Saturday, October 22, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

An excerpt from "Araby," a short story by James Joyce—

At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

'The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,' he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

'Can't you give him the money and let him go? You've kept him late enough as it is.'

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab's Farewell to his Steed . When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

For a rather viciously anti-Catholic commentary, see Wallace Gray's Notes.

Update of 9:26 AM Oct. 22—

This is the same Wallace Gray who was an authority on Joyce at Columbia University and died on December 21, 2001. I prefer a different Columbia University Joyce scholar— William York Tindall (scroll down after clicking), who died on Sept. 8, 1981.

See also, from midnight a year after the date of Gray's death, Nightmare Alley.

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