Kevin Barry - Dead (9781859182857)

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In a letter to his brother in 1906, James Joyce confessed: 'Sometimes thinking of Ireland it seems to me that I have been unnecessarily harsh. I have not been just to its beauty'. One reason for the composition of The Dead in 1907 was to compensate for this injustice and to add a new and quite different conclusion to his collection of short stories, Dubliners. Why Joyce felt compelled to change his view of Ireland, and how his narrative technique evolved to accommodate this change, becomes one of the focal points for this illuminating study. Furthermore, why John Huston felt compelled to adapt The Dead, and how he did so, provides another enlightening context. Although eighty years separate Huston's film from Joyce's text, the presence of Joyce's story can be found earlier in European cinema, in Roberto Rossellini's Voyage in Italy (1953). Kevin Barry here explores the extraordinary relationships between these three works, and the radically different aesthetics of fidelity and infidelity practiced by these exemplary artists of the twentieth century.