James Joyce’s Question
Why did people do that with their two faces?
I am waiting for the bus in the overheated Dayton’s Department Store powder room, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I read Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man to pass the time, creating the words as I read them, astonished that I am able to so perfectly recall in a dream what I have only read once while awake :
“He still tried to think what was the right answer. Was it right to kiss his mother or wrong to kiss his mother? What did that mean, to kiss? You put your face up like that to say good night and then his mother put her face down. That was to kiss. His mother put her lips on his cheek; her lips were soft and they wetted his cheek; and they made a tiny little noise: kiss. Why did people do that with their two faces?”
Commentary: I often dream that I am reading and perfectly remembering someone else’s words. More rarely I dream that I am writing words that are:
- not mine
but it is as if they were.
Also: Stephen Dedalus envisions his future self as “a winged form flying above the waves […] a hawk-like man flying sunward above the sea, a prophecy of the end he had been born to serve”.