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James Joyce



He listened while the paroxysm of child’s sobbing grew less and less; and tears of remorse started to his eyes.” James Joyce, Dubliners, “A Little Cloud”, 1914

 “He was still discomposed by the girl’s bitter and sudden retort. It had cast a gloom over him which he tried to dispel by arranging his cuffs and the bows of his tie.”   James Joyce, Dubliners, “The Dead”, 1914

 “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”   James Joyce

 “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger”“Araby” by James Joyce

“I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. Would you go back to then? Just beginning then. Would you?”

                                                                                                     James Joyce, Ulysses 

 “He would fall. He had not yet fallen but he would fall silently, in an instant. Not to fall was too hard, too hard; and he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some instant to come, falling, falling, but not yet fallen, still unfallen, but about to fall.”    James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

 “I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”  Ulysses, James Joyce.

“Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger”James Joyce, ‘Araby’

“But my body was like a harp
and her words and gestures
were like fingers
running upon the wires.”
James Joyce - from Araby


“My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.”James Joyce, Araby

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” James Joyce

 “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.” James Joyce

Go Seek Her Out All Courteously
By James Joyce
Go seek her out all courteously,
And say I come,
Wind of spices whose song is ever
Epithalamium.
O, hurry over the dark lands
And run upon the sea
For seas and lands shall not divide us
My love and me.
Now, wind, of your good courtesy
I pray you go,
And come into her little garden
And sing at her window;
Singing: The bridal wind is blowing
For Love is at his noon;
And soon will your true love be with you,
Soon, O soon.

“No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.” James Joyce

“You find my words dark? Darkness is in our souls, do you not think?” James Joyce
 “I am writing Ithaca in the form of a mathematical catechism. All events are resolved into their cosmic physical, psychical etc. equivalents, e.g. Bloom jumping down the area, drawing water from the tap, the micturition in the garden, the cone of incense, lighted candle and statue so that not only will the reader know everything and know it in the baldest coldest way, but Bloom and Stephen thereby become heavenly bodies, wanderers like the stars at which they gaze.” James Joyce, letter to Frank Budgen (1921)

 “[Finnegans Wake is] a book that so many will have bought and probably none will have read beyond the first few pages. It seems important to read it in one sitting, all at once. How one might do this is unclear. Perhaps God could accomplish such a task.”-Jorge Luis Borges

 “It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women.” James Joyce in a love letter to Nora Barnacle

“He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.”   James Joyce

“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo” The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

 “You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.” James Joyce, The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


 “I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood” James Joyce "Araby"

“The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.” James Joyce

Bits from James Joyce's Dubliners
He was tired of knocking about, of pulling the devil by the tail, of shifts and intrigues. He would be thirty-one in November. Would he never get a job? Would he never have a home of his own? He though how pleasant it would be to have a warm fire to sit by and a good dinner to sit down to. He had walked the streets long enough with friends and with girls. He knew what those friends were worth: the knew the girls too. Experience had embittered his heart against the world. But all hope had not left him. (p. 62, Two Gallants)
* * *
He was thirty-four or thirty-five years of age, so that youth could not be pleaded as his excuse; nor could ignorance be his excuse since he was a man who had seen something of the world. He had simply taken advantage of Polly’s youth and inexperience: that was evident. The question was: What reparation would he make?
There must be reparation made in such cases. It is all very well for the man: he can go his ways as if nothing had happened, having had his moment of pleasure, but the girl has to bear the brunt. (p.70, The Boarding House)
* * *
He allowed himself to think that in certain circumstances he would rob his bank but, as these circumstances never arose, his life rolled out evenly – an adventureless tale. (p.121, A Painful Case)
* * *
She asked him why he did not write out his thoughts. For what, he asked her, ith careful scorn. To compete with phrasemongers, incapable of thinking consecutively for sixty seconds? To submit himself to the criticisms of an obtuse middle class which entrusted its morality to policemen and its fine arts to impresarios? (p.123, A Painful Case)
* * *
– There’s a lineal descendant of Major Sirr for you if you like! O, the heart’s blood of a patriot! That’s a fellow now that’d sell his country for fourpence – ay – and go down on his bended knees and thank the Almighty Christ he had a country to sell. (p.140, Ivy Day in the Committee Room)
* * *
– This is Parnell’s anniversary, said Mr O'Connor, and don’t let us stir up any bad blood. We all respect him now that he is dead and gone – even the Conservatives, he added, turning to Mr Crofton. (p.148, Ivy Day in the Committee Room)
* * *
As she was naturally pale and unbending in manner she made few friends at school. When she came to the age of marriage she was sent out to many houses where her playing and ivory manners were much admired. She sat amid the chilly circle of her accomplishments, waiting for some suitor to brave it and offer her a brilliant life. But the young men whom she met were ordinary and she gave them no encouragement, trying to console her romantic desires by eating a great deal of Turkish Delight in secret. (p.153, A Mother)
* * *
She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure and fixed; and though she knew the small number of his talents she appreciated his abstract value as a male. (p.159, A Mother)
* * *
The most vigorous clapping came from the four young men in the doorway who had gone away to the refreshment-room at the beginning of the piece but had come back when the piano had stopped. (p.213, The Dead)
* * *
He did not know how to meet her charge. He wanted to say that literature was above politics. But they were friends of many years’ standing and their careers had been parallel, first at the University and then as teachers: he could not risk a grandiose phrase with her. (p. 214, The Dead)
* * *
– I know all about the honour of God, Mary Jane, but I think it’s not at all honourable for the pope to turn out the women out of the choirs that have slaved there all their lives and put little whipper-snappers of boys over their heads. I suppose it is good for the Church if the pope does it. But it’s not just, Mary Jane, and it’s not right. (p. 222, The Dead)
* * *

Mrs Malins was helped down the front steps by her son and Mr Browne and, after many manoeuvres, hoisted into the cab. Freddy Malins clambered in after her and spent a long time settling her on the seat, Mr Browne helping him with advice. (p.238, The Dead)