Tag Archives: pain

Sick in his heart

” He drank another cup of hot tea and Fleming said:
– What’s up? Have you a pain or what’s up with you?
– I don’t know, Stephen said.
– Sick in your breadbasket, Fleming said, because your face looks white. It will go away.
– Oh yes, Stephen said.
But he was not sick there. He thought that he was sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place. Fleming was very decent to ask him. He wanted to cry. He leaned his elbows on the table and shut and opened the flaps of his ears. Then he heard the noise of the refectory every time he opened the flaps of his ears. It made a roar like a train at night. And when he closes the flaps the roar was shut off like a train going into a tunnel. ”

” Sitting in the studyhall he opened the lid of his desk and changed the number pasted up inside from seventyseven to seventysix. But the Christmas vacation was very far away: but one time it would come because the Earth moved round always. ”

” He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read what he had written there: himself, his name and where he was.
Stephen Dedalus
                                       Class of Elements
                                       Clongowes Wood College
                                       Sallins
                                       County Kildare
                                       Ireland
                                       Europe
                                       The World
                                       The Universe
That was his writing: and Fleming one night for a cod had written on the opposite page:
Stephen Dedalus is my name,
                                       Ireland is my nation.
                                       Clongowes is my dwellingplace
                                       And heaven my expectation. ”

James Joyce, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Oxford World’s Classics, 2000 (p10, 11, 12)

The Beast in the Jungle

He had justified his fear and achieved his fate ; he had failed, with the last exactitude, of all he was to fail of, and a moan now rose to his lips as he remembered she had prayed he mightn’t know. This horror of waking – this was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze. Through them, none the less, he tried to fix it and hold it ; he kept it there before him so that he might feel the pain. That at least, belated and bitter, had something of the taste of life. But the bitterness suddenly sickened him, and it was as if, horribly, he saw in the truth, in the cruelty of his image, what had been appointed and done. He saw the Jungle of his life and saw the lurking Beast ; then, while he looked, perceived it, as by a stir of the air, rise, huge and hideous, for the leap that was to settle him. His eyes darkened – it was close ; and, instinctively turning, in his hallucination, to avoid it, he flung himself, on his face, on the tomb.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), p489-490