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Dublinders

By James Joyce QUOTATION: Dubliners, strictly speaking, are my fellow-countrymen, but I don’t care to speak of our “dear, dirty Dublin” as they do. Dubliners are the most hopeless, useless and inconsistent race of charlatans I have ever come across, on the island or the continent. This is why the English Parliament is full of the greatest windbags in the world. The Dubliner passes his time gabbing and making the rounds in bars or taverns or cathouses, without every getting ‘fed up’ with the double doses of whiskey and Home Rule, and at night, when he can hold no more and is swollen up with poison like a toad, he staggers from the side- door and, guided by an instinctive desire for stability along the straight line of the houses, he goes slithering his backside against all walls and corners. He goes “arsing along” as we say in English. There’s the Dubliner for you.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Originally transcribed by Alessandro Francini Bruni in his pamphlet, Joyce intimo spogliato in piazza (Trieste, 1922). Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, Viking (revised 1982).

QUOTATION: —The men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. “The Dead,” Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes, Viking (1968).

QUOTATION: Love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Mr. Duffy, in Dubliners, “A Painful Case,” (1914).

QUOTATION: Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Originally published in The Irish Homestead, August 13, 1904. “The Sisters,” Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes, Viking (1968).

QUOTATION: “Dubliner” seems to me to have some meaning and I doubt whether the same can be said for such words as “Londoner” and “Parisian” both of which have been used by writers as titles. From time to time I see in publishers’ lists announcements of books on Irish subjects, so that I think people might be willing to pay for the special odour of corruption which, I hope, floats over my stories.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Letter, October 15, 1905, to Grant Richards, prospective publisher of Dubliners. Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann, Viking (1975).

QUOTATION: My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis. I have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The stories are arranged in this order. I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Letter, May 5, 1906, to Grant Richards, prospective publisher of Dubliners. Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann, Viking (1975).

QUOTATION: 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.
ATTRIBUTION: James Joyce (1882–1941), Irish author. Dubliners, “The Dead,” (1916).

 

 

 

 

 

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