A Year of Dubliners (D)

What follows will be an experiment. I have long suspected that there is a calendar nesting among the fifteen stories of Dubliners. Beginning with “Clay” on November 5, I will post an essay about each story in the collection. The stories will follow the Celtic Year.

Success in laying out a defensible schema is not guaranteed. I am open to your ideas about how the stories appear on the calendar. Placements for “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” and “The Dead” are easy enough. Other stories may align with Celtic festivals or Catholic holy days as suggested by the stories’ themes. The use of beads, talismans, and rites of divination in developing your recommendations is encouraged.

Published Essays:

  • about Clay, October 31
  • about A Painful Case, November
  • about A Little Cloud, ~December 1
  • about The Dead, January 6
  • about Counterparts, ~February 16
  • about Eveline, October 8

4 thoughts on “A Year of Dubliners (D)

  1. I expected to post “about ‘The Dead'” for A Year of Dubliners on January 6. I’m reconsidering in the hope that it might inspire one or two people to pick up the cause of 15 Usher’s Island. The premise of the piece will be to connect the fates of Julia Morkan and her dishonored home. I’ll post my little essay on or about December 10 (or earlier if it seems necessary). Raise the Dead. ~Don

  2. “about Counterparts” in A Year of Dubliners

    On or about February 1, The James Joyce Reading Circle will post “about Counterparts,” assigning a date of February 16 to the story’s placement on the calendar. Reasons for this placement are briefly explained with the text of the essay.

    The essay explores the two dozen or so dysfunctional relationships that underly the title’s obvious pairings of Farrington to Young Tom and Alleyne to Farrington. More interestingly, there is a third party in each of the face-offs who worsens matters either through interference or through inaction.

    The essay is written and on the launch pad. I’ll be glad to read your comments.

    Regards,
    Don

  3. To my hobbled thinking, the first three pages of “Araby” are the most elegant of Joyce’s prose. Tomorrow, I’ll re-read something different and will have an improved opinion. For today, I’ll fight a duel against any and all who disagree.

    Savor this…

    When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. (41-42)

    Excerpt From: James Joyce. “Dubliners.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/dubliners/

    Happy Valentine’s Day to Mangan’s sister, who twisted a silver bracelet when giving me an audience.

    Don

  4. The following from Facebook is posted with the permission of Peter Fleming…

    The opening lines of Ulysses’ “Nausicaa,” episode are the most beautiful thing Joyce ever wrote.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Here is the first paragraph for fans of Nausicaa. (Don)

    “The summer evening had begun to fold the world in its mysterious embrace. Far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day lingered lovingly on sea and strand, on the proud promontory of dear old Howth guarding as ever the waters of the bay, on the weedgrown rocks along Sandymount shore and, last but not least, on the quiet church whence there streamed forth at times upon the stillness the voice of prayer to her who is in her pure radiance a beacon ever to the stormtossed heart of man, Mary, star of the sea.”

    Excerpt From: James Joyce. “Ulysses.” Apple Books.

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