Welcome to The (Living) Dead, an appendix of The Brown Stocking. Like that project, The (Living) Dead is a site for exploring voices — particularly free indirect discourse — in modernist fiction. Whereas the main pages of The Brown Stocking focus on Virginia Woolf's novel To The Lighthouse, The (Living) Dead focuses on James Joyce's short story "The Dead." At present it offers a single page, "What the Class Said."


"What the Class Said" presents the interpretations of 160 students enrolled in the University of Toronto undergraduate English course, “The Digital Text.”

Annotation took place in the Fall 2013 session of the course. Following two two-hour lectures—one on Joyce and the development of modernist FID and one on the TEI encoding language—each of the 160 students enrolled in the course was assigned an approximately 1,000-word chunk of this section of the story. There were eight tutorial sections in the class, and at least one student in each of these sections annotated each section of the story. Each student was asked, as part of a graded assignment, to mark up every instance of character speech in TEI, recording the following features:

  • Type of discourse, whether direct, indirect, or FID
  • The identity of the speaker, from a list compiled of all characters in the novel and included at the end of the template TEI file
  • Whether the speech is aloud or silent

Acknowledging the possibility of multiple correct interpretations for a given passage, we assigned each chunk of text to at least eight students, giving them the freedom to mark up the passage however best corresponded to their own reading: they were not asked to annotate the passage in a way corresponding to an “objective” or “correct” interpretation, but simply to encode their subjective understanding of the pasage. This tagging was graded, and each student was asked to prepare a short essay justifying their interpretive choices.

Click here to see the TEI tagging guidelines distributed to students in the Spring 2013 session of the course.

Students created their TEI annotations in the XML editor oXygen. They were submitted via a course website, and then aggregated and converted to HTML by Julian Brooke. They were laid out for presentation on this website by Adam Hammond.

Reading the Readings

On each edition, you will see a number of visual features indicating particular students’ interpretations of their assigned passages. Every span of character speech tagged by a student has a background colour and a distinctive outline. The background colour corresponds to a particular character, as indicated on the “Characters” bar on the left of the screen. (You can hide or show any particular character’s speech by clicking on the box next to their name.) The outline corresponds to direct, indirect, or free indirect discourse. Bolding indicates words perceived as spoken aloud, whereas italics indicate silent thought. (These features can also be toggled by clicking on the corresponding boxes.) If the visual cues become too confusing — as they often do in this complex text — hovering your mouse over any span of text will produce a small popup that gives a full explanation of the interpretation.

For every passage of To the Lighthouse, our editions give multiple interpretations. The divisions between these spans are indicated by grey horizontal lines. Hovering over a particular span causes the full span to be highlighted in a gray background, and displays a box () indicating how many interpretation are available of this section (the total number of circles) and which of these interpretations you are currently seeing (the dark gray circle). Clicking anywhere within the span cycles through student interpretations of that span.

For more on reading our editions, see the “Understanding our Visualizations” page.