Tag Archives: catholicism

a-portrait-joyce-DSC_1302

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (III)

Joyce, James. A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. Print. (First Edition 1916).

“sighting in the ascent, through a region of viscid gloom.
“He halted on the landing before the door and then, grasping the porcelain knob, opened the door quickly.  He waited in fear, his soul pining within him, praying silently that death might not touch his brow as he passed over the threshold, that the fiends that inhabit darkness might not be given power over him. He waited still at the threshold as the entrance to some dark cave. Faces were there; eyes: they waited and watched.” p. 130

“He had sinned. He had sinned so deeply against heaven and before God that he was not worthy to be called God’s child.” p. 131

“His eyes were dimmed with tears and, looking humbly up to heaven, he wept for the innocence he had lost.” p. 133

“Once soul was lost; a tiny soul: his. It flickered once and went out, forgotten, lost. The end: black cold void waste.” p. 134

“and had first spoked of the kingdom of God to poor fishermen, teaching all men to be meek and humble of heart.” p. 135

“he called first to His side, the carpenters, the fishermen, poor and simple people following a lowly trade, handling and shaping the wood of trees, mending their nets with patience.” p. 135

“His blood began to murmur in his veins, murmuring like a sinful city summoned from its sleep to bear its doom. Little flakes of fire fell and powdery ashes fell softly, alighting on the houses of men. They stirred, waking from sleep, troubled by the heated air.” p. 136

“SUNDAY was dedicated to the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Monday to the Holy Ghost, Tuesday to the Guardian Angels, Wednesday to Saint Joseph, Thursday to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Friday to the Suffering Jesus, Saturday to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” p. 141

“the three theological virtues, in faith in the Father Who had created him, in hope in the Son Who had redeemed him, and in love of the Holy Ghost Who had sanctified him;” p. 142

“Frequent and violent temptations were a proof that the citadel of the soul; had not fallen and that the devil raged to make it fall.” p. 147

“Some of the boys had then asked the priest if Victor Hugo were not the greatest French writer. The priest had answered that Victor Hugo had never written half so well when he had turned against the church as he had written when he was a catholic.” p. 150

“He had seen himself, a young and silentmannered priest, entering a confessional swiftly, ascending the altarsteps, incensing, genuflecting, accomplishing the vague acts of the priesthood which pleased him by reason of their semblance of reality and of their distance from it.” p. 152

Dieric Bouts,the older. At The Church of Saint Peter, Leuven, Belgium. Created: 1464 – 1467. Via Wikimedia.

“the order of Melchisedec.” p. 153

*****”He drew forth a phrase from his treasure and spoke it softly to himself:
-A day of dapled seaborne clouds.-
The phrase and the day and the scene harmonised 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 grey-fringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their colours: it was the pose and balance of the period.” p. 160

askance

***”They were voyaging across the deserts of the sky, a host of nomads on the march, voyaging high over Ireland, westward bound. The Europe they had come from lay out there beyond the Irish Sea, Europe of strange tongues and valleyed and woodbegirt and citadelled and of entrenched and marshalled races.” p. 161

John Everett Millais – National Portrait Gallery. Via Wikimedia.

“His morning walk across the city had begun; and he foreknew that as he passed the sloblands of Fairview he would think of the cloistral silverveined prose of Newman; that as he walked along the North Strand Road, glancing idly at the windows of the provision ships, he would recall the dark humour of Guido Cavalcanti and smile; that as he went by Baird’s stone cutting works in Talbot Place the spirit of Ibsen would blow though him like a keen wind, a spirit of wayward boyish beauty;”p. 170

“His mind when wearied of its search for the essence of beauty amid the spectral words of Aristotle or Aquinas turned often for its pleasure to the dainty songs of the Elizabethans.” p. 170

“His thinking was a dusk of doubt and selfmistrust, lit up at moments by the lightnings of so clear a splendour that in those moments the world perished about his feet as if it had been fire consumed: and thereafter his tongue grew heavy and he met the eyes of others with unanswering eyes for he felt that the spirit of beauty had folded him round like a mantle and that in reveie at least he had been acquainted with nobility.” p. 171

“he had tried to peer into the social life of the city of cities through the words implere ollam denariorum which the rector had rendered sonorously as the filling of a pot with denaries.” p. 174

“but yet it wounded him to think that he would never be but a shy guest at the feast of the world’s culture and that the monkish learning, in terms of which he was striving to forge out an esthetic philosophy, was held no higher by the age he lived in than the subtle and curious jargons of heraldry and falconry.” p. 174

“the droll statue of the national poet of Ireland.” p. 174

“-Aquinas-answered Stephen-says pulcra sunt quæ visa placent.-” p. 180

“-In so far as it is apprehended by the sight, which I suppose means here esthetic intellection, it will be beautiful. But Aquinas also says Bonum est in quod tendit appetitus. In so far as it satisfies the animal craving for warmth fire is a good. In hell, however, it is an evil.-” p. 180

Nineteenth century Photochrom postcard of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare in Ireland showing cliffside table and refreshments. Via Wikimedia.

“-These questions are very profound, Mr Dedalus-said the dean.-It is like looking down from the cliffs of Moher into the depth. Many go down into the depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can go down into those depths and explore them and come to the surface again.-” p. 181

“You know Epictetus?-
-An old gentleman-said Stephen coarsely-who said that the soul is very like a bucketful of water.-
-He tells us in his homely way-the dean went on-that he put an iron lamp before a statue of one of the gods and that a thief stole the lamp. What did the philosopher do? He reflected that it was in the character of a thief to steal and determined to buy and earthen lamp next day instead of the iron lamp.-” p. 181

“whether words are being used according to the literary tradition or according to the tradition of the marketplace. I remember a sentence of Newman’s, in which he says of the Blessed Virgin that she was detained in the full company of the saints. The use of the word in the marketplace is quite different. I hope I am not detaining you.-” p. 182

“That?-said Stephen.-Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish?-” p. 182

“-And to distinguish between the beautiful and the sublime-the dean added-to distinguish between moral beauty and material beauty. And to inquire what kind of beauty is proper to each of the various arts.” p. 184

“-In pursuing these speculations-said the dean conclusively-there is, however, the danger of perishing of inanition.” p. 184

The British Library – Image taken from page 274 of ‘Finland in the Nineteenth Century: by Finnish authors. Illustrated by Finnish artists. Via Wikimedia.

“-I may not have his talent-said Stephen quietly.
-You never know-said the dean brightly.-We never can say what is in us. I most certainly should not be despondent. Per aspera ad astra.-“

a-portrait-joyce-DSC_1302

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (II)

Joyce, James. A Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. Print. (First Edition 1916).

“The sentence of Saint James which says that he who offends against one commandment becomes guilty of all had seemed to him first a swollen phrase until he had began to grope in the darkness of his own state. From the evil seed of lust all other deadly sins had spring forth: pride in himself and contempt of others, covetousness in using money for the purchase of unlawful pleasures, envy of those whose vices he could not reach to and calumnious murmuring against the pious, gluttonous enjoyment of food, the dull glowering anger amid which he brooded upon his longing, the swamp of spiritual and bodily sloth in which his whole being had sunk.” p. 100

Francis Xavier
“the apostle of the Indies.” p. 102
Ignatius of Loyola

“A retreat, my dear boys, signifies a withdrawal for a while form the cares of our life, the cares of this workaday world, in order to examine the state of our conscience, to reflect on the mysteries of holy religion and to understand better why we are here in this world.” p. 104

“What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world if he suffer the loss of his immortal soul? Ah, my dead boys, believe me there is nothing in this wretched world that can make up for such a loss.” p. 104

“Banish from your minds all worldly thoughts, and think only of the last things, death, judgment, hell and heaven. He who remembers these things, says, Ecclesiastes, shall not sin for ever. He who remembers the last things will act and think with them always before his eyes.”  p. 105

“What did it avail then to have been a great emperor, a great general, a marvellous inventor, the most learned of the learned? All were as on before the judgment seat of God.” p. 107

“The stars of heaven were falling upon the earth like the figs cast by the figtree which the wind has shaken. The sun, the great luminary of the universe, had become as sackcloth of hair. The moon was blood red. The firmament was a scroll rolled away. The archangel Michael, the prince of the heavenly host, appeared glorious and terrible against the sky. With one foot on the sea and one foot on the land he blew from the archangelical trumpet the brazen death of time. The three blasts of the angel filled all the universe. Time is, time was, but time shall be no more. At the last blast the souls of universal humanity throng towards the valley of Jehosaphat, rich and poor, gentle and simple, wise and foolish, good and wicked.” p. 107
Valley of Josaphat
Absalom

“O you who present a smooth smiling face to the world while your soul within is a foul swamp of sin, how will it fare with you in that terrible day?” p. 108

“Death is the end of us all. Death and judgement, brought into the world by the sin of our first parents, are the dark portals that close our earthly existence, the portals that open into the unknown and the unseen, portals through which every soul must pass, alone, unaided save by its good works, without friend or brother or parent or master to help it, alone and trembling.” p. 108

“Theologians consider that it was the sin of pride, the sinful thought conceived in an instant: non serviam: I will not serve. That instant was his ruin. He offended the majesty of God by the sinful thought of one instant and God cast him out of heaven into hell for ever.” p. 111

“Adam and Eve were then created by God and placed in Eden, in the plain of Damascus, that lovely garden resplendent with sunlight and colour, teeming with luxuriant vegetation. The fruitful earth gave them her bounty: beasts and birds were their willing servants: they knew not the ills our flesh is heir to, disease and poverty and death: all that a great and generous God could do for them was done.” p. 112

“-Alas, my dear little boys, they too fell. The devil, once a shining angel, a son of the morning, now a foul fiend came n the shape of a serpent, the subtlest of all the beasts of the field. He envied them. He, the fallen great one, could not bear to think that man, a being of clay, should possess the inheritance which he by his sin had forfeited for ever.” p. 112

“the damned are so utterly bound and helpless that, as a blessed saint, Saint Anselm, writes in his book on Similitudes, they are not even able to remove from the eye a worm that gnaws it.” p. 114

“-They lie in exterior darkness. For, remember, the fire of hell gives forth no light. As, as the command of God, the fire of the Babylonian furnance lost its heat by not its light so, at the command of God, the fire of hell, while retaining the intensity of its heat, burns eternally in darkness. It is a neverending storm of darkness, dark flames and dark smoke of burning brimstone, amid which the bodies are heaped one upon another without even a glimpse of air. Of all the plagues with which the land of the Pharaohs was smitten one plague alone, that of darkness, was called horrible.” p. 114

” And then imagine this sickening stench, multiplied a millionfold and a millionfold again from the millions upon millions of fetid carcasses massed together in the reeking darkness, a huge and rotting human fungus. Imagine all this and you will have some idea of the horror of the stench of hell.” p. 115

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels!-” p. 118

“He passed up the staircase and into the corridor along the walls of which the overcoats and waterproofs hung like gibbeted malefactors, headless and dripping and shapeless. And at every step he feared that he had already died, that his soul had been wrenched forth of the sheath of his body, that he was plunging headlong though space.” p. 118

“The English lesson began with the hearing of the history. Royal persons, favourites, intriguers, bishops, passed like mute phantoms behind their veil of names. All had died: all had been judged. What did it profit a man to gain the whole world if he lost his soul? At last he had understood: and human life lay around him, a plain of peace whereon antilike men laboured in brotherhood, their dead sleeping under quiet mounds.” p. 119-120

“-Sin, remember, is a twofold enormity. It is a base conssent to the promptings of our corrupt nature to the lower instincts, to that which is gross and beastlike; and it is also a turning awat from the counsel of our higher nature, from all that is pure and holy, from the Holy God Himself. For this reason mortal sin is punished in hell by two different forms of punishment, physical and spiritual.” p. 121

***”Now imagine a mountain of sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness: and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of the air: and imagine that as the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of that immense stretch of time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.” p. 125-126

“The ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless repetition of the words; ever, never. Ever to be in hell, never to be in heaven; ever to be shut off from the presence of God, never to be shut off from the presence of God, never to enjoy the beatific vision; ever to be eaten with flames, gnawed by vermin, goaded with burning spikes,” p. 126

“-As sin, an instant of rebellious pride of the intellect, made Lucifer and a third part of the cohorts of angels fall from their glory.” p. 127-128.

dubliners-DSC_0980

Dubliners

Joyce, James. Dubliners. New York: Signet Classics, 2007. Print. (First ed. 1914.)

The Sisters

The priest “Sometimes he had amused himself by putting difficult questions to me, asking me what one should do in certain circumstances or whether such and such sins were mortal or venial or only imperfections. His questions showed me how complex and mysterious were certain institutions of the Church which I had always regarded as the simplest acts.” p. 5

“His face was very truculent, grey and massive, with black cavernous nostrils and circled by a scanty white fur. There was a heavy odour in the room — the flowers.” p. 7

**An Encounter p. 13

“It was too late and we were too tired to carry out our project of visiting the Pigeon House.” p. 18

“- I say! Look what he’s doing!
As I neither answered nor raised my eyes Mahony exclaimed again:
-I say …He’s a queer old josser!
-In case he asks us for our names, I said, let you be Murphy and I’ll be Smith.” p. 21

“A slap on the hand or a box on the ear was no good: what he wanted was to get a nice warm whipping. I was surprised at this sentiment and involuntarily glanced up at his face. As I did do I met the gaze of a pair of bottle-green eyes peering at me from under a twitching forehead. I turned my eyes away again.” p. 22

Araby

“I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket. I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out. The upper part of the hall was now completely dark.
Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” p. 32

After the Race

“They walked northward with a curious feeling of disappointment in the exercise, while the city hung its pale globes of light above them in a haze of summer evening.” p. 42

Two Gallants

“Corley halted at the first lamp and stared grimly before him. Then with a grave gesture he extended a hand toward the light and, smiling, opened it slowly to the gaze of his disciple. A small gold coin shone in the palm.” p. 59

A Little Cloud

“A gentle melancholy took possession of him. He felt how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.” p. 72

“Their faces were powdered and they caught up their dresses, when they touched earth, like alarmed Atalantas.” p. 73

“The bar seemed to him to be full of people and he felt that the people were observing him curiously. He glanced quickly to right and left (frowning slightly to make his errand appear serious), but when his sight cleared a little he saw that nobody had turned to look at him:” p. 75-76

Lord Byron

“Hushed are the winds and still the evening gloom,
Not e’en a Zephyr wanders through the grove,
Whilst I return to view my Margaret’s tomb
And scatter flowers on the dust I love.”

Counterparts

“The dark damp night was coming and he longed to spend it in the bars, drinking with his friends amid the glare of gas and the clatter of glasses.” p. 92

“His wife was a little sharp-faced woman who bullied her husband when he was sober and was bullied by him when he was drunk. They had five children. A little boy came running down the stairs.” p. 101

Clay

“Then she asked all the children had any of them eaten it — by mistake, of course–but the children all said no and looked as if they did not like to eat cakes if they were to be accused of stealing.” p. 108

I dreamt that I Dwelt (song)

“I had riches too great to count, could boast
of a high ancestral name,
But I also dreamt, which pleased me most,
That you loved me still the same.” p. 110

“But no one tried to show her her mistake” p. 111

A Painful  Case

“He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense. He never gave alms to beggars, and walked firmly, carrying a stout hazel.” p. 114

“The workmen’s discussions, he said, were too timorous; the interest they took in the question of wages was inordinate. He felt that they were hard-featured realists and that they resented an exactitude which was the product of a leisure not within their reach. No social revolution, he told her, would be likely to strike Dublin for some centuries.” p. 117

“he heard the strange impersonal voice which he recognised as his own, insisting on the soul’s incurable loneliness. We cannot give ourselves, it said: we are our own.” p. 118

“he realised that she was dead, that she had ceased to exist, that she had become a memory.” p. 123

No one wanted him; he was outcast from life’s feast. He turned his eyes to the grey gleaming river, winding along towards Dublin. Beyond the river he saw a goods train winding out of Kingsbridge Station, like a worm with a fiery head winding through the darkness, obstinately and laboriously. It passed slowly out of sight; but still he heard in his ears the laborious drone of the engines reiterating the syllables of her name.” p. 124

Ivy Day in the Committee Room

“-There’s no tumblers, said the old man.
-O, don’t let that trouble you, Jack, said Mr Henchy. Many’s the good man before now drank out of the bottle.” p. 136

“Then he took up the corkscrew and went out of the door sideways, muttering some form of salutation.
-That’s the way it begins, said the old man.
-The thin edge of the wedge, said Mr Henchy.” p. 137

“Mr Crofton sat down on a box and looked fixedly at the other bottle on the hob. He was silent for two reasons. The first reason, sufficient in itself, was that he had nothing to say; the second reason was that he considered his companions beneath him.” p. 138-139

“Mr Hynes hesitated a little longer. Then amid the silence he took off his hat, laid it on the table and stood up. He seemed to be rehearsing the piece in his mind. After a rather long pause he announced:

The Death of Parnell
6TH OCTOBER 1891″ p. 142

“-Good man, Joe! said Mr O’Connor, taking out his cigarette-papers and pouch the better to hide his emotion.” p. 144

A Mother

Mr O’Madden Burke “His magniloquent western name was the moral umbrella upon which he balanced the fine problem of his finances. He was widely respected.” p. 155

Grace

“She believed steadily in the Sacred Heart as the most generally useful of all Catholic devotions and approved of the sacraments. Her faith was bounded by her kitchen but, if she was put to it, she could believe also in the banshee and in the Holy Ghost.” p. 169

Soldiers at Dublin Castle, c.1905. Via Wikimedia.

Dublin Castle (Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath)

peloothered (drunk)

 

“The General of the Jesuits stands next to the Pope.” p. 175

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, first Superior General. Via Wikimedia.

The Prisoner of the Vatican

Orangeman

Pope Leo XIII “union of the Latin and Greek Churches.” p. 179

Lux upon Lux
Lux in Tenebris

Papal infallibility

John of Tuam

*****The Dead p. 189

Mr Browne “He was astonished to hear that the monks never spoke, got up at two in the morning and slept in their coffins…
-The coffin, said Mary Jane, is to remind them of their last end.” p. 217

***”Our path through life is strewn with many such sad memories: and were we to brood upon them always we could not find the heart to go on bravely with our work among the living. We have all of us living duties and living affections which claim, and righly claim, our strenuous endeavours.” p. 220

“And everything went on beautifully until Johnny came in sight of King Billy’s statue: and whether he fell in love with the horse King Billy sits on or whether he thought he was back again in the mill, anyhow he began to walk round the statue.
Gabriel paced in a circle round the hall in his goloshes amid the laughter of the others.” p. 224

*****”He stood still in the gloom of the hall, trying to catch the air that the voice was singing and gazing up at his wife. There was grace and mystery in her attitude as if she were a symbol of something. He asked himself what is a woman standing on the stairs in the shadow, listening to distant music, a symbol of. If he were a painted he would paint her in that attitude. Her blue felt hat would show off the bronze of her hair against the darkness and the dark panels of her skirt would show off the light tones. Distant Music he would call the picture if he were a painter.” p. 226

“O, the rain falls on my heavy locks
And the dew wets my skin,
My babe lies cold…” p. 227

****”A wave of yet more tender joy escaped from his heart and went coursing in warm flood along his arternies. Like the tender fires of stars moments of their life together, that no one knew of or would ever know of, broke upon and illuminated his memory. He longed to recall to her those moments to make her forget the years of their dull existence together and remember only their moments of ecstasy.” p. 230-231

“A ghostly light from the street lamp lay in a long shaft from one window to the door. Gabriel threw his overcoat and hat on a couch and crossed the room towards the window. He looked down into the street in order that his emotion might calm him a little.” p. 233

*******”The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover’s eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live.” p. 240

*******”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 were 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 though the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” p. 241


Afterword

“The Irish playwright John Millington Synge once said that words should have the crispness of an autumn apple,” p. 244

“Dubliners was accepted for publication in 1904 and, due to the prevailing puritan prudery, it got passed from fearful publisher to fearful publisher and was eventually published nine years later. It was not a book that reverberated like the shot heard around the world; indeed it sold three hundred copies, of which one hundred were purchased by the author himself, a not unfamiliar tactic to gain bestseller status,” p. 247

Ireland “is somewhat a matriarchy, which to me is a society where men look down on their women with reverence.” p. 248

“Some scholars say that James Augustine Aloysius Joyce could not, in his early years, write anything that he had not observed and personally experienced in some way; thus Dubliners follows a path through childhood, through puberty and ts sins of the flesh, a constant torment to Irish teenagers, sometime maturity, and the emerging of the man into public view.” p. 248

To read Anton Chekhov Анто́н Па́влович Че́хов

The Dead (1987 film) John Huston