Peter's Reviews > Dubliners

Dubliners by James Joyce
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Aug 10, 2011

it was amazing

I read Dubliners many years ago...well, what I really did was read a few stories in a half-ass manner and left it at that. This time I read all the stories, in the order in which they are meant to be read, and tried to understand them as fully as I could.
In many ways its a fantastic overview of what Joyce saw in the Irish people of that time in Dublin at the turning point of the 19th/20th centuries. The stories expose something absolutely real about 'Irishness' at the time (at any time?), but also humanity itself. The prose is superb, his characters are altogether human, and indicates the level of his early genius (then again genius is neither early nor late, it just is). The stories appear simple and without meaning at first glance, but its not long before you realise how each one is drenched in meaning, is both beautifully realised, but also deeply layered.
There are many memorable stories (A Little Cloud, Counterparts, and Araby to name a few offhand), but The Dead is without any doubt the most extraordinary short story I have ever read. I have since read it a second time, and have come to the conclusion that it is completely faultless. Not a single word or phrase could possibly be improved. Genius.
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