James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’ is set in the heart of Dublin City on January 6th 1904. As part of our audio podcast series Barry McGovern takes a walk through the city of ‘The Dead’ and explores the landscape which frames the story from 15 Usher’s Island to the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street. What remains of Joyce’s Dublin today and what inspired his locations? ‘The Dead’ brings us on a journey from the quays on the River Liffey looking towards the Phoenix Park and references a city which can still be found today. Have a look at our slideshow of photographs from the National Library collections and from Dublin today to get a sense of the city of ‘The Dead’.

3 Responses to “Podcast 6: The Dead; a walking tour with Barry McGovern”

  1. Jim Devin Says:

    The Dead – Podcasts 1-6

    Wonderful content and fine production quality. Your work is a fine complement to the reading and study of the story.

    Thank you to all concerned for making this resource available to all.

    J. Devin

    27 December 2009

  2. Laurence Shine Says:

    My congratulations to all involved in the making of “The Dead” project: it was elegant, elegiac, and strangely consoling, like the story itself. Cathal McConnell of The Boys of the Lough has a stirring version of “Lord Gregory,” and this other title brings to mind the resonance of the name “Aughrim” to anyone conversant with “Irrland’s split little pea” (FW 171.06) and the vast hosts of the dead. Bess Cronin seems to sing “the Lass of Erin,’ a good misprision, because the Lass’s first line is “I am a King’s daughter,” meaning dispossessed, like Cordelia. The ballad in all its forms evokes the figure of the cruel mother who turns away the son and heir’s true love and their baby to die by drowning. Joyce’s fascination with her is evident in the old sow that eats her farrow and in Old Gummy Granny, so she is the Speirbhean Eire also, and a very demanding ghost.
    I myself had a John Alphonsus Mulrennan moment in Galway in 1972. When I came back to Ireland from Georgia I knew I had to drive the rental car out to Oughterard to see the graveyard where the Angel Michael lies buried. At that time it was well kept and the view over Lough Corrib into the Joyces Country is still one of the most beautiful in Ireland. The Calvaric spears were there on the little gate and the chapel, of course, was ruined. I turned its corner and I swear I thought I saw a headstone that read “James Joyce d. 1904.” If I took a photograph I don’t have it now, and now I’m a firm believer in prosthetic memories because you have to be. Ah well, there’s a power of Joyces buried all around and one of them must have died in 1904, but from that moment on I knew why Gabriel Conroy’s ghostridden soul traveled westwards across Ireland to join his victorious (because dead) rival in death: “Array! Surrection” (FW 593.02). Which brings us back to Lily, the kingmaker’s daughter. In the end, it’s the only story worth telling. It never grows old, and your evocation of it just goes to show. Thanks. P.S.: Would Barry McGovern come to Buffalo soon? He has friends here, and Joyce readers are general on the snowcovered ground. But June is lovely.

  3. Laurence Shine Says:

    When did Joyce publish “Ireland at the Bar” about the Maamtrasna murders which led to the execution of Joyces?