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Old 12-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #16
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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I didn't mind that story as much. There was something very real about it. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I appreciate the "realness" of what Joyce was giving me in these stories. The problems I had were more that they didn't go anywhere that made me feel like the thought was complete. I sort of felt like I'd taken the trip for nothing a lot of the time.

Some stories I liked more than others though.
These were likely the prototype of 'New Yorker Stories.'

Very few of the short stories published there seem to be fulfilling for me as a reader.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #17
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Can't resist making one last point about Dubliners lest there be any doubt that James Joyce could write beautifully. These are the last words in the book from The Dead.

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A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
This paragraph, at face value, is lovely. But if you like games such as anagrams and puzzles there is enough here to keep you happy for a while. Westward = toward the setting sun = death. The echoes are lovely, too: falling softly...softly falling, falling faintly...faintly falling (and the soft sibilance of "soul swooned slowly" ). Joyce intimates tenderness, even compassion, here missing in the earlier stark, often brutal, stories. I haven't quite worked out all the snow, but it's Christmas Day and there are cheerier things to think about.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #18
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Some have said that "The Dead" is literal....it takes place in the afterlife and all the characters are dead.....
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:40 PM   #19
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Some have said that "The Dead" is literal....it takes place in the afterlife and all the characters are dead.....
Wow, Kenny, that really messes with my mind. Just when I was giving Dubliners a rest. Merry Christmas to you, too.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:58 PM   #20
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Wow, Kenny, that really messes with my mind. Just when I was giving Dubliners a rest. Merry Christmas to you, too.
You're welcome.
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BelleZora View Post
Can't resist making one last point about Dubliners lest there be any doubt that James Joyce could write beautifully. These are the last words in the book from The Dead.



This paragraph, at face value, is lovely. But if you like games such as anagrams and puzzles there is enough here to keep you happy for a while. Westward = toward the setting sun = death. The echoes are lovely, too: falling softly...softly falling, falling faintly...faintly falling (and the soft sibilance of "soul swooned slowly" ). Joyce intimates tenderness, even compassion, here missing in the earlier stark, often brutal, stories. I haven't quite worked out all the snow, but it's Christmas Day and there are cheerier things to think about.
These lines were also filmed beautifully by John Huston - a brilliant melding of words & image.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:39 AM   #22
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I have to agree that Dubliners was bleak, much bleaker than Ulysses which I read before it. I don't want to say James Joyce has a pessimism about it all but it's hard to stay away from that word.

However, overall I still really liked it. My favourite story was the last one, The Dead. It was more like a short novella really. Here's a quote I really liked from it:

Quote:
Like the tender fires of stars moments of their life together, that no one knew of or would ever know of, broke upon and illumined his memory. He longed to recall to her those moments, to make her forget the years of their dull existence together and remember only their moments of ecstasy.
After Ulysses I read up a little on Joyce again and in the course also happened to read some on Dubliners before I began the book, so while reading the book I was on the lookout for themes and symbolism. I noticed a main theme of the book was, appropriately to the bleakness and the last story's title, death. The book begins with a death (the priest) and ends with a death (the revelation of the boy who loved Mrs. Conroy who had died). I think a general theme of the book was also paralysis, introduced literally in the very first story by the priest who was paralysed.

I'm not so sure about the later stories but I also think the some of the stories were symbolic, usually about Ireland itself. It seems that someone sometimes represented either an idealised Ireland or a realistic and bleak Ireland. Similarly I think Joyce was trying to make a point about how he felt that Ireland as a whole was in a state of paralysis, by the Church, by England and by themselves.

I think "Araby" is a good case in point. I think the girl was symbolic of an idealised Ireland, but when the boy wanted to do something for her he was thwarted by Ireland itself (his uncle who was drunk and didn't give him money in time and the aunt who was innefectual), the Church (the bazaar was run by the Church and the boy had to pay a lot of his money to get in and it had mostly closed by the time the boy got there and so was useless) and England (the one stand left open when the boy arrived was manned by an English girl who didn't really want to help him anyway).

I think the snow in The Dead also symbolises this paralysis, and that's why in the final paragraphs Joyce makes a point of widening his scope to describe it snowing on all of Ireland.

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Upon reflection, I have to say that I appreciate James Joyce's apparent view in this book that epiphanies happen and they have little practical value. In other books they are a handy literary device, but in real life they are pretty much a dime a dozen and about as life-changing for most of us as they are for Joyce's Dubliners.
Very nice, ahem, epiphany.

Last edited by sun surfer; 12-31-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:03 PM   #23
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Great comments, Sun surfer! Since you have been residing in the mind of James Joyce for some time, I was hoping that you would post.

I love Dubliners even more than I hated it.

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Very nice, ahem, epiphany.
At the risk of sounding sappy, this book has influenced my new year's resolutions. We shall see how that all works out.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #24
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Great comments, Sun surfer! Since you have been residing in the mind of James Joyce for some time, I was hoping that you would post.

I love Dubliners even more than I hated it.



At the risk of sounding sappy, this book has influenced my new year's resolutions. We shall see how that all works out.
Uh Oh! That sounds ominous.
Don't do anything drastic!
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:20 PM   #25
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Uh Oh! That sounds ominous.
Don't do anything drastic!
Well, actually, it only involves New Zealand and albatrosses. Nothing drastic.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:32 PM   #26
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Good for you! I wrote a poem that happened to include NZ just yesterday.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...postcount=1267

Have a great time!
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #27
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Good for you! I wrote a poem that happened to include NZ just yesterday.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...postcount=1267

Have a great time!
Very effective poem!

Kenny C., are you familiar with the magazine Poetry published by the Poetry Foundation. They have great App "Poetry" available free from the iTunes App store. As well as an interesting interface which gives access to a multitude of poems, it also allows access to the magazine. It's one of my favourite apps.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:15 PM   #28
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Yeah, I used to subscribe to the magazine ages ago, but eventually decided they were not in tune with my tastes. I do visit their website on occasion when searching for a particular poet or information.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:42 PM   #29
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Yeah, I used to subscribe to the magazine ages ago, but eventually decided they were not in tune with my tastes. I do visit their website on occasion when searching for a particular poet or information.

Thanks!
Whatever your tastes, the Poetry Foundation's database is ginormous, and their app is easy to use and throughout searchable. I highly recommend it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:24 PM   #30
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Good for you! I wrote a poem that happened to include NZ just yesterday.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...postcount=1267
Love this poem, Kenny! I just checked out some of your other poems and am very impressed.

Thanks for the Poetry Foundation recommendations, fantasyfan and Tom. I just got the android app from Google Play.
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