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Nikša Ranjina's Miscellany

Nikša Ranjina's Miscellany, or Ranjina's Miscellany, is the oldest lyrical miscellany of Croatian vernacular lyric poetry, one of the most important pieces of Croatian Renaissance literature. Writer of the miscellany is a Dubrovnik nobleman Nikša Ranjina, who started copying down poems in his childhood, he started writing them in 1507 as a thirteen-year-old boy, it is not known when he finished the piece. The resulting voluminous manuscript corresponds in character to English Tottel's Miscellany. Poems in the miscellany deal chiefly with the topic of love and are written prevalently in doubly rhymed dodecayllabic meter. Most of the poems are authored by Šiško Menčetić and Džore Držić, a minority by other, unknown poets, representing the first generation of Dubrovnik Petrarchists. Miscellany is written in readable handwriting, in a pedantic and reliable way. Love is being celebrated and described in the miscellany not as much as a topic of poet's intimate perception, but rather as a form of social play governed by prescribed norms of conduct.

Poems list various phases and forms of love: wooing, declaration of love, plea to return love, celebration of physical and spiritual attributes of the loved one, "fairy maidens", pain of unrequited love etc. As recipients, objects of poet's messages, maidens, but various objects and phenomena are referred to. In a literary and historical perspective, Ranjina's Miscellany represents a synthesis of diverse literary influences, ranging from troubadour-knightly and medieval Italian, all the way to various instances of Petrarchan poetry and Petrarchism. Sometimes the relationships with vernacular, Croatian folk lyrics are emphasized though it's hard to make precise judgment on it as there are no other records of Croatian folk lyrics of that period. Ranjina's Miscellany contains more than 800 poems, in a unusual organization reflecting its multifarious origins, it is composed from two parts. The first part of 610 poems contains poems authored only by Šiško Menčetić and Džore Držić, arranged alphabetically according to the first word of the poem, without the attribution of the authorship.

The second part lists poem of various authors, again in alphabetical order, some of which can be ascribed to Menčetić since they're found in the manuscripts of that author. For some of them it cannot be ascertained whether they're Menčetić's or Držić's. One of the poems has been signed by Marin Krstičević, to him are attributed a couple of poems expressing the maiden's complaint, linked with the baracola type, the girl shouting the name of her beloved to the oncoming sailors. One can with certainty be assigned to Mato Hispani, two of the poems are Vetranović's. A number of poems, displaying through the acrostic the name of Kata, are attributed to a certain Andrija Zlatar, sometimes identified with Andrija Čubranović, of whom again nothing is known for certain except that a zingaresca, now attributed to Mikša Pelegrinović, was published under his name; some of the Kata poems are typical of style. The anonymous folk-style poems were attributed to Džore Držić; some of them seem to be just recorded oral poetry, but some imitate the country-side manner with an attitude of good-humoured teasing.

Some again, as Odiljam se are nodoubtedly remnants of an older, pre-Petrarchan fashion. Authors of folk-stype poems abundantly and consciously lean on the poetry of the contemporary oral poetry, incorporating sporadically elements of non-folk origin, such as the rhyme form or the elements of more "scholarly" concepts of loving relationship; the manuscript of the Miscellany was published in two critical editions: the first by Vatroslav Jagić in 1870 and the second by Milan Rešetar in 1937, in a reorganized edition in which some obsolete Jagić's assumptions were abandoned. Both of the editions were in the Academy's series of Stari pisci hrvatski, expanded with the poems originating from younger manuscripts; the original of Ranjina's Miscellany was held in the library of Zadar gymnasium and has been destroyed during the Axis bombings in the WW2. Nikša Ranjina's Miscellany is nowadays chiefly mentioned with regard to Menčetić's and Držić's name, in fact misleading. Had not Ragusan noblemen compiled his manuscript, their poems would still be known from younger sources.

Ranjina's Miscellany is above all an important source of anonymous texts it has preserved and which do not make appearance in other sources. Without it, an insight into the production of smaller poets from the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, not known by name nowadays and not all that important, could not have been gained, that insight is valuable for establishing the type and the development of the contemporary Dubrovnik literary life; the miscellany bears witness of the popularity of the first generation of Dubrovnik love poets, i.e. it is an important evidence of the early spread - dominance, of vernacular love lyrics in Dubrovnik. It was at the beginning of the 16th century a well-established phenomenon having developed a series of formal conventions. 500th anniversary of the Ranjina's Miscellany Scientific conference on the 500 years of the Ranjina's Miscellany, 21–22 October 2007, HAZU

The Dead (short story)

"The Dead" is the final short story in the 1914 collection Dubliners by James Joyce. The other stories in the collection are shorter, whereas at 15,952 words, "The Dead" is long enough to be described as a novella; the story deals with themes of love and loss as well as raising questions about the nature of the Irish identity. Gabriel Conroy – the main character of the story. Kate Morkan and Julia Morkan – Gabriel and Mary Jane's aunts, they are elderly sisters. Mary Jane Morkan – niece of Kate and Julia Morkan. Lily – the caretaker's daughter. Gretta Conroy – Gabriel's wife. Molly Ivors – a long-time acquaintance of the family Mr Browne – only Protestant guest at the party. Freddy Malins – an alcoholic and friend of family. Mrs Malins — Freddy Malins' mother. Bartell D'Arcy – a tenor. Gabriel Conroy, Gretta Conroy and Julia Morkan, Bartell d'Arcy are all alluded to in James Joyce's work, though no character from "The Dead" makes a direct appearance in the novel; the story centres on Gabriel Conroy, a teacher and part-time book reviewer, explores the relationships he has with his family and friends.

Gabriel and his wife, arrive late to an annual Christmas party hosted by his aunts and Julia Morkan, who eagerly receive him. After a somewhat awkward encounter with Lily, the caretaker's daughter, Gabriel goes upstairs and joins the rest of the party attendees. Gabriel worries about the speech he has to give because it contains academic references that he fears his audience will not understand; when Freddy Malins arrives drunk, as the hosts of the party had feared, Aunt Kate asks Gabriel to make sure he is all right. As the party moves on, Gabriel is confronted by Miss Ivors, an Irish nationalist, about his publishing a weekly literary column in the Unionist newspaper The Daily Express, she teases him as a "West Briton,". Gabriel recalls that he gets 15 shillings a week and "the books he received for review were more welcome than the paltry cheque", he thinks this charge is unfair, but fails to offer a satisfactory rejoinder. The encounter ends awkwardly, he becomes more disaffected when he tells his wife of the encounter and she expresses an interest in returning to visit her childhood home of Galway.

The music and party continues, but Gabriel retreats into himself, thinking of the snow outside and his impending speech. Dinner begins, with Gabriel seated at the head of the table; the guests discuss the practices of certain monks. Once the dining has died down, Gabriel thinks once more about the snow and begins his speech, praising traditional Irish hospitality, observing that "we are living in a sceptical...thought-tormented age," and referring to Aunt Kate, Aunt Julia and Mary Jane as the Three Graces. The speech ends with a toast, the guests sing "For they are jolly gay fellows." The party was winding down, as the guests filter out and Gabriel prepares to leave, he finds his wife standing lost in thought, at the top of the stairs. From another room, Bartell D'Arcy singing "The Lass of Aughrim" can be heard; the Conroys left and Gabriel is excited, for it has been a long time since he and Gretta have had a night in a hotel to themselves. When they arrived at the hotel, Gabriel's aspirations of passionate lovemaking are conclusively dashed by Gretta's lack of interest.

He presses her about what is bothering her, she admits that she is "thinking about that song, The Lass of Aughrim." She admits that it reminds her of someone, a young man named Michael Furey, who had courted her in her youth in Galway. He used to sing The Lass of Aughrim for her. Furey died at seventeen, early in their relationship, she had been much in love with him, she believes that it was his insistence on coming to meet her in the winter and the rain, while sick, that killed him. After telling these things to Gabriel, Gretta falls asleep. At first, Gabriel is shocked and dismayed that there was something of such significance in his wife's life that he never knew about, he ponders the role of the countless dead in living people's lives, observes that everyone he knows, himself included, will one day only be a memory. He finds in this fact a profound affirmation of life. Gabriel stands at the window, watching the snow fall, the narrative expands past him, edging into the surreal and encompassing the entirety of Ireland.

As the story ends, we are told that "His soul swooned 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." Dan Barry of The New York Times called "The Dead" "just about the finest short story in the English language" on the centennial of Dubliners. T. S. Eliot called it one of the greatest short stories written. 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." Cornell University Joyce scholar Daniel R. Schwarz described it as "that magnificent short novel of tenderness and passion but of disappointed love and frustrated personal and career expectations." "The Dead" was adapted as a one-act play of the same name by Hugh Leonard in 1967. 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.

It is referenced in the Father Ted episode "Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest", when Ted quotes from the end of the story on the night before Father Jack's funeral, as it begins to snow. In 1999 it was adapted into a Broadway musical by Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey, which won a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. The