by the Forward

The Dead Brought All Our Senses To Life

Imagine walking into a beautiful Fifth Avenue mansion then being transported along with 43 other guests to wintry Dublin in 1904 — to drink sherry and Irish whiskey with a handful of James Joyce’s characters. This was my time travel experience at New York’s American Irish Historical Society where the Irish Repertory Theatre staged an adaptation of Joyce’s “The Dead.” Each scene took place in a different room of the parlor floor of this Victorian mansion, and for the final scene between Gabriel and Gretta Conroy, the audience was invited to the second floor bedroom of the mansion as a snow blower blew white flakes against the glass. At dinner I sat between Mr. Brown and Aunt Julia, and as they slipped in and out of character while talking to me, I ate fluffy pudding and marveled at this perfect evening that gratified all the senses.

- Anna Katsnelson
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James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’

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