JZ NJ's Reviews > The Dead

The Dead by James Joyce
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

. Sometimes you encounter a "work of art' when you are meant to. This is the case with this astounding short story, The Dead, by James Joyce. This is my first experience reading the famed Irish author.
Why James Joyce now? I'm taking an adult literature class.
A month ago, I quickly read The Dead and then just let it settle in. Today reread it, and truly realized the beauty of this subtle ,gentle, intimate story.

A family gathers to celebrate the "epiphany" there is gaiety, distinct personalities emerge. A tenor sweetly sings a song, which stirs the memories of long lost love. Of being young. A husband, realizes his wife has loved before, that he hasn't loved as deeply as he might have, that life is passing quickly, that death binds us all together, although some people will live in memories forever. That the snow blanketing Ireland on that Jan night, connects all those alive and dead, present and past. It's beautifully sad.

After my second reading, today, I watched the movie version of The Dead, A Huston family endeavor,80 year old (and dying) John Huston directed his daughter Angelica in what would become his last movie. His son Tony Huston wrote the script. It's a fine movie, and brought all of Joyce's characters to life, especially the aunts and Gabriel, but it couldn't come close to capturing Gabriel's emotional, intimate journey, only Joyce's words do that, and powerful they are.

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