by James Joyce
Started: 27th February 2015
Finished: 2nd March 2015
I’ve heard many things about James Joyce but I have never read anything by him. His collection of short stories came up on my Modernism reading list. I wasn’t totally blown away by them.
Each short story takes place in Dublin with a different set of characters. However, they weren’t so much stories by snapshots into these characters lives. There’s fifteen in total and some seem fairly similar as they revolve around death and childhood.
There was only a couple of short stories (or snapshots) that really stood out for me. One of them was the last in the collection, The Dead. It’s also the longest story in Dubliners which may be another reason I enjoyed it more. I can’t deny that Joyce is a great writers and writes interesting characters. However, I feel I would enjoy this more if I had more time to really get into it, but because they’re so short they didn’t really impact me. With The Dead it felt like there was more of a story there and it was more engaging.
The other two short stories that I liked were the opening story The Sisters and Eveline. The Sisters was interesting and a good story to use for the beginning. The main problem I had with it was the length and it finished before I could get really invested in it. I would also have liked a lot more of Eveline as there’s just so many questions I have from it. I can appreciate it ending the way it did and I wouldn’t want more added onto the end of it, however I would have liked more leading up to the ending to explain the situation more.
As this is Joyce I feel there is something I’m missing. That each of these stories has something deeper that may have just been lost over time. There’s something about these stories that I feel would be more shocking for when they were first published. This may become more clear to me as I study the collection and more of Joyce’s work.
Like I said, I enjoy Joyce’s writing style it’s just these stories weren’t for me. Despite this I am looking forward to reading The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – hopefully that will impress me more!