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Life is full of missed opportunities and hard decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to actually do. Dubliners creates an image of an ever movie city, of an ever moving exchange of people who experience the reality of life. And that’s the whole point: realism. Not everything goes well, not everything is perfectly constructed. Life is random and unpredictable. If we’re not careful it may escape from us entirely.
There are two types of stories in Dubliners. The first, and by far the m
Was James Joyce the greatest English language writer in modern times?
I don’t know, maybe, but Dubliners helps to make his case.
Brilliant in it’s subtle, realistic way.
Fifteen stories that paint a portrait of Dublin at the turn of last century. “The Dead” is the final story and the most poignant and powerful but several stand out as exceptional, and they are all good.
“Counterparts” is a disturbing close up look at the old drunken Irish family stereotype that fails to be humorous. “A Mother” t
it was amazing
Before embarking towards my maiden Joyce read, I prepared myself to pour in as much effort required on my part to understand Dubliners. I didn’t assume them to be incomprehensible or distant, but an anxiety akin to meeting a known stranger for the first time was definitely present. The said anxiety shortly materialized into a much-awaited prospect after reading the opening story and finally transformed into a confident and gentle companion who led me through the sepia streets of an unassuming ci
I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child’s play, ugly monotonous child’s play.
Calmly engaged within the secure air of its daily affairs, the people of Dublin were also ostensibly calm and secure and yet a moment reflection about a dormant or potential life managed to extract stories which were snuggled in simple form and simpler titles but traced intricate and at times, unheeded emotions. An aimless walk concluded in cheap happiness and an embarrassing accident convinced someone to search for an elusive redemption. A death unveiled the value of oblivious living while a motherly conduct was driven by frustrations and misplaced ambitions. Most of these characters were representative, not whole but of a remarkable fragment of lives that we either experience ourselves or witness in others during the time we live.
She sat amid the chilly circle of her accomplishments, waiting for some suitor to brave it and offer her a brilliant life.
A perpetual struggle for attention between past and present was an integral part of these stories sans any violent clashes. Some of them appeared as if being viewed from a neighbor’s window and some welcomed me through a cordial door and took their time to introduce every element of the household. I admired how well the majority of people were coping with the consequences of their choices and how easily they found humor in the ironies of life. And I quailed on seeing the suffocation of the negligible minority on being caught in the web of their inhibitions. I understood that even after getting a crystal clear view of their circumstances from a vantage point, they still refused to adopt a different course, to sail away to a different country, to a dreamy world.
It was hard work – a hard life – but now that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life.
With every subsequent narration, I imagined Joyce to be in deep contemplation about everything and everyone around him. I imagined him to carefully select an appropriate frame for his various thoughts and placing each one of them at their desirous place. I imagined how he must have wanted to capture an epiphanic moment among the melancholic tune of Irish songs, when he wanted to paint a picture with decided title but undecided colors; or when he simply wished to write about the approachable beauty of that girl on other side of the pavement. I imagined his joy for the love and pain at the criticism for his native place. I was left in awe of the virtuosity of this young man and the several portraits he created with his words.
He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense.
And when I reached the end, I simply wished to possess a literary talent like this for a very short time to write a story of my own and discreetly slip it into this collection. Dublin and Dubliners felt that close to me.