming part of the priesthood. Stephen
is at rst aered and intrigued by this noon of becoming a priest, but he feels a great inner
unrest as “[h]e shrank from the dignity of celebrant because it displeased him to imagine that
all the vague pomp should end in his own person or that the ritual should assign to him so
clear and nal an oce” (195). He believes priesthood to be a very structured and boring life
for himself; a life of conformity to a loy and lonely oce. “It was a grave and ordered and
passionless life that awaited him, a life without material cares” (197). Stephen feels that
“religion” is another constraint. Conforming to the priesthood would make him outwardly
appear respected, pious, and holy, but he would feel hollow inside. His “desny was to be
elusive of social or religious orders... He was desned to learn his own wisdom apart from
others or to learn the wisdom of others himself wandering among the snares of the world”
In a discussion with Davin, Stephen reveals his feeling about his country and language.
Davin is simple but is an Irish naonalist much like Stephen’s father, Mr. Casey, and Charles
Stewart Parnell. Davin implores Stephen to “try to be one of us…In heart you are an Irish man
but your pride is too powerful” (235). Stephen believes that Ireland has become a constraint
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by responding “my ancestors threw o their language and took another…They allowed a
handful of foreigners to subject them. Do you fancy I am going to pay in my own life and
person debts they made? What for?” (235). It is here that Stephen starts to construct his
aesthecs by dening constraints and in turn dening what “free to create” means.
Throughout the novel, Stephen compares himself to his namesake, Dedalus. He longs to y, to
soar, to be free of his prison in order to create something of beauty (Dedalus was a crasman).
“The soul is born…It has a slow and dark birth, more mysterious than the birth of the body.
When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets ung at it to hold it back from
ight. You talk to me of naonality, language, religion. I shall try to y by those nets” (235).
Stephen compares his constraints to nets (family, class, language, religion, naonality) that
limit him in his thinking and creaon. God has no constraints or limits and can freely create.
Stephen in turn denes “free to create” as being like God. Only then, when you are free of
your constraints, can you create something eternal and of beauty where the arst is invisible.
In the last chapter of the novel, Stephen, the character, is no longer visible, but we, as readers,
only get an impression of him through his journal entries.
It may seem that Joyce through Stephen is distancing himself from life or aempng
isolaon, or disappearing into his surroundings, and is only concerned with beauty for art
sake. Daniel M. Shea, in “From 'God of the Creaon' to 'Hangman God': Joyce's Reassessment
of Aesthecism,” states that Joyce and Stephen are not just concerned about art for art’s sake
(l'art pour l'art). Both Joyce and Stephen rest their arguments “upon a forceful claim of ‘truth’
as the highest end of drama” (127). Shea states that the problem with art for art’s sake or in
Stephen’s terms, beauty for beauty’s sake, is that “it shapes a religion of art, it ignores the
human being’s role in that religion” (128-9). Joyce and Stephen are aer truth more than
beauty. Sporn states that to Joyce, “beauty depends on truth” (Sporn, 20) and that “Joyce
diminishes the importance of beauty” (20) by “direct[ing] art towards a more vigorous and
specic purpose. For art to be authenc it must express life and interpret it truthfully…Art is
true to itself when it deals with truth” (20). Through Stephen, Joyce shows how an arst must
free himself of restraints in order to nd himself and create art to reveal truth to his society.
Near the end of the novel, Stephen is one who will “go to encounter for the millionth me the
reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of [his] soul the uncreated conscience of [his]
race” (Joyce, 280). Sporn suggests that:
[Stephen’s acons] foreshadow Joyce's need to isolate himself from the snares
of what is false in life; but it does not suggest that he abandon wring about social and
religious convenons, only that he oppose them. In seeking to present freely and
truthfully what Joyce calls the eternal laws of humanity…art becomes a serious cricism
of contemporary life. (Sporn, 22)
Joyce concerned himself with how art showed truth even if crical to modern life and the role
of the arst was to get at this truth, this beauty, and reveal it to his society.
In Woolf’s novel, Lily’s arsc aesthecs are not formulated and wrien out like
Stephen’s but must be interpreted from the text. In the beginning of the novel, we see Lily
aempng to paint a portrait of “Mrs. Ramsay reading to James” (42) except that the painng
is abstract (“no one could tell it for a human shape…she had made no aempt at likeness”
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(42)). Lily tries to capture something more about Mrs. Ramsay than what can be captured by
painng her physical form. It seems that Lily is taken with Mrs. Ramsay and her surrounding,
“her impulse to ing herself…at Mrs Ramsay’s knee and say to her…‘I’m in love with you?’ No,
that was not true. ‘I’m in love with this all,’ waving her hand at the hedge, at the house, at the
children” (17), and wants to capture the essence in her portrait. She tries to freeze a moment
in me, a moment of truth, and preserve her experience with Mrs. Ramsay.
Along with her are other characters in the novel who also try to capture or freeze me.
In chapter 17 of “The Window” secon, Mrs. Ramsay holds a dinner party bringing all of her
family and her guests together. It seems that the dinner starts o on shaky ground. Mr. Tansley
is irritated that he should be bothered for such trie maers as a dinner. Lily is unable to fulll
her womanly obligaons and adhere to Mrs. Ramsay’s prompngs to comfort Mr. Tansley, but
rather pokes fun at him. Mr. Ramsay is preoccupied and furious that Augustus Carmichael asks
for another plate of soup. Minta and Paul have not arrived for dinner. Mrs. Ramsay feels that
“nothing seemed to have merged. They all sat separate. And the whole of the eort of
merging and owing and creang rested on her” (65). So Mrs. Ramsay helps her family and
guests to mingle and when the candles are lit, she brings “the faces on both sides of the
table… nearer…into a party round a table, for the night was now shut o by panes of glass”
(76). At that moment, Mrs. Ramsay uses her social gathering as a canvas to paint her art, social
harmony. Mrs. Ramsay is able to remove the obstacles between her family and guests to bring
them together and allow them to experience a moment of life, a moment of truth that will be
frozen in their memories. Her party evokes emoons and art as it ends with Mr. Ramsay and
Augustus Carmichael recing poetry. But unfortunately, Mrs. Ramsay knows that her aempts
to freeze me is eeng when “she waited a moment longer in a scene which was vanishing
even as she looked, and then…it changed, it shaped itself dierently; it had become, she knew,
giving one last look at it over her shoulder, already the past” (87).
Another character in the novel also aempts the freezing of a moment in me. Mr.
Ramsay aempts through thought and philosophy. If philosophy’s range can be set down like
an alphabet then Mr. Ramsay has “reached Q. Very few people in the whole of England ever
reach Q” (28). But then a doubt seeps in whether Mr. Ramsay is able to get to Z and he feels
that even R might be out of his grasp:
But aer Q? What comes next? Aer Q there are a number of leers the last of
which is scarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance. Z is only
reached once by one man in a generaon. Sll, if he could reach R it would be
something. Here at least was Q. He dug his heels in at Q. Q he was sure of. Q he could
demonstrate... [but] R was beyond him. He would never reach R... He had not
genius...He would never reach R. (28-29)
Mr. Ramsay realizes his work, his aempts to freeze his experiences and his thought, was
eeng. Mr. Ramsay considers heroes and their fame and quesons, “fame lasts how long? [A
hero’s] fame lasts perhaps two thousand years. And what are two thousand years? What,
indeed, if you look from a mountain top down the long wastes of the ages? The very stone one
kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare” (29).
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Both Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay fail at their aempts to freeze a moment of me and
acknowledge that their methods are inadequate to preserve their experiences. In “Portrait of
an Arst as a Mature Woman” by Margaret E. Melia, Lily is examined as Woolf’s model for a
great arsc mind. “[Woolf] states that it is [the writer's] business to nd [reality] and collect it
and communicate it to the rest of us” (7). By this denion, we can see how Mr. and Mrs.
Ramsay’s aempts fall short. But by the end of the novel, only Lily is able to preserve her
experience and she succeeds, in Woolf’s denion, by using art to collect and communicate
reality. Lily succeeds in freezing a moment of truth. At rst, Lily struggles with the abstract
portrait of Mrs. Ramsay and James, but during Mrs. Ramsay’s dinner:
She remembered, all of a sudden as if she had found a treasure, that she had
her work. In a ash she saw her picture, and thought, Yes, I shall put the tree further in
the middle; then I shall avoid that awkward space. That’s what I shall do. That’s what
has been puzzling me. She took up the salt cellar and put it down again on a ower
paern in the table-cloth, so as to remind herself to move the tree. (Woolf, 66)
It is through Mrs. Ramsay’s aempt at preservaon of experience using the dinner party that
Lily gains her insight. But Lily does not nish her painng unl years later. It seems that Lily,
like Stephen, needs distance from her environment to create art. Melia states that “Lily's quest
is the hardest of those of the three characters, because she has rejected Mrs. Ramsay's form
of femininity and has been excluded by birth from masculinity” (13). Even from the beginning,
the readers will note that Lily’s appearance, “with her lile Chinese eyes and her puckered-up
face” (Woolf, 15), sets her apart from the family and guests. She is also set apart from Mrs.
Ramsay since Mrs. Ramsay’s impression of her is that “she would never marry…she was an
independent lile creature” (15). During the dinner scene, Lily resists Mrs. Ramsay’s
prompngs to comfort Mr. Tansley, which shows how Lily is distant in regards to her adherence
to the roles of women at the me. Lily, as an arst, has distance in naonality (Chinese eyes)
and has distance in gender (following neither expected gender roles). But Lily struggles with
her portrait because she is sll under the great inuence of Mrs. Ramsay and must acquire
distance from this force to create as an arst.
Aer ten years (and aer Mrs. Ramsay’s death), Lily returns to the Ramsay’s house and
is able to nish her portrait. Lily reects on how Mrs. Ramsay turned the dinner party into a
moment to remember, creang art out of a social gathering. “Mrs Ramsay bringing them
together; Mrs Ramsay saying, ‘Life stand sll here’; Mrs Ramsay making of the moment
something permanent…In the midst of chaos there was shape; this eternal passing and
owing…was struck into stability. Life stand sll here” (124). Inspired, Lily paints the abstract
portrait of Mrs. Ramsay and James, stang “it was done; it was nished…I have had my vision”
(159). Melia states that “unlike the Ramsays, who had abstract goals (the leer "R" for Mr.
Ramsay and resul happiness for Mrs. Ramsay)…Lily's is quite concrete. She wants to nish an
abstract painng in tangible oils and canvas, and she nishes it and reaches the ‘Reality’ of her
self-knowledge” (14). Lily is able to freeze a moment of me, get at the truth, and reveal it
through her portrait. Ljiljana Ina Gjurgjan, in “The Polics of Gender in Virginia Woolf's To the
Lighthouse and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Arst as a Young Man,”states:
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At the end of the novel Lily, led by a sudden creave impulse, nishes her
painng. In this, she is similar to Stephen; she has also given herself an arsc birth, she
has reached an epiphany. Her act of nishing her painng can therefore be seen as a
moment of self-realizaon and a teleological ending of the arsc narrave. (15)
Like Stephen, who felt that in order to create art one must be free of constraints and then
distances himself from family, class, language, religion, naonality, Lily realizes that “distance
had an extraordinary power” (Woolf, 144) and she is able to create art only by distance: of
naonality, of gender, and nally of me.
We can see how through Stephen and Lily, Joyce and Woolf are concerned with how
art revealed truth of life and the role of the arst was to collect the truth and
reveal/communicate it to praise or crique society. Their perspecves on the role of art and
the arst may be truthful and relevant in their me period, where war shook the idealisc
foundaons of government and religion, where their technology emerged as not only a helper
of mankind but also a threat, where the modern era forced a need to express in a new way,
but how does their perspecve hold up in today’s global society? To understand their
aesthecs now, let us make a brief examinaon of today’s technological impact and how it has
changed society, both socially and economically.
Over the last two decades, rapid technology development has changed how we
interact with each other. Today, instantaneous messaging and communicaon have made our
vast world smaller where an individual in London can be an acve friend with someone living
in Hong Kong. Wireless devices have made their way into everyday life in how we learn, in how
we receive and give informaon, in how we interact with our environment, in how we
perceive the world, bringing us closer, not as cizens of a physical country, but as members of
a virtual community/naon where everyone is allowed to have a voice. No longer are the elite
or the intellectuals or those in power only allowed to propagate their ideas and informaon,
but now the masses have a means to contribute in a leveled playing eld. But what does this
do to art and the arst?
The level playing eld created for the masses and the ease of reproducon using
technology threatens the principles of the individualism and uniqueness in art. Takeo
Kuwabara, a Japanese art cric at the University of Kyoto, examines the modern landscape of
Japanese art in his arcle, “Art in Today’s Society.” He believes that “[s]ince 1868, Japan has
been modernized at an accelerated pace; its economy has experienced a prodigious
development following the two world wars, which has created favorable condions for the
growth of a consumer society” (42). Kuwabara states that modern art which was a “unique
object becomes the mulple object through dierent reproducon techniques. And so arsc
value is confused with the number of reproducons, successful arsts being those whose work
has the greatest number of buyers” (40). Advances in the methods of reproducon made it
almost impossible to “disnguish the original work from its copies” (40) giving rise to “the new
art [which] is stripped of its original, it exists completely in its reproducons” (40).
With Japan’s accelerated rate of modernizaon and with mass reproducon
technologies, art types can be examined and disnguished. In the arcle, Kuwabara states that
art can be “pure” (high quality) in which the work of an arst has a specic audience for the
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work produced. Art can also be disnguished as “popular” (lower quality) in which the work is
from a professional arst working with an industrialist for the general public. Kuwabara,
focusing on literature, states that “a characterisc of…popular art is that it is the product of
the collaboraon between an arst…and a business man” (42). In Japan, popular literature
connued to develop as pure literature declined. The decline is evident in “advanced countries
where the consumer society reigns, [and] literature…has become a veritable sector of
industrial acvity” (42). Kuwabara believes that “mass producon of standardized works
brought to our knowledge by the mass media has changed the image which we had of the
work of art which is now nothing more than a consumer product” (40) and that “art is from
now on in the hands of industrialists who cannot allow themselves the slightest nancial risk”
(42). Popular literature, which was arscally poor, was on the rise while pure literature (much
higher quality) was declining. But popular literature’s growth led to its own improvement in
The great master of [literature] also went to work wring novels desned for the
masses. And this to such an extent that aer World War II the quality of popular
literature noceably improved, to the point that from then on it was dicult to
disnguish it from pure literature. (42-43)
It seemed that technological advances and industrializaon beneted the masses, and that
pure art was being le behind because of its diminishing audience. It also seemed that the
pure arst with his uniqueness and individual truths were being removed through mass
reproducon. But the truth was that the pure arst was able to survive in a newer medium
with the help of the industrialist. His collecon of truth was no longer for his local community
but for a wider audience.
Kuwabara points out that with advanced communicaons and technologies, Japan has
seen an emergence of “marginal” art, a form in which amateur arsts create work for an
uniniated audience. “This is a form…where the creator does not seek so much to take the
spotlight as to play the modest role of symbol, lost as he is in the heart of society” (44).
Marginal art’s goal is similar to Joyce’s goal with his aesthecs. Both have a desire to create a
reality of experience (truth) and “forge in the smithy of [their] soul the uncreated conscience
of [their] race [\community]” (Joyce, 280). But unlike Joyce’s aesthecs, marginal art seeks the
arst to disappear into the community, to disappear into the collecve for which the art was
created. Marginal art seems to be a threat to an arst’s need for individualism and a threat to
his voice, but, according to Kuwabar, is the trend for countries advancing in technology.
Paul Ruen is an independent researcher and advisor to Roerdam University of
Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. In his arcle, “Art, Creavity and the Economy,” Ruen
examines the economic impact on art and the arst. He discusses the rise of “creave
industries” which is similar to Kuwabara’s marginal art but is encompassed in a commercial
system. He believes that art “can contribute to reformulang certain underlying principles
which govern the economy” (3). Ruen states that during prosperous economic periods, art is
sought aer and aorded by many, but not so during periods of economic hardship:
[T]he dominant economic discourse, parcularly among policy makers, tends to
see the arts as an expenditure, a liability, a leak in the economy…Any posive external
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eects of investments in art and culture are simply not taken into consideraon, beyond
some kind of ‘luxury you can aord’. Public spending on art and culture is seen as icing
on the cake, which can be permied in mes of prosperity but not in mes of economic
downturn. The underlying implicaon is that cung down on such useless luxuries…can
only bring posive economic eects. (3)
Ruen states that the belief in cung arts for posive economic eects is a false one. But
measuring the eects of art investment is dicult. It is true that art needs an audience. The
arst seeks an audience even if he creates art for art’s sake, otherwise, art is desned to be,
according to Lily, “hung in the acs…be rolled up and ung under a sofa” (Woolf, 137). Cut-
backs during economic downturn can not only be seen at the governmental and public level,
but is also reected in educaonal systems in their evaluaon of arts and humanies, which
ulmately negates the value of art in society.
Though an extensive examinaon of the emergence of “creave industries” and its
eect as an economical force as well as the impact of art educaon in society’s value of art is
beyond the scope of this paper, it is interesng to note that Harvard president Drew Faust, in a
speech to the Royal Irish Academy at Trinity College, Dublin, sll echoes the ideas behind
Joyce’s and Woolf’s aesthec, that art reveals the truth of life and the role of the arst is to
communicate it to society. She addresses the growing trend of government and educaon
cung down on spending for arts and humanies, arguing that art and art educaon is vital in
a growing global economy. She states that “[t]he intensely compeve global economy has
driven governments, everywhere crical partners to higher educaon, to demand more
immediate, tangible returns on their investments” and that “[t]oo oen such an emphasis on
the short term can mean especially painful cuts for disciplines whose value, though harder to
measure, is no less real” (Faust, 5). She believes that arts and humanies is as important as
science, technology, engineering, math (S.T.E.M subjects). Faust states that:
[We] have a disncve obligaon to nurture and fulll the deep human desire to
understand ourselves and the world we inhabit and inherit, from the smallest
elementary parcle to the sweep of the galaxies-even when there is no praccal
applicaon close in view and even as we rightly accelerate our eorts to harvest new
technologies from knowledge in its most basic form. It is worth remembering that the
most transformavely useful of scienc discoveries oen trace their origins to
research born of sheer curiosity about who we are and how we can fathom the most
intriguing mysteries of the natural world. (6).
Faust bases her argument that what lies beneath all our eorts, our searches, our
technological advances, is our aempts to get at our fundamental truths, to understand our
roles as individuals and as communies within our environment, whether local or global. It is
these same fundamental truths that an arst creates and reveals in his art. Faust echoes the
same concepts that are Joyce’s and Woolf’s perspecves on the role of art and the arst, an
aesthec which is sll true and relevant today.
In Joyce’s novel, Stephen, longs to y, to soar in the air, to be free of his nets in order to
create something of beauty (truth). But the very air that provides Stephen ight also produces
resistance, turbulence, and alters his direcon. Joyce, in the same way, understands that
Varghese, My Place in This World - 9
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.
though he ees his nets (family, class, language, religion, naonality) in order to create art, the
nets are also responsible for shaping who he is as an arst. Lily also must ee her nets (gender
roles, Mrs. Ramsay’s inuence) but understands that it is only through Mrs. Ramsay’s inuence
(the dinner party) that she is inspired to nish her art. Today, there are newer forces that will
constraint the arst from creang truth: technological advances, globalizaon,
marginalizaon, economic pressures, industrializaon, decline of art educaon and value. But
the arst must also recognize that the new nets he escapes also shapes him as an arst and
shapes his art.
Though Joyce and Woolf’s aesthecs of art and the role of arst seem simple
compared to today’s world made complex through advancements in communicaons and
technology, their ideas and concepts sll resonates within the complexity: art reveals truth of
life, collected and communicated by the arst.
Varghese, My Place in This World - 10
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Works Cited
Faust, Drew Gilpin. "The Role of the University in a Changing World." Speech. Trinity College,
Dublin. 30 June 2010. Royal Irish Academy. Web. <hp://
Gjurgjan, Ljiljana Ina. "The Polics of Gender in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse And James
Joyce's A Portrait of the Arst as a Young Man." Studia Romanica Et Anglica
Zagrabiensia 55.(2010): 3-17.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Arst as a Young Man. Ed. Jeri Johnson. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2000. Print.
Kuwabara, Takeo, and R. Sco Walker. "Art in Today's Society." Diogenes 115.(1981): 37-54.
Melia, Margaret E. “Portrait of an Arst as a Mature Woman: A Study of Virginia Woolf's
Androgynous Aesthecs in To The Lighthouse.Emporia State Research Studies 37.1
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Ruen, Paul. “Art, Creavity and the Economy”. Tech. Roerdam: Willem De Kooning Academy,
2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
Sporn, Paul. “James Joyce: Early Thoughts on the Subject Maer of Art.College English 24.1
(1962): 19-24.
Shea, Daniel M. “From 'God of the Creaon' to 'Hangman God': Joyce's Reassessment of
Aesthecism.Art and Life in Aesthecism: De-Humanizing and Re-Humanizing Art, the
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
The Role of the University in a Changing World
  • Drew Faust
  • Gilpin
Faust, Drew Gilpin. "The Role of the University in a Changing World." Speech. Trinity College, Dublin. 30 June 2010. Royal Irish Academy. Web. <>.
The Politics of Gender in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse And James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Ljiljana Gjurgjan
  • Ina
Gjurgjan, Ljiljana Ina. "The Politics of Gender in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse And James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Studia Romanica Et Anglica Zagrabiensia 55.(2010): 3-17.
Portrait of an Artist as a Mature Woman: A Study of Virginia Woolf's Androgynous Aesthetics in To The Lighthouse
  • Margaret E Melia
Melia, Margaret E. "Portrait of an Artist as a Mature Woman: A Study of Virginia Woolf's Androgynous Aesthetics in To The Lighthouse." Emporia State Research Studies 37.1 (1988): 5-17.
Rotterdam: Willem De Kooning Academy
  • Paul Rutten
Rutten, Paul. "Art, Creativity and the Economy". Tech. Rotterdam: Willem De Kooning Academy, 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. < es_built_on_a_problematic_past_relationship>.
Art and Life in Aestheticism: De-Humanizing and Re-Humanizing Art, the Artist, and the Artistic Receptor
  • Daniel M Shea
Shea, Daniel M. "From 'God of the Creation' to 'Hangman God': Joyce's Reassessment of Aestheticism." Art and Life in Aestheticism: De-Humanizing and Re-Humanizing Art, the Artist, and the Artistic Receptor. 125-38. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.