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"Don't you think there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do?...To give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own."
-- James Joyce, in a letter to his brother
With these fifteen stories James Joyce reinvented the art of fiction, using a scrupulous, deadpan realism to convey truths that were at once blasphemous and sacramental. Whether writing about the death of a fallen priest ("The Sisters"), the petty sexual and fiscal machinations of "Two Gallants," or of the Christmas party at which an uprooted intellectual discovers just how little he really knows about his wife ("The Dead"), Joyce takes narrative places it had never been before.
The text of this edition has been newly edited by Hans Walter Gabler and Walter Hettche and is followed by a new afterword, chronology, and bibliography by John S. Kelly. Also included in a special appendix are the original versions of three stories as well as Joyce's long-suppressed Preface to Dubliners.
About the Author
James Joyce, the twentieth century's most influential novelist, was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882. The oldest of ten children, he grew up in a family that went from prosperity to penury because of his father's wastrel behavior. After receiving a rigorous Jesuit education, twenty-year-old Joyce renounced his Catholicism and left Dublin in 1902 to spend most of his life as a writer in exile in Paris, Trieste, Rome, and Zurich. On one trip back to Ireland, he fell in love with the now famous Nora Barnacle on June 16, the day he later chose as "Bloomsday" in his novel "Ulysses. "Nara was an uneducated Galway girl who became his lifelong companion an the mother of his two children. In debt and drinking heavily, Joyce lived for thirty-six years on the Continent, supporting himself first by teaching jobs, then trough the patronage of Mrs. Harold McCormick (Edith Rockerfeller) and the English feminist and editor Harriet Shaw Weaver. His writings include "Chamber music "(1907), "Dubliners "(1914), "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man "(1916), "Exiles "(1918), "Ulysses "(1922), "Poems Penyeach "(1927), "Finnegans Wake "(1939), and an early draft of "A Portrait of a Young Man, Stephan Hero "(1944). "Ulysses "required seven years to complete, and his masterpiece, "Finnegans Wake, "took seventeen. Both works revolutionized the form, structure, and content of the novel. Joyce died in Zurich in 1941.
Terence Brown is Professor of Anglo-Irish literature in Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the College. He is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Academia Europaea, and has lectured widely on Irish literature and on Irish cultural history. Among his books are studies of Louis MacNeice and of Northern Irish poetry. His numerous publications include "Ireland: A Social and Cultural History" (1985) and" Ireland's Literature: Selected Essays" (1988). He is also editor of "Derek Mahon: Journalism" (1996) and "Celticism "(1996), and was formerly a contributing editor of the "Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing,"
Terence Brown is Fellow Emeritus and former Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin.