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Dubliners (Book Center)

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Although James Joyce began these stories of Dublin life in 1904, when he was 22, and had completed them by the end of 1907, they remained unpublished until 1914 — victims of Edwardian squeamishness. Their vivid, tightly focused observations of the life of Dublin's poorer classes, their unconventional themes, coarse language, and mention of actual people and places made pub Although James Joyce began these stories of Dublin life in 1904, when he was 22, and had completed them by the end of 1907, they remained unpublished until 1914 — victims of Edwardian squeamishness. Their vivid, tightly focused observations of the life of Dublin's poorer classes, their unconventional themes, coarse language, and mention of actual people and places made publishers of the day reluctant to undertake sponsorship. Today, however, the stories are admired for their intense and masterly dissection of "dear dirty Dublin," and for the economy and grace with which Joyce invested this youthful fiction. From "The Sisters," the first story, illuminating a young boy's initial encounter with death, through the final piece, "The Dead," considered a masterpiece of the form, these tales represent, as Joyce himself explained, a chapter in the moral history of Ireland that would give the Irish "one good look at themselves." But in the end the stories are not just about the Irish; they represent moments of revelation common to all people. Now readers can enjoy all 15 stories in this inexpensive collection, which also functions as an excellent, accessible introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Dubliners is reprinted here, complete and unabridged, from a standard edition.


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Although James Joyce began these stories of Dublin life in 1904, when he was 22, and had completed them by the end of 1907, they remained unpublished until 1914 — victims of Edwardian squeamishness. Their vivid, tightly focused observations of the life of Dublin's poorer classes, their unconventional themes, coarse language, and mention of actual people and places made pub Although James Joyce began these stories of Dublin life in 1904, when he was 22, and had completed them by the end of 1907, they remained unpublished until 1914 — victims of Edwardian squeamishness. Their vivid, tightly focused observations of the life of Dublin's poorer classes, their unconventional themes, coarse language, and mention of actual people and places made publishers of the day reluctant to undertake sponsorship. Today, however, the stories are admired for their intense and masterly dissection of "dear dirty Dublin," and for the economy and grace with which Joyce invested this youthful fiction. From "The Sisters," the first story, illuminating a young boy's initial encounter with death, through the final piece, "The Dead," considered a masterpiece of the form, these tales represent, as Joyce himself explained, a chapter in the moral history of Ireland that would give the Irish "one good look at themselves." But in the end the stories are not just about the Irish; they represent moments of revelation common to all people. Now readers can enjoy all 15 stories in this inexpensive collection, which also functions as an excellent, accessible introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Dubliners is reprinted here, complete and unabridged, from a standard edition.

30 review for Dubliners (Book Center)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    Life is full of missed opportunities and hard decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to actually do. Dubliners creates an image of an ever movie city, of an ever moving exchange of people who experience the reality of life. And that’s the whole point: realism. Not everything goes well, not everything is perfectly constructed. Life is random and unpredictable. If we’re not careful it may escape from us entirely. There are two types of stories in Dubliners. The first, and by far the m Life is full of missed opportunities and hard decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to actually do. Dubliners creates an image of an ever movie city, of an ever moving exchange of people who experience the reality of life. And that’s the whole point: realism. Not everything goes well, not everything is perfectly constructed. Life is random and unpredictable. If we’re not careful it may escape from us entirely. There are two types of stories in Dubliners. The first, and by far the most effective, are those associated with despair, nihilism and death. The second type deals with more ordinary aspects of modern life, the representation of the city and social exchanges. As a collection they provide an image of dark, murky city struggling to cope with the problems associated with rapid urbanisation. The stories do not intertwine, but you are left with the impression that they are not that far from each other: their proximity feels close as you read further into each one. The true mastery of Joyce’s writing reveals itself in what he doesn’t say, the subtle suggestions, the lingering questions, as each story closes without any sense of full resolution. And, again, is this not true of real life? In narrative tradition there is a structured beginning, middle and end, but in the reality of existence it doesn’t quite work this way. Life carries on. It doesn’t have a form of narrative closure, a convenient wrapping up of plot, after each wound we take in life. It carries on. We carry on. And for the Dubliners isolation carries on. “He could not feel her near him in the darkness nor hear her voice touch his ear. He waited for some minutes listening. He could hear nothing: the night was perfectly silent. He listened again: perfectly silent. He felt that he was alone.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Was James Joyce the greatest English language writer in modern times? I don’t know, maybe, but Dubliners helps to make his case. Brilliant in it’s subtle, realistic way. Fifteen stories that paint a portrait of Dublin at the turn of last century. "The Dead" is the final story and the most poignant and powerful but several stand out as exceptional, and they are all good. “Counterparts” is a disturbing close up look at the old drunken Irish family stereotype that fails to be humorous. “A Mother” t Was James Joyce the greatest English language writer in modern times? I don’t know, maybe, but Dubliners helps to make his case. Brilliant in it’s subtle, realistic way. Fifteen stories that paint a portrait of Dublin at the turn of last century. "The Dead" is the final story and the most poignant and powerful but several stand out as exceptional, and they are all good. “Counterparts” is a disturbing close up look at the old drunken Irish family stereotype that fails to be humorous. “A Mother” though epitomizes the stereotype of a blusterous, stubborn as a mule Irish mother. And about those Irish stereotype? Might they have been given voice by Joyce through Dubliners? A highly influential work from a respected, inspiring author - this is great reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Garima

    Before embarking towards my maiden Joyce read, I prepared myself to pour in as much effort required on my part to understand Dubliners. I didn’t assume them to be incomprehensible or distant, but an anxiety akin to meeting a known stranger for the first time was definitely present. The said anxiety shortly materialized into a much-awaited prospect after reading the opening story and finally transformed into a confident and gentle companion who led me through the sepia streets of an unassuming ci Before embarking towards my maiden Joyce read, I prepared myself to pour in as much effort required on my part to understand Dubliners. I didn’t assume them to be incomprehensible or distant, but an anxiety akin to meeting a known stranger for the first time was definitely present. The said anxiety shortly materialized into a much-awaited prospect after reading the opening story and finally transformed into a confident and gentle companion who led me through the sepia streets of an unassuming city. Dublin, as I soon realized, was just around the corner. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play. Calmly engaged within the secure air of its daily affairs, the people of Dublin were also ostensibly calm and secure and yet a moment reflection about a dormant or potential life managed to extract stories which were snuggled in simple form and simpler titles but traced intricate and at times, unheeded emotions. An aimless walk concluded in cheap happiness and an embarrassing accident convinced someone to search for an elusive redemption. A death unveiled the value of oblivious living while a motherly conduct was driven by frustrations and misplaced ambitions. Most of these characters were representative, not whole but of a remarkable fragment of lives that we either experience ourselves or witness in others during the time we live. She sat amid the chilly circle of her accomplishments, waiting for some suitor to brave it and offer her a brilliant life. A perpetual struggle for attention between past and present was an integral part of these stories sans any violent clashes. Some of them appeared as if being viewed from a neighbor’s window and some welcomed me through a cordial door and took their time to introduce every element of the household. I admired how well the majority of people were coping with the consequences of their choices and how easily they found humor in the ironies of life. And I quailed on seeing the suffocation of the negligible minority on being caught in the web of their inhibitions. I understood that even after getting a crystal clear view of their circumstances from a vantage point, they still refused to adopt a different course, to sail away to a different country, to a dreamy world. It was hard work – a hard life – but now that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life. With every subsequent narration, I imagined Joyce to be in deep contemplation about everything and everyone around him. I imagined him to carefully select an appropriate frame for his various thoughts and placing each one of them at their desirous place. I imagined how he must have wanted to capture an epiphanic moment among the melancholic tune of Irish songs, when he wanted to paint a picture with decided title but undecided colors; or when he simply wished to write about the approachable beauty of that girl on other side of the pavement. I imagined his joy for the love and pain at the criticism for his native place. I was left in awe of the virtuosity of this young man and the several portraits he created with his words. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense. And when I reached the end, I simply wished to possess a literary talent like this for a very short time to write a story of my own and discreetly slip it into this collection. Dublin and Dubliners felt that close to me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Dubliners, James Joyce عنوانها: دوبلینیها؛ مردگان؛ دوبلینی ها و نقد دوبلینی ها؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم اکتبر سال 1984 میلادی عنوان: دوبلینی ها؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: پرویز داریوش؛ تهران، اشرفی، 1346؛ در 227 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: انتشارات آبان؛ 1362؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، اساطیر، 1371؛ در 214 ص؛ شابک: 9643312410؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان ایرلندی - قرن 20 م مترجم: محمدعلی صفریان، تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ نخست 1372، در 300 ص و 143 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1378؛ چاپ سوم،1383؛ چاپ پنجم 1388؛ Dubliners, James Joyce عنوانها: دوبلینیها؛ مردگان؛ دوبلینی ها و نقد دوبلینی ها؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم اکتبر سال 1984 میلادی عنوان: دوبلینی ها؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: پرویز داریوش؛ تهران، اشرفی، 1346؛ در 227 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: انتشارات آبان؛ 1362؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، اساطیر، 1371؛ در 214 ص؛ شابک: 9643312410؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان ایرلندی - قرن 20 م مترجم: محمدعلی صفریان، تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ نخست 1372، در 300 ص و 143 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1378؛ چاپ سوم،1383؛ چاپ پنجم 1388؛ شابک: 9789644481024؛ دوبلینی ها ص 1 تا 300 ترجمه صفریان و ص 1 تا 143 آینه ای در راه مقالاتی در نقد دوبلینیها با ترجمه صالح حسینی مترجم: صالح حسینی، تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ نخست 1389، در 453 ص؛ شابک: 9789644484681؛ مترجم: سولماز واحدی کیا؛ تهران، کوله پشتی؛ 1389؛ در 200 ص؛ شابک: 9786005337976؛ با عنوان: مردگان؛ مترجم: علیرضا متین نیا؛ مشهد، سخن گستر؛ 1389؛ در 228 ص؛ شابک: 9789644778551؛ مترجم: امیر علیجانپور؛ تهران، آوای مکتوب؛ 1394؛ در 232 ص؛ شابک: 9786007364208؛ گویا همین پانزده داستان کوتاه را با عنوان: بهترین داستانهای کوتاه جیمز جویس؛ با ترجمه جناب احمد گلشیری انتشارات نگاه در سال 1388 در 402 ص منتشر کرده است جویس در داستانهایش، عناصر ناهمگون را باهم درمی‌آمیزد: عرفان شاعرانه را، با شیوه ی ناتورالیستی، بیان میکند، برای تصویرپردازی به صدا و آهنگ صدا، توجه میکند. در آثارش، همواره، از طنز و کنایه و اشاره به اساطیر و کتاب‌های مقدس، سود می‌برد. مخاطب اگر بتواند این همه رمز و کنایه را دریابد، به لذتی می‌رسد، که شاید از خوانش هیچ اثر دیگری نتواند. «جویس» پیش از آن که نویسنده باشد، یک مهندس زبان است. نگاه ویژه‌ ی «جویس» به زبان، و واژه، به عنوان سلول‌های تشکیل‌ دهنده‌ ی بدنه‌ ی داستان، چنان ژرف و بدیع است، که هنوز منتقدان، درگیر کشف لایه‌ های مبهم داستان‌های ایشان هستند. بخش‌هایی که در لا‌ به‌ لای کلماتی نو، که خود «جویس» اختراع کرده، پنهان هستنند. در باره «جویس»، دو نظر کاملاً مخالف وجود دارد. عده‌ ای او را، دیوانه‌ ی مغلق‌ گو می‌دانند، که درگیری‌ اش با زبان، او را به بیراهه کشانده، و دیگرانی که میگویند: ایشان استعدادی بی‌نظیر دارند، که از درک انسان امروز فراتر است. نوآوری «جویس» در زبان، خارق‌ العاده است. ایشان نه تنها واژه‌ های کهن زبان خویش را زنده می‌کنند. بلکه در آثارشان واژه‌ سازی هم می‌کنند. گاه، واژگانی با بیش از صد حرف و یا ترکیبی از چندین کلمه، که یک کلمه را تشکیل می‌دهد، تا حسی چندگانه را نشان دهد. واژه‌ گانی چند لایه که چندین معنا را می‌رسانند. به اعتقاد «جویس» دنیا بد مخمصه‌ ای ‌است، که در آن شادی‌های حقیر و فقر و رذالت، زندگی انسانها را تهدید می‌کند. کتاب مجموعه ی پانزده داستان کوتاه را در بر و در آغوش می‌گیرد که در آنها به مسایلی نظیر: تاریخ ایرلند؛ انسانها؛ مرگ؛ عشق؛ زندگی؛ ترس و... می‌پردازند. بیشتر شخصیت‌های داستان‌های این مجموعه دوباره در کتاب اولیس فرا خوانده می‌شوند. داستان از نثر بسیار قدرتمندی برخوردار است، و جزو شاهکارهای ادبی محسوب می‌شود. مجموعه داستان یک سیر ادبی را از ابتدا تا انتها در بر می‌گیرد که به داستان بلند مردگان ختم می‌شود. اسامی داستان‌های کوتاه در زیر می‌آید: خواهرها: کشیش فلین می‌میرد و پسر جوان که همراه با خانواده‌ اش برای مراسم ختم او آمده‌ اند یاد خاطرات و کارهای کشیش می‌افتد...؛ برخورد: یک بچه از مدرسه بیرون می‌رود...؛ عربی: پسری عاشق دختری در محله‌ شان می‌شود، او به بازار عربی می‌رود تا برای دختر هدیه‌ ای بخرد...؛ اولین: دختری خانواده‌ اش را ترک می‌کند تا همراه با ملوانی برود...؛ همتایان؛ پس از مسابقه: مردی با دوست و همدرسه‌ ای قدیمی خود روبرو می‌شود...؛ دو زن‌ نواز: دو مرد زنی را دنبال می‌کنند تا با او طرح دوستی بریزند...؛ ابری کوچک: مردی همراه با دوست قدیمی‌ اش مشغول خوردن ناهار است و به یاد آرزوهایی که داشته میافتد. یک روز در ستاد انتخابات: کارکنان یک ستاد انتخاباتی دور هم گرد آمده‌ اند و از پارنل یکی از رهبران مبارزات ایرلند یاد می‌کنند...؛ گل؛ پانسیون؛ یک حادثهٔ دردناک؛ مردگان؛ برای نوشتن این مطلب از یادداشتهای دیگران و منابع بسیاری سود برده ام. ا. شربیانی

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kalliope

    (*) This is a collection of short stories. Or are they one single long story? “A Portrait of the City as an Old and Stultifying Enclave.”? This story fashions a kaleidoscopic vision of Dublin in the early 1900s. This is a city enclosed in a gray cylinder that a hand turns periodically and new scenes are conjured up for the contemplation of a single (male) eye. The same components reappear, falling in different places playing different relationships with each other; some others disappear forever o (*) This is a collection of short stories. Or are they one single long story? “A Portrait of the City as an Old and Stultifying Enclave.”? This story fashions a kaleidoscopic vision of Dublin in the early 1900s. This is a city enclosed in a gray cylinder that a hand turns periodically and new scenes are conjured up for the contemplation of a single (male) eye. The same components reappear, falling in different places playing different relationships with each other; some others disappear forever or stay hidden in the corners to may be reappear again after all. One cannot know how the elements will place themselves on the next turn. Rich collection of elements: youth and adulthood – money matters – trapping marriages – trapping love – ill-conceived duties – Mary – temptations for youth – the ghost of England – the public house – chattered dreams – Jesuits – alcohol – nationalism – unfeminine women – dreams of change – school ploys – Death – Parnell – liberating escape – topographical anchorage of the streets of Dublin. Another turn. And there is Dublin again. And each time we recognize the narrow spaces, the sombre, the dreary, the faded, the routine, and the bleak prospects. The drabness of many of these hovering elements is however transformed by a play of incantation. The desolation is perplexingly denatured into elegance and the stark absence of sentimentality blooms because what it renders is so very genuine. There is a magic wand in the form of a pen of wizardry that by the clothing with words, precisely chosen words, carefully written words, encapsulates the dreariness and creates tales that captivate and enchant us. And may be there is also an additional light in this kaleidoscope that makes these sorry elements shine through those inner reflecting mirrors. The humour of a sparkling and luminous mind. (**) ---------------- (*) Citiscape. Rachel Simonson, US. (**) Anthropocene. David Thomas Smith, Ireland.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    James Joyce once said; "If Dublin suddenly disappeared from the Earth it could be reconstructed out of my book Ulysses". I have never been to Dublin so I have no idea what it's like today, but through Joyce's writings I have a sense of what it was like in the early 20th century. It’s not so much that he describes the physical city, but his descriptions of its establishments, its social and political atmosphere, and especially its people, is so detailed and complete that the physical picture just James Joyce once said; "If Dublin suddenly disappeared from the Earth it could be reconstructed out of my book Ulysses". I have never been to Dublin so I have no idea what it's like today, but through Joyce's writings I have a sense of what it was like in the early 20th century. It’s not so much that he describes the physical city, but his descriptions of its establishments, its social and political atmosphere, and especially its people, is so detailed and complete that the physical picture just "pops up", like in one of those children's pop up books. It is so in Ulysses and it certainly is true in this book, Dubliners. Dubliners, this collection of 15 short stories, was published in 1914, two years before A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and eight years before Ulysses. These stories lay the groundwork for his later novels, a primer, if you will. I think it's good advice to anyone just starting on James Joyce works, to start with Dubliners. Like all short story collections some are better than others, but they are all good, all consistent, and they never stray from Joyce's verbal painting of his beloved Dublin.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

    "Irlanda es un gran país. Lo llaman la Isla Esmeralda. Después de siglos de estrangulamiento, el gobierno metropolitano la ha dejado desierta y es ahora un campo de barbecho. El gobierno sembró hambre, sífilis, superstición y alcoholismo: puritanos, jesuitas y reaccionarios crecen ahora." James Joyce Cuando uno recorre la lista de los más grandes escritores que dio la literatura y pone especial atención en aquellos que amaron en el real sentido de la palabra a su tierra natal, la cantidad de auto "Irlanda es un gran país. Lo llaman la Isla Esmeralda. Después de siglos de estrangulamiento, el gobierno metropolitano la ha dejado desierta y es ahora un campo de barbecho. El gobierno sembró hambre, sífilis, superstición y alcoholismo: puritanos, jesuitas y reaccionarios crecen ahora." James Joyce Cuando uno recorre la lista de los más grandes escritores que dio la literatura y pone especial atención en aquellos que amaron en el real sentido de la palabra a su tierra natal, la cantidad de autores se acorta notablemente. Además de los aedos griegos, que le escribían a su terruño en forma inevitable descubriremos que ciertos autores tuvieron el concepto de pertenencia muy claro. Muchos escritores sintieron una especialísima afición por su país: García Márquez por Colombia, Balzac, Hugo y Flaubert por Francia, Hawthorne y su naturaleza americana por nombrar algunos. Pero cuando se habla de amor por una ciudad, pocos, muy pocos son los que rescatamos. Creo que junto a Fiódor Dostoievski, un apasionado de su querida San Petersburgo y a Julio Cortázar, desdoblado entre la urbanidad de Buenos Aires y la cosmopolita París, sólo James Joyce es un devoto y fiel amante de su ciudad natal, Dublín, una de las principales ciudades de Irlanda junto a Belfast y Kilkenny. Los quince cuentos y relatos de “Dublineses” se impregnan de esa mística irlandesa en sus calles, su gente y edificios. Nuevamente recuerdo a Julio Cortázar porque creo que estos dos autores supieron ahondar profundamente en la idiosincrasia de sus ciudades logrando mostrarnos con firmes pinceladas cómo era la naturaleza real de sus habitantes y de esos submundos descriptos en bares, oficinas, casas, parques, calles, ciudades, muelles y plazas. Joyce retrata en cada cuento la frustración y la soledad de muchos dublineses. La gran mayoría de ellos son simples oficinistas, mucamas, señoras mayores, alcohólicos, políticos de poca monta, jóvenes desempleados. Joyce quiso retratar la “parálisis” dublinesa. Los relatos como vienen se van, algunos de ellos quedan abiertos a las múltiples interpretaciones de los lectores y siempre nos dejan un sabor agridulce. La muerte sobrevuela omnipresente y poderosa en muchos de estos cuentos y el desasosiego se instala en los personajes. En la mayoría de estos cuentos los intentos de estos son fútiles, no alcanzan para cubrir sus necesidades, anhelos o esperanzas. No encontraremos aquí pasajes divertidos. Tal vez alguna anécdota cuasi graciosa, pero el ambiente de los cuentos es el de un leve flotar de almas en suspenso. De todos los cuentos y además de “Los Muertos”, del cual ya hice la reseña correspondiente, los que más me gustaron fueron “Eveline”, “Copias” y “Un caso doloroso”. Son tres cuentos profundos, escritos con suma fineza y bellísima precisión literaria y creo además que el trato que Joyce le da al contexto psicológico de los personajes es realmente maravilloso. Releer “Dublineses” reafirma mi profunda devoción por Joyce, un genial escritor del que supe vencer el “miedo literario” a la hora de afrontar su obra más difícil como lo fue el “Ulises” y como será en breve leer su “Finnegan’s Wake”. Mientras tanto, la lectura de este libro, “Los Muertos” y “Retrato del artista adolescente”, que constituyen la parte más accesible de su obra definen lo que escribí previamente: que cada día quiero más a James Joyce.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    Why do we wish to live this life; life, which at times seem to accompany the vague impressions we have long since been comfortable to carry along; the ideas, the choices, which have become a second nature to us. How many times do we stop and think about them? Particularly, as readers, as the ones who have been challenged, and hence in a way made aware by written word; how many times do we stop and think - life cannot always be a search, it cannot always be a constant exploration into unknown, a Why do we wish to live this life; life, which at times seem to accompany the vague impressions we have long since been comfortable to carry along; the ideas, the choices, which have become a second nature to us. How many times do we stop and think about them? Particularly, as readers, as the ones who have been challenged, and hence in a way made aware by written word; how many times do we stop and think - life cannot always be a search, it cannot always be a constant exploration into unknown, a desperate call to something which is striven for, for the attainment of something decisive. Or is it? Perhaps. But what when the decisive is attained, is conquered? Where does one go from there? Surely, in search of something still unknown, still unconquered! But we forget to stop in between. Or we rather choose to ignore that which comes in between, because we are too afraid to stop. And that is life. I remember this very beautiful quote by Allan Saunders: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” We forget that sometimes, life is also the acceptance of that which is presented to us by mere chances, or more than that, by the long witnessed “usual”. So, when I picked up Dubliners, while still continuing with The Rebel, I was at first annoyed because nothing seemed unusual or interesting there. But then, I just strove ahead because I had loved “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” and so I wanted to give this a chance. Some more stories and I realized the simple idea with which these stories might have been penned. I realized that author might have wanted to portray life, as actually experienced and lived by the characters, who might in fact had been real people around him. People, who had lived a life, set by routine patterns and where nothing out of ordinary had ever happened. This realization made me sit straight and question myself. How many right ways can be there to live a life? One or two or more; Is it ours or theirs or still, somewhere between the two? I don’t even know if these are the right options. But what I do understand is that, either way it is life we are talking about. Life which is lived, both consciously and unconsciously, which may be different in living but which in the end culminates into the same. Oh, but by this I do not undermine one way or the other but simply wish to express the value of understanding both. It was the last story of the collection i.e. “The Dead” which deeply touched and gave me more food for thought. It actually brought to eyes something unusual from the rest of the stories :) [(view spoiler)[See, the incorrigible me! (hide spoiler)] ] Gabriel, the protagonist of the story realized one day after a party that he didn’t know much about his wife Gretta, who seemed to have been in love with someone else all along. The story is not only about this awareness but also about love which gets shattered, even when the man in question has been long dead, and signifies the end of life as lived by Gabriel. The story ends with snow falling: “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the Universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” I do not doubt Joyce’s genius as a writer. After reading “Portrait” and few pages of “Ulysses”, this collection seemed just way too simplistic. But the thoughts it provoked after reading, is what makes it so readable. Definitely recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    Was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin . The stories that make up Dubliners open with death and death ends it as well. And somewhere in between there is a life. The first truancy, the first timid amorous sighs and all shades of greyness, whole stretches of the usual humdrum reality. People caught up in the daily routine, whom life was withheld. The workers, petty crooks and freeloaders, seamstresses, scullery maids, servants, scriven Was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin . The stories that make up Dubliners open with death and death ends it as well. And somewhere in between there is a life. The first truancy, the first timid amorous sighs and all shades of greyness, whole stretches of the usual humdrum reality. People caught up in the daily routine, whom life was withheld. The workers, petty crooks and freeloaders, seamstresses, scullery maids, servants, scriveners, salesmen, union activists - the whole cross-section of Irish middle and lower-middle class. Some of them crave for money, some for other places, some for love while others for another times. And the more they’re yearning the bigger is their disillusionment and discontent. Outcasts from life’s feast. Boy from Araby , enamoured of friend’s sister wants to visit a charity bazaar and buy something for the girl to find finally the bazaar closed, hero of Counterparts having pawned his watch, wants only to drink himself up but ends up with empty pockets and does not even feel drunk or Chandler, hero of A little cloud who’s eagerly awaiting his old friend to find him only vulgar and patronizing. People unfulfilled, for whom an intemperance is something as inevitable as climate changes, who take out all their failures, pathetic fate and frustration on children and weaker than themselves. Who feel that if they want to achieve anything in life they have to leave this town behind, that in Dublin actually there is no life. And so Joyce did. But no matter how much had he abandoned Dublin, after all he took this city with himself forever. He loved and hated it, became a bard of Dublin and its inhabitants, a great admirer but its stern critic at the same time. The same sentiments had he for his homeland, often in his works called Errorland . The main theme of Dubliners that ties together all stories is the breakdown of all values, embodied in drunkenness, decadent debauchery, obscurantism of clergy, hypocrisy, intellectual primitivism of bourgeoisie, and finally paralysis of the Irish political scene after the death of Parnell. Joyce, chronicler of Dublin, alternately realistic and nostalgic, depicts city of lost hopes and failing chances to end this collection with absolutely brilliant story The Dead in which Gabriel counts on some pleasant moments with his wife, while she’s yearning for her dead lover, and finally falling snow reconciles everything, covering equally the living and the dead.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    review update – 5/15/17 The first twelve stories of Dubliners were submitted to a publisher in 1905, when Joyce was 22. They were accepted, but squeamishness on the publisher’s part kept delaying publication. Over the next three years Joyce submitted three additional stories. Finally he took the collection to a second publisher. Again it was accepted, and again it was held back. Finally, in 1914, the original publisher overcame his fears and released the volume to the public. By now, however, Joy review update – 5/15/17 The first twelve stories of Dubliners were submitted to a publisher in 1905, when Joyce was 22. They were accepted, but squeamishness on the publisher’s part kept delaying publication. Over the next three years Joyce submitted three additional stories. Finally he took the collection to a second publisher. Again it was accepted, and again it was held back. Finally, in 1914, the original publisher overcame his fears and released the volume to the public. By now, however, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist was appearing in a serialized version, and the novel overshadowed the short stories; as did, or course, Joyce’s two modern masterpieces, Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. So it was only slowly, over the course of many years, that Dubliners gained recognition for both the modernism and the rather brute realism of its stories. In the previous update, I chose to use the word dreary in describing the stories. That they are. But this time let’s try “resignation” – stories of resignation. This is perhaps better, since it’s less ambiguous. Joyce writes about the people of Dublin as resigned to the lives they have – controlled by the Church (to some extent), controlled by the British (to the extent the British give a damn), prey to the simple pleasures of drink, having children, and pretending that life’s not really so bad. And of course there are classes in this society, so that those of any class except the bottom can always compare themselves pridefully to those below them, should they care to. I scanned through the last, longest story (The Dead), looking for a good quotation. Alas, they were few and far between, and too long to bother with. But this story is a fit capstone to the collection. It’s about a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration that a few dozen of Dublin’s better off citizens partake of, an evening of music, dancing, feasting. Nothing about anyone’s death, though the protagonist, Gabriel, has rather morose thoughts often during the evening. Then in the last few pages, a tale of death finds its way into the story, a death that occurred long ago, but is newly revealed to Gabriel and causes him to have very quotable thoughts as he falls asleep. But, it occurred to me that the story’s title refers not just to these last few pages, but to all the people celebrating that evening - Joyce suggesting that even these well fed, happy people, in failing to recognize the resignation with which they accept their lives, are in their own way, though “living”, part of The Dead. review update - 3/17/15 obviously in celebration of a certain day Just a few thoughts on these stories a couple years later. When I said below that the stories aren't "exciting" ... yes, well, first I didn't mean that they were not very affecting stories, because some of them are. One could use the word "depressing"? But more, I think the atmosphere of the stories is probably much like the weather that I associate with the Emerald Isle. Damp, cloudy, hints of rain, chill in most parts of the year, maybe summerlike for a couple weeks in July. Gloomy. Weather that makes you seek out a pub and the warm comfort of a pint with friends. Then there's that Catholic haze that looms over everything, the haze and the weather and maybe even the people such that Joyce himself had to flee. Whenever you feel like subjecting yourself to this sort of dreariness, which should be often, read one of the stories, it will suit your yearning. original review These aren't the most exciting short stories ever written. They were written by Joyce, though, so that sets them on a level of Literature that most writers can only dream of. It also means that they are worthy of study, and that the time spent studying them will be well spent. Terence Brown's Introduction shows that he has studied these stories for a long time, and his Notes make it apparent that there is not a word, a slang term, a Dublin location, nor a historical reference in the stories that he does not know most everything about. (The footnoting is at times a bit distracting - "of course, everyone knows that" you think - but of course those things that "everyone knows" vary from reader to reader.) All in all, this is a very good edition of Dubliners. I was once an English lit. major in college (only for a year), and still have infrequent yearnings in that direction. One of those I have had in recent years is to take the time to write a long essay on these stories. I do think they are worth that kind of effort.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renato Magalhães Rocha

    My relationship with James Joyce has started off well and I'm excited to take on the next step: I've been wanting to read Ulysses for quite some time, and after finishing The Odyssey, I figured I'd read Dubliners as some of the characters in his short stories appear in minor roles on his longer, modernist novel. This is a collection of fifteen short stories - and I'll keep this a short review as well - that deals with the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the beginning of the 1900's My relationship with James Joyce has started off well and I'm excited to take on the next step: I've been wanting to read Ulysses for quite some time, and after finishing The Odyssey, I figured I'd read Dubliners as some of the characters in his short stories appear in minor roles on his longer, modernist novel. This is a collection of fifteen short stories - and I'll keep this a short review as well - that deals with the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the beginning of the 1900's. In less than 200 pages, Joyce depicts love, violence, routine, longing for escape, religion and epiphany. His stories are not packed with action per se, but they subtly have a lot to tell. As much as I would like to, I can't say that I am a very visual person as far as my reading goes. I understand what's going on and feel the sensations and emotions the writer is portraying, but I rarely imagine the visuals being described. This is something I'm trying to work on, but I'm not forcing myself either to change how I perceive a book. However, Joyce has accomplished what only few other writers do: he aroused my visual sense to new levels. While I was reading his stories, there were short movies going on in my head without me even trying it, and I was able to connect them with some of the best movies I've ever watched. The second story, An Encounter, about a group of schoolboys playing "cowboy and Indian battles" gave me Truffaut's Les quatre cents coups vibes with a touch of Yves Robert's La guerre des boutons. I was impressed by how much Joyce was able to adapt his language and style to that of a child narrator with so much maestry. Another movie memory that Dubliners evoked in me was David Lean's Brief Encounter with his story A Painful Case about a man and a woman that meet, fall in love but can't be together as she's already married. This story deals with loneliness that we all at some point in our lives have felt at least for some moments, and Joyce's words quoted below gave me chills as I read and re-read them repeatedly: "He looked down the slope and, at the base, in the shadow of the wall of the Park, he saw some human figures lying. Those venal and furtive loves filled him with despair. He gnawed the rectitude of his life; he felt that he had been outcast from life's feast." But as much as there are great qualities in all of the stories, The Dead tops them all. Joyce's development of this story and the themes explored really spoke to me. The attachment to the past felt by Gabriel and the ache he felt for not having loved his wife - or any woman - so deeply were as easy to feel as when you're watching one of your closest friends in pain. That's how well written it was for me. The Dead also has one of the best conclusions of any story - long or short - I've read. As Gabriel numbly gazed out the window, he contemplates about life and death and how we're all - the living and the dead - still connected as finding out about someone who has passed away for several years still brought up some emotions Gabriel has been concealing. I can't avoid quoting it here to try and borrow to my review some of the brilliance with which Joyce ended his book: "A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." Rating: 4 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris_P

    Reading this book is like meeting a perfect stranger at the park. The two of you sitting on a bench, they sharing their truth with you, you sharing yours with them. Just a short, yet meaningful interaction. Something with no responsibilities and no strings attached. And then, at some point, “oh, it’s two o’ clock already, I’d better be going”. And that was it. One could argue that that’s the case with all interactions in one’s life. Joyce offers us a synthesis of people and their actions, their f Reading this book is like meeting a perfect stranger at the park. The two of you sitting on a bench, they sharing their truth with you, you sharing yours with them. Just a short, yet meaningful interaction. Something with no responsibilities and no strings attached. And then, at some point, “oh, it’s two o’ clock already, I’d better be going”. And that was it. One could argue that that’s the case with all interactions in one’s life. Joyce offers us a synthesis of people and their actions, their fears, their misconceptions, their loves and their hates. Brief zoom-ins into the details that make up Dublin of his time. I kind of lost myself there, drawing conclusions and finding meanings in symbolisms that could very well be anything but symbolisms. I think that’s why many people didn’t like Dubliners, and I think it's the same reason I did. Thought-provoking isn’t it?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rajat Ubhaykar

    "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal." -James Joyce Dubliners is fantastic literary inspiration, it forced me to take better notice of my surroundings, of my own city, which has an untapped endless source of heartbreak, joy, turmoil and everything else to do with the human predicament. It also almost forced me to park myself anywhere and write somethi "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal." -James Joyce Dubliners is fantastic literary inspiration, it forced me to take better notice of my surroundings, of my own city, which has an untapped endless source of heartbreak, joy, turmoil and everything else to do with the human predicament. It also almost forced me to park myself anywhere and write something worthwhile, but that's another story, I hope, someday. What do I think of Joyce? The man's a genius, undoubtedly. He does what he set out to do masterfully. He lays Dublin bare. His writing is powerful, unassuming and devoid of judgment. It can often be emotionally draining and occasionally soul-crushing to read his stories if you manage to get into them, which can be a demanding task considering the colloquial language and the quotidian, sparse, yet very representative plot lines. It is awe-inspiring to watch him lay out the intricacies of character interplay mainly through authentic dialogue. The protagonists age as the book progresses, so while the first story is from the point of view of a seven year old child, the final story is The Dead, recognizably about death and old age, his most famous short-story. Through these characters belonging to different backgrounds and age groups, he paints a realistic, stark picture of Dublin. There are also stories which are first-person narratives, where he gets under the skin of the characters inhumanly well, 'A Painful Case' being an apt example and my favourite story. Everything said, a necessary addition to any book-lover's collection.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Dubliners is a good collection to read on a quiet Sunday evening, if only to disappear from the rest of the world and into Joyce's version of Dublin, Ireland. It's also a good feeling to delve into a book that was accepted for publication in 1904, and yet, "due to puritan prudery, it got passed from fearful publisher to fearful publisher" until someone had the good sense to publish it nine years later. Thank you for the publication and for reiterating Joyce's reasons of isolation from Victorian Dubliners is a good collection to read on a quiet Sunday evening, if only to disappear from the rest of the world and into Joyce's version of Dublin, Ireland. It's also a good feeling to delve into a book that was accepted for publication in 1904, and yet, "due to puritan prudery, it got passed from fearful publisher to fearful publisher" until someone had the good sense to publish it nine years later. Thank you for the publication and for reiterating Joyce's reasons of isolation from Victorian society; perhaps this is why he understands the "outsider" narrative so deeply. When I taught a College Program at a rural high school, I found Joyce's short stories easy to teach because not only do they have the layered and crisp writing a student at that level digests easily, but a few of the stories also deal with the theme of choice, which makes for great lecture discussions. Take "Eveline" for example, where a young woman must choose whether to leave her drunken and abusive father by escaping with her sailor fiancee, or to abide by the promise she made to her dying mother: to stay home and take care of the home; notwithstanding the idea she'd found her mother "pitiful" to have led such a life. Imagine the discussions, ponders, and distilling essays that arose from such a story. So I decided to revisit this collection of fifteen stories, each written with the ordinary life in mind, each a reminder of the choices of love, family, and career; each an encapsulation of loneliness and emotional and spiritual awakening. You don't get the same writing style of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but you get the same thematic undertones. And somehow, you don't read a Joyce book without finding yourself engulfed in moments of reflection. In "Little Cloud," there is the struggle with parallels, as a main character sees his friend's poetic success as his measurement of success and this leaves him disillusioned as he watched the scene and thought of life; and (as always happened when he thought of life) he became sad. A gentle melancholy took possession of him. He felt how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him. And just as one wonders whether the character in "Little Cloud" accepts his life as a father and husband, or whether he fails at it in his pursuit of a poetry career, one wonders about the characters in "The Boarding House" because this is how Joyce ends his stories: inconclusively. You read, you decide. The characters in "Boarding House" are young and in love, but their society dictates that after their brief affair, marriage should be inevitable. But is he ready for marriage like she is? She was a little vulgar; sometimes she said I seen and If I had've known. But what would grammar matter if he really loved her? He could not make up his mind whether to like her or despise her for what she had done. Of course, he had done it too. His instinct urged him to remain free, not to marry. Once you are married you are done for, it said. According to the editor of this collection, Joyce left Ireland with feelings of "rage, resentment and revenge;"I would also add, disdain of spiritual shackles. Some of these feelings are also embedded within these stories, as in "The Sisters" and "An Encounter". But just as he highlights the torment of conformity, in some small way, he also indicates the beauty of individual thinking.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    A collection of 15 short stroies by James Joyce all set in Dublin and first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish Middle class sife in around Dublin in in the early years of the 20th Century. This is my second reading of this collection and this time I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Jim Norton and his Dublin accent was excellent and he really does bring the book alive with his rich voice. The stroies were all written when Nationalism was at its peak in Ire A collection of 15 short stroies by James Joyce all set in Dublin and first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish Middle class sife in around Dublin in in the early years of the 20th Century. This is my second reading of this collection and this time I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Jim Norton and his Dublin accent was excellent and he really does bring the book alive with his rich voice. The stroies were all written when Nationalism was at its peak in Ireland and this come accross in quite a few of the stroies althought it was only on reading the stories the second time around that I had a better understanding of the deeper meanings of some of them and this was only because I was concentrating more on the stroies because this was a book club read and I need to get the most out of the book in order to discuss. My favourite story of the collection was Eveline A young woman weights her decision to flee Ireland with a sailor. I really enjoyed this story and while only four pages long there was so much going on that I really look forward to discussing this one in a group. I also enjoyed A painful Case a stroy where Mr Duffy rebuffs Mrs Sinico, then four years later realises that he has condemned her to loneiness and death. While I am not a lover of short stories at the best of times I was eager to try Joyce's short story collection as a bookclub read as it is short and quite readable in comparrasion to Ulysses (which is not on my to read list). While written in 1905 quite a few of the stories are very relatable to in today's society which I found quite interesting. While I didnt love the book I did like it and found it very readable and am looking forward to the discussiing all the stories at next meeting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    3,5* Ιστορίες καθημερινές, χωρίς υπερβολική πλοκή και αναπάντεχες εναλλαγές. Οι χαρακτήρες κάθε διηγήματος είναι άνθρωποι απλοί, πολίτες του Δουβλίνου, ο καθένας με τις δικές του προσδοκίες, αδυναμίες και πάθη. Η λιτή εξιστόρηση των γεγονότων επικεντρώνει το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη στο ψυχογράφημα των πρωταγωνιστών, που μέσα από τις καθημερινές τους συναναστροφές, τις συνήθειες και τα βιώματά τους παρουσιάζουν με τρόπο ρεαλιστικό την ατμόσφαιρα της συγκεκριμένης εποχής, τις αντιλήψεις του λαού, 3,5* Ιστορίες καθημερινές, χωρίς υπερβολική πλοκή και αναπάντεχες εναλλαγές. Οι χαρακτήρες κάθε διηγήματος είναι άνθρωποι απλοί, πολίτες του Δουβλίνου, ο καθένας με τις δικές του προσδοκίες, αδυναμίες και πάθη. Η λιτή εξιστόρηση των γεγονότων επικεντρώνει το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη στο ψυχογράφημα των πρωταγωνιστών, που μέσα από τις καθημερινές τους συναναστροφές, τις συνήθειες και τα βιώματά τους παρουσιάζουν με τρόπο ρεαλιστικό την ατμόσφαιρα της συγκεκριμένης εποχής, τις αντιλήψεις του λαού, τα ήθη και τα έθιμα του τόπου αυτού. Από απλά καθημερινά ζητήματα θρησκευτικού ή κοινωνικού περιεχομένου μέχρι γεγονότα μεγαλύτερης κοινωνικοπολιτικής εμβέλειας ο αναγνώστης περιπλανιέται στους βροχερούς μουντούς δρόμους του Δουβλίνου, διασχίζει τις παραδοσιακές προσόψεις των σπιτιών που στέκουν σαν φαντάσματα στην πόλη και παρασύρεται από την ομίχλη και τον ήχο της άμαξας που οδηγεί τους κατοίκους σε σκοτεινά δωμάτια με ξύλινα πατώματα που τρεμοπαίζουν μαζί με τις φλόγες των κεριών. Ωστόσο, η μουντή ατμόσφαιρα που επιβάλλει η ανάγνωση μπορεί να δημιουργήσει ένα πιο σκοτεινό,μη ευχάριστο κλίμα σε ορισμένα σημεία. Αυτό σε συνδυασμό με το γεγονός ότι προσωπικά παρατήρησα έντονες διαφορές ως προς το ενδιαφέρον κατά την ανάγνωση του κάθε διηγήματος καθόρισε και την βαθμολογία μου.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yehya Çalî

    Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories Story of a city while you are reading, you will feel more comfortable with city and citizens you will find many personalities that are interesting to you this is a wonderful book that is full of emotions. my favorites are Araby, A Little Cloud and The Dead

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    Another book from my project (quite successful until now) to read more classics. When I was in college and Uni I was all about contemporary literature (Marquez, Reverte, Murakami) and I missed many of the "must read" authors. I am trying to redeem myself now. I chose the Dubliners because I knew I would never have the will and patience to finish Ulysses. I have to admit that although I understand the value of the volume and its structure, I did not like it. It bore me terribly. I fell asleep whi Another book from my project (quite successful until now) to read more classics. When I was in college and Uni I was all about contemporary literature (Marquez, Reverte, Murakami) and I missed many of the "must read" authors. I am trying to redeem myself now. I chose the Dubliners because I knew I would never have the will and patience to finish Ulysses. I have to admit that although I understand the value of the volume and its structure, I did not like it. It bore me terribly. I fell asleep while reading many times and it was a struggle to follow the stories. Some stories were really good but the majority were just boring. I also read a couple of analysis for the stories which were far more interesting than the stories themselves.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robin Tell-Drake

    I suppose I've always intended to read Joyce; it's terribly daunting but seems inevitable, too, that I must follow the man all the way through to Finnegans Wake. I have a copy. Untouched. Another remnant of the days when I thought I was on Earth to prove some kind of a point. But I'm still awfully curious, and this year I finally dipped a toe in. Dubliners came first and seemed easiest to start with, and I'd read a story or two of it already. And indeed it is pretty conventional, even self-consci I suppose I've always intended to read Joyce; it's terribly daunting but seems inevitable, too, that I must follow the man all the way through to Finnegans Wake. I have a copy. Untouched. Another remnant of the days when I thought I was on Earth to prove some kind of a point. But I'm still awfully curious, and this year I finally dipped a toe in. Dubliners came first and seemed easiest to start with, and I'd read a story or two of it already. And indeed it is pretty conventional, even self-consciously spare in style. And it is masterful and instantly absorbing. If I were a more serious student of literature I suppose I would know to what extent Joyce is following the narrative mode of the extant literature in his world in 1911, and to what extent he is using narrative devices that are familiar to me only because later writers imitated him. Writing is a sequence of choices, details named amid an infinitude of details omitted, and no matter how terse, flat, and neutral the style, Joyce continually manages to reclaim your attention with virtually every phrase, wasting nothing. Here is part of a character introduction, from A Painful Case: His cheekbones also gave his face a harsh character; but there was no harshness in the eyes which, looking at the world from under their tawny eyebrows, gave the impression of a man ever alert to greet a redeeming instinct in others but often disappointed. He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense. He never gave alms to beggars and walked firmly, carrying a stout hazel. The stories often seem principally to be character sketches, or exercises in placing ultimately regrettable behaviors in their context to explore and explain them. An ambitious youth goes to foolish excesses in order to live for a night in the style of cosmopolitan foreigners. A conniving matron bullies her daughter's beau into a marriage he doesn't want. A mousy, straitlaced man, suddenly feeling trapped in a dull and shameful life, commits a minor, real, mean act, immediately regretted; the next story puts this into perspective with the narrative of a day leading up to outright cruelty. These things pervade the book, in fact. Dublin is dull and shameful; Dubliners long to leave but cannot. And through all the impediments of church and class and poverty that dog them all, drunkenness recurs again and again, prominent in nearly every story. A bit of reading outside the borders of the text tells me that Joyce, terribly particular about every detail of his writing, intended the book as a moral indictment of the people of Dublin and of Ireland as a whole, and that in fact he left Dublin forever within a short time of the book's publication, settling in France where he wrote the rest of his works. So in an important sense this book isn't meant for me, and it's hard to know how much Joyce was leaning on images and phrases that Dubliners of his day would have found familiar, beyond the occasional Irish word or idiom that I can't quite follow. And it is largely a condemnation, in the end, of the city and its people. I can't say whether he meant the book--his parting shot to his native country--to shine a light on Dublin's problems and inspire people to improve them, or if he thought his countrymen hopeless and just had to tell them how much they vexed him. At last in The Dead the narrative looks more or less directly at this underlying discontent. Gabriel Conroy is not so unlike Joyce himself: an urbane, cultured writer with one foot out of Ireland and a clear discomfort even with visiting it for the holidays. He is a subtle and likable character, sympathetically portrayed. But when a young woman calls him out for his alienation from his own country, he is too easily rattled; so deep is his discomfort with his home that he cannot stop himself from exclaiming "I'm sick of my own country, sick of it!" Why, she asks him, and then: "of course, you've no answer." Indeed he hasn't. Does Joyce? Is he putting himself on the spot, here, and admitting that he doesn't really have an answer either? Or if he described his own book as a moral index of his country, should we take its chapters as a proxy answer for Gabriel Conroy: that he, and his author, are sick of Ireland because everyone there is mired in poverty and alcohol and the parochial concerns of their little lives? It's difficult to tell here whether Joyce judges the conversation in favor of Gabriel, who seems evasive and troubled in his conscience, or Miss Ivors, who may be impolitic but who has Gabriel sussed. What is clear, from Joyce's own life, is that Gabriel is the one he must identify with. In his Dublin, every character either longs to escape "dirty old Dublin" or is plainly presented as small-minded in some way. They're all sick of it, and Joyce can't quite spell out why. At least not clearly enough for this reader, a hundred years later. All that said, it's an excellent read, one of those cases where the canons of the ivory-tower literati are so powerfully vindicated that I fret whether I should just accept their judgments every time. Dubliners is so powerful and assured that I have to give it five stars just for the execution of it. But the message--I guess the message might just not be meant for the likes of me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Srividya

    My first ever Joyce and I have to say that I approached this book with a lot of trepidation and yet a curious feeling that I just can’t describe but one can associate with such authors and their books. With Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses on my ‘I hope to read and understand someday’ shelf, given their notoriety for their abstract and difficult prose, it is no surprise that one would approach Joyce with such feelings. Nevertheless, I picked this one up for two reasons. Firstly, because I am visiting My first ever Joyce and I have to say that I approached this book with a lot of trepidation and yet a curious feeling that I just can’t describe but one can associate with such authors and their books. With Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses on my ‘I hope to read and understand someday’ shelf, given their notoriety for their abstract and difficult prose, it is no surprise that one would approach Joyce with such feelings. Nevertheless, I picked this one up for two reasons. Firstly, because I am visiting Ireland this month and wanted to read Joyce before I could walk the paths that he might have done as a child and secondly because my trip would first lead me to Dublin and how better to understand the city than through Joyce’s wonderful treatise on its locals. There was another third reason, a minor one at that, that this book had short stories and I felt that short stories should be easier to understand and read than a full length book. How wrong was I, I knew only after I started it. As I read the first few lines, despite my fear, I felt an urge to submit myself to this author’s words, to let go of all my inhibitions, my worries about understanding the inner meaning or metaphors used, and to simply fall in love with the words that were seen on my reader. I did that and I was mesmerised. Don’t get me wrong, for all the beauty that I could see in Dubliners, I found a lot of things that irritated me and yet despite these irritations or maybe because of it, Dublin and her people came alive to me. I felt as though I was walking through those roads, visiting those places, drinking tea or stout amidst those very people who shared their stories with me. One of my biggest irritants, which is also my reason for falling in love, was the fact that Joyce doesn’t allow you to be the shy bystander looking in. He pulls you into conversations where you have no reason to be included, and worse he pulls you in when the conversation has already begun and is going on in full force. Further, he never explains the background or even the beginning of the conversation. You feel as if you have literally fallen into a hole where there is a lot of buzzing around you and you have to make sense of this buzz. Added to this, is the fact that Joyce pulls you out before you can get to the end of this conversation. In short, what all this means is that there is no proper beginning, no middle and no end to the story. All this is actually enough to put off a reader as it might often seem and sometimes it truly does that there is no sense in what is being said or what is happening. However, he manages to convey important messages despite this flaw or maybe because of it, you tend to start thinking a little bit more than usual, about the narrator, the narrative, the way it is being narrated and the abrupt end. Once your thoughts go deep, there is an innumerable amount of permutations and combinations for you to choose from, the creative pool is quite deep and it doesn’t matter what you infer from your plunge into this pool, the meaning will be constant, even if your paths differ. Such is the beauty of Joyce’s prose, such is his talent that even when you are ready to kill someone, you end up putting down your arms and embracing that very person and beaming while you are doing it. This does not mean that Joyce’s prose is happy or even cheerful. No these stories are all dark, depressing and pretty dreary. They talk about the three stages of life – child, youth and the middle aged moving towards the old and finally culminating in death. The tone is morose, the tale is sad, the characters are full of angst and dreariness and yet you come out of it satisfied, if not happy; learning more if not really a scholar; emotional, if not really bursting into tears. His stories moved me, especially a few where I couldn’t stop my eyes from growing wet and full. These weren’t tears of sadness but an emotion that I can’t quite place but would rank as a beautiful experience. At the end of the stories, my mind wasn’t my own but were of those characters, so much so that when I finished the book, I felt as if I were leaving behind my closest friends. Whatever I might feel about the individual stories, I will have to accept that each and every one of them brought out emotions in me that were long dormant and this I owe to the beautiful prose. Taut with tension, stingy with truth or completeness, buried in an assault of emotions or in some cases nary an emotion, the stories felt alive. I was living in Dublin, walking through those very streets and looking into the lives of these characters and being one with them. I have experienced Ireland’s green vales and beautiful landscapes in other books and was expecting some of that. Instead, I got the dreary Ireland that is full of pain and remorse, anger and ineptitude, and yet somehow it shone like a loving star, a loving human star – full of faults, full of emotions and full of the Irish nature that I have come to love through books. It takes immense talent to convince someone who isn’t part of it that what is shown is beautiful and Joyce is immensely talented as he does it with ease. You may not like his way of storytelling, you may not like the stories themselves but you can never say that you didn’t feel anything for the country that he wrote about, whether it is love, empathy, sympathy or even disdain, you feel it and feel it strongly as you put down this book. I won’t say that this trip through Joyce’s prose has made me fear him less. In fact, it has made my fear more as every word has a meaning and a reason for why it is there and I am not sure that I am or would ever be capable of understanding it all. However, this trip has definitely made me understand why Joyce is called a difficult author to read and comprehend. It has helped me see a little into his prowess and his storytelling. It has made me love him for all that and fear him more for the same. And in the end, it has left me eager to walk through those lanes, albeit several years later, it could be different, and yet I am truly eager to get there and pay my respects to the land that was described in this book. As I write this on the penultimate day before I leave for Ireland, I have a sense of peace and some knowledge, the country might be different but people everywhere are the same. While I go pack for my trip, why don’t you take this trip through Joyce’s eyes. I can’t say that all of you will love it but even if one person does, it will be a wonderful thing to both Joyce and me. And if you can’t read the whole book, at least read Araby, The Dead, Counterparts, A Little Cloud and A Painful Case. I promise you that it will be worth your time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Selby

    From my review of The Dead, the final story in Dubliners: I thought I was done with James Joyce. I really did. I've read Ulysses. Twice. I've also read multiple study-guides; slogged through countless websites of analyses. I'm still resentful at Ulysses. Right when you are about to give up, with finality, you come across one of those lines. Those Joyce nuggets. Those snippets of such purity you wonder if he is but a vessel through with a literary higher power is speaking. Then the magic wears off From my review of The Dead, the final story in Dubliners: I thought I was done with James Joyce. I really did. I've read Ulysses. Twice. I've also read multiple study-guides; slogged through countless websites of analyses. I'm still resentful at Ulysses. Right when you are about to give up, with finality, you come across one of those lines. Those Joyce nuggets. Those snippets of such purity you wonder if he is but a vessel through with a literary higher power is speaking. Then the magic wears off and you spend another four hours resisting a good ol' fashion book burning. I've read Portrait of the Artist. I even enjoyed it. So. I'm sitting at work. I do residential mental health counseling. It is the middle of the night; half-fourish. I come across a blurb about his short story The Dead, which I've never read, do an internet search, the entire novella pops up. Half asleep I read The Dead. Then that final paragraph. Then that final sentence. Jesus. Done with James Joyce I thought I was. I really did. Now I'm going to have to go straight out and buy Dubliners when I get off work. Fuck you James Joyce. Update: I go straight from work to Powell's Bookstore in downtown Portland, Oregon. I get there around 8am. I sit in my car, dozing off, waiting for the "city of books" to open its door. I buy Dubliners. I get home. I've slept something like 4 hours in the last 36 hours. I open Dubliners. The first passage is waiting for me: “There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had often said to me: “I am not long for this world,” and I had thought his words idle. Now I knew they were true. Every night as I gazed up the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.” This is a magical book. These stories can stand alone as snippets of Dublin life; gentle little snarky character studies. But read one after another is a much more rewarding experience. I do not believe these were meant to stand alone, they build upon each other with such power. Climaxing with that ending in the Dead - the single most beautiful passage ever written in the English language. I won't bore you with plot or analysis. If you are reading this review I'm sure this would be redundant. I will tell you: I am going to read this again on my day off in a couple of days. When was the last time you read something, felt an irresistible compulsion to go out and buy it, then felt compelled to re-read it again as soon as you can? This is the power of Dubliners. Seriously. If you are resisting Joyce, I understand. If you loathe stream-of-consciousness prattle, I understand. If you abhor literary modernism as a whole, I understand. I deeply empathize with all of these viewpoints. I am still going to sit here and tell you that you need to read Dubliners. Damn. You need to read Dubliners. If you are still hesitating, I will leave you with that final passage - the single most beautiful passage ever written in the English language: “A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” Yeah.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    Sure. Now everyone does it. But this stuff was new back in its day. And it's definitely Joyce so sure it's better than 99% of stuff that looks like it. It's familiar to us, this kind of fictioning. Because our best fictioneers have learned from Joyce and stuff like this. It doesn't matter when you read it ; before/after U, FW, Portrait. Because Joyce's work is one large conceptual continuity which is clear whenever reading endnotes and/or annotations to his stuff (pace that one Review ; reading Sure. Now everyone does it. But this stuff was new back in its day. And it's definitely Joyce so sure it's better than 99% of stuff that looks like it. It's familiar to us, this kind of fictioning. Because our best fictioneers have learned from Joyce and stuff like this. It doesn't matter when you read it ; before/after U, FW, Portrait. Because Joyce's work is one large conceptual continuity which is clear whenever reading endnotes and/or annotations to his stuff (pace that one Review ; reading ammotations does not interrupt the flow/pleasure of the prose but allows the dawdling this kind of charm requires). His other books always show up in this other books. And a reminder to us and to myself, that 'Joycean' is not always a Ulysses reference nor even a reference to the Joyce of The Wake (for which we have that fortunate term "Wakean") but can also refer to the Joyce of Dubliners or the Joyce of Portrait. There is something larger to the Joycean project which extends far beyond the thing about word play and 'stream-of-con' ; something whole, something redeeming, something reconciliatory. Something visionary and about how the world both is and can be such that the two are not distinguished. Something which is sum'd in Molly's "Yes" and in Livia's flowing to the sea and returning to her headwaters. And in this political season perhaps Dubliners is even more apropo for us USofAians. Dubliners written in anger at what his fellow Irish had allowed themselves to become, an anger rooted in both what they are and what they ought to be. Even if not spell=outable programmatically, isn't it here we USofAians find ourselves?; angry at what we've made of ourselves and allowed ourselves to be made into. And yet still retaining that vision of ourselves ; even the most unpatriotic of us still believing that there is something unique about being a citizen of this country, something in the "God bless" direction ;; but so f*ckin angry at the jingostic direction it always takes. I just think one could imaginatively project a cycle of Dubliners stories for this sick and decrepit country which is ours. And it would be Joycean. Earlier Remark__________ Dubliners is not a collection of short stories ; Dubliners is a novel. Discuss. {suggested reading ; "A Paralysed City" in Re Joyce}.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    Brilliant and encyclopedic as James Joyce was -- the artist who, more than any other, hauled the ancient storytellers' calling to distill an entire culture into the 20th Century -- his work in prose began with this subdued, sequenced exercise in urban heartache, and it's the book I choose to celebrate for Goodreads. Yes, ULYSSES had its way with me, too, a walloping inspiration, there's no denying. But DUBLINERS provides the ur-version for what's become a fiction staple, the community portrait i Brilliant and encyclopedic as James Joyce was -- the artist who, more than any other, hauled the ancient storytellers' calling to distill an entire culture into the 20th Century -- his work in prose began with this subdued, sequenced exercise in urban heartache, and it's the book I choose to celebrate for Goodreads. Yes, ULYSSES had its way with me, too, a walloping inspiration, there's no denying. But DUBLINERS provides the ur-version for what's become a fiction staple, the community portrait in linked stories, and outdoes well-nigh all its offspring. To be sure, the book stands on a formidable (not to say Jesuitical) arrangement, moving from childhood to public life, but more than that, each story focuses powerfully on the core tragedy of city existence: how it surrounds a person with the temptation for better, for transcendence, yet in so doing demonstrates our limitation and weakness. Better yet, the stakes are mortal. Childhoods are compromised in an afternoon, lifelong unhappiness guaranteed in an evening, and no one ever has enough money. No one ever has enough; I can't think of any drama so grimly unrelenting about economic and family burdens, yet so resonant with an empathy-sonar capable of sounding every abyss. Stories register even the shifts in the nervous system of a dim, frail creature like Maria in "Clay," or an abusive, cowed drunk like Farrington in "Counterparts." Nor can I recall quite such dead-on colloquial poetry (childhood hanging out, in "Araby:" "we played till our bodies glowed"). Joyce allows the rhetoric to rise just once, in the baroque closing passage of "The Dead," so in the end suggesting the only redemption these twilit seaport figures may ever know: the loving yet cold-eyed reframing awarded them by art.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yücel Batu

    Öncelikle kitabı ilk defa okuyacaklara bir uyarım olacak; İletişim’in baskısında Murat Belge’nin önsözü kitap içinden bir miktar spoiler içeriyor; öyküler tek tek açıklanıyor kitabın başında, bu nedenle de öyküleri okuduktan sonra eş zamanlı olarak tek tek okunabilir diye düşünüyorum. Okuma zevkini de arttıracaktır. Kitap, arka kapakta yazdığı gibi, “kaçmak isteyenlerle kaçamayanların hikayelerini” anlatıyor. Ama bunu biraz genişletmek mümkün, burada sadece belli bir yerden ya da belli bir durumd Öncelikle kitabı ilk defa okuyacaklara bir uyarım olacak; İletişim’in baskısında Murat Belge’nin önsözü kitap içinden bir miktar spoiler içeriyor; öyküler tek tek açıklanıyor kitabın başında, bu nedenle de öyküleri okuduktan sonra eş zamanlı olarak tek tek okunabilir diye düşünüyorum. Okuma zevkini de arttıracaktır. Kitap, arka kapakta yazdığı gibi, “kaçmak isteyenlerle kaçamayanların hikayelerini” anlatıyor. Ama bunu biraz genişletmek mümkün, burada sadece belli bir yerden ya da belli bir durumdan kaçmaya çalışmak durumundan değil; bunlarla birlikte “kaderinden kurtulmak”, “kişiliğinden kurtulmak” ve hatta “başka bir hayat mümkün müydü” sorusunu dahi alt metinde bulmak mümkün. “Eveline”, “Pansiyon”, “Küçük bir bulut”, “Üzücü bir olay” ve “Ölüler” en beğendiğim öyküler oldu. Bu beş öyküyü ikişer defa okudum hatta. Bana göre kitabın en zayıf iki öyküsü de “Yarıştan sonra” ve “Toprak” oldu. Bu iki öykü diğer öyküler kadar zengin değil bence, bu nedenle de etkilendiğimi söylemem zor olur. Joyce ile ilk defa tanışacak olanlara öncelikle bu kitabı tavsiye ederim. Özellikle Sanatçının Bir Genç Adam Olarak Portresi’nden önce okunursa okuma zevkini arttıracağını tahmin ediyorum. Ben Ulysses’ten başlayarak geriye doğru bir okuma yapmış oldum ama doğrusu Dublinliler’den başlamakmış maalesef..

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed

    جيمس جويس العزيز للغاية , المبتكر بشدة, البارع فيما يقدم, المذهل فيما يصف. مجموعة قصصية من أجمل ما يكون عن نماذج بشرية بسيطة , استطاع من خلالها الكاتب أن يمزج الرمزية بالخيال بالواقعية لينتج لنا عمل أدبي محترم. 12 قصة قصيرة اختلفت في الطول والشخصيات وحتى الإسلوب , فقدمت لنا نماذج قصصية مرهقة ومتعبة للغاية , ويبدو أنها قد أرهقت الكاتب نفسه ليخرج لنا هذا النموذج المميز. وكالعادة : يبدو اننا لكي نتذوق أدب جيمس جويس , أن نقرأ له بلغته الأم , فهذا مجال إبداعه الحقيقي , وهذا ليس معناه أن الترجمة سيئة, ال جيمس جويس العزيز للغاية , المبتكر بشدة, البارع فيما يقدم, المذهل فيما يصف. مجموعة قصصية من أجمل ما يكون عن نماذج بشرية بسيطة , استطاع من خلالها الكاتب أن يمزج الرمزية بالخيال بالواقعية لينتج لنا عمل أدبي محترم. 12 قصة قصيرة اختلفت في الطول والشخصيات وحتى الإسلوب , فقدمت لنا نماذج قصصية مرهقة ومتعبة للغاية , ويبدو أنها قد أرهقت الكاتب نفسه ليخرج لنا هذا النموذج المميز. وكالعادة : يبدو اننا لكي نتذوق أدب جيمس جويس , أن نقرأ له بلغته الأم , فهذا مجال إبداعه الحقيقي , وهذا ليس معناه أن الترجمة سيئة, الترجمة كافية ,ولكن ينقص المجموعة شئ ما. يغلب على المجموعة الطابع السوداوي والكآبة , ومخاطبة عميقة لأدق تفاصيل النفس البشرية , مع براعة مذهلة واهتمام يصل إلى درجة الهوس بالتفاصيل , كل التفاصيل بلا استثناء , وهذا أضفى للعمل جمال خاص. أجمل القصص بالنسبة لي كانت الرابعة(ايفلين) : ففيها عمق نفسي مميز للغاية. المجموعة متنوعة , تليق بمقام جويس الأدبي .

  26. 4 out of 5

    George

    This is a book of ghosts; a book full of life and death, and how lives are affected by life and death, and how the dead affected the lives of the living. Joyce makes one feel how all of these Dubliners are living; you will get swept up in their lives. Some stories are better than others, but they all had something to bring to the life Dublin. I can see this was the first stepping stone to getting to Ulysses from the use of the daily happenings of people. I loved the links that some of the stori This is a book of ghosts; a book full of life and death, and how lives are affected by life and death, and how the dead affected the lives of the living. Joyce makes one feel how all of these Dubliners are living; you will get swept up in their lives. Some stories are better than others, but they all had something to bring to the life Dublin. I can see this was the first stepping stone to getting to Ulysses from the use of the daily happenings of people. I loved the links that some of the stories carried from one to the next, from "Grace" to "The Dead", to male characters clearly did not want any candles. "One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annelies

    I must confess I dreaded a little to start reading something of James Joyce. I think I made the wright choice to start with 'Dubliners'. I really appreciated the stories although they are not always easy to understand. The last story for example begins with festivities for Christmas. At the end of the party the woman of the main charachter introduces herself. She descends from the staircase as in many ghoststories the ghost appears. One wonders if it's a ghost, if she's just an image that Gabrie I must confess I dreaded a little to start reading something of James Joyce. I think I made the wright choice to start with 'Dubliners'. I really appreciated the stories although they are not always easy to understand. The last story for example begins with festivities for Christmas. At the end of the party the woman of the main charachter introduces herself. She descends from the staircase as in many ghoststories the ghost appears. One wonders if it's a ghost, if she's just an image that Gabriel sees. From than on it is a story of the couple and the bound between them. Joyce makes any effort to accentuate death. Is the woman then dead as we first tought? Also Gabriel is obsessed by death More exactly the death of former boyfriends of his wife. In the end they are in bed and he asks himself: "One by one they where all becoming shapes. Better pass boldly into that other world , in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover's eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live." There is much passion in this tale, joy in the beginning and jealousy and death at the end. The stories also end with this story and with death. Also in the first story we see death as a priest lays on his deathbed. A young boy was his friend and can not accept he is death. Though he is confronted with truth and learns about death. You could say the stories form a cycle: they begin and end with death. Further in the other stories we see a whole kind of different persons: how they live, what they do and what they say. Most people are poor and/or working class. So no luxuries for them . Their life is basal and although it is, they mostly enjoy it. It gives an important picture of live in Dublin around 1900 .

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    Araby and The Dead probably are two of the best short stories ever written, but other than those two, nothing in this collection stood out to me. Joyce's prose is equal parts excellent and dated, making it something at times I really enjoyed, and others hated. In general, I'm a big fan of accessible books, and while these stories are by no means Finnegans Wake, they're still a little too symbolic for my taste, and still too light on plot and character personalities to hold my interest.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin.”--Joyce "Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.” Dubliners is “There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin.”--Joyce "Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.” Dubliners is, by reputation (among English professors and scholars, at least) one of the greatest collections of short stories ever produced. Of course, as they say, them’s fightin’ words, so have it your own way, but I vote with that crowd of high admirers, and always have, having read it or stories from it, many times. This is the first time I am hearing it read aloud, in the appropriately Irish voice of Connor Sheridan, that somehow captures the dry and at sometimes mournful wit the ex-patriate Joyce brings to this tribute to the Dubliners he left behind. Some have found it dry and maudlin, even grim, primarily a critique of the people Joyce left behind, but I found it at turns gently satirical, sometimes melancholy, and always loving, portraits of a time and place, filled with local politics and religion and (especially) finely sketched characters, some stories focused on lost opportunities for love or leaving. In 2000 Time Magazine listed the greatest novels of the twentieth century and listed the difficult English major Everest of Ulysses as the worthiest literary mountain to climb, #1, which prompted thousands of Americans who may never have read 100 novels to read the first three pages and promptly declare Joyce a boring and inscrutable idiot. Though I do think Ulysses is one of the greatest novels ever written, I don’t think it would be particularly enjoyable for the general population; nor do I think most people “should” read it. But Joyce is an amazing writer; he wrote four works of fiction, in increasing levels of difficulty and formal experimentalism. If you like short stories and want to try Joyce I would try Dubliners, the most recognizably traditional stories. If you like that, I might then try the somewhat more formally challenging A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. If you decide to go to graduate school, then consider Ulysses, sure, but only then, which owes something mock-epic to Homer’s Odyssey, and each chapter in a literary style of different periods/centuries. Finnegan’s Wake, which took him twenty years to write, almost no one reads, for good reason. It is so experimental most people can’t make heads or tails of a single paragraph. (No, I have not yet finished it, and probably never will). Dubliners, published in 1914 (after nearly ten years of his trying to get it published!), is short, as story collections go. I have my favorites: “Eveline,” about a young shop girl conflicted about leaving her widowed father to live life with a sailor: “He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.” And “Araby,” about a shy young man’s fruitless pursuit of a young woman, dooming them both to loneliness. “. . . and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.” “Sometimes he caught himself listening to the sound of his own voice. He thought that in her eyes he would ascent to an angelical stature; and, as he attached the fervent nature of his companion more and more closely to him, he heard the strange impersonal voice which he recognised as his own, insisting on the soul's incurable loneliness. We cannot give ourselves, it said: we are our own.” He’s ambitious for her, but at the same time, he sees himself clearly and sadly: “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” Some of the deft observations of character in the writing are beautiful. Of one woman: “She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure and fixed: and though she knew the small number of his talents she appreciated his abstract value as a male.” And about Mr. Duffy: “He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a verb in the past tense.” The true gem of the collection may be the magnificent and mournful closing long story, “The Dead,” which features Gabriel, asked to give a short speech in honor of his aunts at a holiday party, who is disappointed not to “experience intimacy” with his wife Greta after the party, seeing her sadly draped on the bed. A song that was sung at the party reminded her of a time when she was seventeen when she had loved a boy, Michael Furey, who lost his life in the war. Gabriel is jealous of a love she sees Greta had for this boy, a love that he and Greta have perhaps never had themselves. And then, this reflection, using snow to punctuate Gabriel's sense of himself and maybe Joyce's view of Dublin: “A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” Proust wrote: "In reality, when he reads, each reader is actually the reader of his own self. The work of the writer is nothing more than a kind of optical instrument that the writer offers. It allows the reader to discern that which, without the book, he might not have been able to see in himself." Do we not in our empathetic reading of Gabriel, see ourselves and reflect on our own lives? Many characters in Dubliners experience the struggle about whether to stay or leave, or to just act passionately, facing a kind of paralysis that Joyce refers to in the opening story, “The Sisters”: “I wanted real adventures to happen to myself. But real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad.” One must act, one must move, one must engage with the world, one must break free from provincial beliefs. Dubliners is a wonderful collection, short enough to read in a few hours. It’s full of self-reflection and "inwardness." Listen to it, read it. Some of the stories have been made into films, like John Huston’s The Dead. Here’s the whole story “The Dead” for you to read. (You’re welcome): http://english-learners.com/wp-conten... .

  30. 4 out of 5

    Reckoner

    Οι Δουβλινέζοι είναι τύποι παρακμιακοί, από την άποψη ότι ζούν στο περιθώριο της ζωής. Σε καμία ιστορία δεν συμβαίνουν συγκλονιστικά μυθιστορηματικού τύπου γεγονότα. Σε κάθε μία όμως από αυτές ο εκάστοτε πρωταγωνιστής βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπος με μια αλλαγή( είτε το θέλει είτε όχι) ή θέλει να υπάρξει μια αλλαγή στην ζωή του. Μικρά, ασήμαντα, εξωτερικά γεγονότα πυροδοτούν τις αγωνίες και τους προβληματισμούς των χαρακτήρων, τους εκθέτουν και τους ταράσσουν περιμένοντας πολλά αλλα παραμένοντας δέσμιοι Οι Δουβλινέζοι είναι τύποι παρακμιακοί, από την άποψη ότι ζούν στο περιθώριο της ζωής. Σε καμία ιστορία δεν συμβαίνουν συγκλονιστικά μυθιστορηματικού τύπου γεγονότα. Σε κάθε μία όμως από αυτές ο εκάστοτε πρωταγωνιστής βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπος με μια αλλαγή( είτε το θέλει είτε όχι) ή θέλει να υπάρξει μια αλλαγή στην ζωή του. Μικρά, ασήμαντα, εξωτερικά γεγονότα πυροδοτούν τις αγωνίες και τους προβληματισμούς των χαρακτήρων, τους εκθέτουν και τους ταράσσουν περιμένοντας πολλά αλλα παραμένοντας δέσμιοι της ρουτίνας. Ο καθένας τους αντιδρά διαφορετικά όμως εκείνο το μοτίβο που επαναλαμβάνεται είναι αυτό της ματαίωσης και των χαμένων ευκαιριών. Είναι τύποι ρεαλιστικοί προσκολλημένοι στις ζωές τους που επιχιερούν μικρές επαναστάσεις που δεν οδηγούν όμως εκεί που επιθυμούν. Το Δουβλίνο δεσπόζει στα σύντομα ψυχογραφήματα του Τζόυς ρίχοντας τις σκιές και το σκοτάδι του στους ιδαίτερους και αινιγματικούς μας χαρακτήρες λειτουργώντας ώς ένα ταιριαστό και ατμοσφαιρκό φόντο. Μπράβο κύριε Τζόυς και σας είχα πάρει με κακό μάτι.

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