More commas, please.
Yes, my dear Abelard, He gives my mind that tranquillity which a vivid remembrance of our misfortunes formerly forbade. Just Heaven! what other rival could take me from you? Could you imagine it possible for a mere human to blot you from my heart? Could you think me guilty of sacrificing the virtuous and learned Abelard to any other but God?
“Have I shocked you by the dirty things I wrote to you? You think perhaps that my love is a filthy thing. It is, darling, at some moments. I dream of you in filthy poses sometimes. I imagine things so very dirty that I will not write them until I see how you write yourself.” James Joyce in a letter to Nora Barnacle
Presenting a Literary Lovefest
Friends of The Millions! Today is Valentine’s Day, and that means it’s time for your humble editors to show you how much we love… well… love. And because most (or all) of us are naturalized citizens of Bookland, we figured the best way to do that is to show you our favorite love letters. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Abelard, James Joyce and Sylvia Plath. Think wild yearnings, unrestrained lust and a slight, slight hint of the kinky. Think, in other words, of amazing writers in love.
To that end, we’ll be posting excerpts throughout the day right here on our lovesick Tumblr. If you’re looking to join in, post an excerpt of a letter we left out and tag it #Love of The Millions. We’ll post it ourselves if we like it. Why? Because we love you, of course.
Dreams are the Sea-Monkeys of consciousness; in the back pages of sleep they promise us teeming submarine palaces but leave us, on waking, with a hermetic residue of freeze-dried dust. At the breakfast table in my house, an inflexible law compels all recountings of dreams to be compressed into a sentence or, better still, half a sentence, like the paraphrasing of epic films listed in TV Guide: ‘Rogue samurai saves peasant village.’
Think you know Joyce? Try your hand at this quiz concocted by Deborah Boliver Boehm and compatriots at the annual ReJoyce Jubilee:
Fill in the blanks, using squid ink and a porcupine quill.
You will receive 3.1415+ pointillions for each correct answer.
~ In the old song, who awoke at Tim Finnegan’s wake? __________________________
~ In another old song, what was in the jar? ___________________ What proof? ______
~ Who recorded the “jar-o” song: The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, or The Pogues?__
~ When is a pun not a pun? _______________________________________________
Check out the full quiz (and answers) here.
How cool it must be outside! How pleasant it would be to walk out alone, first along by the river and then through the park! The snow would be lying on the branches of the trees and forming a bright cap on the top of the Wellington Monument. How much more pleasant it would be there than at the supper-table!
One of the greatest short stories of all time.
If you loved yesterday’s Irish Litathon here on the Millions Tumblr, and if you have an extra €300 in some Swiss bank or another, you might want to pick up James Joyce’s previously unpublished children’s book The Cats of Copenhagen. But you better act fast; as with all things Joycean, The Cats comes complete with a few copyright headaches.