Series of very readable short stories from the town of the author's birth written far from said location. What are these modernist studies about? Nationalist Ireland? Middle class values in the beginning of 20th century? I like to think it's Joyce's ongoing Jesuitical inquiry into the theme of self-understanding. The Dead and Araby stand out. A more entertaining read than 'Portrait', despite it's restrained style devoid of the stream of consciousness technique run riot in Ulysses.