...It seems to me that your book 'Dubliners
' is becoming almost as important as your novel
. 'Ivy Day in the Committee Rooms'
is accurate, just, and satisfactory
. It is original
too. I don't think that this which forms so great a part of Dublin
, of Irish life has been done before by an artist
. To a stranger your differentiation
of character would seem nothing less than marvellous
. And the poem -- the 'turn' in this case -- is entirely Irish
. Aunt Josephine prefers 'A Painful Case'
to any of the others but slight
as that story is I think it is too big for the form you use. My sense of proportion
leads me to prefer 'Ivy Day in the Committee Rooms'
People will think 'A Painful Case,'
a story of passionate
natures. People who want to be amused
by what they read -- that large class -- will not find many of them to their taste. 'The Boarding-House,'
perhaps, though the title is more like the title of a picture. Cosgrave said: 'How delicate
he is on the point!' I find the intellectual serenity
and ease with which you draw out these burgesses
a relief after Turgenev's painful and unhappy analysis
. But what is the meaning of writing one half
of a story about 'Joe and Leo Dillon' and the other half about a sodomite
, named by me for convenience
sake 'the captain of fifty'? To call it 'An Encounter'
will hardly link the two parts together. However I would not wish for a good deal that this type were missing in Dubliners
. Do you write out a rough
copy of these stories? Like a Shakespeare manuscript
there is scarcely ever a correction
in them and yet I can hardly imagine that that astonishing unravelling
of the sodomite's mind was written offhand
. The sensation of terror
-- you were afraid he might catch you by the ankles
-- is cleverly put in....
Correspondence Regarding Joyce's "Dubliners":
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