Joyce’s brilliantly vivid portrait of Dublin, introduced by Colm Tóibín
In Dubliners, James Joyce takes us on an extraordinary journey with the ordinary men and women from the city of his birth. In ‘Araby’ a young boy struggles with everyday tasks in the face of a growing infatuation with his neighbour’s sister; in ‘The Boarding House’ a single mother orchestrates a marriage proposal for her daughter; in ‘The Dead’ the ideas of birth and decay are played out over the course of a dinner.
From short, lyrical stories to the novella-length masterpiece which concludes this collection, Dubliners is as alive with feeling as it was when first published.
“In Joyce’s eyes, Dublin is the whole world”
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“With just one collection of stories, Joyce left his mark on almost every short-story writer who followed him”
“At the root of Joyce’s artistry is a radical uncertainty which allows multiple meanings and implications to live … but none to dominate except the idea of the many mysteries at the core of things”
“The vernacular specificity of [Joyce’s] prose, his profound understanding of the fallibilities of the human condition and his joyous recountings of his city’s undercarriage at work, ensure that Dubliners retains a status that few have challenged and even fewer attained”
“Joyce made me want to write. His use of language was dazzling, impressionistic but controlled, rhythmic, diverse, achingly lyrical. He made people live on the page. He was serious, hilarious, sensitively romantic, filthy and absolutely honest”
James Joyce, born in 1882, attended University College Dublin, before travelling through Europe in his early twenties. His work includes the semi-autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), the landmark work of modernist fiction Ulysses (1922) and its successor Finnegans Wake (1939). He died in 1941 in Zurich.