"The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. . . ."

Lochattorick.jpg

Photo: Leonard Doyle

He was blind in one eye and couldn't see especially well out of the other, wore dark-framed, vaguely government-issue glasses, but they're lowered, he's turning his head and squinting over the top of them. He reads from "The Portable James Joyce," my mother's Penguin paperback from college. He's holding it close to his face. me the famous last paragraph, "The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. . . ." Nothing of the actual language remained with me, except, years later, reading the story at school, there was something like déjà vu at the part where Joyce first says the snow was "falling faintly," then four words later says it was, "faintly falling." The slight overconspicuousness of that had stuck, as I suppose he intended.

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