Ein toller Einstieg in die Werte von James Joyce. Die kurzen Geschichten sind eine Zeitreise in die vergangenen Zeiten Dublins und erwecken bei mir heute, als moderner Dubliner, das ein oder andere Lächeln beim spazieren am Liffey oder durch Temple Bar.
Ein sehr gutes Buch! Sollte man etwas nicht verstehen, da Sprache von Joyce nicht ganz alltäglich ist, gibt es viele Erklärungen. Das Buch enthält auch Kritik zu einzelnen Geschichten. Für jeder, der sich mit James Joyce kennenlernen möchte. Qualität - Preis finde ich gut. Aber man muss etwas vorsichtig mit dem Buch umgehen, damit es nicht auseinanderfällt.
Ireland is one of my favorite holiday destinations and I really love Dublin. So it was about time to read this collection of short stories by the most famous of all Irish writers. There are 15 short stories collected in this book, set in Dublin before the First World War. They present a naturalistic depiction of Irland right before World War I. The publication history says a lot about the time the book was written. Finished in 1905 it Joyce took nine long years to have it published. 15 publishers were offered this manuscript 18 times. Even when a publisher wanted to print the book, the printers would refuse to do their work, obvioulsy considering the book too obscene or too unflatterring. That is hard to understand today.
By most people „Dubliners“ is considered to be the most "accessible" of Joyce's works, because there are no stream-of-consciousness passages which Joyce is so famous for. So this is the first major work I have read by Joyce, Ullyses still awaits the necessary courage.
On the whole I enjoyed reading these stories though they do not really paint a favorable picture of Dublin at the time. Joyce quite elaborates on the theme why he had to leave Ireland to become a writer. He left Ireland early in his life to keep writing about Ireland for the rest of his life abroad. In one of the stories an apparently successful newspaperman who made his fortune in London meets an old friend who decided never to leave Dublin and is not very successful financially. So the businessman concludes that one cannot make it "big" in Dublin: you have to emigrate – just like Joyce did.
This is Ireland after all, and Joyce makes quite clear – between the line – that British colonialism and the Catholic church really kept the country and its inhabitants down. All characters seem paralyzed by the life they lead and and even if given half a chance do not seem to be in a condition to change their unhappy lives.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading these stories more than I actually thought I would have. There is a ot of reading between the lines, for example, in the story „An encounter“ focusses on two boys meeting an elderly man. It seems like the man has a sexul interest in the boys, though he never acts upon it. Still, he seems to wander off, maybe to relieve himself from his tensions, and then return to them to continue his conversation with lots of innuendos. Again, nothing is said explicitly but a lot depends on the the reader`s imagination.
Many things are broached, thus giving us a broad view of Dublin itself. There is antagonism and violence between Catholic and Protestant communities, the terrible Irish poverty and school education.
I can really recommend this collection of stories and it is a good idea to keep re-reading them to uncover more subtle details. You leand a lot about Dublin and about life itself.
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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.
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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.
As far as I'm concerned, for depth of insight and wisdom into the foibles of humanity, Joyce never topped "The Dead." It is certainly the greatest short story written in the English language -- heartbreaking and immensely moving. It will never leave me. "The Dead" alone would be reason enough to buy "Dubliners" (if you've never read it before) but the other stories are also wonderful. His most accessible work by far.
I first bought James Joyce's "Dubliners" for the story 'The Dead'. I read this story over and over before finally looking at another story. I was quickly hooked and read the book from cover to cover in a matter of days. (That is incredibly fast for me) The amazing thing about "Dubliners" is that you can pick out a story, read it and be more than satisfied, but then read the whole thing and get a completely different, but equally gratifing, expierence. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
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