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The Dead (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism) Paperback – December 15, 1993


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The Dead (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism) + The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms + The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy (Case Studies in Critical Controversy)
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Product Details

  • Series: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; 1st edition (December 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312080735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312080730
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel R. Schwarz is Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1968.  He is the author of the recent In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century (2008) in the prestigious Blackwell Manifesto series, Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel, 1890-1930 (2004), Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture (2003), as well as the widely read Imagining the Holocaust (1999).  His prior books include Rereading Conrad (2001); Reconfiguring Modernism: Explorations in the Relationship Between Modern Art and Modern Literature  (1997); Narrative and Representation in Wallace Stevens (1993), a Choice selection for best academic book of 1993; The Case for a Humanistic Poetics (1991); The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890-1930 (1989; revised 1995); Reading Joyce's "Ulysses" (Second Edition, 2004); The Humanistic Heritage: Critical Theories of the English Novel from James to Hillis Miller (1986); Conrad: The Later Fiction (1982); Conrad: "Almayer's Folly"  through "Under Western Eyes" (1980); and Disraeli's Fiction (1979).  He has edited Joyce's The Dead (1994) and Conrad's The Secret Sharer (1997) in the Bedford Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series, and was coeditor of Narrative and Culture (1994). He has also edited the Penguin Damon Runyon (2008). He served as consulting editor of the six-volume edition of The Early Novels of Benjamin Disraeli (2004) for which he wrote the General Introduction. He is General Editor of the multivolume critical series Reading the Novel for which he wrote Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel, 1890-1930 (2004) and is now writing Reading the European Novel. A founding member and former president of the society for the Study of Narrative Literature, he has published dozens of scholarly articles on British and American fiction and literary theory.  Among his books are studies on Disraeli and Conrad as well as Reading Joyce's ULYSSES; The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890-1930; and The Case for a Humanistic Poetics.

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Customer Reviews

Everyone who loves literature should read this perfect story.
H. F. Corbin
The atmosphere Joyce evokes and the development of the characters all blend to create an almost visual experience.
Slidarian
I have read this story many times and now I just flip through it and read a page like a poem.
NCC-1701

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've found this to be the most useful of all the "case study" texts I've tried from both St. Martin's/Bedford and Norton. The primary text is sufficiently contained and the representative critical methodologies presented clearly enough to introduce students to both literature and literary theory without overwhelming them. Moreover, "The Dead" is capable of repaying the close and observant reader with a Joycean "epiphany" perhaps not surpassed by any other literary text (the last several paragraphs, especially, require attention to the developing, altering meanings of each and every word).

I have one caveat: the essay representing feminist criticism I frankly find baffling. The writer, apparently trying to have her cake and eat it too, manages to indict Joyce as a sexist while applauding the story as a critique of sexism and patriarchal hegemony! It does not "seem" to occur to her that Joyce may be removed from his central character, Gabriel, or that her evidence for Gabriel's male arrogance may actually be Joyce's idea from the start. A close reading of the character certainly suggests an ironic portrayal--everything that appears to be in Gabriel's favor is exposed through Joyce's subtle language as self-delusion. The feminist critic, however, impugns Joyce by suggesting that his "intentions" are less honorable than the meaning of the text itself!

Perhaps the writer is overstating a point in order to provide a better example of the type of critical approach she was asked to represent for the purposes of this anthology. I know that I will suggest as much should I again have occasion to use this particular essay.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on November 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Set in early 20th century Dublin this short story was the last in a collection called The Dubliners by native son, James Joyce. Despite the mournful title there is no murder nor mysterious death involved in this seemingly simple piece, set in an old-fashioned Society home during the Christmas season. Instead this proves an introspective tale from the viewpoint of middle-aged Gabriel, favorite nephew of his respected aunts who host an annual dinner party. The role of music and performers is debated among their many lively guests.

Gabriel's required speech during dinner praises the Irish tradition of warm hospitality. But something causes his wife, Gretta, to hark back to her girlhood and her first love--whose poignant memory threatens his plans for connubial bliss in their hotel room. Delicate as the snowflakes which blot out the city landscape, barely plotted with delicious hints of unexpressed emotion, The Dead transports readers to a different gas-lit age, where beauty and grace are subtly exhibited and passionately sought after. Joyce reminds us that music possesses the power to evoke the past and serve as a catalyst both for pain and pleasure. This may be read in one sitting, but don't miss the author's other reminiscences.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Reynolds Price called it the greatest short story written in English. Carson McCullers reread it every Christmas. I have read James Joyce's masterpiece "The Dead" from his book DUBLINERS at least a half dozen times. I just reread it, and as usual, it made my eyes burn. It is one of those rare stories that, when you finish it, you call up those people you love and those who love literature to make sure they have read it too.

The story, set in Dublin, covers one evening during the Christmas season when two sisters, the Misses Morkan, Julia and Kate, hold their annual dance, the event of the season and not to be missed. Their nephew Gabriel and his wife Gretta are of course invited. Gabriel is pompous and, to use a current expression, full of himself as he gives his usual speech at the event. The last 4 or 5 pages of this rather long-- although there is not one sentence too many-- story contain some of the most moving language you will encounter in English. Joyce makes a sad, profound statement about love, life and death and asks the question of how well do we really know those people closest to us.

The story became the director John Huston's last film by the same name (1987). He cast his daughter Anjelica as Gretta. Tenor Frank Patterson, who left us far too soon, sang that glorious song "The Lass of Aughrim" in the movie that is almost as good as Joyce's story.

Everyone who loves literature should read this perfect story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mumanu on October 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book to read before you die. (It'll take your mind off of it.) So poignant. Plus, it's short and not stream of consciousness (unlike Ulysses), and written in ordinary prose (unlike Finnegans Wake), so you can impress your friends and your 7th grade English teacher, who said you'll never amount to anything (or that could have been Ms. Crabapple to Bart), that you're reading Joyce.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Clinkscales on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a most beautiful story, so well written and enchanting that you are completely taken away to another time and place where you meet people you hope actually lived because they will live on in you. Beautiful a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm2 on June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is well-written. Not only is "The Dead" included, but five critics give their perspectives on the story, such as historicism, reader-response criticism, etc. You will learn about the rule of reading, if that is something new to you as well as many of literary terms and concepts.
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