This course will examine James Joyce’s collection of fifteen short stories called simply Dubliners. This volume was first published in 1914, but not without a struggle. Joyce first submitted these stories to a publisher in 1905, and had it rejected 17 times before it was finally published in 1914. It has become one of the classics of English language literature, despite its rocky beginnings.
Dubliners depicts middle class Irish life in the early part of the 20th century. The first stories are narrated by protagonists who are children. As the stories continue, they examine the lives of characters in increasingly older stages of life. Interestingly, many of the characters who appear in these short stories appear later in minor roles in Joyce’s famous novel Ulysses.
Participants in this course will read, discuss, and write about the text and its influence. As in most book clubs, the focus will be on lively discussion. Course materials will include background information for understanding the text, as well as vocabulary and language support. Assessment will include quizzes and short writing assignments.
This is the fifth part of the BerkeleyX Book Club offerings.