Although all set in Dublin and focused upon the themes of death, disease and paralysis throughout, Dubliners is a collection of short stories only interconnected by symbols and moods. They are not as bleak as their themes suggest, at least not in all cases, and are often heartening in their subtle evocations of experience common to all. The collection was published after numerous hassles from publishers and almost a decade after they were written, in 1914. It is hard now to see the innovation in Joyce’s construction of stories that are not based on the contrived set-ups familiar from nineteenth century short stories (Maupassant, Poe etc) and the way in which he avoids precise beginnings or ends to present instead an ‘epiphany’ or spiritual awakening. The Dublin portrayed in the short stories is usually grimy and full of cynical and indecent individuals. From this gleam a few thinking individuals who the author seems to side with. They are generally the sensitive or young ones, and the adult world is often seen as foolish, futile and unpleasant (see "The Boarding House" or "Ivy Day in the Committee Room"). These stories are easily Joyce’s most accessible works, and their vision of a composite life created around a chronological sampling of Dublin lives from youth to age is still both amusing, moving and serious.