What is haunting Dubliners?

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Narratives of the returning dead recur in Ulysses and in Finnegans Wake, but it is easy to forget the extent to which their presences are apprehended in Dubliners. Literal accounts of the returning dead are there too, but, curiously, the reading experience itself is strangely haunted. In this essay, I consider the variety of ways in which the dead are "present" in the tales but suggest they are not necessarily easy to understand. Indeed, the texts do not seek to "explain" such moments at all but to present them as unsettling and irreducible fea­tures of reading Dubliners altogether. I include here an analysis of the possibility of ghostly returns in "The Dead" and consider "Eveline" as a story in which, remarkably, the living and the dead are inter­fused. The central claim of this essay is that ghostly elements are not understood but felt in these stories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-456
JournalJames Joyce Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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