Wednesday, May 5, 2010

James Joyce

There had been no mass for the dead in the chapel and no procession. He had not died but had faded out like a film in the sun. He had been lost or had wandered out of existence for he no longer existed. How strange to think of him passing out of existence in such a way, not by death but by fading out in the sun or being lost and forgotten somewhere in the universe.
 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Joyce was less elegant when he wrote to his wife, Nora, in 1909, and more like the depraved manic that he appears to be on this cover of Time (The Weekly Newsmagazine) on the 29th of January, 1934. They agreed to exchange erotic letters [link] - which, if you follow the link, to a somewhat brassy website, you will discover, do not disappoint - while they were separated for some months. He was in Dublin, she was in Trieste. The letters Joyce wrote are gloriously Dionysian; jealous, gory, downright hotblooded, and, frankly, at times, borderline rabid. I would, really, like to be able to read Nora's replies...

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