"Don't you think there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do?...To give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own."
-- James Joyce, in a letter to his brother
With these fifteen stories James Joyce reinvented the art of fiction, using a scrupulous, deadpan realism to convey truths that were at once blasphemous and sacramental. Whether writing about the death of a fallen priest ("The Sisters"), the petty sexual and fiscal machinations of "Two Gallants," or of the Christmas party at which an uprooted intellectual discovers just how little he really knows about his wife ("The Dead"), Joyce takes narrative places it had never been before.
The text of this edition has been newly edited by Hans Walter Gabler and Walter Hettche and is followed by a new afterword, chronology, and bibliography by John S. Kelly. Also included in a special appendix are the original versions of three stories as well as Joyce's long-suppressed Preface to Dubliners.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
From the Hardcover edition.
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