This is a story from the Dubliners, Volume 2 collection.
In the second half of Joyce's collection of stories about the citizens of Dublin at the turn of the century, the young author deals with themes of adulthood - of loss, parenthood, politics, religion, and - as in the earlier stories - of disappointment. Rich in humor and musical allusion, they contain (in "A Painful Case," for example, and "The Dead"), some of Joyce's most powerful and moving prose. Holding none of the difficulties of Joyce's most powerful and moving prose. Holding none of the difficulties of Joyce's later novels, such as Ulysses, Dubliners is, in its way, just as radical. These stories introduce us to the city which fed Joyce's entire creative output, and to many of the characters who made it such a well of literary inspiration.
In "The Dead", a story from James Joyce's Dubliners, Gabriel Conroy and his wife, Gretta, attend an annual dance and dinner hosted by the Morkan sisters. Confrontations throughout the night, including challenges to his Irish nationalism and the increasingly distant behavior of his wife, cause him annoyance and frustration. When Gretta, in a sentimental mood, tells about a former love, Gabriel begins to question the truth about his life. Jim Norton delivers this complex narrative with an impressive authority, exerting command over the nuances of Joyce's language, and his judicious use of Irish accents makes the characters spring to life.
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The most beautiful short story?
Without hesitation. Masterly crafted by Joyce, and the reading from Jim Norton - flawless.
The wind down at the end. Sublime.
I haven't listened to any other of Jim Norton's performances, but after hearing his handling of this work, I will be looking out for more readings by Jim.
Again, the wind down at the end (denoument.) Both beautiful and sad.
If you find yourself with an hour and a half to spare, download this. Low price - highest of quality. Dim the lights and let Joyce and Jim work their magic. You won't be disappointed.
- Joan J.
Not Something to Get Excited About