The Dead, the last story in Dubliners, illustrates the importance for Joyce of dates, places and names. This story is regarded as having changed the face of modern literature with its usage of what is now called 'mix narrative', and in its construction Joyce takes language to the maximum of its ability, with plot not playing much of a role.
The short stories comprising Dubliners were written between 1902 and 1907 and were inspired by the time he spent in Rome. The structure of the collection is thematic: opening
stories are of childhood; move onto adolescence; then adult life and finally public life.
Aspiring authors take heart: Joyce had difficulty getting a publisher interested with the result that the collection wasn't published until 1914.
He is now the most written on author in the area of international literary studies.