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Joyce could simply have condemned Dublin, as Gallaher does, or followed the example of Duffy, who, in “A Painful Case,” seeks refuge in brittle, lonely seclusion.But Joyce chose the more challenging course of grappling with the inherent ambivalence of exile, confronting and accepting the loss of the “dear” in “dirty Dublin.”To present this range of feeling and attitude, Joyce casts a wide net, arranging the stories so they move from childhood to adulthood and from public to private.
INTRODUCTIONIn 1914, the same year that The Egoist began to serialize James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce published another kind of portrait—Dubliners, a collection of fifteen short stories.
In its representation of what one character calls “Dear dirty Dublin,” the book is not only a picture of the city of Joyce’s youth, it is also an illustration of the contrary impulses of the exiled artist.
Encyclopedic in both its use of narrative techniques and its attention to the details of everyday life, Ulysses redefined the novel as a genre.
In 1939, Joyce completed his last book, Finnegans Wake, a radical, extravagant experiment in language and narrative. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSFOR FURTHER REFLECTIONRELATED TITLESSherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919)A collection of interconnected stories, this highly influential work portrays life in small-town America as alternately strange, desperate, and joyful.
35) often leads to a life of “commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness” (p. In many of the stories, husbands feel “savage and thirsty and revengeful” (p.
88), while wives “after a quarter of a century of married life [have] very few illusions left” (p. Trapped by alcoholism, sexual repression, and poverty, Joyce’s citizens cannot summon Gallaher’s energy to “revolt against the dull inelegance” of the city (p. When characters make an effort to escape their conditions, they often end up in prisons of their own making.
But Joyce’s focus on community calls us, in turn, to ask what strength we can find together in the places we call home. ABOUT JAMES JOYCEJames Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, in a suburb of Dublin.
Moreover, Joyce invigorates Dublin with the poetry of his prose, “falling faintly . He was one of twelve children raised in poverty by a father who wasted the family fortunes and a mother who died at the age of forty-four.
Immediately after graduation, Joyce left Dublin to study medicine in Paris, but he returned to Ireland in 1903 to see his dying mother.
In June 1904 he met his future wife, Nora Barnacle, and they moved to Trieste and then Zurich, where he taught languages at the Berlitz school.