John WatersJan 11, 2022
John Waters on James Joyce's "Dubliners"
New Books Network 2022
James Joyce’s 1914 collection of fifteen short stories, Dubliners, is righty considered one of the greatest literary achievements of Western modernity. But what is so original about these stories that begin with childhood, cover adolescence and adult choices, and conclude with a deeply moving reflection on our mortality? What life-changing experiences are their center, and how does Joyce understand such epiphanies? And who is Joyce, who writes the stories about life in Dublin after having left his native Ireland for Italy? What did Joyce set out to do in Dubliners, before he embarked on writing Ulysses, which appears in 1922 in France?
John Waters teaches Irish literature and culture at New York University, and explains on this podcast the cultural context for Joyce’s stories and highlights several moments where Joyce lets his characters reach their expressive competence – meaning that the stories take us to the edge of human emotions and experience without becoming meaningless or incomprehensible.
Uli Baer teaches literature and photography as University Professor at New York University. A recipient of Guggenheim, Getty and Humboldt awards, in addition to hosting "Think About It” he hosts (with Caroline Weber) the podcast "The Proust Questionnaire” and is Editorial Director at Warbler Press. Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @UliBaer.