Five points that were raised during the presentation titled ‘The Artist Figure in A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man’
1. Language as having the autonomy at making connections on its own. This is rasied with particular reference to the presence of what we call ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in the text.
2. Loss of faith in religion as reason for rise of the epiphany. This can be seen from Stephen’s rejection of priesthood while embracing his destiny of being an artist, a realization he received from the epiphanic moment he had with the girl at the beach.
3. The epiphany can be viewed as a narcissistic experience. This makes Stephen more of an aesthete than artist, because the latter requires humility.
4. External reality is perceived by Stephen as a representation of something else (i.e. a metarepresentation). Thus, the connection to reality to his own consciousness makes him God-like and therefore again valorizing the artist as a supreme figure.
5. An epiphany is always accompanied by ironies. This is an issue raised during the discussion after the presentation. The notion here is how could one create a national identity that is obliterated from any notion of nationalism at all?