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'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce 
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Post 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
One of Ireland’s most famous and remarkable novelists and poets is James Joyce. He was an innovator of fiction writing and is known for his extensive as well as unprecedented use of stream of consciousness to tell his stories. Monumental works like ‘Ulysses’ and ‘Finnegans Wake’, that are considered unreadable by many (I haven’t tried yet, so I can’t tell from first-hand experience), have sprung from his mind, but James Joyce started his career as a fiction writer with a collection of fifteen short stories titled ‘Dubliners’ that is much easier to understand and that anticipates the settings, characters and topics of his later novels without their complexity of style.
‘Dubliners’ comprises fifteen short stories that span all important stages of life making the bow from childhood over adolescence to adulthood and eventually death. At the same time the stories cover the course of a year starting in spring and ending in winter. This concept behind the stories serves as a narrative link between the otherwise unrelated episodes drawn from middle class life in Dublin around 1900.
I enjoyed reading ‘Dubliners’ very much. For all those who shrink back from ‘Ulysses’ and ‘Finnegans Wake’ and even ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ (that I find quite an interesting and not too difficult read, by the way) it may be just the right book to get started on James Joyce.

A long version of my review can be found on my blog: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.co.at/ ... joyce.html


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DWill, Saffron, youkrst
Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:36 am
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
I wonder what the total effect on readers would be if Dubliners didn't end with "The Dead." As you indicated in your longer review, the atmosphere of death, powerlessness, and religious oppression are fairly unrelieved throughout this book--until the final story, which seems headed in the same direction until near the end when Joyce finishes with one of the most powerful epiphanies in literature. The overarching sense of paralysis conveyed to the reader might be too much to handle if Joyce hadn't shown the way to a more hopeful vision of Irish life in the beautiful ending to "The Dead."



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Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:27 pm
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
DWill wrote:
I wonder what the total effect on readers would be if Dubliners didn't end with "The Dead." As you indicated in your longer review, the atmosphere of death, powerlessness, and religious oppression are fairly unrelieved throughout this book--until the final story, which seems headed in the same direction until near the end when Joyce finishes with one of the most powerful epiphanies in literature. The overarching sense of paralysis conveyed to the reader might be too much to handle if Joyce hadn't shown the way to a more hopeful vision of Irish life in the beautiful ending to "The Dead."

You make me want to read it again! You know, I think I will.



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Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:07 pm
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
Makes me want to read it . . . for the first time.


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LaGraziana
Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:53 pm
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
When I think of all the good and great books I haven't read for the first time, I get a little discouraged.



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Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:51 am
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
DWill wrote:
When I think of all the good and great books I haven't read for the first time, I get a little discouraged.


Here's a few on my list . . . Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Dante, Ovid, James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, much of Vonnegut's work, even a couple of Twains, Cheever, Updike's Rabbit books, etc.


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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
I'd been planning to read Joyce's Ulysses with a co-worker, but it just hasn't happen. I think I may have to go it alone. Anyone have any advice for tackling it?



Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:05 am
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
Saffron wrote:
I'd been planning to read Joyce's Ulysses with a co-worker, but it just hasn't happen. I think I may have to go it alone. Anyone have any advice for tackling it?


Step 1) Get DWill to read it.

Step 2) Get DWill to lead a discussion on BT.
:mrgreen:


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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
geo wrote:
Saffron wrote:
I'd been planning to read Joyce's Ulysses with a co-worker, but it just hasn't happen. I think I may have to go it alone. Anyone have any advice for tackling it?


Step 1) Get DWill to read it.

Step 2) Get DWill to lead a discussion on BT.
:mrgreen:


Your post made me LOL. Ah, what do you say DWill?

edit in:
Just bought Dubliners and Ulysses for $.99 each for my Kindle! I am ready to go.



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Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:00 pm
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
Saffron wrote:
geo wrote:
Saffron wrote:
I'd been planning to read Joyce's Ulysses with a co-worker, but it just hasn't happen. I think I may have to go it alone. Anyone have any advice for tackling it?


Step 1) Get DWill to read it.

Step 2) Get DWill to lead a discussion on BT.
:mrgreen:


Your post made me LOL. Ah, what do you say DWill?

edit in:
Just bought Dubliners and Ulysses for $.99 each for my Kindle! I am ready to go.

I would call geo a rabble-rouser but I'm not sure I want to be known as rabble! But he must know how weak I am when it comes to a comely book. What makes me want to go with this idea brought to mind by LaGraziana (who I hope would join in) is saffron's attaching Ulysses to it. LaGraziana (and saffron, I think) haven't read it yet, and I read it an eon ago in grad school and have been meaning to read it again. So make it a package deal. Does Chris need to know about it?

To me, the stories in Dubliners are less warm and fuzzy than those of other story-writers I know of. Maybe they compare to Chekhov's, but are still darker. There could be humor in the stories that I haven't yet appreciated, though. Is the detachment or hopelessness an Irish thing? I think of another Irish story writer I like a great deal, William Trevor, whose characters struggle with material and emotional poverty as Joyce's do. Then there is the modern nonfiction writer Frank McCourt, whose recollections of an Irish childhood are partly horrific. (Angela's Ashes is one of my favorite books.) What this kind of preference says about me I'm not sure. There is something paradoxically uplifting in seeing people face the harshness of life and at least remain standing.



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Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:52 am
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
DWill, if I could thank your post 2x I would. I'll just have to say thanks for taking this on. I think we can set up the thread ourselves or ask Chris to set it up. I started reading the first story in Dubliners last night. If we ask Chris to set it up, he can put the book cover on the main page to attract others.



Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:03 am
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
I ended up buying THE DUBLINERS on Kindle for $.099 and I also own two paperback versions. I started on the introduction this morning, and if I come across anything interesting there, I'll post it.

Thanks, DWill, you're a good rabble if I ever saw one.


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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
geo wrote:
I ended up buying THE DUBLINERS on Kindle for $.099 and I also own two paperback versions. I started on the introduction this morning, and if I come across anything interesting there, I'll post it.

Thanks, DWill, you're a good rabble if I ever saw one.

Chris will be setting up a thread for us.



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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
I've moved this thread from the "Fiction Book Forum" to this newly created "Dubliners" forum.



Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:45 pm
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Post Re: 'Dubliners' - A Good Start on James Joyce
Wow! When I posted my review, I had no idea that it would trigger such a discussion - and a Dubliners forum. I wish I had time to be more active here... It looks like a really great discussion is going on here. :)


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