I disagree that few enjoy reading stories that contain angst. How many people read Romeo and Juliet and express their delight in this play? or other tragedies of the Bard? The fact that so many Victorian novels have had appeal to large audiences must, indeed, confirm that there are many who did, indeed, enjoy reading these novels.
Unlike others, there are readers who do sense something positive in reading works such as Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Ubervilles and James Joyce's Dubliners. For, one thing, these narratives are realistic and the reader can empathize with characters. In addition, readers can find communion with the souls who suffer the Irish paralysis in Joyce's stories. Have not many had similar experiences?
It is this commonality with human nature that is the appeal of Joyce's Dubliners, not to mention a better understanding of his people. His writing is skillful, penetrating, unsympathetic, symbolic, thoughtful--well worth reading. They remind the American reader of the tour advertised in New Orleans: "Tour----- see the neighborhoods of the tragic Irish."