James Joyce: Notes - Textual History [4/4 - “The Dead”]

Files 1-4
Files 5-7
File 8
File 9
Textual History




Notes on the Works (by Texts)
Epiphanies [1902]
“Portrait” Essay (1904)

Stephen Hero (1944)
Chamber Music (1907)
Dubliners (1914)
A Portrait [...] (1916)
Giacomo Joyce (1968)
Exiles (1919)
Ulysses (1922)
Finnegans Wake (1939)
Critical Writings (1959)
Joyce Papers (NLI)
Notes on various stories in Dubliners and the chapters of Ulysses are here filed under the title-headings of those works respectively - with occasionally links to particular items at other locations such as Joyce > Quotations and further afield in connection with other authors treated on this website. Further notes on “The Dead” occupy two additional files (File 4 & File 5).
“The Day of the Rabblement” (1901) “The Holy Office” (1905) “Gas from a Burner” (1912)

Some Commentaries on The Dead” [next page]
Colm Tóibín Keith Oatley Bonnie Roos
Frank Shovlin Kevin Whelan Warren Beck
Thomas C. Hofheinz Margaret Kelleher Terry Eagleton
Bruce Stewart

Some Additional NotEs

‘Dark mutinous Shannon waves’ in “The Dead” (Dubliners) - infra.
Incidence of the word ‘soul’ in Joyce’s Dubliners - infra.
James Joyce on the use of inverted commas in dialogue - infra. ]

A new Dubliners ...

A collection of new stories by leading Irish writers entitled Dubliners was published by Sarah Davis-Goff of Tramp Press in May 2014 to mark the centenary of Joyce’s book of the same title. Contributors include Patrick McCabe (The Sisters) and Peter Murphy (The Dead) as well as Donal Ryan, John Boyne, Eimear McBride, Paul Murray and others.

[ For information on The Cat and the Devil/The Cat of Beaugency, see attached. ]

Go to ..
The Works of James Joyce: A Chronology of Composition & Publication
.. in this frame or separate window.


Notes on the Works (by titles)
Dubliners
“The Sisters”
“Araby”
“Eveline”
“After the Race”
“The Two Gallants”
“The Boarding House”
“Clay”
“A Painful Case”
“Ivy Day in the Committee Room”
“A Mother”
“Grace”
“The Dead” ...
[Notes on the Dubliners stories occupy a separate file [i.e., this file]
Ulysses
“Telemachus”
“Proteus”
“Aeolus”
“Lestrygonians”
“Scylla & Charybdis”
“Oxen of the Sun”
“Sirens”
“Nausicaa”
“Circe”
“Eumaeus”
“Ithaca”
[...]
Finnegans Wake
1st Draft of FW [1923]
FW - “The Hen” [first draft]
The Tunc page of FW
Latin me that! ... (FW)
Scribbledehobble (1961)
Sigla of Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake Notebooks
[ See also “Chronology of Works” - as attached ]


James Joyce’s Notebooks 1904-07

John Kidd, ‘The Scandal of Ulysses’ - in NYRB (30 June 1988)

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“The Dead”

‘The past is not past; it is present here and now.’ (Exiles; quoted in Gordon Bowker, James Joyce: A Biography, Hachette 2011) [epigraph to Chap. 1]

Some Commentaries on The Dead” [additional file]
Colm Tóibín Kevin Whelan Bonnie Roos
Frank Shovlin Thomas C. Hofheinz Warren Beck
Keith Oatley Margaret Kelleher Terry Eagleton
Bruce Stewart

1] Dram. Pers: The story is set at No. 15, Usher’s Island was once home to Joyce’s maternal great aunts, who rented the top floors. Gabriel Conroy, a teacher of Modern Languages at Royal University [UCD], and a man of letters. Kate and Julia Morkan are his maternal aunts of Mary Jane is their neice and support since she ‘has the organ at Haddington Road’ [Catholic diocesian church]. Patrick Morkan, deceased, was their brother and the owner of a glue factory and a house in Stoney Batter where the formerly lived. The ladies are somewhat impoverished but Julia is still soprano at the Franciscan Church of Adam and Eve on the quays - though upsettingly the Dublin clergy mean to implement a Vatican decree about not permitting women to sing in church - while Kate, who is now much feebler than her sister, teaches beginners on an upright piano in the back room. Gabriel’s mother Ellen, who is dead, was a sister of Kate and Julia and is mentioned only once as having married a T. J. Conroy who worked in Port and Docks. Gabriel appears to be bereft of parents at the time of the story. Gretta Conroy is his wife whom his mother Ellen considered beneath him, while his brother Constantine Conroy is a priest. Mr Fulham is the owner and landlord of the house on Usher’s Island and ‘has the ground floor’, possibly using it as a residence and possibly for business since he has a caretaker on the premises. It appears to be thirty years since Patrick Morkan died and his sisters moved in at Usher’s Island. The girl called Lily who is acting as clockroom attendant at the party is called the unnamed ‘caretaker’s daughter’. She apparently acts as a messenger, bringing home ‘orders’ to the ladies from the shops and possibly as a household servant in that and other capacities too. She has been known to Gabriel for years. Molly Ivors is a teacher, like Gabriel, and a Irish-language revivalist and (presumably) a member of the Gaelic League. Unbeknownst to Gabriel up to the last moments in the story, she had a young suitor called Michael Furey when she was in Galway as a girl and he died of tuberculosis - causing her to weep when she remembers him. There is a parallel for this in Joyce’s wife Nora’s experience with a boy called Michael (“Sonny”) Bodkin who appeared at her window in an apparent love-tryst in mid-winter before dying of tuberculosis. Gabriel and Gretta have two young children called Tom and Eva Conroy who aren’t present at the party, which is takes place annually on Epiphany Night (Jan. 6th.) The other guests are Mrs. Malins and her drunken son Freddy, Miss Daly, Miss Power, Mr. Browne, Miss Furlong - all apparently pupils of Mary Jane at the Academy - Mr. Bergin, Mr. Kerrigan, and Miss O’Callaghan - who stays close to Bartell D’Arcy, a renowned tenor singer and somewhat the honoured guest, throughout the party. She and he are the last to leave, taking the cab with Gabriel and Gretta when the party ends in the early morning. (Gabriel insists on paying his share of the journey when it reaches the Gresham and actually overpays the cabby in a fit of generosity which the cabby takes as a seasonal gift.)

15, Usher’s Island - the setting of “The Dead” (completed c.Sept. 1907; pub. Dubliners, 1914). [Images from BBC Online; 19 Nov. 2019.]

A Critical Bibliography of “The Dead” [in progress]
  • Gerhard Friedrich, ‘Bret Harte as a Source for James Joyce’s “The Dead,”’, in Philological Quarterly, 33:4 (1954), pp.447-48.
  • Mary T. Reynolds, ‘Toward an Allegory of Art’, [chap.], in Joyce and Dante:The Shaping Imagination (Princeton: Princeton UP 1981) cp.181.
  • Kevin Whelan, ‘The Memories of “The Dead”’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15:1 [Johns Hopkins] (Spring 2002), pp.59-97- as supra.]
  • Boonie Roos, ‘James Joyce’s “The Dead” and Bret Harte’s Gabriel Conroy’: The Nature of the Feast’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15:1 [Johns Hopkins] (Spring 2002), pp.99-126 - supra.)
  • Marjorie Howes, ‘Tradition, Gender, and Migration in “The Dead”, or: How Many People Has Gretta Conroy Killed?’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15: 1 (Spring 2002): 149-71.
  • David Spurr, ‘Colonial Spaces in Joyce’s Dublin’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 37, 1/2 [Dublin and the Dubliners] (Fall 1999-Winter 2000), for remarks on conceptions of authentic ‘Irishness’ in “The Dead” - as attached.
    [...]
See Contents of Yale Review of Criticism (Spring 2002) - in RICORSO > Annual Bibliography - in this frame or attached.


The Dead” [in Dubliners, 1914] - conclusion.

[...]

She was fast asleep.

Gabriel, leaning on his elbow, looked for a few moments unresentfully on her tangled hair and half-open mouth, [253] listening to her deep-drawn breath. So she had had that romance in her life: a man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life. He watched her while she slept, as though he and she had never lived together as man and wife. His curious eyes rested long upon her face and on her hair: and, as he thought of what she must have been then, in that time of her first girlish beauty, a strange, friendly pity for her entered his soul. He did not like to say even to himself that her face was no longer beautiful, but he knew that it was no longer the face for which Michael Furey had braved death.
Perhaps she had not told him all the story. His eyes moved to the chair over which she had thrown some of her clothes. A petticoat string dangled to the floor. One boot stood upright, its limp upper fallen down: the fellow of it lay upon its side. He wondered at his riot of emotions of an hour before. From what had it proceeded? From his aunt’s supper, from his own foolish speech, from the wine and dancing, the merry-making when saying good night in the hall, the pleasure of the walk along the river in the snow. Poor Aunt Julia! She, too, would soon be a shade with the shade of Patrick Morkan and his horse. He had caught that haggard look upon her face for a moment when she was singing—Arrayed for the Bridal. Soon, perhaps, he would be sitting in that same drawing-room, dressed in black, his silk hat on his knees. The blinds would be drawn down and Aunt Kate would be sitting beside him, crying and blowing her nose and telling him how Julia had died. He would cast about in his mind for some words that might console [254] her, and would find only lame and useless ones. Yes, yes: that would happen very soon.
The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. 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. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover’s eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live.
Generous tears filled Gabriel’s eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, [255] upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. 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. [End.]

Jpg of the version at Gutenberg Project, produced by David Reed, Karol Pietrzak & David Widger - available online [accessed 23.04.2021]; pagination from 1968 Cape Edition.

Setting/Location: The story is substantially set at 15 Usher’s Island, Dublin 2, where the Morkan sisters live in rented upstairs accommodation. Gabriel and Gretta, among their guests, live in Monkstown but overnight at the Gresham Hotel, where the last scene is set. A film of The Dead was made by John Ford in 1987, using the house at Usher’s Island for the main (and perhaps the only) setting. In 2019, planning permission was granted to developers regarding its intended conversion into a youth hostel with 56 units involving with much partitioning of the interior. This was strenuously resisted by scholars and admirers of Joyce including David Norris, John McCourt and others. The Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street, where the Conroy’s over-night after the party, supplies the second location of the story, is still functioning as a hotel and a central venue in Dublin life. Joyce wrote “The Dead” while convalescing from rheumatic fever and completes it circa 6 Sept. [See Joyce’s Works: Chronology of Composition - as attached.]

Date of events: The liturgical calendar date of 6 January is a given in dating “The Dead”, being the Feast of the Epiphany. The year 1904 likewise suggests is suggested by the fact that the Pope Pius X issued his decree against the employment of women as church singers in Nov. 1903 while the (fictional) death of Julia Morkan is indicated Ulysses said to have already occurred before June 16th 1904, when Bloom reflects on the statue of Thomas Moore: ‘He crossed under Tommy Moore’s roguish finger. [...] There is not in this wide world a vallee. Great song of Julia Morkan’s. Kept her voice up to the very last. Pupil of Michael Balfe’s wasn’t she?’ (Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., 1960, pp.205-06.) In that novel the date of the Stephen ‘s mother ‘s death is said to have happened shortly before 26 April 1904 [err. 1903?] because she is buried on that day. Her death actually occurred on 13 Aug. 1903. The date of the events memorialised in Ulysses are those of events of 16 June 1904 commemorating Joyce ‘s first tryst with Nora Barnacle when, in his own words to her, she gave him ‘a kind of satisfaction [...] the recollection of it fills me with amazed joy’. [Biographical Joyce Family History - as attached.]

“The Dead” [2]: Epistolary evidence of composition and intentions:

Letters to Stanislaus:

1] ‘Sometimes thinking of Ireland it seems to me that I have been unnecessarily harsh. I have reproduced (in [109] Dubliners at least) none of the attraction of the city for I have never felt at my ease in any city since I left it except in Paris. I have not reproduced its ingenuous insularity and its hospitality. The latter ‘virtue’ so far as I can see does not exist elsewhere in Europe. I have not been just to its beauty: for it is more beautiful naturally in my opinion than what I have seen of England, Switzerland, France, Austria or Italy. And yet I know how useless these reflections are. For were I to rewrite the book as G[rant] R[ichards] suggests “in another sense” (where the hell does he get the meaningless phrases he uses) I am sure I should find again what you call the Holy Ghost sitting in the ink-bottle and the perverse devil of my literary conscience sitting on the hump of my pen.’ (Letters, Vol. II, 1966, p.166; Selected Letters, 1975, pp.109-10.)

 
2] ‘This whole affair has upset me. I feel like a man in a house who hears a row in the street and voices he knows shouting but can't get ou to see what the hell is going on. It has put me off the story I was “going to write” - to wit, “The Dead”.’ (Jan. 1907 [being the date of the Abbey Playboy riot, viz., 26 Jan. 1907] (Letter to SJ, 11 Feb. 1907.)
—Quoted in John McCourt, Introduction to. McCourt, ed., Joyce, Yeats and the Revival (Roma: Edizioni 2015), p.9.

Vitor Alevato do Amara, ‘Death and the Snow: Translating an inconspicuous relation in James Joyce’s “The Dead”, in Cadernos de Tradução, 40:3 (Florianópolis Sep./Dec. 2020) - online.

“The Dead” is unmatched by any of the other Dubliners stories in its artistry. The transcendental beauty of the last paragraph, the thoroughly painted setting of the scene in the hotel room, the consuming doubts of Gabriel about his supper speech, the filmic party at the Misses Morkans’ house at Usher’s Island introduce an aesthetic dimension absent from the previous fourteen stories. Reading Dubliners, one has the impression that Joyce decided to take his time as he wrote “The Dead”. According to David Daiches (27), “The Dead” differentiates from the other stories because in this Joyce replaced “level objectivity” for “lyrical quality”. The critic also remarks that it “was added later, at a time when Joyce was becoming increasingly preoccupied with the problem of aesthetics”. [I]n his turn, Deane (33-34) affirms that it is with “The Dead” that Joyce becomes a “characteristically modernist writer” by “surrender[ing] [political] critique for aesthetics”. The critic also highlights the use that Joyce made of repetition in Dubliners: from granting it a “critical and disturbing function” in all the stories until “Grace” to a universalizing and aestheticizing application of it in the last story, where the political is aestheticized and lyricism prevails (Deane 35-36).

Bibl.

  • Daiches, ‘Dubliners’, in Twentieth Century Interpretations of Dubliners, Edited by Peter K. Garrett. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1986), pp. 27-37.
  • Deane, ‘Dead Ends: Joyce’s finest moments’, in Semicolonial Joyce, ed. Derek Attridge & Marjorie Howe (Cambridge UP 2000), pp.21-36.
  • Magalaner & Kain, Joyce: The man, the work, the reputation (NY: Collier Books 1962).
—Available online; access 24.04.2021 [makes further points about the use of the verb “lay” [Port., repousava] with “snow”.]

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“The Dead” [3]: “The Lass of Aughrim
[Version known to Joyce]

If you’ll be the lass of Aughrim
As I am taking you mean to be
Tell me the first token
That passed between you and me.

Oh Gregory, don’t you remember
One night on the hill,
When we swapped rings off each other’s hands,
Sorely against my will?
Mine was of the beaten gold
Yours was but black tin.

Oh if you be the lass of Aughrim,
As I suppose you not to be,
Come tell me the last token
Between you and me.

Oh Gregory don’t you remember
One night on the hill,
When we swapped smocks off each other’s backs,
Sorely against my will?

Mine was of the holland fine,
Yours was but Scotch cloth.

Oh if you be the lass of Aughrim,
As I suppose you not to be,
Come tell me the last token
Between you and me.

Oh Gregory, don’t you remember,
In my father’s hall.
When you had your will of me?
And that was the worst of all.

REFRAIN
The rain falls on my yellow locks
And the dew it wets my skin;
My babe lies cold within my arms;
Lord Gregory let me in.

—Traditional version; given at Genius.com - online; accessed 23.03.2021. Also cited as ‘the Barnacle version’, in Kevin Whelan, ‘The Memories of “The Dead”’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15:1, Johns Hopkins 2002, p.83 - citing Arthur Power, Conversations with James Joyce (p.50) - though not this particular song; Whelan also notes that Joyce apparently knew the 35-stanza Scottish version and sang it at home in Dublin acc. his sisters’ memory. [See notes on Whelan, as supra.]

 
Note: in other versions, the song is called “Lord Gregory” without the Irish place-name association - though possibly another such as Capakin (viz., Cappaquin):
 
The Lass of Aughrim

I am a queen’s daughter I come from Capakin
In search of Lord Gregory, Pray God I find him

The rain beats on my yellow head, the dew wets my skin
My wee babe’s cold in my arms; Lord Gregory, Let me in

Lord Gregory, he is not here, I swear can’t be seen
He’s gone to bonny Scotland for to bring home a fair queen

So leave now these portals and likewise this hall
For it’s deep in the sea you should find you downfall

Oh don’t you remember, Love, that night in Capakin
When we exchanged rings, Love, and I against my will

Yours was pure silver and mine was but tin
Yours cost a guinea and mine but a pin

My curse on you, Mother, my curse being sore
I dreamed that my true love come a knocking at the door

Lie down now, my foolish son, lie down and sleep
‘Twas only a servant girl lies drowned in the deep

Go saddle my black horse, the brown or the bay
Go saddle the fastest horse in my stable this day

I’ll ride over mountains and valleys so wide
I’ll find the girl that I love and ride by her side.

—Version sung by Joan Baez; listed as Child #76; given at the Mudcat Café - online; accessed 23.03.2021.
 

[Note: Another version is given in Kevin Whelan, ‘The Memories of “The Dead”’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15:1, Spring 2002 - as supra.]

The Lass of Aughrim  

I am a king’s daughter that’s straight from Cappoquin,
in search of Lord Gregory, may God I find him.
The rain beats on my yellow locks, and the dews wet my skin,
My babe is cold in my arms, Lord Gregory, let me in.
Lord Gregory he’s not here, and henceforth can’t be seen,
He is gone to Bonnie Scotland to bring home his new queen.

Leave now these windows and likewise this hall,
for it’s deep in the sea you should hide your downfall.

I’ll shoe your babe’s little feet, I’ll put gloves on her hands,
And I’ll tie your babe’s middle with a long and green band.
I’ll comb your babe’s yellow locks with an ivory comb,
And I’ll be your babe’s father until Lord Gregory comes home.
Do you remember, Lord Gregory, that night in Cappoquin,
when we both changed pocket handkerchiefs and that against my will,
for yours was pure linen, love, and mine was coarse cloth,
yours cost one guinea and mine but one groat.

Leave now these windows and likewise this hall
for it’s deep in the sea you should hide your downfall.
Do you remember, darling Gregory, that night in Cappoquin,
when we both changed rings on our fingers and I against my will,
for yours was pure silver, love, and mine was black tin.
Yours cost one guinea and mine but one cent.

Leave now these windows and likewise this hall
for it’s deep in the sea you should hide your downfall.

My curse on you, mother, and my curse it being sore,
Since I heard the lass of Arms came a-rapping to my door.
Lie down, you foolish son, and lie down and sleep,
for it’s long ago a weary lass sat wailing in the deep.
Come saddle me the black horse, the brown and the grey,
Come saddle me the best horse in my stable this day.
And I’ll range over valleys, over mountains so wide.
And I’ll find the lass of Arms and lie by her side.*

*As sung by Elizabeth Cronin on The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol. IV (NY: Caedmon Records 1961); rep. Whelan, op. cit. (2002), n.115; p.97.
Joyce to Nora (On 26 August 1909): “I was singing an hour ago your song ‘The Lass of Aughrim.’The tears are in my eyes and my voice trembles with emotion when I sing that lovely air. It was worth coming to Ireland to have got it from your poor, kind mother.’ (Letters of James Joyce, Vol. II, ed. Richard Ellmann, London [sic]: Viking 1966), p.242. (Quoted in Kevin Whelan, op. cit., Yale Review of Criticism, Spring 2002, p.69.)

Distant Music [“I Hear You Calling Me”]: When Gabriel sees Gretta listening to “The Lass of Aughrim” on the stairs, he contemplates a possible painting: ‘Distant Music he would call the picture if he were a painter.’ The phrase he chooses for the vignette derives from a contemporary song: “I Hear You Calling Me” by Harold Lake, a journalist on the Daily Express who gave expression to his feelings about a girl he loved who died of tuberculosis. The song was set to music by Harold Harford and published in London on 11 Feb 1908. John McCormack soon afterwards adopted the song as his signature - with one note changed - singing it first a month after publication and twice again in the same year. (See Raymond Foxall, John McCormack, London: Robert Hale 1963, p.56.) The three verses read:

I Hear You Calling Me” (incls. the phrasedistant music’)
‘I hear you calling me. / You call’d me when the moon had veil’d her light, / Before I went from you into the night, / I came, do you remember? back to you / For one last kiss beneath the kind stars’ light. // I hear you calling me. / And oh, the ringing gladness of your voice! / The words that made my longing heart rejoice / You spoke - do you remember? - and my heart / Still hears the distant music of your voice. // I hear you calling me. / Though years have stretch’d their weary length between, / And on your grave the mossy grass is green: / I stand, do you behold me? list’ning here, / Hearing your voice through all the years between. / I hear you calling me.’ [Our itals.]
—See Gerard Quinn, ‘Joyce, Nora and Michael Bodkin’, in Blackrock Society Proc. 2004, pp.116-23.

Note further: “I Hear You Calling Me” is quoted in full in Séamus Reilly, ‘Rehearing “Distant Music” in “The Dead”’, James Joyce Quarterly, 35: 1 (Fall, 1997), pp.149-152, p.149 [online; accessed 21.11.2010]. See also Thomas Moore’s “Oh Ye Dead!” from Irish Melodies, under Moore, Quotations, supra.

Bibl.: The JJQ article cited here was part of Séamus Reilly’s PhD. (Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1992). He previously completed BA & MA at UCD (resp. 1987 & 1988). Professor Reilly has served President of Carl Sandburg College (Illinois); He has also published ‘James Joyce and Dublin Opera 1888-1904’, in Bronze By Gold: The Music of Joyce, ed. Sebastian Knowles [Border Crossings ser., Vol. 3] (NY: Garland Pub. 1999), pp.3-32 That collection also contains John McCourt’s ‘Trieste: Città Musicalissima’, pp.33-[55] and ‘Parsing Persse: The Codology of Hosty’s Song’, by Zack Bowen and Alan Roughley (ibid., pp.895-306.) [Contents available online; accessed 22.03.2021.]


Sheridan Le Fanu: Note also an attribution in Le Fanu: ‘Joyce similarly recycled a scene from another Irish novel, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s All in the Dark (1865). This contains a passage where a man gazes from a darkened stairwell towards a woman further up them: “She had quite vanished up the stairs and he still held the door handle in his fingers and stood looking up the vacant steps and, as it were, listening to distant music.” The scene is closely mirrored at the end of “The Dead” and the phrase “distant music” is used by Joyce. That same scene also replicated the theatrical staging of the end of Ibsen’s “A Doll”s House”, a play with which he was intimately familiar.’


The West’s Awake?

Finnegans Wake (I.3 - Shaun the Post [1926]): ‘Brave footsore Haun! Work your progress! Hold to! Now! Win out, ye divil ye! The silent cock shall crow at last. The west shall shake the east awake. Walk while ye have the night for morn, lightbreakfastbringer, morroweth whereon evey past shall full fost sleep. Amain.’ (473:20-25; quoted [without page-ref.] in Magda Velloso Fernandes de Tolentino, “Dubliners: The Journey Westward” (MA Thesis, Fed. University of Minas Gerais [UFMG, 1989) - available online; accessed days in March 2021].

Q: Is this the fulfillment of the prophecy of Gabriel Conroy’s journey West - or does its belonging to Shaun in the Wake cancel that univocal sense? Em, err, probably yes to the latter. We are in a binomial world with Finnegans Wake.

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The Dead” [4]: Of “The Lass of Aughrim”, the song that Michael Furey sang, Gerard Quinn remarks: ‘Could Gretta, listening to distant music from her dead lover be a symbol of Ireland, a bereft Ireland still in love with its former Gaelic cultural identity that has died?.’ (Quinn, op. cit. [supra] p.119.) He further quotes Joyce’s poem, “She Weeps over Rahoon” [as in Quotations, infra], whose implied speaker - in his reading - is Nora Barnacle-Joyce. Quinn notes that Joyce went to Galway in Aug. 1912 when, with Nora, he visited both the fictional grave of Michael Furey at Oughterard and the actual grave of Michael Bodkin (his original) at Rahoon. Finally, he compares the phrase ‘falls softly, softly falling’ [in that poem] with the last sentence in “The Dead”: ‘snow was general all over Ireland [...] falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried.’ (Quinn, ‘Joyce, Nora and Sonny Bodkin’, in Blackrock Society Proc. 2004, pp.116-23., p.121; cf. Martin Dowling, ‘“Thought-tormented music”: Joyce and the Music of th Irish Revival’, in James Joyce Quarterly, Spring-Summer 2008, pp.437-58; espec. 450-51.)

Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling,
Where my dark lover lies.
Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling,
At grey moonrise.

Love, hear thou
How soft, how sad his voice is ever calling,
Ever unanswered, and the dark rain falling,
Then as now.

Dark too our hearts, O love, shall lie and cold
As his sad heart has lain
Under the moongrey nettles, the black mould
And muttering rain.
—[Poems Penyeach; Available at Poemhunter - online; accessed 24.03.2021.

Michael “Sonny” Bodkin

Bodkin was an admirer of the young Nora Barnacle in Galway. He was the son of Winifred and Patrick Bodkin who ran a sweetshop on Prospect Hill in Galway where Nora and her friend Mary O’Holleran bought sweets. Bodkin was registered as a student at Queen’s College (now University College Galway) but gave up his studies to work as a clerk. He died in the County Infirmary on 11 February 1900, at the age of twenty, of tuberculosis, and was buried in the family vault at Rahoon Cemetery.

The relationship between Bodkin and Nora Barnacle is unlikely to have been very deep or of long duration given that Nora was not quite sixteen at the time of Bodkin’s death. But she certainly felt his death keenly, and she treasured all her life a bracelet that he had given her. [...]

Joyce wrote his poems “Rahoon” for Bodkin and later wrote in his Exiles Notebook of November 1913: “Graveyard at Rahoon by moonlight where Bodkin’s grave is. He lies in the grave. She sees his tomb (family vault) and weeps. The name is homely. Shelley’s is strange and wild. He is dark, unrisen, killed by love and life, young. The earth holds him [...] She weeps over Rahoon too, over him whom her love had killed, the dark boy whom, as the earth, she embraces in death and disintegration. He is her buried life, her past.’

The James Joyce Centre > 11 Feb. - available online; accessed 27.03.2021; cites Nathan Halper, ‘The Grave of Michael Bodkin,’ in James Joyce Quarterly, 12: 3, (Spring 1975), pp. 273-58; Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (rev. edn. 1982); Brenda Maddox,  Nora – A Biography of Nora Joyce (London: Hamish Hamilton 1988); Vivien Igoe, James Joyce’s Dublin Houses & Nora Barnacle’s Galway (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2007).

 

See also Richard Ellmann [on Michael Bodkin]: ‘Joyce’s instinct was to ferret out details and Nora’s early life had a special, slightly galling fascination for him. [...]’ (The Kenyon Review, XX, Autumn 1958, pp.507-28; p. 507; available at JSTOR - online; accessed 24.04.2021].

 
Wikipedia says:

[NORA BARNACLE was born in Galway workhouse on 21 March 1884. Her entry in the birth register, which gives her first name as ‘Norah’, is dated 22 March. Her father, Thomas Barnacle, a baker in Connemara, was an illiterate man who was 38 years old when she was born. Her mother, Annie Honoria Healy, was 28 and worked as a dressmaker.
  Between 1886 and 1889, [Nora’s] parents sent her to live with her maternal grandmother, Catherine Mortimer Healy. During these years, she began studies at a convent, eventually graduating from a national school in 1891. In 1896, Barnacle completed her schooling and began to work as a porteress and laundress. In the same year, her mother threw her father out for drinking and the couple separated. Barnacle went to live with her mother and her uncle, Tom Healy, at 4 Bowling Green, Galway. [Thomas moved to Oughterard and tried to resume life under his Irish name, Ó Cadhain.]
  In 1896, at age 12, Barnacle fell in love with a teenager named Michael Feeney, who died soon after of typhoid and pneumonia. In a dramatic coincidence, another boy she loved, Michael Bodkin, died in 1900 – causing some of her friends to call her ‘man-killer’. Joyce later referenced these incidents in the final short story in Dubliners, “The Dead”. It was rumoured that she sought comfort from her friend, budding English theatre starlet, Laura London, who introduced her to a Protestant named Willie Mulvagh. In 1903, she left Galway after her uncle learned of the affair and friendship, and went to Dublin where she worked as a chambermaid at Finn’s Hotel [...]

—Available online; accessed 28.03.2021; note that her name is given as Nora Joseph[ine] Barnacle on her Kensington marriage certificate. (See Ricorso, James Joyce > Life - supra.

Martin Dowling, ‘“Thought-Tormented Music”: Joyce and the Music of the Irish Revival’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 45, 3/4 [Biographical Joyce] Spring-Summer 2008, pp.437-58: ‘[...] As I argue elsewhere, traditional music is modern, but it was never suscptible to being modernist, emanating as it does from class fractions other than those of what Eagleton calls the “radical right”. How was this manifested in literary and musical fields? J. M. Synge’s adventures in the far west appear in this light to have rather over-shot the mark in his search for dynamic, autochthonous, authentic culture, just as Miss Ivors has missed the target in her goading of Gabriel to make a trip to the Aran Islands in “The Dead”. A similar problem is evident in the reception and interpretation of the song “The Lass of Aughrim”, both by the two main characters in the story and by later readers. In an essay on “The Dead”, Kevin Whelan calls the tune “a folk song which summoned the deep, oral, Irish language, Jacobite, Gaelic past of the west of Ireland.” Here he replicates the mistake made by Gabriel in the story, ascribing to the mongrel song some essential characteristic of the West of Ireland, “the old Irish tonality” that Gabriel immediately identifies once the hall door is closed. Whereas Gretta’s response to the song is authentic - a response she may share with Joyce himself - Gabriel’s reaction and, by extension, Whelan’s and many other interpreters [441] involve an illegitimate symbolic projection onto both the melody and the lyric. The point is perhaps unintentionally highlighted in John Huston’s film depiction of the story, where the Scottish, not the Irish, version of the melody is rendered, as noted by Hugh Shields.’ (pp.441-42; citing Whelan, ‘The Memories of “The Dead,”’, in The Yale Journal of Criticism, 15, Spring 2002, p.69, and Shields, ‘History of the Lass of Aughrim’, in Musicology in Ireland [Irish Musical Studies, 1], ed. Gerard Gillen & Harry White, Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1990, pp.58-73.) [Also cites Terry Eagleton, Heathcliff and the Great Hunger, remarks on modernity and modernism in Ireland.]

Further: ‘Whereas Kathleen’s aesthetic moment is drowned out by the bickerings backstage in “A Mother”, in “The Dead”, the aesthetic moment is elevating, provoking the final epiphanies. The tender intimacy of the private but accessible time-space of the tenor’s rendition of “The Lass of Aughrim” contrasts with the tortured artificiality of the “Irish concert” [in “A Mother”]. The particular song is also important. Like the time-space of its performance, it is quite “traditional,” part of a semi-public field that exists beneath and is, as we have seen, misunderstood in the cultural field dominated by the Feis Ceoil Association. It was neither [450] collected nor published when Joyce wrote the story and is, therefore, outside the canon of “Irish” song-formed by Edward Bunting, Thomas Moore, George Petrie, and others-that was publicly handed down to the Irish Revival generation. In authentic ethnographic style, Joyce unearthed the song himself, coaxing Nora Barnacle’s mother to give him the verses while he sat at her kitchen table during a visit to Galway.’ (Ibid., pp.450-51; citing Ellmann, James Joyce, [rev. edn.] p.286).

Note - Ellmann here writes: ‘Most of the weekend [...] he sat at 4 Bowling Green with Mrs. Barnacle and talked of Nora. He got her to sing “The Lass of Aughrim”, including some of the verses that Nora did not remember. [...]’. In a footnote, he adds: ‘Donagh MacDonagh discovered that “The Lass of Aughrim” was a variant of “The Lass or Royal Rock”, No. 79 in F. J. Child, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 1882-89, II, 224.) [Ellmann, idem; also gives an account of the substance of the ballad, in which the Lass of Aughrim with her child seeks entrance to Lord Gregory’s house, he being her former lover, is refused, and drowns herself in the lake.]

Nora and Gretta: Joyce wrote to Nora on 22 Aug. 1909, ‘Adorn your body for me, dearest. Be beautiful and happy and loving and provoking, full of memories, full of cravings, when we meet. Do you remember the three adjectives I have used in “The Dead” in speaking of your body? they are these: “musical and strange and perfumed. / My jealousy is still smouldering in my heart. Your love for me must be fierce and violent and make me forget utterly.”’ (Selected Letters, 1975, p.163.)

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The Dead” [5] - Sources of snow:

Homer: ‘The snow flakes fall thick and fast on a winters day. The winds are lulled and the snow falls incessant, covering the tops of the mountains, and the hills, and the planes where the lotus tree grows, and the cultivated fields, and they are falling by the inlets and shores of the foaming seas, but are silently dissolved by the waves.’ (Noted by Richard Ellmann, q.source.) See David Norris, ‘A clash of Titans Joyce, Homer and the idea of epic’, in Studies on Joyce’s Ulysses, ed. Jacqueline Genet & Wynne Hellogouarc’h, in Etudes Irlandaises [Open Edition] (Lille 1991) - available online. [See Kevin Whelan on snow in “The Dead” - infra.]

Bret Harte - Joyce wrote to Stanislaus from Rome on 25 Nov. 2016 with the question amidst a long letter much of which was about money problems: ‘Do you think I should waste 2 lire on buying a book of Gissing’s - or ought I buy a volume of Bret Harte[?]’ (Letters, Vol. II, ed. Ellmann (1966), p.166; see further under Quotations > Letters - supra. [This is the letter in which he spoke of being too ‘harsh’ on Dubliners - written when he was living unhappily in Rome.]

Don Gifford writes: Harte’s novel Gabriel Conroy (1875) tells of a silver-mining community and the part played by the central character in taking the blame for a murder he supposed to have been committed by his wife, the inheritor of the rights to the mine; in that story the wife has a child with him and briefly loves him, though her original motives for marrying him were entirely selfish. The novel opens with a description of snow which matches the final paragraph of “The Dead”:

Snow. Everywhere. As far as the eye could reach - fifty miles, looking southward from the highest white peak - filling ravines and gulches, and dropping from the walls of canons in white shroud-like drifts, fashioning the dividing ridge into the likeness of a monstrous grave, hiding the bases of giant pines, and completely covering young trees and larches, rimming with porcelain the bowl-like edges of still, cold lakes, and undulating in motionless white billows to the edge of the distant horizon. Snow lying everywhere over the California Sierras on the 15th day of March 1848, and still falling.
 It had been snowing for ten days: snowing in finely granulated powder, in damp spongy flakes, in thin, feathery plumes, snowing from a leaden sky steading, snowing fiercely, shaken out of purple-black clouds in white floculent masses, or dropping in long level lines, like white lances from the tumbled and broken heavens. But always silently! [The woods were so choked with it - the branches were so laden [2] with it - it had so permeated, filled and possessed earth and sky; it had so cushioned and muffled the ringing rocks and echoing hills, that all sound was deadened. The strongest gust, the fiercest blast, awoke no sigh or complaint from the snow-packed, rigid files of forest. There was no cracking of bough nor crackle of underbrush; the overladen branches of pine and fir yielded and gave way without a sound. The silence was vast, measureless, complete! Nor could it be said that any outward sign of life or motion changed the fixed outlines of this stricken landscape. Above, there was no play of light and shadow, only the occasional deepening of storm or night. Below, no bird winged its flight across the white expanse, no beast haunted the confines of the black woods; whatever of brute nature might have once inhabited these solitudes had long since flown to the lowlands.]

—Quoted [in part] in Don Gifford, Joyce Annotated: Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait [... &c.] (California UP 1982), pp.113-14 [The parenthetical sentences are taken from Gutenburg Project copy of the Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Edn. (USA: Riverside Cambridge 1882) - available online.]

Note: see Kevin Whelan, op. cit., 2002, n.65, p.95 [as infra]: Whelan adds: ‘On 26 September 1906, Joyce had written from Rome to Stanislaus: “Do you think I should waste a lire on buying a book of Gissing’s or should I buy a volume of Bret Harte?”.’ (Also cites G[erhard]. Friedrich, “Bret Harte as a Source for James Joyce’s “The Dead,” in Philogical Quarterly, xxxiii, 4 (1954), pp.443-44.

 
Further extracts [on the starving ‘human creatures’]:

[...]
The language of suffering is not apt to be artistic or studied, but I think that rhetoric could not improve this actual record. So I let it stand, even as it stood this 15th day of March 1848, half-hidden by a thin film of damp snow, the snow-whitened hand stiffened and pointing rigidly to the fateful cañon like the finger of Death.

[...]

They were so haggard, so faded, so forlorn, so wan, - so [5] piteous in their human aspect, or rather all that was left of a human aspect, - that they might have been wept over as they sat there; they were so brutal, so imbecile, unreasoning and grotesque in these newer animal attributes, that they might have provoked a smile. They were originally country people, mainly of that social class whose self-respect is apt to be dependent rather on their circumstances, position and surroundings, than upon any individual moral power or intellectual force. They had lost the sense of shame in the sense of equality of suffering; there was nothing within them to take the place of the material enjoyments they were losing. They were childish without the ambition or emulation of childhood; they were men and women without the dignity or simplicity of man and womanhood. All that had raised them above the level of the brute was lost in the snow. Even the characteristics of sex were gone; an old woman of sixty quarrelled, fought, and swore with the harsh utterance and ungainly gestures of a man; a young man of scorbutic temperament wept, sighed, and fainted with the hysteria of a woman. So profound was their degradation that the stranger who had thus evoked them from the earth, even in his very rags and sadness, seemed of another race. (pp.5-6; Gutenberg Project - online; accessed 23.04.2021.)

See also Boonie Roos, ‘James Joyce’s “The Dead” and Bret Harte’s Gabriel Conroy’: The Nature of the Feast’, in Yale Journal of Criticism, 15: 1 (2002), pp.99-126.) - infra.

Gabriel Conroy (1875) - Reading Extracts [BS]
[Opening:] Snow. Everywhere. As far as the eye could reach - fifty miles, looking southward from the highest white peak, - filling ravines and gulches, and dropping from the walls of cañons in white shroud-like drifts, fashioning the dividing ridge into the likeness of a monstrous grave, hiding the bases of giant pines, and completely covering young trees and larches, rimming with porcelain the bowl-like edges of still, cold lakes, and undulating in motionless white billows to the edge of the distant horizon. Snow lying everywhere over the California Sierras on the 15th day of March 1848, and still falling. [17]
[...]
They were so haggard, so faded, so forlorn, so wan, - so piteous in their human aspect, or rather all that was left of a human aspect, - that they might have been wept over as they sat there; they were so brutal, so imbecile, unreasoning and grotesque in these newer animal attributes, that they might have provoked a smile. They were originally country people, mainly of that social class whose self-respect is apt to be dependent rather on their circumstances, position and surroundings, than upon any individual moral power or intellectual force. They had lost the sense of shame in the sense of equality of suffering; there was nothing within them to take the place of the material enjoyments they were losing. They were childish without the ambition or emulation of childhood; they were men and women without the dignity or simplicity of man and womanhood. All that had raised them above the level of the brute was lost in the snow. Even the characteristics of sex were gone; an old woman of sixty quarrelled, fought, and swore with the harsh utterance and ungainly gestures of a [20] man; a young man of scorbutic temperament wept, sighed, and fainted with the hysteria of a woman. So profound was their degradation that the stranger who had thus evoked them from the earth, even in his very rags and sadness, seemed of another race. [20-21]
 
Grace was no logician, and could not help thinking that if Philip had said this before, she would not have left the hut. But the masculine reader will, I trust, at once detect the irrelevance of the feminine suggestion, and observe that it did not refute Philip’s argument. She looked at him with a half frightened air. Perhaps it was the tears that dimmed her eyes, but his few words seemed to have removed him to a great distance, and for the first time a strange sense of loneliness came over her. She longed to reach her yearning arms to him again, but with this feeling came a sense of shame that she had not felt before.
[...]
Grace sobbed herself to sleep! Poor, poor Grace! She had been looking for this opportunity of speaking about herself - about their future. This was to have been the beginning of her confidence about Dr. Devarges’s secret; she would have told him frankly all the doctor had said, even his suspicions of Philip himself. And then Philip would have been sure to have told her his plans, and they would have gone back with help, and Philip would have been a hero whom Gabriel would have instantly recognised as the proper husband for Grace, and they would have all been very happy. And now they were all dead, and had died, perhaps, cursing her, and - Philip - Philip had not kissed her good-night, and was sitting gloomily under a tree! [47; our italics - cf. Gretta in Joyce’s story.]
1876 American Publishing Co. Edn. - available in page format at Internet Archive - online; accessed 26.04.2021.
See longer extracts from Bret Harte, Gabriel Conroy (1875; eds. 1876, 1882) in this frame or new window.

Adam Parks, ‘Moore, Snow and “The Dead”’, in English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 42:3  (Greensboro 1999), pp.265-82: ‘James Joyce's biographer Richard Ellmann has traced a line of influence that links the end of “The Dead” to George Moore’s novel Vain Fortune (1891). This work, Ellmann writes, is the source of the “dead lover who comes between the lovers, the sense of the husbands failure, the acceptance of mediocrity, the resolve to be at all events sympathetic, elements that Joyce redeploys and transforms in his early masterpiece.” Following Ellmann’s lead, other critics have developed both this particular comparison and broader connections, such as the relation between Joyce's study of “moral paralysis” [sic] in Dubliners and Moore’s volume of stories The Untilled Field (1903), or that between Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Moore’s Confessions of a Young Man (1888). But no one has seen reason for dissenting from Ellmann's remark that “Moore said nothing about snow.” On the contrary, this prenouncement has been taken as evidence that Joyce’s snow exemplifies the “significant amplification” of the material absorbed from Moore, all the more striking because such a heavy snowfall was (and is) extremely rare in Ireland.’ (p.265.) [in ProQuest LLC - online; accessed 24.04.2021. [Note that Kevin Whelan prints a title-page of Vain Fortune in his ‘Memories’ article (Yale Journal of Criticism, 2002) and gives details of the plot of the novel - somewhat with an air of new discovery.]
 

George Moore - The Lake (Heinemann 1905) - SNOW: Fr Oliver Gogarty writes to Fr. O'Grady and talks of a visit to Kilronan Abbey, ‘an old abbey unroofed by Cromwell [where t]he people have gone there for centuries, kneeling in the snow and rain’. (Chap. VII; p.36.) [Fr Oliver Gogarty to Miss Rose Leicester:] ‘Without a leader the people are helpless; they wander like sheep on a mountain-side, falling over rocks or dying amid snowdrifts. Sometimes the shepherd grows weary of watching, and the question arises if one has no duty towards one's self. Then one begins to wonder what is one's duty and what is duty- if duty is more than the opinions of others, - a convention which no one would like to hear called into question, because he feels instinctively that it is well for everyone to continue in the rut, for, after all, a rut means a road, and roads are necessary. If one lets one's self go on thinking, one very soon finds that wrong and right are indistinguishable, so perhaps it is better to follow the rut if one can. But following of the rut is beset with difficulties; there are big holes on either side. Sometimes the road ends nowhere, and one gets lost in spite of one’s [43] self.’ (Available at Gutenberg Project & Internet Archive; Rx by BS.)

[ See also Paul Jones: ‘As Ellmann put it, Joyce “found [Moore] a good man to improve upon” (Jones, ‘“A Tame Bird Escaped from Captivity”: Leaving Ireland in George Moore’s The Lake and Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. in Joyce Studies Annual (2012), pp.154-73 [available online - 24.4.2021. ]

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The Dead” [6] (Letter to Stanislaus, 25 Sept. 1906) - rethinking the ending of Dubliners

The Dead” [6] - Robert Browning: What is the quotation from Browning that Gabriel intends to include in his dinner speech? Gabriel hesitates to use the quotation he has chosen and considers whether something from Shakespeare or the Melodies [of Thomas Moore] might not be better suited to the minds of the guests whose ‘grade of culture differed so from his’. There is no evidence that he does quote Browning and it seems that he extemporises some sentences addressed to Miss Ivors about this ‘hypereducated generation’ which he would not have otherwise spoken. Apparently, however, there is a verbal remnant of the planned quotation in the description of the eventual speech. According to John Feeley, ‘a close look at Gabriel’s speech in the original headings that despite the putative limitations of his audience, he does not intend to abandon the Browning quotation totally and that his considerable verbal skill renders it unnecessary that he do so.’ For the solution, see John Feeley, ‘Joyce’s “The Dead” and the Browning Quotation’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 20: 1 (1982), pp. 87-96. [available online; accessed 24 March 2021].

The Dead” [7] - W. B. Yeats: Heather Ingman compares Joyce’s liminality to Yeats’s in John Sherman: Sherman nodding off in his mother’s drawing room, experiences a liminal state similar to Gabriel’s [...] Telling revealing of the differences between the two writers, in Yeats such a borderline space is where imagination is nurtured’ in Joyce, Gabriel’s sleepy state expands his capacity for imaginative empathy. Though resisting Yeats’s national as another of the paralysing mechanisms weighing on his Dubliners’ lives, the ending of “The Dead” with the lyrical beauty of its prose and its themes of liminality and dissolution, begins to read like Joyce’s tribute to Yeats’ [mystical stories]. (A History of the Irish Short Story, Cambridge UP 2009, p.80; available in part online.)

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The Dead” [7] - ‘dark mutinous Shannon waves’:

The phrase ‘dark mutinous Shannon waves’ has somewhere been attributed to Charles Robert Maturin in Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). I have been unable to identify the critical source of this information though memory tells me that it was cited by A. Norman Jeffares either in conversation or on some written occasion. It is not to be found in Maturin’s works at Gutenberg or Internet Archive. Searching for it in Google, I have now come up with the following fragmentary allusion in a review by Jeffares for The Sewanee Review in 1976. In it, he refers to Maturin and another novelist - probably Sheridan le Fanu - whom he holds to have used the Shannon as a marker for Irish cultural difference - viz., ‘[...] and Maturin use it in their novels, to name the most obvious writers at the beginning of the ... Michael Furey, died in the west, and it is on the dark mutinous waves of the Shannon that there falls the symbolic snow. Harris talks of “the West of [Ireland]” [...]’. (Jeffares, ‘Coughing in Ink’, Sewanee Review, 84:1 (Winter 1976), pp.157-67; review of sundry works on W. B. Yeats by Daniel A. Harris, James Land Jones, Edward Mallins, Frank Hughes Murphy, Peter Ure [with] C. J. Rawson, and Dudley Young; available at JSTOR - online; accessed 12.03.2021.)

Unfortunately I don’t have access to JSTOR and the full review at present. As it happens, Jeffares also cites the Shannon phrase from “The Dead” in his Short Literary History of Ireland, where he writes of Dubliners: ‘The last story, “The Dead”, is, however, more complex in its social comedy and its examination of the character of Gabriel, whose superiority is shaken by his realising how little he knows of his wife. In it Joyce, like Maturin before him, stresses the difference between the west and the east of Ireland, regarding the Shannon as a boundary: “The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. [...] falling softly unpon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves.”’ [Ensuing remarks on Stephen Hero only.] (A Short History of Ireland’s Writers, The O’Brien Press 2014) Chap. 8: Joyce and Fiction: 1920s-1940, q.p.; given in Google Books - online; accessed 12.03.2021.)

Aside from the contentious Shannon reference, Joyce clearly echoes Maturin in another place - this being Maturin’s Dedicatory Preface the The Milesian Chief (1812) where the older novelist writes: ‘I have chosen my own country for the scene, because I believe it is the only country on earth [... &c.’; see longer extract under CR Maturin > Commentary - as infra]. These phrases appear to be echoed by Joyce with, ‘I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis.’ [as under Joyce > Quotations - as supra]. I think this echo has gone unnoticed to date and the source of the Shannon phrase in Maturin - if true - has not been suggested or implied by any other critic than Jeffares. Almost to the contrary, the source of the Shannon allusion as been variously traced to the Shannon estuary in conventional Joyce commentary - a geographical reference quizzed and put to rights by Frank Shovlin in his detailed consideration of the motif in Journey Westward: Joyce, Dubliners and the Literary Revival (Liverpool UP 2012). Note: A possible source of the Maturin connection with ‘mutinous Shannon waves’ mentioned here is Patrick Rafroidi in his Romantic Literature in Ireland (2. vols.). [BS - 13.03.2021.]

 
[ See also Kevin Whelan’s note on ‘mutinous Shannon waves’ - infra. ]

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The Dead (1987) [the film, after Joyce’s story], dir. John Huston, distrib. Vestron Pictures / Zenith; duration 1.19.25. Cast incls. Donal McCann, Anjelica Huston, Helena Carroll; Cathleen Delany; Rachael Dowling; Ingred Craigie; Dan O’Herlihy Marie Kean; Donal Donnelly; Sean McClory; Frank Patterson [as Bartell Darcy]; music ed. Robert Silvi; dir of phot. Fred Murphy.

John Houston, ‘The Dead’
John Houston, ‘The Dead’

(Available on YouTube - online; accessed 24.03.2014.)

The Dead” [8] - the living and the dead’ may be taken as an echo of St. Paul&146;s epistle to the Romans where he writes: ‘For this end Christ both died, and arose, and revived, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.’ (Romans, 14:9; King James Authorised Version.)

The Dead” [9] - remarks of Stanislaus Joyce: ‘The last story, which serves as the final chorus of the book, presents holiday life, the celebration of Christmas. In England and Ireland ghost stories are still told about the fire at Christmas time [...] The story “The Dead” is also, in its way, a story of ghosts, of the dead who return in envy of the living.’ (Recollections of James Joyce, 1950; quoted in Denis Donoghue, review of John Huston's film of “The Dead”, in The New York Review, 3 March 1988.)

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