Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Sisters, p9

etexts: [html] [1914] [1904] [1905]

notes: [gifford] [andover] [rap]


the date is eventually revealed as 1 July 1895

There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Night after night I had passed the house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted square of window: and night after night I had found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly. If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection of candles on the darkened blind, for I knew that two candles must be set at the head of a corpse.

1904 opening: "Three nights in succession I had found myself in Great Britain-street at that hour, as if by Providence."

(anyone got a more plausible image?)
on the 1909 map the name 'Great Britain Street' is obscured by tramtracks

He had often said to me: I am not long for this world and I had thought his words idle. Now I knew they were true. Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.

"not long for this world" goes back to c1750

"paralysis" hints at syphilis

"In Dubliners I wrote in the first story that the word ‘paralysis’ filled me with horror and fear, as if it were the name of something evil and sinful. I loved this word and whispered it to myself at night at an open window" [cite] looking up at window from outside, vs down from inside?

"gnomon" (FW283: "he always caught dull marks in his nucleud and allgobrew")

Old Cotter was sitting at the fire, smoking, when I came downstairs to supper. While my aunt was ladling out my stirabout he said, as if returning to some former remark of his:

an illiterate 62yo general laborer named William Cotter was boarding in Gt Britain street in 1901, coincidentally

"my aunt" not autobiographical

stew, or porridge?

— No, I wouldn't say he was exactly... but there was something queer... there was something uncanny about him. I'll tell you my opinion...




[LV 00:25-01:42]

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