James Joyce's Early Fiction: Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (55+)

In the early works Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we can see James Joyce (1882–1941) developing his technique.

The books, which are quite accessible compared with Joyce’s dense and allusive novel Ulysses, are well worth reading on their own merits. They are also a useful introduction to the later novel, containing characters that appear and incidents that are recalled in Ulysses.

We will examine these two seminal works through lecture and discussion. You are asked to read both books before the classes in which they’re discussed in order to generate a lively and informed exchange.

Note: Back by popular demand, from spring 2016. Courses on Ulysses, based on in-class reading with commentary, are planned beginning fall term 2019.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

Currently not available for registration.

What will I learn?

It is important that students read the works before they are scheduled for class, both to make the class commentary meaningful and to make discussion possible.

Class reading schedule for Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (subject to minor changes along the way):

Week 1: Dubliners

“The Sisters,” “An Encounter,” “Araby,” “Eveline,” “After the Race”

Week 2: Dubliners

“Two Gallants,” “The Boarding House,” “A Little Cloud,” “Counterparts,” “Clay”

Week 3: Dubliners

“A Painful Case,” “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” “A Mother,” “Grace”

Week 4: Dubliners

“The Dead” (a film will be shown)

Week 5: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Week 6: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

The following books are required for this course. You may purchase any version from the SFU Bookstore or at your local or online bookstore.

  • Joyce, Dubliners
  • Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

Look at other courses in