Monday, February 05, 2007

Dubliners - Post I

This book by James Joyce is a series of fifteen stories of ordinary people in Dublin that makes you think almost of a cinematic experience with lots of different excerpts making up a commentary on a City. So far the stories seem to be told very straight without judgements being made against the characters he writes about. The plan was to read more pages but sadly I fell asleep on the train and the eyes blurred and the words...

Bullet points from pages 1 - 46

The Sisters
A young man discovers that his mentor, a priest named Flynn, has died and as a result he feels a release rather than a pressing grief and accompanied by his aunt goes to visit the sisters who cared for their brother the priest. They tell their guests that he was struggling with the priesthood and found it almost too much and then end with a story about a broken chalice, a boy having some sort of breakdown and a sense of failure.

An Encounter
Two boys, it is meant to be three but the third one fails to turn up, arrange to meet and spend the day walking across to the docks and generally having a good time mucking around and firing catapults. They are met in a field by a strange man who disturbs them with his talk of giving boys who talk to girls a good whipping and in the end the boys, who have invented pseudonyms for themselves manage to escape from him and head home

The Araby of the title is a bazaar that a girl who is idolised by a boy mentions as somewhere she would like to go. Those are her first words to him after months of him following her and walking along her path to school. His uncle promises him some money for the bazaar but forgets and gets home late but the boy gets the train and gets to the bazaar just as the final stalls are packing up and while he is there the lights start to go off

The youngest girl in a large family is left after her mother dies with her abusive father but a sailor offers her a way out to live with him in Argentina. But as the moment of decision comes she waits on the dock side while the sailor, screaming out her name, is pushed by the crowd up the gangway

After the Race
You go from a story about Eveline to one about five young men who have money and the advantages of a good education who are meeting to have a meal when they come across an American Farley who takes them to his yacht where they play at cards and the focus of the story Jimmy loses heavily and has no idea of his losses but welcomes the rest that comes at the end of the game

More tomorrow of the various tales of Dubliners...

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