Sunday, October 24, 2010
Dubliners. By James Joyce
James Joyce in 1918. Wikipedia.org
Dubliners is a collection of 15 stories where James Joyce (Dublin. 1882-1941) shows the social and moral history of the middle class community around Dublin in the early years of SXX.
As Harry Levein noted in his introduction to The Portable James Joyce, the arrangement of tales reveal "a progression from childhood to maturity, broadening from private to public scope."
My edition is from New York, 1976 and has the advantage that follows as faithfully as possible the oblique textuals indications by Joyce, which until this year had been unknown or disregarded.
With some exceptions, the punctuation and spelling of the first edition in 1914 have been followed, as Joyce read it and made thousands of corrections, due to the first edition was not Joyce's manuscript but a partially corrected set of proofs rescued from a printing of the book in Dublin two years before. This printing came to nothing because the Dublin publisher belatedly concluded that Dubliners was improper, and he destroyed the sheets.
My favorite story is the first one, "The Sisters" where a boy experiences the death of a priest, who was living in his house; but " Counterparts" broke my heart, this is the story of a alcoholic who takes revenge of his frustration at work, on his own child. There are also epiphanies, a word used particularly by Joyce, by which he meant a sudden consciousness of the "soul" of a thing, romanticism, culture and the search for a national identity all through the book.
Robert Scholes. 1967 Introduction to the Dubliners edition of 1976