DUBLINERS BY JAMES JOYCE
PROJECT GUTTENBERG (E-BOOK), 2001, FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1914
This book is part of my Popsugar Reading Challenge 2015 (http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458). The category for this book is ‘a book more than 100 years old’.
I also put a bit of thought into this choice. I spent some time looking into popular books published in 1914. Dubliners is the only one that sounded interesting. I’ve had a copy on my kobo for a while and never got round to reading it. Joyce is an author on my ‘to read’ list. Dubliners ticked all the right boxes.
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Dubliners was completed in ’05, but British & Irish publishers & printers found it so offensive & immoral it was suppressed. It finally came out in London in ’14, just as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man began to appear in the journal Egoist under Ezra Pound’s auspices. The 1st three stories might be incidents from a draft of Portrait of the Artist & many of the characters who figure in Ulysses 1st appear here, but this isn’t a book of interest only because of its relationship to Joyce’s life & mature work. It’s one of the great story collections in the English language–a brilliant, unflinching, often tragic portrait of early 20th-century Dublin. The book, which begins & ends with a death, moves from “stories of my childhood” thru tales of public life. Its larger purpose, Joyce said, was as a moral history of Ireland.
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 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 it and to look upon its deadly work.
This is my first time reading James Joyce. I have a copy of his best known novel, Ulysses on my kobo. I might read it one day.
I really enjoyed this collection of stories, all set in Dublin and mainly dealing with working class people and their daily lives. Every story in Dubliners is well written, enjoyable and has great setting and characterisation. My favourite stories are The Sisters, An Encounter, After The Race, The Boarding House, Counterparts and Ivy Day In The Committee Room. The other stories were all very good. Joyce is an excellent writer if the great stories in this collection are anything to go by. I definitely want to check out Ulysses.