Dies ist im eigentlichen Sinne kein Kurzgeschichtenband. "Dubliners" besteht zwar aus 15 abgeschlossenen Kurzgeschichten, die aber alle thematisch sowie leitmotivisch miteinander verbunden sind. So sind die Protagonisten der Geschichten 1-3 Kinder, 4-7 Teenager oder Frühzwanziger, 8-11 Erwachsene bis ungefähr 40 und die Storys 12,13, und 14 beleuchten das Leben verschiedenster Charaktere im öffentlichen Leben.
Absoluter Höhepunkt des Buches ist aber "The Dead", die letzte Geschichte, die mit 60 Seiten eigentlich schon zu lang für eine Kurzgeschichte ist und daher eher als Novelle zu bezeichnen ist. Anlässlich eines Tanzfestes treffen hier verschiedenste Charaktere unterschiedlichen Alters aus unterschiedlichen sozialen Schichten aufeinander. Schon von Beginn an wird die oberflächliche Harmonie von einer latent vorhandenen Spannungen und Missstimmungen getrübt. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Gabriel und Gretta Conroy, ein seit Jahren verheiratetest Ehepaar. Gabriel muß gegen Ende der Geschichte hin durch ein eigentlich nichtiges Ereignis erfahren, dass er und seine Frau sich über die Jahre hin entfremdet haben, ohne dass er es gemerkt hat.
"Dubliners" ist sicherlich der beste Einstieg in das Werk von James Joyce. Die Geschichten sind (für Joyce Standards) konventionell geschrieben, obwohl hier auch schon seine Liebe für experimentelles Erzählen a la "Ulysses" erkennbar wird (free indirect discourse v.a. in "The Dead"). Außerdem übersieht man bei nur oberflächlichem Lesen die Verbindungen zwischen den einzelnen Geschichten, wie zum Beispiel die immer wiederkehrende Motive Geld, Dunkelheit, Religion, Nation oder epiphany (Erleuchtung, Erscheinung).
Zu "The Dead" gibt es übrigens eine sehenswerte Verfilmung mit Angelica Houston als Gretta Conroy und Colm Meany, den Chief O'Brien aus Star Trek, in einer Nebenrolle.
am 11. Oktober 1999
My first encounter with Joyce was an English Lit. course in college, some twenty years ago now. We were assigned to read an anthologized version of "The Dead", and I initially approached it as one does all such reading requirements at that foolish age; however, this particular story ending up affecting me quite unlike anything I had ever read before. Dubliners is a beautifully written collection of thematically inter-related stories involving day to day life in early 20th century Dublin - stories that masterfully evoke what Faulkner described in his Nobel address as being the essential nature of true art: A portrayal of the human heart in conflict with itself. "The Dead" is the final story in the collection, and my favorite. I have re-read it numerous times and am so consumed by it that I'm not even able to provide an objective review. The final pages, from the point where Gabriel and Greta leave the party, to the end of the story, are absolutly stunning; the poetry of the words, the profound humanity represented - defies description. As in the final line of Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo" - You must change your life.
am 20. Juli 2000
Joyce's "Dubliners" is a collection of fifteen short stories that present snapshots of the lives of common people in Dublin around the beginning of the 20th Century. The stories are subtle commentaries about Irish attitudes towards nationalism, religion, morality, life, and death. Each explores a distinctive, dramatic theme, such as sexual perversion ("An Encounter"), infatuation ("Araby"), the frustration of personal unfulfillment ("A Little Cloud" and "Counterparts"), self-imposed loneliness ("A Painful Case"), hubris ("A Mother"), and Catholic/Protestant conflict ("Grace"). Overtones of Irish nationalism, remembrance, and piety permeate all the stories.
The stories are neither depressing nor uplifting, but rather open-ended in their denouement; no conflicts are resolved and no moral conclusions are reached. Joyce depicts the characters and scenes so sympathetically that the reader understands clearly why the dejected boy in "Araby" leaves the bazaar feeling like "a creature driven and derided by vanity" and the events that drive Farrington to beat his young son at the end of "Counterparts." And why, in "The Dead," Gabriel, after giving a dinner speech in which he makes respectful reference to the dead, feels his dignity knocked down a notch when his wife reveals to him the tragic fate of her past love.
After nearly a century, "Dubliners" remains one of the best crystallizations of humanity bestowed upon the world.
am 17. Juni 1999
I read the story "The Dead " in high school (actually, we were assigned to read "Eveline" but I had heard that "The Dead" was the greatest short story in English) and it is to date the only story that has actually brought tears to my eyes. Not that I have not been moved by a great many books, but the countless time I have reread this story have not dimmed its effect in the slightest. On my wall I have a framed quotation from the story that my father calligraphed (is that a verb?) for me: "Better pass boldly into that other world in the full glory of some passion than fade and wither dismally with age." Though I find the first line of the story somewhat ridiculous-- "Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally swept off her feet." No she wasn't-- she was figuratively swept off her feet. But even thinking about the ending makes me choke up. Absolutely gorgeous. ben zelkowicz
am 1. Dezember 1997
Dubliners is one of the books that has accompanied me all over the world. I cannot be totally objectif in a review of these collection of stories . I can say two things, though: for non-english speakers who are currently learning English, I suggest their reading Dubliners in its original language. Once they do it, they will know why I said so. And that the music, the poetry present in every line of this fantastic prose, to depict a moment of revelation (or epiphanies, as Joyce liked to call them) in the life of all those dubliners reaches moments of absolute perfection, like the final paragraph of "The dead" and its unforgettable image of snow "falling faintly and faintly falling" all over Ireland.
These stories of everyday life in Dublin focus on the moral lives of its citizens, as they deal with their poverty, urges, and loves.
For anyone who wants to know James Joyce, there is no better place to start than with Dubliners. These stories are totally clear, and poetic in their treatment of the subjects although nominally written in prose. Joyce had yet to lay on his advanced techniques of stream-of-consciousness in the way that he eventually did in Ulysses. These stories are also more censored and proper, so you will not be jolted by the surface crudity of his later works. But these stories do primarily explore the mental conversations and processes that the characters employ with themselves.
Each story ends in a powerful mentally-experienced epiphany that tells you more about the character than the rest of the story combined. Think of these epiphanies as being the purest and strongest form of O. Henry's wonderful last minute twists in his short stories. I cannot give you an example from Dubliners without seriously compromising your enjoyment. The best epiphany in this collection though comes in "The Boarding House."
Stories about Irish people and Ireland greatly benefit from being read aloud with the proper accents. Mr. McSorley is an inspired choice for this audio cassette version. He is able to shift from character to character extremely easily, and can do English accents just as well as Irish ones.
As as result, I felt like I was sitting around a warm fire with some Irish whiskey in my hand leaning forward with anticipation as the beautiful stories unwound from the reel into my ears and echoed into my soul.
Of all the ways I have enjoyed Dubliners, this was the greatest pleasure for me. I do suggest that you also read all of the stories on your own afterward. They are very rewarding as they build on interrelated themes of love, commitment, family, honor, and death. Perhaps, if you are like me, you will also hear Mr. McSorley's lovely voice in your mind when you read the other stories, as well. James Joyce would have approved, I'm sure.
The better the short story, the more it benefits from being read aloud. I suggest that you try recordings of Dubliners as well. You can also do this with other writers, as well. Further, you will benefit from reading them aloud in your own voice. And, when appropriate, read them to your children. "Araby" and "The Race" would be superb choices from this collection.
Enjoy great stories in as many ways as you can!
am 25. Mai 2000
I've read Ulysses all the way through twice (bits of it over a dozen times), A Portrait three or four times, Finnegans Wake once, all the poems, most of the criticism, many of the letters...well, you get the idea. Why do I always forget about Dubliners?
I just reread it again, and once again I marvel at the total assurance of the man's writing. So many bits to savour and shake your head at - the pathetic Farrington in "Counterparts", slipping out for his midday glass of beer; the gold sovereign at the end of "Two Gallants"; the oblivious Maria in "Clay"; the offhand bitterness of Lily, the maidservant in "The Dead". (The film is a travesty, IMHO.) And to think that most of these stories were written by the time Joyce was 25! It'd make you spit, if they weren't such a gift to the reader.
This is certainly the best edition for those who want background material. Textually up to snuff, lavishly but not needlessly annotated, and with an introduction by one of the best academic critics in Ireland (Terence Brown is not the illustrator but the editor; get with the programme, Amazon), it's one of the very few Joyce editions that can be recommended without reservation. (It restores Joyce's favoured hyphen for direct speech, rather than the inverted commas that the original publisher insisted on.) It's often forgotten that the pervasive atmosphere of most of the stories is that of stifled mean-mindedness; this book is largely populated with losers, cadgers, snobs, bigots and the pathetically weak in spirit. Only in "The Dead" does Joyce relent and show some of the crack and hospitality that most people (well, most foreigners) associate with Ireland, and then he undercuts it by turning it into a tragic love story. Ah, well.
It all started here. My favourite book of short stories (close seconds being Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find", Donald Barthelme's "Forty Stories" and John Berger's "Pig Earth"). Modern Ireland starts to kick in the womb. Fantastic.
am 7. April 2000
I can't add much to what the other reviewers have said about the stories. Dubliners is the place to start if you want to read Joyce. If he had written only this (which he did by age 26!) he'd still be the greatest writer of the 20th century in my opinion.
One reviewer had a gentle criticism of the first line of The Dead. Since I think the story might be the most perfect thing ever written, I'll try to defend it. This is an early example of Joyce waving his stylistic wand - something he would do with ever increasing gusto throughout his later work. "Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet." The line, while probably not factually accurate, is written in a style that fits the character and the action. The "voice" of the first paragraph might be called Lilly-esque - hurried, flushed, hyperbolic - just as the voice in the last paragraph is Gabriel-esque - sophisticated, poetic, melancholy. Read the story carefully and you'll see (or maybe hear is the better word) these shifts in tone throughout.
Joyce's literary breakthrough was in fusing form and content, style and substance. The Dead is the best early example of this breakthrough.
Some critics have said that Joyce was a fine writer but he didn't have much to say. I disagree. I think he had a lot to say, and I think he said it brilliantly - he just didn't say it in a way we're used to hearing. I think he said more in the 2300 or so words in Araby than most writers, even very good writers, could ever hope to.
am 7. November 1999
Dubliners is a collection of short stories ranging through chidhood, adolescence and adulthood ending with three public life stories and the grand finale "The Dead" Critics have associated many of the stories to Joyce's personal life as he to became dissillusioned with his home city of Dublin. In each story we find a struggle for escapement from each character with the ever burdening features of alcohol and religion amongst other things trapping the protaganists from breaking out of the Dublin mould. Hopes are often dashed such as those of Eveline and Duffy. Joyce intelligently creates an interplay of senses towards the end of each story which creates an epiphany and a defining moment in the life of each character. Throughout the book the characthers start in the middle of nowhere and end up in the middle of nowhere. The text starts with the phrase: "There was no hope for him this time", which symbolises the book perfectly with paralysis being a continuing theme throughout the text ending in the final component: "The Dead". Overall this is a fascinating insite into how Joyce viewed his birth place. Joyce himself can be viewed in many of the characters including Duffy who found love with Sinico in: "A Painful Case" and felt awkward at her death as he had let her go. A thoroughly enjoyable book where nothing actually happens!
am 16. Juni 1999
As I entered into my first year of college, Dubliners was the first book presented to me as reading material. Never will I forget this beautiful compilation of short stories.
For those who admire and love an author's ability to use imagery and symbolism, this is probably one of the top 10 books that could ever be read.
I particularly enjoyed the story "Eveline". This story impacted me the most. Maybe because it was the first one I read, maybe because of the teacher's enthusiasm, but most likely ecause of the incredible use of symbols that moved me so. I was "blown away" by the imagery of dust, cold, family, familiarity, routine, etc. All themes that are so relevant in OUR lives and that we can "feel" a part of.
I do not want to give away the story, for you must read it to believe it. All I can say is that this is one of the most beautiful stories within the book, in my opinion. As for the book itself, I cannot say anything negative about it. Easy to read and easy to understand, it is probably one of the most fabulous books ever put together.
I have read some of the short stories over 20 times!