Re-typing – I am rewriting Joyce’s Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man


On this day, the 35th day of re-typing Portrait Of The Artist As a Young Man, I am taken aback by how much it has become a part of my every day. After making my breakfast, I sit at my desk and do my re-type. I then post it to my personal twitter as a link, and post an interesting quote from the day through my StephenDedalu account.

I mentioned earlier that I would open up my word processor and type whatever came to my head. More often than not, when not inspired, I found myself either retyping the page again somewhat or ended up doing my own rewrite of the page. To my surprise, I’ve continued to rewrite each page a day. I didn’t plan on it, but it’s been a far more interesting result in this experiment. Here’s the first page I re-wrote:

“A long time ago in a dimension very unlike our own there was an intergalactic space ship gliding lazily among the stars and this spaceship that was gliding lazily among the stars met a little watery rock named Tormance….

Her mother told her that story: her mother looked at her as she held her in her arms: she had big eyes.

She was Tormance. The spaceship landed by the fields where outsiders lived: they sell pies.

There’s a room where the light won’t find you

Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down

When they do I’ll be right behind you


She sang that song. That was her song.

So glad we’ve almost made it.

 When you wet the bed first it is warm then it gets cold. Her father changed her diaper. Baby powder.

Her mother sounded lighter than her father. She played Tears for Fears on the mini stereo for her to dance. She danced.

So sad they had to fade it

Everybody wants to rule the world

Uncle Charles and Dante clapped. They were older than her mother and father but uncle Charles was older than Dante.

Dante had two gadgets on her person. The wrap on her wrist was a windup watch to tell time and the”

I have a few constraints with what I’m doing here: Stephen Dedalus is now Stephanie Dedalus.Whenever the father is referred to, I’ve changed it to the mother. Any political conflict I find has been replaced with analogue versus digital (or something to that effect). Instead of Ireland, I’ve made it Toronto-like (not quite Toronto because I would like for any reader to place it anywhere if possible).

Those are just a few things I’ve changed so far. Keep in mind that my re-write will be influenced by everything that is around me when I am doing it, mostly because my writing environment tends to be a busy space. For example, the passage above was written while my husband played Bioshock: Infinite and I have also been watching a lot sci-fi movies lately (ok, when am I not watching sci-fi?).

One thing I want to note here are the amount of discussions this whole project has created for me. Since I’ve started I’ve had some interesting thoughts and debates on copyright, artistic development, realistic versus expressionistic portraiture….all stemming from people asking me about this re-type.

Why are you doing this?

Why not?

What are you going to do with this?


How is this your work?

Well, every day I write a page….

And we go from there. It all depends on who I am talking to, of course. People I know ask me based on how it helps me develop. Writer folk ask me about copyright and uncreative writing. Artists ask me about Joyce’s and my own methods of creating a portrait on a page or a personal narrative (ie. how this re-type is influencing my blog and poetry). The discussion can go from something very innocuous to something heavily involved and complex. I like the answers coming out of me and the questions people elicit on top of my own questions.

Re-typing is a whole other ray in the spectrum of reading and I can’t imagine what will come out of this re-write. I’m going to wait until I finish re-typing this book before I decide what I am going do with the re-write. For now, it is titled “Portrait,” and I will continue it along with the re-type. I hope one day, regardless of how stream of consciousness or cut-up or whatever happens with it, that I can share it with you.

Keep a look out for an upcoming blog post: Film: Why Conan the Barbarian is my Citizen Kane 


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