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The Dead

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  13,635 ratings  ·  629 reviews
Often cited as the best work of short fiction ever written, Joyce's story details a New Year's Eve gathering in Dublin that is so evocative and beautiful that it prompts the protagonist's wife to make a shocking revelation to her husband—closing the story with an emotionally powerful epiphany that is considered one of the best in modern literature.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Melville House Publishing (first published 1914)
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Evelyn This is from a very accessible story collection called DUBLINERS. Mary Lavin has a hilarious story called MY VOCATION that I'd recommend. Danielle…moreThis is from a very accessible story collection called DUBLINERS. Mary Lavin has a hilarious story called MY VOCATION that I'd recommend. Danielle McLaughlin has a great debut collection called DINOSAURS ON OTHER PLANETS, and there's another fairly new story called THE CHINA FACTORY by Mary Costello that is gorgeous. You could read plays and novels by Oscar Wilde, he's easy to read as well-- hilarious but goes deep. Also love the plays of Brian Friel, if you get a chance to see them live. Poems by Yeats are also easy, and you can listen to them -- there are audiobooks and recordings on youtube. (less)

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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,635 ratings  ·  629 reviews


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J.L.   Sutton
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
James Joyce's The Dead is a deceptively brilliant story! While the dinner party where most of the action takes place isn't always riveting, everything is important. By the waning hours of the evening, you feel the full force of all the details from the party in Gretta Conroy's conversation with her husband, Gabriel. Gretta recounts the story of a former now dead boyfriend whose memory has been evoked by the party. In the space of a few minutes, Gabriel's world is turned upside down as he thinks ...more
Steven Godin
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As with life, there are the small experiences so basic and common to most people that evokes a primal force from deep within. One of them of course is the family get-together, especially at Christmas time, a time where affecting memories are brought to the surface, of loved ones no longer here. Through all the chit-chat, artifices, tensions, jokes, warmth, laughter, and faithful hugs, however brief these moments are, there is a poignant notion stirred by the knowledge that we all come from someb ...more
Fernando
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Su alma se derrumbaba lentamente mientras escuchaba caer la suave nieve a través del universo y caer leve como el descenso de su último ocaso, sobre todos los vivos y los muertos."

Demasiado corto para ser una novela y demasiado largo para ser un cuento, “The Dead” ocupa el decimoquinto y último lugar en el libro de James Joyce “Dublineses” y es el de mayor extensión, belleza narrativa, inspiración poética y calidad literaria de ese gran libro.
Escribo su título en inglés, porque al encontrarnos
...more
Brian
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
snow was general all over Ireland

I am in DFW airport on a layover eating an execrable meal from a forgettable restaurant, punch drunk from too much air travel over the past 24 hours and emotionally frayed at having dropped my daughter off with her mother after spending a fabulous week with her in San Francisco. I'm chewing tasteless food while looking into the restaurant with the glassy-eyed, 1000 yard stare of the weary traveler.

A family of four takes the table directly in my line of sight; th
...more
Duane
The Dead is considered by many to be Joyce's best short story. It is included in the short story collection, The Dubliners. It is the last in the collection and long, almost novella length. It's very different from Ulysses, very melancholic and introspective in nature.
Greta
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Greta by: David Schaafsma
Drinking too much can turn you into an emotional hot mess.
Being in love can do that to you too.
Being in love and drinking...
Well you would probably rather wish you were dead.

 photo 88D5D210-DFE0-46B1-89A7-1551424A6F4C.jpg
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Dead, James Joyce
"The Dead" is the final story in the 1914 collection Dubliners by James Joyce. The other stories in the collection are shorter, The Dead is long enough to be described as a novella.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هشتم ماه ژوئن سال 2005 میلادی
عنوان: مردگان؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: مجید امین موید؛ تهران، اشاره، 1383؛ در 83 ص؛ ویراست دوم در 100 ص؛ 1395؛ شابک: 9789645772435؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلندی - قرن 20 م
عنوان: مردگان؛ نویسنده: جیمز جویس؛ مترجم: علیرضا متین نیا؛ مش
...more
Jacob
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Younger me, the 18-year-old college kid in 2005 who was too scared to read this story for his film class and chose an alternate project, adapting a small scene from a then-favorite book into a short screenplay, instead...

...was an idiot.

Because this story is brilliant, and it knocks me senseless every time, and yet my stupid teenage fear of James Joyce's work kept me from reading it for years. Granted, it meant that I didn't have to write a dumb compara
...more
Elina
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ότι και να χει γράψει είναι αριστούργημα!!! Αξεπέραστος!!! Προτείνεται ανεπιφύλακτα!!
Dannii Elle
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I listened to a terrific audio recording, found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQBq8..., alongside my Kindle edition of this and it truly brought the story to life.

This novella is the last to feature in Joyce's infamous collection, Dubliners, and is cited as his greatest masterpiece. The story develops during a New Year's Eve party, thrown by the Morkan sisters, where the frivolities and festivities of the night act as a catalyst for one of the attendants to make a shocking revelation to h
...more
brian
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
goddamn is this good. it's those last two pages... you hit those two pages and WHAM! if it doesn't destroy you, then you just ain't human.
Jacob
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Is there a Lesser Bloomsday, an other Day of The Dead--or even just an evening--set, perhaps, sometime between Christmas and the Epiphany, for dancing and feasting and public readings and a fine toast in celebration of this story?

If not, there certainly should be.
Julie Christine
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The volumes of literary analysis of The Dead proclaim this as the perfect short story ever written. The instructor of a short-story writing workshop I attended recently made the same proclamtion. He admonished our gathering to read this at once and to reread it at least once a year, as an example of writing at its most sublime.

Hyperbole? I don't know that it matters. It moved me to tears.

I knew nothing of the story, nor have I read Joyce beyond an aborted attempt a dozen years ago at "A Portrait
...more
Diane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✨    jamieson   ✨
HOW TO HAVE A LIT AF HOUSE PARTY
• make sure at least 1 of your guests arrives sloshed
• get someone to play the piano really badly
• serve goose
• sing a sad song that reminds one of your guests about how the love of her life tragically died
• get someone to make a speech with at least two (2) references to mythology. + repetition
• bitch about the Pope
• discuss your favourite underrated choir singers
• do an imitation of a horse ? for some reason ?
• question to holiday motives of your gu
...more
Chrissie
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
One more try with James Joyce.

This short story is beautifully written. I appreciated more how Joyce draws a place - a party, laughter, songs and music, friends gathered, a well laden table, snow blanketing the streets - than the character portrayals.

An accurate snapshot of a time past. Pretty. Nostalgic, but too sentimental for me.
Doug H
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“His soul has approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead.”

The holidays will do that to you.

When I first read "The Dead" in college my young mind entirely missed its subtle, transcendent heart. Years later now, I’d forgotten everything about it except images of snow and people at a holiday party talking about things that I didn’t quite comprehend and I didn’t remember anything at all about the moment of revelation which arrives well after the party is over with quiet shifts in
...more
Srđan Tomić
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I might change the grade to 5 tomorrow. What a story. The first part feels much different from the second, although I'm sure there are hidden things I didn't notice on my first reading. Everything is so subtle and beautiful, but pain is hidden behind it all. Oh, we're all so lonely and in search of something more.
I need to reread it again soon and hopefully write a better review then because I'm not sure in what ways it will affect me when I know how it's gonna end.
Bonnie
'One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.'
Katia N
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is just a short story… I’ve started to write my thoughts about it so many times. But it is so perfect, that by the time i reach the second paragraph, i hit the wall. My thoughts stick into each other and become an undistguishable whirlpool of awe.

So, you do not need to continue reading what follows; just read the story, and read it now when something is ending but something else is barely beginning just yet… Christmas and New Year, this time..

It starts with something very relatable, very tra
...more
Steven Walle
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dead is the last story in James Joyce's collection entitled the Dubliners. This story is a modern parable of the rivalry between the living and the dead. I enjoyed the whole collection.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Diamond
Proustitute
"Why is it that words like these seem to me so dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?"
Kenchiin
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked it, but it's a little bit too intellectual.
Jan Rice
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Originally reviewed April 13, 2013
At first we see mainly the social persona of the main character, Gabriel. Then, the author shows us the person inside, at first partially, when some interpersonal contact makes him experience self doubt, and then more dramatically, through his affirming experience of his wife/lover as muse. Then even that latter narrative takes a hit.

All those shades of experience occur through the agency of other people, or, rather, through the story he experiences or lives in
...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 review to follow
Ken Moten
"So full of pain and passion,
Soledad,
So deeply scarred,
So still with silent cries.
" - From 'Soledad' by Langston Hughes (Will never not find a reason to use even a part of this poem.)

You can find my thoughts on Dubliners as a whole in my review of that work, but this novella had to be looked at separately.

Gabriel Conroy just wanted to say his speech and leave. He's not big on family holiday gatherings and does not like to be sized-up or shamed by opinionated Irish nationalists named Miss Ivors,
...more
Lemar
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was afraid of James Joyce. As it turns out that he wasn’t arrogant or inaccessible but instead invited me into a cozy Irish Christmas celebration. His appeal is in capturing the turbulent ebb and flow of emotions we feel just being alive, part of a family, part of a society.
The Dead is one of the short stories that make up the Dubliners. His gaze is gentle and tolerant, making the stories warmly resonant, not the forbidding, rigorous free solo climb I was expecting (and avoiding).
A man’s pa
...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, fiction, ireland
Next to Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street, this book is my favourite classic short story, not just because of its Irish atmosphere but also because of its brilliant characters.
Emily
That James Joyce and his final paragraphs. I have to hand it to the man, he sure knew how to end a book. The final passage of Ulysses is justly famous for Molly Bloom's orgasmic "Yes I said Yes I will Yes," but it's possible that the somnolent incantation of snow-blanketed Ireland in the final pages of The Dead is just as strong, with its repetitions and inversions ("falling softly"/"softly falling") and its vast but muted vistas. It's certainly one of those passages, like Mrs. Dalloway's "What ...more
Selena
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, thebest
this little sixty page novel has completely changed my mind about joyce. i don't think i've loved a book this much since i read "a hero of our time."

--

i welcomed the new year in california. instead of a lavish and loud party the family went bowling then came home to play taboo. midnight came and without much fanfare, we went outside to light sparklers and look at the clear mount shasta sky. we went back inside to drink champagne. the boys started playing poker. i curled up by the fireplace with
...more
Joni
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ophelia.Desdemona
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading and thinking that it's a nice story and then BAM, those two last pages hits your guts out of nowhere! Read it.
Saman
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
اصلا فکر نمیکردم اولین خوانشم از جویس قراره انقدر خوب و لذت بخش باشه . این داستان مانند داستان های چخوف درباره ی یک روز از زندگی مردم عادی است. جویس به زیبایی از عادی ترین احساسات و تفکراتمون آشنایی زدایی کرده و تأثیر کوچیک ترین اعمال و رفتار دیگران را بر ذهن و روان افراد را بسیار بسیار موشکافانه بیان میکنه , به طوری که شما از ابتدا تا انتهای داستان میخکوب خواهید شد آنهم نه بخاطر کشمکشی عظیم بلکه بخاطر درک همین وقایع به ظاهر پیش و پا افتاده (روزمره), که تازه بعد از خواندن این داستان عظمتشان را د ...more
Sonia
Feb 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have
I feel like I've just volunteered myself for a mafia hit by only rating this at three stars, but I stand by that choice. Still, my ego is prompting me to explain that decision.

Why did I read The Dead? I haven't heard a lot about James Joyce. In fact, earlier than about two months ago, I'd never even heard of The Dead. Of course, after hearing about it, I read that in many critical opinions, it is considered to be (drumroll please) THE BEST SHORT STORY EVER WRITTEN. That is why I decided to read
...more
Arief Bakhtiar D.
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SEPERTI SEPOTONG CERITA DALAM "THE DEAD"

"Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us."—Richard Siken, Scheherazade


DI beberapa halaman terakhir The Dead dari James Joyce, kita akan menemui sepotong cerita tentang Tuan Gabriel dan istrinya. Di sebuah kamar hotel di Dublin, pada suatu malam yang diselimuti salju, mereka sedikit cekcok tentang Michael Furey.

Kita tahu kenapa: Michael Furey adalah lelaki pertama yang dibayangkan istri Tuan Gabriel ketika dia mendengarkan lagu The Lass of Aughrim
...more
Sarah Marie
Joyce is an interesting writer. I don't hate Joyce's stories, but I don't love them. They always leave me feeling like I just read a great masterpiece of zero substance and packed with humanity. That's what The Dead is. There's a lot going on and it continues to be over the top in boredom. I don't hate Joyce, but I don't know if I like him yet either. He always is interesting to discuss in an academic setting though.
Sarah
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG! Joyce and his last paragraphs! Striking as hell! I have to read it again, for the little beautiful things, for some tricky words that don't seem significant in first reading. It's certainly the best short story I've ever read.
Kate
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
4/5stars

I read this short story for class and i put off writing my review until we went over it, and now I think I'm good to review it. This is known to be THE BEST short story in the english language - formulaically and language-wise. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

and then i was let down

and then my head hurt a little bit

and now i'm completely baffled.

Let me explain; upon first read of this story I was like ".. really? that's... that's it? THAT'S the best story in the english language..??? RE
...more
Billy O'Callaghan
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, ireland
Gabriel and Gretta Conroy attend an annual party thrown by Gabriel's aunts, the Morkan sisters, to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and the last of Christmas. The party starts off well but gradually seems to emphasise the disconnection between generations, and between political beliefs. And there is a further revelation awaiting, when Gabriel learns how little he knows about his own wife, her past and the love of her life, a young man named Michael Furey, who had given her literally everythin ...more
Yasemin Şahin
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oyku
Dublinliler adlı öykü kitabındaki bir öykü olan Ölüler'i ayrı basım olarak yayınlamışlar. Bu öykü kalabalık bir burjuva sınıfının içerisindeki bir partiden insan yalnızlığına doğru öyle süreğen bir şekilde yol aldı ki, inanamadım. Kentli bir arkadaş grubunu ince bir süzgeçten geçirerek onların o saçma sapan kaygılarını, amaçsız varoluşlarını ve anı yaşar tavırlarını gözlemlememize imkan verdi öncelikle. Sonrasında içerisinden iki karakteri çekip alarak yalnızlıklarına ve geçmişinyükünü ve hüznün ...more
Irena
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

Shauni
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shauni by: Elien Decock
The final ten pages ripped into my soul, but that last paragraph absolutely shattered whatever was left of me. Joyce, you magnificent Irish basterd, you.

* Update: started 2019 with my 2018 best and with a cup of hot chocolate. Lovely way to start the new year.
Aslıhan Çelik Tufan
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
James Joyce ile tanışma kitabım! Ah benim aklım bunca yıl nerdeymiş?!

Kısacık, çarpıcı bir öykücük bu kitap. Zaten Dublinliler eserinden bir öyküymüş sanırım. Benim için enfes bir önizleme oldu.
Bayıldım.

İnsan, ne kadar büyük kalabalıklar içinde ve hatta hayatını paylaştığı yegane insanla dahi ne denli yalnızlık çeker ve ne kadar sırlarla kaplıdır bilinmez.

Her insan bence çok uzun ve karmaşık kitaptır. Bu kitabı Okumasını öğrenmek için ömür tüketiyoruz yine de yetmiyor. Bu düşüncelerime bu kıs
...more
Adam Floridia
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I took an honors seminar on Ulysses at good ol' UMD, and certain chapters of The Dubliners was the introduction to Joyce. I thought the stories were okay and that Ulysses was great only because it was complicated and I knew I was supposed to think it was great.

In the many years that have passed since that course, my understanding and appreciation of literature have bloomed, matured. One of these days I will go back and actually read Ulysses, but I have re-read and even taught a couple of short s
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
When their love was a newly bloomed flower, those early days when they could not hear enough of each other's voices, know enough of each other's thoughts, and get enough to fill each other's needful void by their physical closeness which was always magical, Gabriel had sent Gretta letters and in one of them he had written:

"Why is it that words like these seem to me so dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?"

But that was a long time ago. They married and had c
...more
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The Novella Club: The Dead - January 2018 group read (spoilers) 22 27 Feb 01, 2018 12:28PM  
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Goodreads Librari...: Book cover update 4 113 Feb 22, 2016 04:29PM  
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Saigon Bookclub: Book 1 - The Dead (James Joyce) 15 18 Dec 21, 2011 12:42AM  
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5,442 followers
James Joyce, Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and allusions ...more
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“Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?” 303 likes
“Moments of their secret life together burst like stars upon his memory.” 165 likes
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