I am rereading Joyce's collection of stories, The Dubliners, and enjoying the prose once again for its beauty and resonance and poetic qualities. One of my favorite passages is the opening of 'Two Gallants':
The grey warm evening of August had descended upon the city and a mild warm air, a memory of summer, circulated in the streets. The streets, shuttered for the repose of Sunday, swarmed with a gaily coloured crowd. Like illumined pearls the lamps shown from the summits of their tall poles upon the living texture below which, changing shape and hue unceasingly, sent up into the warm grey evening air an unchanging unceasing murmur.
Even before we meet the two young men of the story we have been transported to Dublin through the opening paragraph. Tightly written like a gay picture postcard we are entranced by Joyce's vision. Why aren't all stories written this well?