Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Writer and friend of the blog, Bill Pearse, and I were touching on James Joyce the other day in the context of one of Bill’s posts over at pinklightsabre. Dubliners, specifically. Something he said reminded me of the end of the last story in that sublime collection, “The Dead.”
Later, when I couldn’t find my old paperback, I landed on this online edition, which offers a clickable table of contents and highly readable text, unlike so many web-based longreads. It’s a very book-like design and gives you the experience of reading the actual book instead of a computer page with too-narrow margins. Nothing’s more tiring than tracking a sentence all the way across your browser and back. Especially when it’s a James Joyce sentence. You can also increase the font size if you’re so inclined.
I don’t read Joyce that often anymore, but when I do it’s easy to get caught up in it. Just look at this passage that Bill reminded me of:
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
Now that is some sweet piece of brilliance. Stuff like this can change everything.