So much richness, even in that one scene, so much to delve and absorb. Each time I read this work, I find something new, and that makes me love James Joyce all the more.
Besides the Chrismas dinner fight about the Irish braiding of church and state — “a priest would not be a priest if he did not tell his flock what is right and what is wrong” (from the spirited character of Dante) – and “We are an unfortunate priestridden race and always are and always will be till the end of the next chapter” (from father) – – – I heard some clues of Joyce’s process – – – Stephen will “remember all this when he grows up” portend from Dante and my favorite passage “Let us have the story, John. It will help us to digest.” Here I completely agree with Joyce. As a writer (and I know I am not alone in this), I use story to help me digest all of this baffling reality even after I’ve grown beyond the delicate age of Joyce’s protagonist.
I am so enamored of the punctuation that is just as much a character as the uncle! Avant-garde Joyce broke the form and the rocky structured road for all us modern writers.
Thank you, James. And thank you, Liz McManus, for next week we will gather in the actual Bray dining room to read this passage aloud.