Much as I hate lists, and the link-bait they offer, it was from a list of books Hemingway would recommend. Top three on the list, I’ve read. The Dubliners by James Joyce came in at 4 or so.
Always go with the nebulous, “Joyce, right, yeah think I read that in school.”
However, after my non-academic version of Joyce’s Ulysses — I was a bit gun-shy.
I recognize a title or two, and, of course, the book itself — have to in order to have literature street-cred.
As dated, and somewhat — to a post-modern ear — stilted prose, it fits well with Richard Burton’s Ruffian Dick.
Then there are moments when the prose, even a single word equivocates and blindingly obvious yet sly, with metrical form so the prose resemble poetry.
“Rapid motion through space elates one; so does notoriety; so does the possession of money.”
Excerpt From: Joyce, James. “The Dubliners.” After the Race.
Not sure it can be done.
“Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else’s business.”
Excerpt From: Joyce, James. “The Dubliners.” The Boardinghouse.
“There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin.”
Excerpt From: Joyce, James. “The Dubliners.” A Little Cloud.
A long held observation; succinctly put.
“Love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.”
Excerpt From: Joyce, James. “The Dubliners.” A Painful Case.
Yes, fist pump. The whole thing, again.
Despite the slightly archaic language, the sentiment suggests that it is part of the early modern literature.
If you must, I think it’s at gutenberg.org, but frankly, the iBook’s version is both free and notable (scrollable & clickable).