Dubliners Author:James Joyce James Joyce used three short stories published under an early pseudonym, Stephen Dedalus, as the basis for Dubliners, his masterful 1914 collection of 15 stories - including Joyce's classic "The Dead" - delineating the quotidian details of Catholic, middle-class Dublin life. — The Dubliners stories follow the arc of a lifetime, the early tales re... more »flecting concerns of childhood and adolesence, the central addressing those of adulthood and middle age, and the final traveling outward, depicting the public lives of Dublin inhabitants within the narrow boundaries prescribed by Irish Catholicism.
Dubliners also contains Joyce's first use of "epiphany", a theological term he appropriated to describe a moment of "secular revelation" in literature. "What is a woman standing on the stairs in the shadow, listening to distant music, a symbol of?" asks "The Dead"'s Gabriel as he watches his wife, unconsciously realizing that his life and marriage - as well as the lives of his friends - now begin an unavoidable decline.
Joyce, ironically, had a difficult time finding a publisher for Dubliners. The book was heavily criticized by many Dublin residents who were horrified that Joyce had named several actual persons and places in what was considered a scandalous work.« less
My mother died almost exactly thirty-one years ago, and in a small red leather notebook she left behind that my sister gave to me last year was a note: "Dubliners - James Joyce."
A few months ago I was able to secure a copy of the book and began to read. It was a rough go, wading through dated phrasing and Irish expressions I didn't understand. I struggled.
The book, having lain on my bedside table for a few weeks, beckoned me to continue. Little by little I began to get into the flow of Joyce's writing and descriptions of Dublin life. I became fascinated with the characters he wrote of and worried and rejoiced right along with them.
A wonderful book for sure! And I say a silent thank you to my mother for introducing me to the writings of an amazing author.