Prompted by an old internet friend, I have picked up James Joyce’s “Dubliners” to reread. It has been years since I have read any of the stories except for “The Dead” (which I love–but last time I read this book it was the only story that really did anything for me).

Anyway, I am now older (for sure) and wiser (one hopes), and I am going to give it another go. I read the first story, “Sisters,” this afternoon. Then I listened to this recording of the first paragraph, and I started thinking about dissemination of information. In “Sisters,” at the beginning of the story, the narrator–a young boy–is walking past other homes and looking to see what he can learn from observing them. News comes from one mouth to another ear, or by watching and knowing the routines of his neighbors.

And then here I am, sitting in my own house, listening to another woman, whom I’ve never met, reading the same first paragraph that I just read. People all over the blogosphere (I can’t decide; do I despise that word?) are reading this book. I’m sure as I progress I’ll have something to say about the stories themselves, but for today I was just struck by the oddity of the community here…and the fact that my own reading experience was deepened by listening to this recording, which someone just made, at home, exactly for me and others like me.


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