Four Dubliners Paperback – 1 Aug 1988
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As a consequence of the lectures being delivered with a gap of one year from one to the next, each chapter is independent of the others, until the last on Beckett, where Ellmann makes an effort to relate each author to the rest. The four men are very different in their styles and personal history, and most of their lives were spent in places other than Dublin, but relating them in one book makes some sense, albeit somewhat forced, because of their strong connections to Ireland and because some of them had met each other and been influenced by each other.
Ellmann's insight into the four men and ability to relate them and their work come from years of close study, including knowing some of the participants. Particularly telling are such references as, "Mrs. Yeats told me ...," and the like. He includes delightful references and jokes that limn character, such as Beckett's ironic take on Descartes, "I suffer, therefore I may be."
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