James Joyce Pornography

May 16, 2011 § 7 Comments

Who would have guessed that the man behind the masterpiece that is Ulysses was such a pervert! Apparently lots of people knew, but anyway I didn’t, at least until earlier today, when F. sent me this link, containing love letters to his future wife Nora.  No, love letters is not the correct term. What Joyce was doing was the Victorian equivalent of sexting. With top-notch, ground-breaking writing, of course.

The letters are rich with vivid images of sodomy, flagellation, and an escalating obsession with coprophilia. Want one of the mildest samples?

My love for you allows me to pray to the spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness mirrored in your eyes or fling you down under me on that softy belly of yours and fuck you up behind, like a hog riding a sow, glorying in the very stink and sweat that rises from your arse, glorying in the open shape of your upturned dress and white girlish drawers and in the confusion of your flushed cheeks and tangled hair. It allows me to burst into tears of pity and love at some slight word, to tremble with love for you at the sounding of some chord or cadence of music or to lie heads and tails with you feeling your fingers fondling and tickling my ballocks or stuck up in me behind and your hot lips sucking off my cock while my head is wedged in between your fat thighs, my hands clutching the round cushions of your bum and my tongue licking ravenously up your rank red cunt.

That is why Nora, the woman whose fart Joyce “would pick out in a roomful of farting women”, famously said “I guess the man’s a genius, but what a dirty mind he has, hasn’t he?”

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