Monday 19 March 2018

Scholars bring 'The Dead' back to life for 100th anniversary of Joyce classic

James Joyce: legendary Dublin writer
James Joyce: legendary Dublin writer
The innovative app, produced in UCD, is available free on Apple’s App Store. It tells the story of ‘The Dead’ and has podcasts, pictures and special guest commentators.

John Spain Books Editor

A NEW app to mark the centenary of James Joyce's famous 'Dubliners' collection will bring the evocative story 'The Dead' to life once again.

The app, produced in UCD, is being released today because the famous story is set on the evening of January 6. 'The Dead' is regarded by many critics as the greatest short story of the 20th Century.

The closing story of 'Dubliners', 'The Dead' takes place a century ago at a house party on Usher's Island on the quays in Dublin on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany and the last night of Christmas.

The UCD Humanities Institute will mark the centenary of 'The Dead' today with the release of the app, which includes the full story read by renowned actor Barry McGovern plus period images and podcast commentaries. It will be available today to download free from Apple's App Store.

The much-loved story, which was made into a film by John Huston starring his daughter Anjelica and the late Donal McCann, mainly takes place at number 15 Usher's Island, where Kate and Julia Morkan hold their annual dinner party on a snowy night.

Gabriel Conroy and his wife Greta are among the guests who enjoy the company, dancing and music. When, as she is about to leave, Greta hears the folksong 'The Lass of Aughrim' sung plaintively by another guest, she remembers the young man in Galway who once loved her and sang to her on another snowy night.

Back in their hotel later that evening Gabriel looks out the window at the snow falling and realises his marriage is not all he had imagined it to be.

The app is described as "an exploration of Joyce's story through text, sound and images". The aim of the UCD project is to show that academic and archive material can be made accessible in a creative way to the general public using a new digital approach.

As well as the reading by Barry McGovern of the full text of 'The Dead', the app has podcasts which contextualise the story by commentators such as Catriona Crowe, Mary Daly, Anne Fogarty and Gerardine Meaney talking about Joyce, 'Dubliners', and the Dublin of the time.

It has rare images from 100 years ago and architectural drawings describing the Usher's Island house. The app also has a video performance of 'The Lass of Aughrim' filmed in the famous house.

Irish Independent

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