I tried reading this book 20 years or so ago and didn’t finish it. But I finished it this time and I was sorry it had to end. Now I’m going to read “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”.
Dubliners is a collection of troubling stories about Irish life just before independence. They’re about ordinary, everyday situations shot through with insights and personal descriptions of people, places, and relationships.
The stories are mostly bleak and contain a lot of sadness and anger about people’s situations. I’ve met similar people in small villages and yet Dublin even in the 1910s was a large (for the time) city, but the parochial nature of people’s lives and views shines through. There are a few exceptions, but those people are ridiculed for daring to go outside Ireland.
My favourite lines are as follows (from A Mother):
She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure, and fixed; and though she knew the small number of his talents she appreciated his abstract value as a male.