A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window

watch John Houston's The Dead, final scene

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

James Joyce, The Dead



  1. all the videos on you tube have 'embedded disabled by request', why??? who would request such a thing?

    anyway, it is one of the most beautiful film scenes ever, for me...

  2. so what is it that makes one turn away, and not just "away" but out, through the window, into the open? for perhaps it is not just the dead, nor the stifling of the walls, but falling snow, nature, the world, a dissolving of self into the vastness...