James Joyce at Christmas

I dedicated this blog to abusers of English, so what’s one of my first posts about? 

Superb writing as evidenced in James Joyce’s novel, The Dead. Actually,

I was spurred to post this after reading a review of the 1987 movie version of The Dead, which is still unavailable on DVD or I’d rush out and get it today, in today’s Wall Street Journal. Without repeating the plot (space limitations), here are some passages of Joyce’s that come toward the end of the novel when the main character, Gabriel Conroy, confronts his own mortality:

His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead….His own identity was fading out into a grey palpable world: the solid world itself which these dead had one time reared and lived in was dissolving and dwindling.

A few lines later:

His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

 

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