It is surprising how I have never been a fan of James Joyce. While everyone in college was gushing over Ulysses and how it is the greatest novel ever written, I could not care less. It is not that I did not think much of Joyce; it is just that I could not relate to Ulysses as a novel. That is all there is to it I think.
Having said that, I always go back to his short story, “The Dead” from Dubliners. According to me, it is the one short story that defines it all when it comes to writing the short story – style, structure, plot and emotions. Some even call it a novella, but according to me it is a short story.
“The Dead” is about Gabriel Conroy and his life – all his loves and losses accounted for in one story. It is about self-awareness which is painful and somehow very enriching at the same time. A story which you will not forget. Read it.