"He was tired of knocking about, of pulling the devil by the tail, of shifts and intrigues. He would be thirty-one in November. Would he never get a g"He was tired of knocking about, of pulling the devil by the tail, of shifts and intrigues. He would be thirty-one in November. Would he never get a good job? Would he never have a home of his own? He thought how pleasant it would be to have a warm fire to sit by and a good dinner to sit down to. He had walked the streets long enough with friends and with girls. He knew what those friends were worth: he knew the girls two. Experience had embittered his heart against the worst. But all hope had not left him. (57-58). "Two Gallants"
I feel as if I've read James Joyce's work in the wrong order. If I could press reset and magically reverse my reading order, I'd start first with Dubliners, warm my way up to Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, take one for the team with Ulysses, and bravely face Finnegan's Wake.
I have found that life lacks reset buttons, and so I'm happy to have read three of Joyce's major works. I will admit to loving this, his first work the best so far.
In each of these fifteen short stories there is some beautiful thread, some real human quality, and a real intrigue that carries through this collection. Joyce writes about what he knows, which is the best advice any writing teacher could ever give. Joyce illuminates the Catholic Dublin of the 20th century, allowing characters to converse with brilliant dialogue in vibrantly descriptive settings.
There is nothing inaccessible or lackluckster about this book - it's golden.
My New Year's Resolution for 2012 is to read Finnegan's Wake, or at least give it a try. ...more