Description

    First Edition of Joyce's First Prose Work

    James Joyce. Dubliners. London: Grant Richards, [1914].

    First edition of Joyce's first prose work. Octavo. 278 pages.

    Publisher's dark red cloth with gilt titles on spine and front board. Minor abrading and soiling to boards. Spine ever so darkened. Minimal edge wear. Edges a bit dusty. Two small tape stains to each endpaper. A near fine copy of a scarce book with an amazingly troubled publication history.

    "Joyce left Dublin in 1904, frustrated with the oppressive twin forces of religion and politics that paralyzed the soul of the city. He called Dubliners a 'chapter in the moral history of my country.' Despite his confession in a letter that 'the odour of ashpits and old weeds and offal hangs round my stories,' these are not the bitter tales of an exiled writer seeking revenge against the city that threatened to stifle his creative talents. Instead, the irony, the anger, and the heartbreak found in these stories express as much affection as critique...Because it intermingles hope and despair, Dubliners cannot be reduced to an unequivocal statement about the city and its dwellers... Joyce casts a wide net, arranging the stories so they move from childhood to adulthood and from public to private. In his thoroughness, Joyce is as tender as he is fierce. The first Dubliners we meet are curious children hungry for adventure and love. There are young boys with romantic visions of chivalry and young women longing to escape. While youthful dreams quickly fade for the adults in later stories, Joyce shows us that their defeat is not unavoidable" (from the Introduction to the Penguin edition of Dubliners).


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    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
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