That was in the early 70s when I read “Dubliners.” A collection of James Joyce’s short stories from 1914. Of course, it translated into the Persian language because my English was not so good so far as now is (if we’d call it good now!), and I was thankful for that.
One exciting thing that I can mention here about Iranians is that despite the majority of the population being illiterate, we had a significant part in one of the most famous streets in Tehran, full of bookshops. All the books from everywhere globally, written by well-known or known or unknown writers, and all translated!
To translate books is an art in itself; The excellent translator must have many abilities to do their job: Knowing both languages perfectly and having enough writing skills. We had a few of that kind and many who were not convincing. And this Dubliners was, unfortunately, one of the latter.
I know reading Joyce is not easy; maybe that’s why the good translators didn’t want to try this one. Notwithstanding, I have read it, excruciating but to the end. Of course, it is a great book, as I reread it in the original language some years ago. One of the stories is “The Dead“. It is by far the most extended story in the collection and, at 15,952 words, is almost long enough to be described as a novella.
The name: “The Dead” is an interesting choice by Joyce; I mean, the story could have another name: a family fiesta, or the people among themselves, or whatsoever. It deals with themes of love and loss and raises questions about the nature of the Irish identity. But he has chosen this name for it. He could want to show us how people are so busy with their everyday lives that they forget there might be an end! At the end of the story, Gabriel Conroy’s wife, Gretta, tells him about a boyfriend from her youth and his early death, and Gabriel has an epiphany about life and death and human connection.
T. S. Eliot called “The Dead” one of the greatest short stories ever written. And Joyce biographer and critic Richard Ellmann wrote: “In its lyrical, melancholy acceptance of all that life and death offer, ‘The Dead’ is a linchpin in Joyce’s work.
Anyway, my purpose is that I have recently watched the made movie from the story.
In 1987, it was adapted into the film The Dead, directed by John Huston, starring Anjelica Huston as Gretta Conroy and Donal McCann as Gabriel Conroy. One can expect an excellent adaptation from Huston, who had many brilliant works, like The Misfits, The Man Who Would Be King, Moby Dick, etc.?
Lately, when I suggested to my wife that we’d watch this movie together, she was confused and thought it would be all about dying, but it wasn’t that gruesome, and she liked it. Anyhow, it is highly recommended, and you might like it too.