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Modern Classics Dubliners Paperback – Feb 1 2000
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About the Author
James Joyce (1882-1941) was born and educated in Dublin. Although he spent most of his adult life outside Ireland, Joyce's psychological and fictional universe is firmly rooted in his native Dublin, the city which provides the settings and much of the subject matter for all his fiction. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922) and its controversial successor Finnegans Wake (1939), as well as the short story collection Dubliners (1914) and the semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).
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Top Customer Reviews
James Joyce's Dubliners as one of the best collection of short stories ever put together. The settings are amazing and the rich and lively characters all combine with the incredible plots to add credence to the stories. Not only are they true to life in fitting with the atmosphere that one finds in Dublin, the stories are also hilarious, subtle, and inspirational and gripping. The pace of the stories is fast and the voices are rich. This is a highly recommended read along with UNION MOUJIK, FINNEGANS WAKE, THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES,ICE ROAD, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE
With the Modernists, literature begins to shift away from the hoity-toity implied authors so popular in the Victorian Era. (Dickens is most famous for this, though I think the words "hoity-toity" are ironic according to his intentions, but right-on in terms of his prose style.) T.S. Eliot was infamous for saying that a writer must banish himself from what he writes. One question I always have is this: can that actually happen? Surely, the very act of writing, where details are selected, ordered, and described has to accord with someone's vision. Perhaps the implied author that readers can picture so clearly from the Victorian Era instead becomes a "ghost author"--or, as Joyce so eloquently puts it in 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man": "The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent paring his fingernails." This makes the act of composition one of inevitable consumption, both by the editing process and the reading process.Read more ›
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Joyce examines specifically the paralysis of his city at the time, but on a larger scale he exposes the self-enslavement to which all human beings potentially fall subject. His heroes are not victorious, but they have been made aware. The reader is not as engrossed by what is actually happening as he is by how the character feels - and he is profoundly grateful and moved by this. No detail should be overlooked in these stories; each one quietly beholds the whole Universe.
The stories are arranged chronologically, so it is additionally rewarding to read them in order. If you'd rather pick and choose, don't miss "Araby", "Eveline", "A Little Cloud", and "The Dead", the latter being the masterpiece of the collection. Penguin Modern Classics version includes a scholarly introduction and notes on names, dates, places: informative but ancillary - read them after you've finished the stories.
There is in the stories an intense lyricism and music which climax in the title story.
The great Joycean themes of stifling family, church, country are presented here without emphasis on what will be the central Joyce theme in 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' and 'Ulysses ' - the liberating power of Art.
But the liberating power is there within the stories themselves which are deep renderings of the world Joyce has reforged in the smithy of his soul as his own.
Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens