Friday, March 13, 2015


So Familiar and So Foreign

James Joyce (1882-1941), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, chapter 5:
The language in which we are speaking is his before it is mine. How different are the words home, Christ, ale, master, on his lips and on mine! I cannot speak or write these words without unrest of spirit. His language, so familiar and so foreign, will always be for me an acquired speech. I have not made or accepted its words. My voice holds them at bay. My soul frets in the shadow of his language.

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