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79. (James Joyce)

Once, in a graduate seminar on Chaucer, flailing and frustrated with the chatter, I blurted out to the professor, most becomingly for a graduate student, a demand more than a question: “But what is the point of it all?” At which point he patiently expounded on how this, and most, of The Canterbury Tales might be understood as fundamentally verifying and testing the conditions and circumstances in which our bonds of language, our commitments, vows, promises, implicit or explicit, hold true. 653 more words

Brief Essays

The most perfect quote

“The phrase and the day and the scene harmonized in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the greyfringed fleece of clouds.

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James Joyce

the inestimable jewel of their sex

It grieved him plaguily, he said, to see the nuptial couch defrauded of its dearest pledges: and to reflect upon so many agreeable females with rich jointures, a prey to the vilest bonzes, who hide their flambeau under a bushel in an uncongenial cloister or lose their womanly bloom in the embraces of some unaccountable muskin when they might multiply the inlets of happiness, sacrificing the inestimable jewel of their sex when a hundred pretty fellows were at hand to caress, this, he assured them, made his heart weep.

James Joyce, Ulysses


When I die, Dublin.................. by James Joyce

I saw a quote when I arrived in Dublin’s port on my first visit – yet didn’t take too much notice as I thought it was more of an advert. 116 more words


The Dubliners: Written for human people with human-sized brains

Upon opening the ‘The Dubliner’s by James Joyce I had to flip back to the front cover, just to check it was actually that James Joyce. 207 more words


Joyce's Other City

I’m just back from the Trieste Joyce School (June 30 – July 4) where I had the thrill of reading in the beautiful Art Deco Caffe San Marco, above, one of James Joyce’s many hang-outs in the city. 768 more words

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