- Series: White Seahorse Classics
- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 22, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 153541605X
- ISBN-13: 978-1535416054
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 505 customer reviews
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Dubliners (White Seahorse Classics) Paperback – July 22, 2016
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About the Author
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde, and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he utilized. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters. Joyce was born in 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin—about half a mile from his mother's birthplace in Terenure—into a middle-class family on the way down. A brilliant student, he excelled at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father's alcoholism and unpredictable finances. He went on to attend University College Dublin. In 1904, in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated permanently to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste, Paris, and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe centres on Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses, he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal." As he was completing work on Dubliners in 1906, Joyce considered adding another story featuring a Jewish advertising canvasser called Leopold Bloom under the title Ulysses. Although he did not pursue the idea further at the time, he eventually commenced work on a novel using both the title and basic premise in 1914. The writing was completed in October 1921. Three more months were devoted to working on the proofs of the book before Joyce halted work shortly before his self-imposed deadline, his 40th birthday (2 February 1922). from wikipedia
Top customer reviews
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I figured this book was going to be like any other book I've had to purchase for a college course. As a student you're pressured to purchase it per the course guidelines and ultimately you do so not to negatively affect your grade since the assignments and exams are based off of the readings. To my surprise, I really really enjoyed this book. My professor was pretty out there, but incredibly smart, and provided insightful information on each chapter from Dubliners. Oddly enough, I still think about these short stories regularly as I see certain themes from the book transpire in my own life. To fully experience James Joyce's Dubliners, I would encourage students / readers to further inspect the events and the characters, especially as they relate from one story to the next. The underlying message that James Joyce weaves throughout the book is one that I will never forget; I will use as motivation in such a crucial point in my life where I'm faced with important decisions and I ultimately get to choose my path and what lies next.
I loan out my copy of the book frequently, and would definitely recommend checking it out.
In the end I discovered that I liked Joyce. I'm not a huge fan, but I like the sound of his words, particularly when read by Irish actors. And in the Caedmon version, the quality of the narration is up and down, with possibly the best reading being done by Stephen Rea, who gives us a version of The Dead that sounds as if it comes from the depths of a weary soul. Props also to Ciaran Hinds, Colm Meany, and Dan O'Herlihy. Alas the one Irish actor I'd have loved to hear narrate one of these stories was not included. Donal McCann, who left us far too soon, would have done an outstanding job, but it was not to be.
As for the stories themselves, I began to see that they were all about who people think they are and why. They're brief glances into events, even moments of the characters' lives that are so telling, that make their identities so clear that you come away from each one understanding what they hope for, and why they are suffering.
One story in particular -- I don't recall the title at the moment, so apologies for being vague here -- is the best sketch of an alcoholic I have ever read. I listened, becoming increasingly impatient with him until I wanted to shove him down the stairs. And then I recognized the knowledge that he was fleeing from, and felt terribly sad. It didn't excuse him, but it did explain him.
I'm not sure if I will go any further with Joyce, even in audio form, but I did enjoy Dubliners tremendously, and that's all you can ask from a book.
These are more character than action or plot driven, almost "snapshots" in the lives of the inhabitants of Dublin at the turn of the century. Well worth a look at.