It’s common for descriptions of James Joyce’s Dubliners to label its stories portraits of Irish life. If you’d like to look at actual portraits of Irish life in 1904, however, you could do a lot worse than this series of old photos of Dublin, available online courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute.
When I was in Dublin, I bought a beautifully illustrated copy of Dubliners and took it with me everywhere in the city for three months. I asked random friendly-looking strangers to sign the book and write down either where we were as they were signing, or where they were from. A lot of people added little messages or drawings too. It turned out to be a wonderful keepsake (though I no longer have it), and it was a great way to meet people in a foreign city. If - let’s go with when, actually - I ever do more long-term traveling, I’ll do the same thing with another local book.