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James Joyce

J-Joyce

     ¤  James Joyce  [1882 – 1941]

‘The Dead’  [“DUBLINERS”] – Gabriel Conroy attends a party, and later, as he speaks with his wife, has an epiphany about the nature of life and death.

At 15–16,000 words this story, closing the short-story cycle ‘Dubliners’, has also been classified as a novella. The Dead was adapted into a film by John Huston, written for the screen by his son Tony and starring his daughter Anjelica as Mrs. Conroy.

‘THE DEAD’ ↑ read 

  •→ Listen & read

 John Huston’s The Dead ↓ (Final scene)

How poor a part I’ve played in your life, it’s almost as though I’m not your husband, and we’ve never lived together as man and wife. What were you like, then?

To me her face is still beautiful. It’s no longer the one for which Michael Furey had braved death. Why am I feeling this riot of emotion? What stated it up? I’m riding the cab. When not responding when I kissed her hand?  My aunt’s party, my own foolish speech, wine, dancing, music… Poor Aunt Julia! That haggard look upon her face when she was singing ‘Arrayed for the Bridal’. Soon she’ll be a shade too with the shade of Patrick Morkan and his horse. Soon, perhaps, I’ll be sitting in that same drawing-room, dressed in black,  The blinds would be drawn down, I would be casting about in my mind for words of consolation, and would find only lame and useless ones.  Yes, yes:  that’ll happen very soon.

Yes, the newspapers are right:  snow is general all over Ireland, falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills,  softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves.  One by one we’re all becoming shades. Better to pass boldly into that other world in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.

How long’d you locked away in your heart the image of your lover’s eyes when he told you that he did not wish to live? I’d never felt that way myself towards any woman, but I know that such a feeling must be love. Think of all those who ever were, back to the start of time, and me, transient as they flickering out as well  into their grey world: but everything around me, this solid world itself, which they’d reared and lived in, is dwindling and dissolving.

Snow is falling … falling on the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lays buried, falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

◊ “Broken Vows”  ↓  [John Huston, The Dead_1987)]

•  Donal Og  ↑  (eighth-century Irish poem)

It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;
the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.
It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;
and that you may be without a mate until you find me.

You promised me, and you said a lie to me,
that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked;
I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you,
and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb.

You promised me a thing that was hard for you,
a ship of gold under a silver mast;
twelve towns with a market in all of them,
and a fine white court by the side of the sea.

You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.

When I go by myself to the Well of Loneliness,
I sit down and I go through my trouble;
when I see the world and do not see my boy,
he that has an amber shade in his hair.

It was on that Sunday I gave my love to you;
the Sunday that is last before Easter Sunday.
And myself on my knees reading the Passion;
and my two eyes giving love to you for ever.

My mother said to me not to be talking with you today,
or tomorrow, or on the Sunday;
it was a bad time she took for telling me that;
it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.

My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe,
or as the black coal that is on the smith’s forge;
or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls;
it was you that put that darkness over my life.

You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!

¤  Excerpt from Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses

I love flowers I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven there’s nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying there’s no God I wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why don’t they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves first then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because they’re afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they don’t know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seed cake out of my mouth and it was leap year like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a woman’s body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn’t answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didn’t know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the Jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharans and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deep down torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rose gardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where 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 Jo 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.

Listen

Φ  James Joyce’s short stories @ http://esl-bits.net ⇓

•→ A Mother  [read by Fionnula Flanagan]

•→ Araby  [read by Colm Meaney]

•→ The Boarding House  [read by Alex Wilson]

•→ The Sisters  [read by “Frank” McCourt] 

Δ → ‘All day’  ↓  (Janet Sherbourne_Voices & Instruments_Jan Steele)

All day I hear the noise of waters 
Making moan, 
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going 
Forth alone, 
He hears the winds cry to the water’s 
Monotone. 

The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing 
Where I go. 
I hear the noise of many waters 
Far below. 
All day, all night, I hear them flowing 
To and fro.

Θ  ‘Lean Out Of The Window’  ↓ ‘Goldenhair’ [by Syd Barret]

LEAN out of the window, Goldenhair,

I heard you singing a merry air.

My book was closed;  I read no more,

Watching the fire dance on the floor.

I have left my book, I have left my room,

For I heard you singing through the gloom.

Singing and singing a merry air,

Lean out of the window, Goldenhair.

◊  ‘Big Adieu’  ↓ [mezzo Nan Merriman_1965]

Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
Bid adieu to girlish days,
Happy Love is come to woo
Thee and woo thy girlish ways —
The zone that doth become thee fair,
The snood upon thy yellow hair.

When thou hast heard his name upon
The bugles of the cherubim
Begin thou softly to unzone
Thy girlish bosom unto him
And softly to undo the snood
That is the sign of maidenhood.

♦→  ‘At That Hour’  ↓

At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?

When all things repose do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering to antiphon
Till night is overgone?

Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.

•→www.poetry-archive/joyce_james

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