1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Dubliners - James Joyce

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Steerpike, Nov 24, 2014.

    I'm re-reading this collection of short stories, and had forgotten how very good it is. Anyone else read these? Also, I thought the final story, The Dead, was wonderful and also incredibly sad. If you like short stories, this is well worth checking out.
     
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  2. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks Steerpike, I'm looking to read a few short stories at the moment.
     
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  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I hope you enjoy the stories of you decide to read those. I should also recommend the collected works of William Trevor, who I believe passed away just a few years ago. One of the best, if not the best, writer of short stories in recent decades.
     
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  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The Dead is easily the best story in the collection to be honest. I also like Araby for some reason - I can't put my finger on why.

    I also used to often drive myself crazy by comparing my short stories to The Sisters.

    It makes a good introduction to Joyce, and are fine stories in their own rights, I just find some of them are pretty forgettable as soon as you put them down. The one set in a theature I can never even remember the name of, and I must have read the collection about seven times.

    Some of the individual stories I've read many more times than that.
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Some of them are certainly more memorable than others. One thing I like about them, even the more forgettable ones, is the sense of what life was like for some in the Dublin of that particular era. I get the sense that Joyce captured daily life well.

    The version of Dubliners I have also includes Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I'm going to embark on that next. I've previously read Ulysses, and I found it interesting, though there were certain times I enjoyed it more than others. I've tried Finnegan's Wake more than once and found it to be indecipherable.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I found Ulysses at least enjoyable - when I didn't understand it. Joyce I really do like, but The Wake I don't think I made past the first page of.

    One of the more interesting stories for me in Dubliners is that one (I think it's the second story in the collection (I don't have a copy close at hand right now)) about the children who skip school and meet that really weird old guy. There is something about that old guy that suggests he was after sex to me, but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.

    One thing I always find with Joyce is I make connections to it without fully knowing why I even made the connection in the first place.
     
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  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Steerpike! Good to have you back with us.

    I think Dubliners is one of the best short story collections out there. It's right up there with collections by Chekhov and Munro. And of course, "The Dead" is one of the greatest stories ever written. Period.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Hi there @thirdwind. Nice to see you again as well. I like Chekhov. I don't know that I've read any of Munro's collections. I'll have to remedy that. Canadian author Alistair MacLeod also has a nice collection of short stories.
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What does everyone think about the idea that originally, Joyce wanted the collection to be called 'Ulysses in Dublin'? Does everyone - anyone see that?
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I hadn't heard that. I had read that Ulysses was originally intended to be a short story included in Dubliners, but it grew too big to fit.

    Lemex, the story you're referring to with the weird old guy is called "An Encounter." It's pretty clear the guy is a pedophile interested in the two boys.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've just tried to find a source for that and to be honest failed to. I know I've read that somewhere though - Joyce was long fascinated with Odysseus. Many of the characters that appear in Dubliners make appearances later in Ulysses too.

    I had such a struggle remembering the name of that story. I wasn't near my book collection at the time I wrote that post, but yes this is right. I'm trying to remember exactly where it says that he is a pedophile, but that is very much the impression the story conveys.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I remember my professor telling us something interesting about "An Encounter." After the man meets the two boys for the first time, he briefly leaves and then returns some time later. When Joyce first wrote the story, he made it more clear that the man had left because he wanted to masturbate. The editor who read the story thought this was too obscene, so Joyce had to make the whole thing more ambiguous by taking out some of the details. So the story we have today is not what Joyce originally intended and is the result of censorship. In this case, however, you could argue that the editor made the right call. Leaving that bit up to the reader's imagination made the story stronger I think.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can believe that. It would be the exact opposite of The Sisters then, I know that was published before Joyce really knew what he was doing, and later rewrote it into the text we have in Dubliners. I've seen the original version and I can't honestly tell much difference, but still, that's interesting in itself. Joyce was not really one for listening to anyone else's opinion. That's always the impression I've had of him anyway.

    That and he was a filthy-minded guy. :p
     
  14. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    Man, I didn't pick up on that when I read it. Probably didn't even enter my thoughts given the period in which it was written.
    Yes, I know how ridiculous that statement is. Sexual depravity is not a modern phenomenon.
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Doesn't seem so ridiculous really - I can certainly understand what you mean. It's just not something you think about, is it? You don't think about there being such things and issues in past time periods for whatever reason.

    I mean, I can't easily imagine a pedophile in 17th century London, but there has got to have been some.
     
  16. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know mate but the ugly truth is, it was probably rife and in those days when children were to be 'seen and not heard' many poor wee souls would've had to live with the psychological damage until their grave.
    A topic for another thread methinks and one which I'm none too keen on exploring much further.
    It's sort of sullied my memory of the story now.:(
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah - such a thread would give me the serious creeps too. What a thought. :(
     
  18. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    By far my favorite short story in there is A Painful Case. I just love the subtlety and the payoff. I've analyzed and demolished and copied and internalized that short because I loved it that much.
     
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Genocide is not an everyday phenomenon in my street. That's because I don't live in Liberia or Ukraine.
     

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