Monday, January 06, 2020

Also: Joyce and epiphany …

… Monopoly 1955 by Barbara Crooker | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

Around the time Irish writer James Joyce (books by this author) was defecting from the Roman Catholic Church, he was investing secular meaning into the word "epiphany." In his early 20s, he drew up little sketches, sort of like "prose poems," in which he illustrated epiphanies. He explained to his brother Stanislaus that epiphanies were sort of "inadvertent revelations," and said they were "little errors and gestures — mere straws in the wind — by which people betrayed the very things they were most careful to conceal." He also wrote that the epiphany was the sudden "revelation of the whatness of a thing," the moment when "the soul of the commonest object ... seems to us radiant."
Methinks Joyce's  connection to the Church was more problematic than this suggests. He may have abandoned the faith., but he never lost his enthusiasm for Thomas Aquinas. He read a passage from the Summa in Latin every day.

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