We’ve all had conversations and experiences that make us stop and think. It might be a word someone uses that evokes a deep and painful memory; maybe a loved one shuns you at an important moment; perhaps a once cherished and profoundly important place in your life ceases to be. Whatever happens, life will use this opportunity to reveal a truth, one previously veiled and unfathomable.

In James Joyce’s first book, Dubliners, a collection of 15 short stories published in 1915, he explored this idea using early 20th century Dublin, Ireland as his experimental canvas. On this, he paints pictures of ordinary people in the city going about their day. For example, Joyce uses priests, teenagers, landladies and drunks to name a few. Reading a snippet from the daily life of a pubescent boy may not sound like anything new, but if you get the chance to read