Dubliners, one of the great short-story collections in the English language, was first published in London on 15 June 1914 by Grant Richards, who had rejected the original set of twelve stories in September 1906; in the interim, according to Joyce, it was turned down by forty publishers. The author is his own best interlocutor: 'My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis. I have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The stories are arranged in this order. I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the conviction that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard. It is not my fault that the odour of ashpits and old weeds and offal hangs round my stories. I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilisation in Ireland by preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking glass.' This consummate book, illustrated by the artist Louis le Brocquy, was published privately by The Dolmen Press in 1986. It is now being made widely available for the first time, the text deriving from Robert Scholes' 1967 edition, which restored Joyce's original punctuation and corrections. Le Brocquy's drawings, hieroglyphic 'shadows thrown by the text', are haunting accompaniments to these fifteen stories or 'incidents' in the life of a city, in Joyce's first major prose work. With this handsome edition, Dubliners returns fittingly to its source.
Actor Sheridan proves an excellent choice to interpret Joyce's classic story collection, first published in 1914. He brings an authentic Irish accent and an air of gravitas to the 15 tightly observed scen es of ordinary people around Dublin. He infuses life into Joyce's numerous and wide-ranging characters, from an adolescent boy's stifling infatuation with the girl who lives across the street ("Araby") to the husband and wife whose marriage is haunted by the death of the wife's former lover ("The Dead"), easily handling the shifting points of view from story to story. Each character is given a distinct personality and individual voice. But it is with Joyce's rich descriptive prose that Sheridan's skills shine brightest. His thoughtful and heartfelt delivery captures the full emotional weight of the stories, and by the end the listener has been transported to Joyce's Dublin.