The Dead by James Joyce
Oh hey everyone, just here to add my magnet to the refrigerator front of short stories. If we're talking short stories, I'm offering you up my favorite today--and the best part is, it's available to read online!
It's about: Gabriel Conroy, a well-liked, pleasant man in his community, attends a social dinner gathering and ends the snowy night by coming to what Joyce called an epiphany. That's all I'll say. Oh, and his wife's name is Gretta.
I thought: Part of Dubliners, a collection of equally awesome short stories, this tale leaves me ready to write pages and pages whenever I'm done reading it. Really, it's that good.This is a pretty common read for English majors, assigned by many professors. It's really long, novella-like, and if you haven't read it (which I'm assuming you already have) I really suggest that you do. And don't worry--if you've tried to stumble through Ulysses or other equally confusing books/stories of Joyce's, I promise that this short story is the opposite of confusing. It's beautiful, poetic, and psssst--you can read it online. Did I mention that before?
I have the last two paragraphs of this story memorized. See if they goosebump you.
Verdict: Stick it on the shelf or Rubbish Bin? SHELFSHELF
Reading Recommendations: Mortality is a central theme in this tale, so if you're looking for hopping bunnies and mystical musical purple singing unicorns and shiny pink babies, go read something else. But read this instead.
"The morning was still dark. A dull, yellow light brooded over the houses and the river; and the sky seemed to be descending. It was slushy underfoot; and only streaks and patches of snow lay on the roofs, on the parapets of the quay and on the area railings. The lamps were still burning redly in the murky air and, across the river, the palace of the Four Courts stood out menacingly against the heavy sky."
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