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Sorry if this a fussy question, but in teaching "Araby" I have found that there is an inconsistency between editions that must be a typo, but I can't figure out which version is correct. Just after the narrator reminds his uncle about giving him money for the bazaar, he says:

I felt the house in bad humour and walked slowly toward the school.

Or he says:

I left the house...

I've looked at about 8 different editions now, and they seem evenly split between "left" and "felt". Both work logically, but "left" flows more easily grammatically. "Felt" is more interesting though. Which one is correct?

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  • The 1932 edition has left, for what it's worth, as does the Project Gutenberg text. The 1914 edition doesn't seem to be online (unless Project Gutenberg used this, which they should have since that's the one which is out of copyright).
    – Peter Shor
    Oct 10, 2019 at 12:09

1 Answer 1

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Since “left” makes sense in context and “felt” does not, the simplest explanation is that the former is correct and the latter an error. The 1914 Grant Richards edition of Dubliners is available via the Internet Archive, and has “left”:

As he was in the hall I could not go into the front parlour and lie at the window. I left the house in bad humour and walked slowly towards the school. The air was pitilessly raw and already my heart misgave me.

James Joyce (1914). ‘Araby’. In Dubliners, p. 38. London: Grant Richards.

Robert Scholes, who edited the 1961 Viking “definitive text”, wrote:

With exceptions to be noted, the punctuation and spelling of the first edition published by Grant Richards in London in 1914 have been followed. Joyce read proof for this edition and made over a thousand corrections. Many of them were deletions of commas which the printer had added, but some were changes of wording. The Richards edition was the last version of his book to be revised by Joyce, and so is necessarily the basis of any later edition.

Richard Scholes (1961). ‘A note on the text’. In Dubliners, p. 5. New York: Viking.

The 1961 edition also has “left” on p. 32.

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  • I also thought "left" makes more sense than "felt", but "felt" doesn't make zero sense: it could be read as "I felt [that] the house [was] in bad humour and ..."
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 22 at 18:01
  • @Randal'Thor The context includes the prose style of the story. Mar 23 at 8:51

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