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in stores and worth perusing
Posted by Anonymous on 5/19/1999
I found several copies of the book, new and unused, for sale at Heffers bookstore in Cambridge, UK.
The drawings, photographs, and newspaper clippings provide a first hand sense of what Joyce's Dublin was like then. Like a mail order fountain pen, whose newspaper advertisement from Christmas 1903 is reproduced in the book. Maybe Gabriel Conroy bought one. I've never used a fountain pen - to me the advertisement is a subtle reminder of how distant Joyce's Dublin is from us now.
Warning - It's tempting to spend more time reading the notes and annotations than reading Joyce himself.
Illuminating, Overwhelming - A Masterpiece
Posted by Herbert Plummer on 12/2/2005
Joyce's short story collection "Dubliners" transcends the ethos of the genre in its seemingly undramatic quality, its epiphanic climaxes, its focus on the nobodies of dreary Dublin. Indeed, Dublin becomes a microcosm for the world in these stories, and each character representative of mankind, much like Bloom's single-day experience in "Ulysses" is a microcosm of a whole lifetime.
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/11/1999
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.