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Dubliners (Twentieth-Century Classics)
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0140186476
ISBN-13: 9780140186475
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Release Date: June, 1993
Length: 368 Pages
Weight: 10.56 ounces
Dimensions: 7.72 X 5.04 X 0.71 inches
Language: English

Dubliners (Twentieth-Century Classics)

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"Dubliners" was completed in 1905, but a series of British and Irish publishers and printers found it offensive and immoral, and it was suppressed. The book finally came out in London in 1914, just as Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" began to appear in the journal "Egoist" under the auspices of Ezra Pound. The firs...
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Customer Reviews

  This Joyce guy might amount to something

I wish I could stand up here and make some pretentious claim that this is the "greatest short story collection of all time!" or something along those lines but I generally don't read short stories or short story collections. But I like James Joyce and so figured what the heck, I made it through Ulysses, this should be a cakewalk. So I read it and if you were wowed by Ulysses then this should reconfirm Joyce's genius for you and that he could do other writing besides that wacky postmodern stuff (before there really was a postmodern). If you're not a Joyce fan most of these (other than a notable handful) probably won't convert you. In essence these are Joyce's portraits of the people of Dublin and the city itself, most of these stories are character sketches, mostly following a few people around as they go about their lives. They were written over a period of time so the quality does vary a bit, the first few stories I don't find anything special but by the time you get to around "Two Gallants" the quality takes a sharp spike upward and stays there right until the end. The prose is fairly easy to follow, the worst part is deciphering all the Irish names and slang that are used liberally for obvious reasons . . . if anything it showed me how two cultures who technically speak the language can sound so different. The stories run the gamut of the "slice of life" genre, if such a thing exists, showing people from all walks of life and all classes of society, showing them as realistically as Joyce could, all their fears and foibles, warts and all. At his best he makes you live the lives of the characters and immerses you deeply into the city of Dublin, probably more than any group of short stories has ever brought a city to life. If you're still not convinced, then take this advice, buy the book for the sake of only one story, the last story in the collection, "The Dead" . . . simply put it is one of the best pieces of short fiction I have ever read. It starts off mundanely enough at a party but by the time the characters leave the party and go back to their hotel the writing becomes something almost otherworldly and Joyce starts writing some of the most evocative prose ever put on paper. If the last few pages don't send chills down your spine, then you must be dead. That's the only explanation. After that gem, everything else is just icing on the cake. Simply put, everyone should read "The Dead" and if you're the type of person whose fancy shall be struck by the rest of the stories here, so much the better.
  dear dirty Dublin

As a young man, James Joyce abandoned his hometown of Dublin, and yet, he never wrote about any other place. He had also rejected Catholicism, and yet all his characters are dominated by it. DUBLINERS, Joyce's collection of short stories which set the standard for the genre, is filled with characters who come to terrible revelations (which he called "epiphanies") about how their lives had been scarred by the provincialism of Dublin, the divisiveness of its politics, and the oppression of religion. By extension, this is how Joyce percieved humanity at the dawn of modernism.

The stories range from the psychologially simple ("Counterparts" and "A Little Cloud") to the extraordinarily complex ("A Painful Case" and "The Dead"). But what is common throughout is the feel for Dublin just after the turn of the last century. The readers see the cobblestones, the chimneys, the trams and carts, the churches, and the street lamps. More importantly, the readers feel the tensions underlying the public smiles and infrequent bursts of confidence that the characters exhibit.

The pinnacle of this collection is "The Dead". A novella, actually, "The Dead" encompasses everything: politics, religion, art, journalism, history, love, and the inevitability of death rendering all worldly things meaningless. This doesn't mean the story is a downer: this death is necessary to making a fresh start. The ending of "The Dead" has been interpreted in hundreds of ways. However, there is no denying that as Joyce "pulls back the camera" from the Conroy's hotel room to the universe above, the writing swells to its most beautiful. To me, this is a movement toward the future, toward change, leaving the living dead behind to a more spiritual life on Earth.

Rocco Dormarunno, author of The Five Points.


My first encounter with Joyce was an English Lit. course in college, some twenty years ago now. We were assigned to read an anthologized version of "The Dead", and I initially approached it as one does all such reading requirements at that foolish age; however, this particular story ending up affecting me quite unlike anything I had ever read before. Dubliners is a beautifully written collection of thematically inter-related stories involving day to day life in early 20th century Dublin - stories that masterfully evoke what Faulkner described in his Nobel address as being the essential nature of true art: A portrayal of the human heart in conflict with itself. "The Dead" is the final story in the collection, and my favorite. I have re-read it numerous times and am so consumed by it that I'm not even able to provide an objective review. The final pages, from the point where Gabriel and Greta leave the party, to the end of the story, are absolutly stunning; the poetry of the words, the profound humanity represented - defies description. As in the final line of Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo" - You must change your life.
  One of the greatest and most influential collections

Though now more famous for his later, immense, incredibly ambitious novels, James Joyce's early collection of short stories remains a classic - and for good reason. Joyce, as someone once pointed out, was and remains almost unique among writers in that he published only masterpieces. Granted, he took years (eventually decades) to write each book - yes, even this slim volume of 15 short stories. It paid off. Just as Joyce was immensely influential with his stream-of-consciousness (or interior monologue) style used in Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man and Ulysses (#3 and #1 on Modern Libary's Top 100 Books of the 20th century, respectively), and the... let us say, indescribable, style of Finnegan's Wake (which people are STILL trying to figure out), his style in writing these short stories became almost the archetype for short fiction in this century. Instead of focusing on action-oriented events in the story (or, as Edgar Allen Poe suggested, by trying to create a particular mood), Joyce instead centered on the simple, everyday mundane events of regular life. This not only made the stories seem realistic and believable, but also made them universally applicable. This is the reason why this is considered one of the greatest short story collections of all-time, and has been one of the most widely anthologized. A true classic of the 20th century.
  Dublin as the center of the world

Despite being written almost a hundred years ago, James Joyce's `Dubliners' is still as fresh as when it was released. The characters are Dubliners, but above all they are human beings and act as such, and this makes this collection of fifteen stories so universal. Moreover this book is a good start for readers who want to read Joyce and are afraid of his most famous and notoriously difficult works such as "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake".

The tales are supposed to be read in the order they are published because they follow the natural course of the human life. The first ones deal with childhood, then with adolescence, later adulthood --and in this segment some of them deal with public life-- and the last one is called "The Dead", making it clear that the stories follow the sequence of life events that happen to everyone.

Joyce's brother Stanislaus Joyce once wrote that the book pairs up stories on common themes: adolescent life, sporting life, artistic life, amorous life, political life, religious life, and celibate life (male and female), plus four 'petty employees' (two married and two unmarried), plus the final story on 'holiday life'. But this kind of classification is only a plus when one reads the book, because what really matters is Joyce's ability to create real people and situation.

Not only does the writer makes a wonderful job when developing his characters in such a small form of telling a story, but he also has a sophisticated command of the language. And some academics claim that "The Dead" is one of the best --if not THE best-- piece of short fiction written in the 20 century.

The view of the human nature in this book is quite dark most of the time, dealing mostly with the failure or the impossibility of acquisition something desired, Joyce is able to sneak in the human soul and its incapability of coping with loss, fear and another difficult feelings.

Most of the stories in "Dubliners" are not easy to be read, but all of them are a real pleasure to be discovered. An important book that with some concentration is accessible to everyone.