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Thread: The Dead from Dubliners

  1. #1
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    The Dead from Dubliners

    I read it last night and I have to say, I am totally pissed with Joyce for writing such an irrelevant ending. Obviously, being literature, I would suppose there are omens that foreshadow the ending and I just didn't read between the lines...I was expecting someone to die, perhaps the aunts or the man who fetches the cab or maybe even the protagonist. Maybe the story was written to fool the reader?

  2. #2
    I am confident of the fact that if this story were to be submitted to any modern editor, they would tell the author, "Start closer to the end."

    It's about a song, and a memory, and a cumulative effect . . . understanding the disparate nature of the main body of the story and its ending is a key to appreciating it, I think.
    As Kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame . . .


    Why disqualify the rush? I'm tabled. I'm tabled.



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    Not a murder mystery

    One of the early critics of "Dubliners" was that nothing happened in the stories.

    Joyce's "The Dead" is, as I see it, a stunning journey into the heart of human memory and society.

    You might enjoy the film (same name). It was John Huston's last film. Daughter Anjelica stars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by katdad View Post
    One of the early critics of "Dubliners" was that nothing happened in the stories.

    Joyce's "The Dead" is, as I see it, a stunning journey into the heart of human memory and society.
    very true, the couple married for so long and gabi didnt realised there is another man in her heart, and a dead man occupies the heart of his wife

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=katdad;365404]One of the early critics of "Dubliners" was that nothing happened in the stories.[QUOTE]

    Nothing happening is a happening.
    Finnegan Rhies

    "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise" William Blake

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    Personally, I consider this story to be a masterpiece.

    In your own life, does each day have a climactic ending? Do situations EVER resolve?

    So as in The Dubliners. That's the point of the collection - paralyzed characters who are trapped within their own lives, much as most of us are.

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    Titles in Joyce's short stories

    Also, the titles in all of Joyce's short stories as collected in "The Dubliners" are meant to be misleading. "The Dead" refers probably to the living, main characters. Often, the titles can cast an entire new light on the story - for example, "The Sisters." There are no "sisters" of importance in the story, but examining the term we can see that it is used in a derogatory way to refer to gay or pedophile preachers (which existed and were a big problem in Joyce's time.) By examining the title, we can suppose that the conversation that is eluded to but never had in the story is in fact about the dead preacher's nefarious/perverted habits.

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    Oh, I thought The Dead was the only thing that brought closure to Dubliners. I can't imagine it back when it ended with Grace. "The Dead" makes it a full circle, it makes a tomorrow, it has redemptive qualities, and if you know the story behind it (Joyce was OBSESSED with a childhood love of his wife's that had died to the point of finding his grave and almost ruining their relationship with the obsession), it was very purging for Joyce to write.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KidTruth View Post
    Personally, I consider this story to be a masterpiece.
    Agree.

    =======================================
    KEYWORD "GAS"

    "Browne is everywhere," said Aunt Kate, lowering her voice.
    Mary Jane laughed at her tone.
    "Really," she said archly, "he is very attentive."
    "He has been laid on here like the gas," said Aunt Kate in the same tone, "all during the Christmas."

    ..........

    Gabriel watched his wife, who did not join in the conversation. She was standing right under the dusty fanlight and the flame of the gas lit up the rich bronze of her hair, which he had seen her drying at the fire a few days before. She was in the same attitude and seemed unaware of the talk about her At last she turned towards them and Gabriel saw that there was colour on her cheeks and that her eyes were shining.

    .........

    "He is dead," she said at length. "He died when he was only seventeen. Isn't it a terrible thing to die so young as that?"

    "What was he?" asked Gabriel, still ironically.

    "He was in the gasworks," she said.

    ==================

    The first electric lights in Dublin were switched on in 1881 but electric light was a rare novelty until the early 20th century. At 1904 gas was still everywhere.

    Gretta listens to the song. She remembers about "dead", about Michael (once he was singing the same song). At this moment her hair is lit up by gas.

    Then she says Michael "was in the gasworks", it means he was there to make a light for Dubliners (and probably his employment was the real cause of his decease, but Gretta is "romantic", "I think he died for me").....
    Last edited by Leo Bloom; 06-14-2011 at 06:52 PM.

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    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
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    "The Dead" is one of Joyce's best stories, in my opinion. It invokes nostalgia, but to me it is mainly about alienation. The fact that Gabriel never knew such an important fact of his own wife's life... that he is so disconnected from her, and she from him. Like Distant Music... I mean, there are so many nuances to this story, it would take hours to write out. From the symbolism of snow, to the symbolism of music, to the role of memory (and death) in life.

    Michael Furey's death makes him forever immortalized. Gabriel cannot compete with his memory.

    But in the end there is hope... hope for connection, as the snow falls upon the living and the dead.
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

  11. #11
    Registered User fudgetusk's Avatar
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    I'm reading The Dubliners. Where are the stories? No plot. No real ending! He's mainly about characters and poetic description it seems. As a surrealist I'm fine with no plot. But this isn't surrealism. More like poetry.

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