The Dead

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Coyote Canyon Press, 2008 - Fiction - 80 pages
6 Reviews
The Dead is one of the twentieth century s most beautiful pieces of short literature. Taking his inspiration from a family gathering held every year on the Feast of the Epiphany, Joyce pens a story about a married couple attending a Christmas-season party at the house of the husband s two elderly aunts. A shocking confession made by the husband s wife toward the end of the story showcases the power of Joyce s greatest innovation: the epiphany, that moment when everything, for character and reader alike, is suddenly clear."
 

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If you do not recognize the beauty of this supreme work of fiction, than I do not think you have read enough to fully appreciate the beauty or complexity of Joyce's work on the whole, or this masterpiece in particular. James Joyce has few peers with regard to writing about place, is gifted at characterization, and is masterful in developing mood and employing the stream of consciousness technique. "The Dead" is a great achievement in the short story form, commenting on family, manners, culture, love, intimacy, and the impact of the dead upon the living. I was humbled by this story the first time I read it, and have come to appreciate its beauty more and more with each successive reading. 

Review: The Dead

User Review  - Maggie Dijkstra - Goodreads

james joyce just doesn't seem to do it for me; doesn't capture my interest; a well written story, of course; but i just don't seem to care. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, in Dublin, Ireland, into a large Catholic family. Joyce was a very good pupil, studying poetics, languages, and philosophy at Clongowes Wood College, Belvedere College, and the Royal University in Dublin. Joyce taught school in Dalkey, Ireland, before marrying in 1904. Joyce lived in Zurich and Triest, teaching languages at Berlitz schools, and then settled in Paris in 1920 where he figured prominently in the Parisian literary scene, as witnessed by Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Joyce's collection of fine short stories, Dubliners, was published in 1914, to critical acclaim. Joyce's major works include A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and Stephen Hero. Ulysses, published in 1922, is considered one of the greatest English novels of the 20th century. The book simply chronicles one day in the fictional life of Leopold Bloom, but it introduces stream of consciousness as a literary method and broaches many subjects controversial to its day. As avant-garde as Ulysses was, Finnegans Wake is even more challenging to the reader as an important modernist work. Joyce died just two years after its publication, in 1941.

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