'I regret to see that my book has turned out un fiasco solenne'
James Joyce's disillusion with the publication of Dubliners in 1914
was the result of ten years battling with publishers, resisting
their demands to remove swear words, real place names and much
else, including two entire stories. Although only 24 when he signed
his first publishing contract for the book, Joyce already knew its
worth: to alter it in any way would 'retard the course of
civilisation in Ireland'. Joyce's aim was to tell the truth - to
create a work of art that would reflect life in Ireland at the turn
of the last century and by rejecting euphemism, reveal to the Irish
the unromantic reality the recognition of which would lead to the
spiritual liberation of the country. Each of the fifteen stories
offers a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Dubliners - a death, an
encounter, an opportunity not taken, a memory rekindled - and
collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.