James Joyce published Dubliners
in 1914 after a lengthy battle due to his refusal to alter real place names, remove swear words, etc. Dubliners
is a collection of short stories, the longest a mere 48 pages, that tell the story of the ordinary inhabitant of the city from which the novel takes it's name. Many of the characters reside in the meaner areas of Dublin, giving the stories a rough and edgy quality. The entirety of the collection was completed ten to seven years before Jovce finally obtained a publishing contract. Many of the characters later appear in his magnum opus, Ulysses
This book took me a long time to complete. Ten months since I first put it on my currently reading list. Do not confuse this with dislike. I enjoy Joyce's writing style, his characters, and his plot lines immensely. The lengthy reading came from the fact, that in true Joyce fashion, his words are meant to be savored, pondered, and considered at length. There is no rushing through Joyce. In general I have difficulty with short stories, and this too contributed to the length of time dedicated to completing this novel. Just when I would start to get into the story and get a feel for the characters, the story would end. Of the fifteen stories found in the collection, my favorite was without a doubt the last, "The Dead." Other favorites include "Eveline," "A Painful Case," and "Little Cloud." Dubliners
would make a great introduction to Joyce for anyone unsure as to whether they should read his novels. However it is far simpler than either Ulysses
or A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man
, his two most famous works so it is just a simple taste of the complexity for which Joyce is best known.