Friday, July 11, 2008

On "The Dead" by James Joyce (15,635 words) *****

There have been enough critical reviews of this classic story that there's no need to wax on about what it all means or how gloriously good this story is. I merely note that a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for a short story reading club I'm a member of, I returned to "The Dead" after more than fifteen years hiatus. I love James Joyce, and I like Dubliners--some of the stories, I love. I don't entirely understand all of the stories, though--Joyce's subtleties sometimes go over my head (though I'm sure any story's point is nothing a good critic couldn't explain). Or mabye I used to not understand some of the stories. That's what struck me on this reading, just how obvious Joyce makes he makes his theme of "The Dead" here. Did I miss all this when I was younger? Or had I simply forgotten it? As for the story itself, on this read, I found it a little slow, but all was forgiven by the time I reached the end and had chills going down my spine from just how moving the story had become. Read it online here.

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