Response #3: James Joyce’s The Dead

This response focuses on the performance of James Joyce’s The Dead, adapted from the James Joyce short story “The Dead.” There are two parts to this response.

A) Write in general terms about the changes that the musical stage production makes to the original story. Don’t simply describe the changes; instead, analyze their narrative and performative value. Don’t account for every change, just select two or three major changes.

B) Pick one of the characters from “The Dead” short story (e.g. Julia, Gabriel, Gretta, Miss Ivors, Freddy Malins, or others) and analyze the representation of that character in the play. What changes are made to that character, and to what effect? How do those changes affect the overall tone and theme of the text?

Conclude your response with one or two summative observations about the performance and the differences between Joyce’s original text and the musical version.

The response should be 2-3 pages long and is due Tuesday, March 7.

Online Texts and Response Assignment

For Thursday’s class, spend time on the following sites:

  1. Read/explore Jason Nelson’s online work The Bomar Gene (Audio and Flash are required).
  2. Read two “Poems that Go,” also by Jason Nelson: Conversation and Superstitious Appliances
  3. Watch Bust Down the Doors! by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
  4. Experiment with WordCount by Jonathan Harris


After reading all of the sites above, pick the one that intrigues you or puzzles you most. Play/read/explore it thoroughly. Then write a 500-word response, in which you address some of these questions: What is the text “about”? What do you think the online work is trying to say or achieve? Also consider its form, and how the form influences, shapes, or limits your understanding of the work. Use specific, concrete examples (specific images, phrases, etc.) from the work in your response.

Links for Wednesday’s Recitation

(1) Explore the online Gutenberg Bible at the Ransom Center (at the University of Texas at Austin). In particular, follow and read the links that explain the “Anatomy of a Page,” “The Ransom Center Copy,” and the “Selected Passages.”

(2) Spend twenty to thirty minutes reading the online hypertext Hegirascope by Stuart Moulthrop.

(3) Play/explore Jason Nelson’s online work The Bomar Gene (Audio and Flash are required).

ENGL 325: Dimensions of Writing and Literature

Welcome to the class blog for ENGL 325:004 (Spring 2006).

You must register first before you can post to the blog. After you give yourself a username and submit your email address, a password will be emailed to you. Follow the directions in the email in order to log on to the blog.

You must post by 8 AM on the Thursday of your week (you can post as early as Monday if you want). You have four options: either post a reflection about some of the reading for Tuesday’s class; post a follow-up comment about Tuesday’s class or Tuesday’s readings; post a response to the Wednesday recitation; or post a reflection about some of the reading due for Thursday’s class.

Your post should be about 250 words. It’s often productive to begin with an aspect of the reading or recitation that you don’t quite understand. You may want to formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions-this moves you into the realm of interpretation. You may also want to respond to another student’s post by building upon it, disagreeing with it, or re-thinking it.