Reading Dubliners: A City Betrayed?


“I call the series Dubliners to betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city.”

(Joyce, letter to Constantine Curran, August 1904)


Following the success of the ‘Ulysses for All’ reading group, the James Joyce Centre is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Reading Dubliners: A City Betrayed?’ – a new and exciting structured reading group that will run from October to December.  As we move towards the centenary of its 1914 publication, the group, led by Dubliner and Joycean Caroline Elbay, will work through Joyce’s short story collection in a structured, accessible and relaxed environment.

The course lasts 12 weeks, and will include guest speakers, music, a field trip, and more.

Dubliners is a powerful work, containing some of the most finely wrought short stories in the English language.  In his far from flattering portrayal of Dublin, Joyce never romanticizes the poverty and decline which were everywhere apparent, depicting his hometown as a city divided, often against itself. However  the real power of Dubliners lies in Joyce’s masterful depiction of the resilient characters who live and work in this distinctive and bleak city – characters whose stories we are about to celebrate 100 years on.


“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” 

(Joyce, letter to Grant Richards, June 1906)


Beginning:  October 3rd

Concluding: December 19th

6-8pm every Thursday / Cost €125


To book please contact the James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1 /  01 8788547/ info [at]




Oct. 3      Reception and lecture ‘Reading the City: Modernism and Joyce’

Oct. 10         ‘The Sisters’ and ‘An Encounter’

Oct. 17          ‘Araby’ and ‘Eveline’

Oct. 24        ‘After the Race’ and ‘Two Gallants’

Oct. 31       ‘The Boarding House’ and ‘A Mother’

Nov. 7        ‘A Little Cloud’ at Henrietta Street

Nov. 14          ‘Counterparts’ and ‘Clay’

Nov. 21        ‘A Painful Case’

Nov. 28        ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room’ and ‘Grace’

Dec. 5        ‘The Dead’ (1)

Dec. 12           ‘The Dead’ (2)

Dec. 19          Closing lecture and reception.


Required text:  Dubliners by James Joyce (any edition)


A list of suggested secondary/critical readings will be provided on commencement of the course.           


7 thoughts on “Reading Dubliners: A City Betrayed?

  1. Hi,

    After enjoying the Ulysses reading group last year, I hoped to have another Joyce book being explored this way.

    I just wonder why the price is €125 as it seems a steep incline from the Ulysses reading group.


    Best regards,

  2. hello- I wish I could participate in your Dubliners course. I live and work in Los Angeles, California so I am unable to book. I am part of a musical group called
    Your Little Friends. I recently re-read and also listened to a fine audio recording of Dubliners and was hooked. I have adapted 3 of the stories into songs and would be happy to share an audio file of the recordings if anyone might want to hear.
    They are Araby, Eveline and Painful Case. I was so struck by the passion of these tales and hope that we were able to do them justice in a re-telling with music.
    2 of us in our band have family roots in Ireland and we are hoping to visit this summer.
    Best Wishes, Lesley

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