It’s common for descriptions of James Joyce’s Dubliners to label its stories portraits of Irish life. If you’d like to look at actual portraits of Irish life in 1904, however, you could do a lot worse than this series of old photos of Dublin, available online courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute.
Joyce’s might be key to understanding sad sentences: their emotional impact doesn’t stem solely from the combination of words. The impact often results from the circumstances of readers’ lives. Nothing gets read in a vacuum.
More commas, please.
Yes, my dear Abelard, He gives my mind that tranquillity which a vivid remembrance of our misfortunes formerly forbade. Just Heaven! what other rival could take me from you? Could you imagine it possible for a mere human to blot you from my heart? Could you think me guilty of sacrificing the virtuous and learned Abelard to any other but God?
“Have I shocked you by the dirty things I wrote to you? You think perhaps that my love is a filthy thing. It is, darling, at some moments. I dream of you in filthy poses sometimes. I imagine things so very dirty that I will not write them until I see how you write yourself.” James Joyce in a letter to Nora Barnacle