Joyce stories end in epiphanies. That's the point. There's something at the end of each that ties off the story in a way that, simply put, makes you feel something. I also find them incredibly depressing.
My personal favorite is "Clay" (aside from "The Dead," obviously). The woman is a dead soul, living a tragically pleasant and simple life...
I can't articulate my feelings about it so well, I'm not the best to tell you. But take care to notice the epiphanies...each one shows some spiritual desperation. I think it's wonderful.
I think you're definitely missing something. The endings are some of the most crucial parts, and they revolve around a literary idea that Joyce championed called the "epiphany" which has by now entered the colloquial englishspeak. Or maybe it's just not for you, you don't HAVE to like everything, or all the classics you know.
You have to look a bit harder in these ones. The endings are actually supposed to be much more striking than average. He's just a bit more subtle than some writers; try Araby to begin with and look up explanations if you don't get it, this should give you an idea of how to interpret the rest. Examine the small details of the story, don't overlook any lines.
"The Dead" and "Araby" are absolutely beautiful! >>6341755 is quite right. The stories seem flat because the epiphanies usually involve these awful moments when the procession of real life events is suddenly penetrated and overwhelmed by a philosophical vision that everything is pointless or characterized by a deep, palpable sorrow.
For Araby, the climax of the story is disappointment itself, which is pretty unusual. But you can't mistake the characters disappointment for the readers.
>>6345074 Nah, that's the one where the guy has an infant and comes home to his miserable, paralyzed life where he feels like he doesn't belong and made all the wrong choices in life. It ends with him stepping into shadow or something.
>>6345077 Jesus fucking Christ... A Little Cloud... that one and Araby as well as A Painful Case just pummeled me. Those are the type of stories that make you just look forward in a semi-dazed state for 30 seconds after reading them.
I remember I finished A Painful Case in the parking lot of Walmart, I went into the Walmart to find my friend and get her to hurry up with the shopping when some old lady just fell down onto her knees and began hysterically screaming and crying, right in the middle of fucking busy Walmart... I still get this strange feeling thinking about that day.
>>6345145 Your trolling aside, I remember watching KotH as a kid and it seemed so boring and unfunny compared to The Simpsons and Futurama and whatnot. Now that I'm 20 and I'm rewatching it it's fuckin' fantastic.
The Dead is fantastic - the way it expresses that feeling of first love and sacrifice taking prevalence over every other love is the best way I've ever seen it done. Araby is fascinating as well for its ideas on being misled by other people and dealing with in, though I don't feel I have a very good grasp on it.
I'm still trying to understand the rest, though. It's been a while, but one that I have no idea of really is An Encounter.
>>6345309 Yeah I do not completely understand that one either. I think it has something to do with the play between respectable elders and creepy/perv/weird old people. I think it would resonate with us more if we lived in a time when people commonly socialized with rando fuckwits more often.
Yeah, when I first read this I had no idea what the hell it was about, but on reread it made a lot more sense. The old ranting man is masturbating. It has a lot to do with disappointment, innocence, and what it's like venturing into the world.
I will never enjoy that one that's entirely political dialogue, about them supporting some guy running for some office. Hell, I couldn't even finish it, it was pure nonsense to me.
>>6345319 I think part of what it's trying to express is just inherent in the society that was around in Ireland back then instead of some universal truth which the more popular stories express. That story especially gives me a small-town sort of feel where you know everyone around, and so it's something that might just be lost due in part to age.
>>6345322 I thought that one was OK, it reminds me a lot of family gatherings where everyone sits around and complains about politics and remembers 'The glory days' of some politician who never quite made it onto the card.
For me the one I just cannot get into is After the Race.
My favorite aside from The Dead is definitely Eveline, I hated that story so fucking much... I just wanted to go into the book and kick Eveline's ass. Few short stories can put me into such a raving fury as that one.
I think it has something to do with the old man's creepy behavior and masturbation symbolizing the older generation's perverted morality and hypocrisy. Despite the old man's perversions/pedo tendencies he feels a need to establish a moral high ground with the boys, and seems to get him off. I think it has something to do with that and the loss of wonder that the boys experience in playing hookey - not just the encounter but the dismal working class days that they will most likely end up being a part of.
I definitely didn't like it too much. I don't know about you or anyone else, but the race itself was way too hard to visualize. I had absolutely no reference as to what the hell they were riding in, the track, the landscape, etc. It was very confusing. The ending is pretty good though.
Oh yeah, it's amazing. Easily my favorite flash/short-short fiction ever.
I'm Turkish, so I don't know if kids from 1st world countries experience this. But I was a kid in the early 90's and the best thing to do for a kid in Turkey was to go out to play with a friend to play just a little too far from your own street, where everyone knows you. You must've have had that feeling, that feeling of "Yeah, this is our domain, where we are known, where the elders love us and know us all too well."
But once in a while for adventure and curiosity's sake you'd walk off with your friend to mess about. To a street, open field with lots of grass where you don't hear the cards anymore, just cicadas. You'd make bugs wrestle with that special kind of cruelty the kids have. And then you see someone, someone you have never seen. And you see them aproaching you. And it's the first fucking time anyone you don't know approached you when you were alone. I think it's like the first time you get that primal feeling of fear. Because he starts talking to you, and you talk back but with a tone as if you did something wrong. The grown-up senses this, being an adult. And as he keeps talking you feel as if he gets more and more intense, like he keeps looking at you with purpose rather than curiosity. You don't figure out what you feel then, but much later when you grow up, you can put it into words like I can now. You feel that it's definitely one of "Those people" your mom warns you about. And in panic you look at your mate and make a lie of urgency and try to get the fuck outta there asap. And when you do, you can't really talk to your mate about how you are scared shitless.
You don't know what you are feeling and you are yet to learn the words.
>>6341723 >The prose is pleasant but the endings fall so flat, unless I'm just missing something. Contrary to what all the tards here are saying, you're not missing anything, at least not in the immediate.
Joyce as many modernists wrote in a fragmented style rather than 'complete'. This implies that often character will express emotions or behave in a certain way without an explicit reason for it (for example "she read a letter" and then describing her emotion, but what she read?, who wrote the letter?, how does she know him/her?, etc...)
Modern literature gave a kind of a twist, meaning that the 'solid' plot of the story is left to the reader to fill. Describing characters in situations to make them broad enough to be 'filled' by a lot of people is the hard task here, and one in which Joyce succeded most of the time.
You don't have to find the book fun or boring just because anyone tells you (particularly here, don't trust /lit/ for anything), in particular, don't believe of an objective interpretation like a sort of hidden meaning in the book (this goes against Joyce intent!).
A similar thing but taken to the extreme happens in the Wake, there is no 'inner meaning' of the book, but a book that could be read in different ways. The intent in Dubliners is most subtle and the reader plays a way smaller part than in the Wake.
If you find Dubliners boring, is because you don't have anything to 'fill' the blank spaces of the book, and there's nothing wrong with that, it is right now a bad book for you and you should leave it at that.
What I do recommend is to read it again later, a few months or maybe years, and after that reading wait some time and repeat. You may find that the stories in Dubliners become different each time you read it (and that's what's great about the book).
>>6345309 >Araby Here the protag is mostly "misleading" himself. Think about his infatuation with the girl he has barely ever spoken to, note the line with him in the closet and the metaphor of him carrying the chalice.
>An Encounter I like the read of >>6345365. I would add that the collection-wide motif of "paralysis" is advanced by your reading. The perceived wonder of the world outside of school and outside of childhood (i.e. growing up) is diminished, where else for the schoolboys to go?
>>6345407 >After the Race This is an allegory. Think of the nationalities of all of the characters and the historical context. Joyce paints a pretty awful picture of his homeland throughout--a big question for me is whether "The Dead" is meant to be a redemption or just the cherry on top of the shit sundae
>>6345473 I've been in Istanbul and Izmir, it was first world. Then I went to smaller towns around Cappadocia, mainly Ürgut, and it was the same as small towns in any first world country. Again, if you think that's 3th world what would Thailand, Yemen, Colombia or Slovenia be?
Been to and lived in are two very different things. I was born in Istanbul and I still live here. The country may *look* like first world but by all means, it is not. Visiting tourist areas and whizzing by slums is not knowing a city.
Back in the 90s, Istanbul had the population of 8-10 million. Now it has 20 million. There were green areas in my childhood, more desolate areas. The city's limits expanded to twice what it was.
Just today the prosecutor of the case in which the cops killed a kid, got abducted by a marginal group. Then police undertook an *operation* which resulted in everyone dying, followed by the president declaring the operation "A Success." Polls show; People were asked "What would you do if your child told you he/she was an atheist?" %84 answered "I'd kill him/her."
>>6345365 >>6345432 This sounds reasonable. The loss of wonder and maturation of it is interesting, and makes sense in the context of the story where the boys realize the sort of dullness they are actually in. Perhaps it's about the unwinding of a person's life and desires as they age, to where the boys consider playing hookey a big deal and make a scene of it, but when they see the man masturbating and acting perverse out there they see the sort of lifestyle they are actually emulating.
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