Joycean Hell.

Currently finishing Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Beginning parts were slightly draggy, but Father Arnall makes things a little better towards the middle with his inventiveness:

As the waters of baptism cleanse the soul with the body so do the fires of punishment torture the spirit with the flesh. Every sense of the flesh is tortured and every faculty of the soul therewith: the eyes with impenetrable utter darkness, the nose with noisome odours, the ears with yells and howls and execrations, the taste with foul matter, leprous corruption, nameless suffocating filth, the touch with redhot goads and spikes, with cruel tongues of flame. And through the several torments of the senses the immortal soul is tortured eternally in its very essence amid the league upon leagues of glowing fires kindled in the abyss by the offended majesty of the Omnipotent God and fanned into everlasting and ever increasing fury by the breath and anger of the Godhead.

This is preceded by another tasty bit of hyperbole-

O, how terrible it is the lot of these wretched beings! The blood seethes and boils in the veins, the brains are boiling in the skull, the heart in the breast glowing and bursting, the bowels like a redhot mass of burning pulp (Me: Hot diarrheoa? Ugh.), the tender eyes flaming like molten balls.

Father Arnall, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

And while we’re still on the topic of religion, here are the curious results of a recent Gallup poll. Looks like nonbelievers enjoy more worldly pleasures before they enter aforementioned unpleasant afterlife. Hmm.

(Click on the picture to see it in its entirety, my theme absolutely butchers photos)


9 thoughts on “Joycean Hell.

    1. Well according to the poll, per capita GDP is inversely related to the religiosity of the population, i.e more religious countries (or countries in which people claim that “religion is an important part of their daily lives”) are poorer. (More religion, less wealth)

      One way that you can interpret it is that people from richer countries treat religion less importantly.

      So either 1) wealth inhibits religion or 2)religion inhibits wealth, or both. (Or none at all, and this whole thing is just a big coincidence)

  1. Oh I didn’t see the bottom part whoops! Was wondering why so many little bubbles were scattered all over. Haha oh I see what you mean. Hmm..

    Interesting 🙂 Hahaha maybe the whole world should just be atheists 😛

    1. That would be nice, but it really isn’t as simple as that, haha. 🙂 Heading out for debate prep now. Will analyze the graph a little more later. It’s actually more informative than I thought.

  2. Joyce is one of my favorites but I agree that he’s a bit hard to puzzle through from beginning to end…especially in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man…he has such a way with words, though! Have you read Dubliners? One of my favorites as the short stories move the pace a little faster and they are all deliciously beautiful and raw.

    Also thanks again for the nice comment about my blog! You should comment some time, I had no idea you were reading 🙂

    1. One thing I really like is how most of the text is metaphorically interlinked. Curious, mysterious little phrases that appear throughout the text makes it really tempting to reread the book and to “figure” out what it’s all about 🙂

      And your blog is always so funny in such a frank and refreshing manner, that the immediate impulse isn’t really to click and comment, but to just sit and smile 🙂

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