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This autobiographical novel tells the story of Stephen Dedalus/James Joyce through a series of brilliant incarnations which awaken the evolution of his own aesthetic perception. From his impressionable beginning as the youngest student of Clongowed Wood school to the religious struggle of a day school in Dublin and, at last, to college where he confronts his traditional upbringing and its effect on his faith and academic liberation. This complex investigation is remarkable because of its brilliant portrayal of a child intellectually blessed and, at the same time, ruined by a middle-class existence. The reader follows Dedalus through incidents of bullying and into troublesome sexual and emotional events against a background of discrimination in the Catholic Church. Joyce's work is luxuriantly clever and an exceptional achievement of style and technique.