Links from today

I’ve stopped blogging since I got to Madison, and I need to change that I do have drafts of stuff, but well, I’ll post them when I finish them.

  • A letter from HG Wells to Joyce on a work in progress of Finnegan’s Wake. I doubt I’ll ever read it (I have enough trouble with Ulysses), but I have to say (again) that Dubliners is really good, especially the short story The Dead. In any case this is a hell of a letter:

Your training has been Catholic, Irish, insurrectionary; mine, such as it was, was scientific, constructive and, I suppose, English. The frame of my mind is a world wherein a big unifying and concentrating process is possible (increase of power and range by economy and concentration of effort), a progress not inevitable but interesting and possible. That game attracted and holds me. For it, I want a language and statement as simple and clear as possible. You began Catholic, that is to say you began with a system of values in stark opposition to reality. Your mental existence is obsessed by a monstrous system of contradictions. You may believe in chastity, purity and the personal God and that is why you are always breaking out into cries of cunt, shit and hell. As I don’t believe in these things except as quite personal values my mind has never been shocked to outcries by the existence of water closets and menstrual bandages — and undeserved misfortunes.

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