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"The Dubliners," written by James Joyce, is arguably the best-known and most influential collection of short stories written in English. Each story in "The Dubliners" is a gem, presenting a direct (though sometimes searing) view of Dublin in the early twentieth century. This classic collection of James Joyce short stories, which set the standard for the genre, is filled with characters who come to terrible revelations (or "epiphanies") about how their lives had been scarred by the provincialism of Dublin, the divisiveness of its politics, and the oppression of religion. In essence the stories in "The Dubliners" are Joyce's portraits of the people of Dublin and the city itself, most of these stories are character sketches, mostly following a few people around as they go about their lives. The stories range from the psychologially simple ("Counterparts" and "A Little Cloud") to the extraordinarily complex ("A Painful Case" and "The Dead"). The pinnacle of the collection, "The Dead" encompasses everything: politics, religion, art, journalism, history, love, and the inevitability of death. "The Dead" starts off mundanely enough, but if the last few pages don't send chills down your spine, then you must be dead. After that gem, everything else is just icing on the cake. While the ending of "The Dead" has been interpreted in hundreds of ways, there is no denying that as Joyce "pulls back the camera" from the Conroy's hotel room to the universe above the writing swells to its most beautiful. By itself, "The Dead" is a masterpiece which resonates long after you've read it. "The Dubliners" is Joyce's most accessible work, readable and enjoyable without losing any of its deeper nuances.
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- 20th century
- Dublin (Ireland) -- Fiction
- Short stories
- Social conditions
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