...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' or 'Counterparts.' 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":
Previous - Next

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.