RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Author: James Joyce
Reason For Reading: Short Story Challenge.

Young love is not all its cracked up to be. Too often it is unrequited, the object of desire hardly knowing that the desirer exists. In this story, the young narrator soars from the agony of watching the neighbor girl from afar, to the excitement of the opportunity to go to a bazaar and buy a trinket for her. But though he waits anxiously all day for his uncle to return and give him the money to go to the bazaar, once he arrives, he finds to his utter frustration that reality can never live up to the fantasy of love.

It is interesting what brings about the sudden crash to reality. The narrator is not treated cruelly by his unrequited love. She plays a very minor part in this story, only interacting with him when she casually mentions that she wishes she could go to the bazaar. It isn't until the young narrator has made it to the bazaar, late in the evening now, and sees that there is hardly anyone left. As they turn off the lights, and the young narrator sits there, alone, he feels suddenly that his dreams have been crushed.

In this little snippet of a story, Joyce brings us to a childhood experience that (admit it) most of us have experienced at some time or another.


Debi said...

I don't think I've ever read anything by Joyce. Bad me.

I really need to get moving on the short story challenge one of these days.

Nymeth said...

I remember that this was the first Joyce short story that I ever read. I have been known to say that I can't stand Joyce, but that's not quite true. I can appreciate a story like this, or a story like The Dead. I can see his merit. But it's like, even though I admire the story's craftsmanship, I am left absolutely cold by it. It doesn't make me feel anything. I don't really know why. Ah well, we can't all like everything.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this story. I should do some more reading for the short story challenge. I haven't in a while.

Trish said...

This sounds familiar and I'm not sure if I've read a review of it somewhere else. I haven't read any of Joyce's short stories. In fact, the only thing I've read by him is Portrait of the Artist. I hated it both times I read it [assigned for two different college courses]. :)

Seachanges said...

lovely review - I still have to read the story but most reviews are so long that I lose the will. You've put this very succinctly and now I'm definitely going to read it and as one of the previous commentators says 'get moving on the short story challenge'.....