by James Joyce


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Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character experiences a life-changing self-understanding or illumination, and the idea of paralysis where Joyce felt Irish nationalism stagnated cultural progression, placing Dublin at the heart of this regressive movement. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780368906794
Publisher: Blurb, Inc.
Publication date: 10/02/2019
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Keri Walsh is Assistant Professor of English at Fordham University. She is the editor of The Letters of Sylvia Beach (Columbia University Press, 2010).

Date of Birth:

February 2, 1882

Date of Death:

January 13, 1941

Place of Birth:

Dublin, Ireland

Place of Death:

Zurich, Switzerland


B.A., University College, Dublin, 1902

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Table of Contents

Appendix A: Contemporary Reviews

  1. Times Literary Supplement (18 June 1914)
  2. Athenaeum (20 June 1914)
  3. New Statesman (27 June 1914)
  4. Everyman Review (3 July 1914)
  5. Academy (11 July 1914)
  6. From Ezra Pound, “Dubliners and Mr. James Joyce,” The Egoist (15 July 1914)
  7. The Irish Book Lover (November 1914)

Appendix B: Literary Contexts

  1. From Matthew Arnold, “On the Study of Celtic Literature” (1867)
  2. From Padraic Colum, “With James Joyce in Ireland” (1922)
  3. From Henry James, “The Story-Teller at Large: Mr. Henry Harland” (April 1898)
  4. From Émile Zola, Preface to Thérèse Raquin: A Realistic Novel (1887)
  5. Caroline Norton, “The Arab’s Farewell to His Horse” (c. 1830)
  6. From W.B. Yeats, “Ireland and the Arts” (1903)
  7. From John Eglinton, “The Philosophy of the Celtic Movement” (1918)

Appendix C: Dublin Musical and Performance Culture

  1. From Augusta Gregory, “West Irish Ballads” (1903)
  2. Charles Dibdin, “The Lass that Loves a Sailor” (1811)
  3. George Linley, “Arrayed for the Bridal” (1835)
  4. Anonymous, “The Lass of Aughrim” (date unknown)
  5. Alfred Bunn and Michael William Balfe, “I Dreamt that I Dwelt in Marble Halls” (1843)
  6. “Dougherty’s Boarding House,” Wheman Bros.’ Pocket Size Irish Song Book (1909)

Appendix D: Emigration

  1. From Rev. Michael J. Henry, “A Century of Irish Emigration” (1900)
  2. From Maud Gonne, “Ways of Checking Emigration” (15 October 1901)
  3. Philip Francis Little, “Farewell to the Land” (1901)
  4. From Sophie Raffalovich O’Brien, “Parents and Children” (1904)

Appendix E: Religion, Home Rule, and the Struggle for Independence

  1. From Charles Stewart Parnell’s Address in Cork (22 January 1885)
  2. From Katharine Tynan, “The Parnell Split” (1912)
  3. From Filson Young, “Holy Ireland” (1903)
  4. Maud Gonne, “The Famine Queen” (7 April 1900)
  5. From Michael J.F. McCarthy, “In Catholic Dublin” (1903)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Cold is the heart that can resist a warm Irish accent like Gerard Doyle's, especially when that voice is offering splendid material like this Joyce classic. . . . Heartbreaking epiphanies abound, and Doyle artfully walks the vocal line between empathy and cool efficiency with his performance." —-AudioFile

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Dubliners 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 425 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dublin at the turn of the nineteenth century is this book's source of inspiration. Joyce here captures a sense of sadness, a sense of folly, and a sense of unsatisfaction in this collection of short stories. Fourteen were intended by Joyce for The Dubliners, and in this Bantom Books Reprint, the lyrically written, but awkwardly structured 'The Dead' has been included (it reads in two seemingly incongruent parts). My notables include 'A Mother', 'A Little Cloud', and 'Counterparts'. 'The Dead' is hailed by the literati as a great piece, and the second half of the story captures the distance that can occur in a marriage, the effects of a perceived affair on a husband and a woman's longing for what could have been if she'd married differently. This collection of stories is compulsory for any James Joyce reader, as it is a sharp contrast in style to Finnegan's Wake or Ulysses. I find the value in it, if one wants to be absolutely immersed in a different time and place, and read some passionately painful, realistic stories. The morals of these stories can be interpreted open-endedly, like most great art, and at times may be too subtle for the modern reader. One drawback to this edition. Shame on Bantam for not presenting the punctuation as Joyce intended. He originally demarcates his changed in dialogue with dashes, rather than standard quotation mark indicators. What is the point of reading the book how the author did not intend it read? Read the book, but choose an edition true to the author's intent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dubliners is a wonderful masterpiece that is insightful and cascades with beauty through its words splashed upon the pages. My personal favorite story is 'The Dead' which is Joyce's transition from his more simplistic writing into what will later become his stream of conciousness and deeply imbedded symbolism style of writing that we see in Ulysses. I recommend this to anyone. Some of the short stories are easier to read than others, but there shouldn't be any great trouble in any of them. Each story has its unique beauty and truth about the human race.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dubliners is a revelation into the dark side of human reasoning. It¿s a smashing book, when you are done with it you understand why people do stupid things, drink excessively or gamble (the reasoning behind it). This book is a benchmark in literary competence that everyone should read. I love this book because it gives the perspective of the lower class of Dublin children skipping school, alcoholics exedra. James Joyce has exceeded the expectations for word choice of the finest writers. It is a book of short, stories each chapter gives a different perspective of the same day in Dublin. James Joyce also wrote the Odyssey which by many standards is the hardest book to understand (in English) and is legendary for its complexity. The Dubliners retains all the richness and word of the Odyssey but everyone can (should) understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second James Joyce book I have read and it goes to reinforce the feeling I had after reading the first that that writer is a great storyteller. In fact, I consider 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.
CalesG More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my AP Literature class, but I ended up buying my own copy to keep notes in..and also because I liked it so much. I loved the message that Joyce was trying to portray with this novel: Dublin (and society as a whole) was stuck in a never-ending circle, paralyzed if you will, of drinking, passionless love and lives, materialism, meaningless faith, etc. I had never read something quite like this before, and I loved the creative grouping of the chapters into a timeline type thing. My favorite chapter was Evelyn. All in all, it was a pretty good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A GREAT book. If it were a good book it would show this dank, depressive, captivating and surreal world. Instead it emerses you in this world. Joyce's writing is so spontaneous. I despise being gushing but it is Joyce. The man is a genius. (I realise I should refer to him in the past tense but his writing seems to suspened his intellect and reality in time). He never resorts to the writing-by-numbers tecnique of presenting characters with a view to evoking sympathetic sentiments from the reader. Characters aren't pleasant so that you want to be their friend or unsuccesful/destructive/pathetic for the purpose of making the reader feel smug, successful and sensible. I can't recommend this book enough. It's an experience. One which you may find tiring and depressing but which is completely worthwhile. And compared to Finnegans Wake it's a walk in the park! Allows you to experience Joyce's writing without completely perplexing you (speaking from experience!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barnes and Noble needs to kick out all of the people that are posting solicitations and personal chats. This is for reviews of authors and books only.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maximum walked in, smirking a bit.
RogerGPerkins More than 1 year ago
Added this to my collection because I remember enjoying it very much as the focus of a literature course at the university in the late 1950's or early 1960s. Joyce captures the essence of every day people doing every day things. Modern Library Series has been my source for so many classics.
Anonymous 8 months ago
ysar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't explain why I love this book so much, but I found it incredible. Perhaps it was the simple tales about average people or the glimpses into the oddities of everyday life. In any case, the collection of quick stories is thoroughly entertaining and should be on everyone's must-read list
Scriberpunk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My mother used to call me a Jackeen. I thought at first she was calling me a Dubliner, an Anglicised city boy, which is one of its meanings and insult enough from a Culchie like her. A Culchie is someone from the Irish countryside. Keep up at the back. It turns out Jackeen also means a drunken waster, which is more probably what she meant, but the two definitions are one and the same to her I reckon.Joyce, in The Dubliners, never uses the word but there are one or two of both types of Jackeen scattered throughout the collection of short stories.The book reminds me of an Ian Dury album. He makes the ordinary extraordinary. He takes the small and mundane moments of everyday life and turns them into celebrations of existence. The stories start with tales of childhood and convey the tension and detail that consume a child¿s life perfectly and continue throughout lifetimes until the last story, The Dead, which finishes with the best piece of writing I have ever read.The perfect book to have in your pocket when waiting for someone in a pub. Preferably someone unreliable who wont turn up on time.
cdeuker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joyce's other books are difficult (Portrait of an Artist) to impossible (Finnegans Wake). This one reminds me of Chekhov. Closely observed lives. . . no sentimentality, no phony psychology. I found it wonderful and wish that Joyce hadn't become such a pedant. Had he used his incredible talent to write more books people actually read, the world of literature would be the better. Instead he chose to write pedantic books for pedants.
NarelleJ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It seems no one can leave the depression of Dublin.
deptstoremook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A practice run for Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man and Ulysses. Some good moments, but a lot of flops; the only "great" stories are Araby, Eveline, and The Dead. Not that the others aren't enjoyable; Joyce is at his best when he has more breathing room than the short story form allows.
hazzabamboo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed all but a couple of these stories. Dublin, the time and the characters come through fully formed. Apart from a couple - 'Ivy Day in the Committee Room' for example, though that was partly because I don't know enough the history of Irish politics. 'The Dead' is celebrated according to my edition, and it's easy to see why, though not by describing its plot. That's the strength though - it's a dinner party with dancing, nothing more dramatic than that on the surface, but there are many more stories subsumed within, and you can't help but share some of Gabriel's feelings as time goes on.
CatrionaOlding3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Dead is quite the most moving love story I've ever read. For anyone who's lost someone.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I ended up liking this book by the end, despite hating it in the beginning. Joyce writes a series of short stories about the characters of Dublin - some of which feel like the end of the story was chopped off. Until I got used to the rhythm and the structure, it was hard to enjoy this book. I enjoyed some of the portraits more than others. Although it has the setting of a historical fiction, this is not the type of book I would typically like. Recommended with reservations. I read this book using DailyLit's email service.
sbszine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When he wanted to, he could really write conventional fiction. Great stuff.
fuzzy_patters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dubliners is a collection of short stories about the Irish middle class. Each story is about a different person or group of people, and they are not really connected to each other in theme until you get to the last two pages of the book. At that point, you come to realize Joyce's purpose in writing this collection, and it all comes together for you.This is one of those books that I could not put down, had a profound affect on me emotionally at times, and yet, I doubt there is any one moment or character that will stick with me. In a way, that's the genius of it in that it perfectly captures the prosaic life of the middle class. In the end, one begins to lament the meaninglessness of his own life and the fact that most of our lives are not really worth telling stories about. Joyce celebrates this commonality in a moving way by telling it to us straight with little flourish, which would serve to make it maudlin. Come to think of it, I guess this book might just stick with me a little longer than I thought.
Jesperwestra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading Joyce is like what reading was like when you were a kid - an almost physical experience. He is so good at creating an atmosphere, you can almost smell the air of turn-of-the century Dublin as you follow his characters through their quietly unsatisfied lives. 'Dubliners', in 15 sketches of hugely different people, gives you a very profound sense of what this city (and in fact the entire country) was like at the time, suspended in limbo; clinging to tradition in a sometimes mechanical way, yet yearning to be part of a bigger world. This is most pronounced in the story 'Eveline', where a girl is torn between duties to her family and the promise of a better, happier life abroad with her sweetheart. All in all, 'Dubliners' was a great read and something I'd recommend to anyone. I really like short stories and episodic novels (Dubliners falls somewhere in between I think, because the 15 stories add up to something bigger) because they allow you to catch your breath in between. I'm still a little anxious to touch 'Ulysses', its hugeness and impenetrability being rather legendary, so 'Dubliners' was my way to dip my toe in the water. I also think Irish history and culture are very interesting, and you get a lot of that (references, so keep wikipedia at hand) as well.
trinityM82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent collection - favorites include "The Boarding House" about a strong woman trying to marry off her beautiful daughter before she picks some ne'rdowell who wouldn't be able to support her - it's brilliant because the mother is manipulative but you don't really see any true maliciousness in her actions - something so hard to do.
Salmondaze on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can be said of James Joyce, the son of John Joyce, that hasn¿t been said already? He was the partially blind bard of Ireland and at the same time the only heir apparent to Shakespeare himself, whose four works of prose fiction are each masterpieces, and whose ¿apocrypha¿ (by which I mean his work outside of prose fiction, including verse poetry, drama, and an early version of Portrait called Stephen Hero), if not of the high standards set otherwise, holds literary merit and esteem in its own right.Dubliners, Joyce¿s first masterpiece and only collection of short stories, carries in its pages all of the self-assured sophistication and willingness to break rules Joyce was famous for, but a much lesser degree of the ¿obscurity¿ he would pioneer in his next books and take to its fullest extent and conclusion in the dream freakout of Finnegans Wake, which would famously be called obscure by Ezra Pound, who wrote The Cantos . Dubliners is one of the greatest collections of short stories in the English language, if not the greatest collection. Centering around Joyce¿s idea of the epiphany, or moments of great reflection, introspection, or realization, each story centers on the moment when a given character¿s true self is brought out. It may be somewhat hard to understand and slow going at first, but once you catch on to what Joyce is doing ¿ I caught on about half way through ¿ then you will be hooked.¿Two Sisters¿, the first story, starts the collection on a dour note. A boy in mourning over his mentor, a priest named Flynn, isn¿t sure how to deal with the ramifications of his first brush with mortality. Spiritually connected with the last story, ¿The Dead¿, this story with its abrupt ending (mid conversation) shows that Joyce is not about to hold your hand through this collection. You¿re going to have to dig in and find the purpose of the story yourself- there is no moral help, no conventional use of plot, and no tropes, allegories, or indicators.And that¿s just the tone of the stories as they go through. The narrator doesn¿t help you with anything and the characters are left to voice themselves and moralize on their own. To give you a little more information, ¿An Encounter¿ is about two boys¿ acquaintance with an old lecherous pervert, ¿Two Gallants¿ details a couple of con men who find a maid willing to steal from her employer, ¿A Painful Case¿ is the realization of a man who rebuffs a woman that he has condemned her to a life of loneliness and isolation. These are the types of stories you can expect to find within the world of Dubliners.These are all great stories and each has its own unique, individual flavor, but the crowning jewel of the set would have to be ¿The Dead.¿ At around 15,000 words, some would consider this to be a novella, but its themes and materials are actually inextricable from the rest of the collection. It really is the consummation of all of the other stories, an intensification of what is happening throughout the rest of the book. It also breaks the most rules. First off, the story tricks the reader by starting out with a focus on one of the minor characters in the story. In fact, not only is the focus on the door maid Lily, but even her thoughts are exposed right from the beginning sentence which starts, ¿Lily, the caretaker¿s daughter, was literally run off her feet.¿ Since the story takes place in a sophisticated upper-crust party, it was obviously not the case that she was literally run off her feet. The narrator was simply using the kind of words she herself would have used to describe her situation, and so a kind of deep penetration into her thoughts was achieved.This is, of course, strange and unusual, because Lily is not the main character of the story, as I have stated. She is merely a side character. The main characters of the story are a husband and wife named Gabriel and Gretta Conroy. But this isn¿t the only act of trickery the author participates in. Even the setting is illusory as event
figre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most interesting thing about this collection of James Joyce short stories is not that they are accessible (in contradiction to so much of what Joyce has written); but that they are the epitome of the old cliché ¿the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.¿ That is to say, few of these stories really stand out. Yes, there are a couple of exceptions. But the majority are just okay stories. However, taken as a whole, these provide a fascinating picture of the town where they all take place. As the stories unfold, the people become more and more real, and the town takes on a shape.The intent of these stories was two-fold. The first was to stand on their own. Not all that successful. The second is to paint an overall picture, and that they do with much better success.It is said that this collection is a good introduction to Joyce. Could well be. As I say, they are quite accessible. But I can say that there is an underlying enjoyment to reading the stories that sneaks up on the reader.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two things that struck me about these short stories. One, the writing is so vivid. Mr. Joyce focuses a tight lens on the details - and everything comes alive. Two, these stories are less stories in the sense of narrative than stories in the sense of catching a glimpse of a life - like looking through a window at a moment or two in an on-going story. The trick in this is that the window catches just that moment that tells the whole story.