Tuesday, 15 June 2010

On this day...

James Joyce's 'Dubliners', a collection of short stories, was published in 1914. Much like his later works, 'Dubliners' is firmly rooted in the Irish nationalist movement that was prevalent at the time, and thus many characters in the collection reappear in Joyce's most famous work 'Ulysses', though often in more minor roles. Yet the task of getting the stories to publication was an arduous one, Joyce claiming the event required 'nine years of my life'. Indeed one previous edition, that of 1910 even 'was burnt entire almost in my presence'.

The aim of the collection, Joyce stated, was to give the Irish 'one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass', and thus, It is not my fault,that the odour of ashpits and old weeds and offal hangs round my stories'. The central literary focus of Joyce's work is based around his idea of epiphanies, and the stories themselves are separated into childhood, adolesence and maturity, with the narrators, and protagonists, becoming progressively older. Although not considered his best work, 'Dubliners' is undoubtedly another gem of the Joyce production line.

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