Home » Joyce, dirty love letters – La Stampa

Joyce, dirty love letters – La Stampa

by admin
Joyce, dirty love letters – La Stampa

James Joyce was an unbridled lover, at least from a stylistic point of view, and of only one woman, his wife Nora, whom he met at a very young age in Dublin and with whom he fled to Trieste (they only got married much later). In the letters he wrote to her before they left together and then especially from Ireland to Italy during a brief period in which he had returned to his homeland for a disastrous film deal, he certainly did not measure his words. He was not a romantic and dreamy lover, he was carnal and very jealous. And naturally adoring.

The peak of this erotic exaltation was in December 1909 (then there was no longer any need because the family reunited without any longer interruptions): «As you know, dearest, I never use obscene expressions in speaking (…) But it seems that you can to turn me into a beast. It was you yourself, a bad and shameless child, who opened the way” we read in one of those published by the Saggiatore in the sumptuous Christmas gift entitled Love Letters, Correspondences of Twentieth Century Writers, with a preface by Massimo Onofri.

After this introduction, however, the text modestly interrupts itself, perhaps also partly for a question of rights. The omitted sentences in fact recall a series of flamboyant and wild sexual encounters, in particular their first relationship in Ringsend, a suburb of Dublin, and then a night in Pula, where Nora had taken the initiative, towering over him and inviting him with unequivocal words, the kind that are said only in these secret moments, to do his duty “badly”.

See also  Louis Vuitton Introduces VIA Digital Collection and First Digital Hard Case

In others he instead imagined being punished and whipped for his impertinences and obsessions. And in a fantastic passage also from December 1909 he launched into a truly bizarre declaration of love, the most ironic and Joycean one imaginable, blessing his beloved’s flatulence. These are the so-called «dirty letters» (absent here), which the writer absolutely did not want to end up in his hand

others (instead the originals of some of them, over time, have even been auctioned off) but which were published in the classic selection of letters edited by Richard Ellman way back in ’75, and much more recently by the Paris Review (not However, there is an official Italian version, and it’s a shame because they are beautiful).

Precisely in their exasperated sensuality, in their carnal outrage, these “dirty” letters are love letters in all respects, they live, as Onofri writes, with unbridled freedom. In a vast anthology such as that of the Saggiatore, which aligns epistolary medallions of 18 authors, from Guillaume Apollinaire and Drieu Le Rochelle, from Strindberg to Montale, from Elias Canetti to Colette, from a pompous Salvatore Quasimodo and an exalted D’Annunzio, they must obviously be read as “fragments of a love discourse”, as per the famous title by Roland Barthes which Onofri quotes and indeed uses as an interpretative guide.

In that book – from ’77 – the French scholar recognizes the most problematic aspect of the language of love precisely in the simple “I love you”, which in reality says nothing, does not report a message but remains a magic formula, a ” he shouted”. We then need an articulation, a syntax, a linguistic effort: without which we would all be poorer, because learning to love is still one of the undertakings that await humans from generation to generation.

See also  Electric cars, the shock of sales in Europe and the share reaches 13%. Here are your favorite brands and models

Or, as Saul Bellow wrote, at least to prevent love from just being something that concerns “two psychopaths under a sheet”. It is difficult to say how much anthologies of this kind – which are very numerous, obviously, can provide an aid of knowledge, but it is certain that the one introduced by a critic like Onofri offers some glimmers, some suggestions and so on, some wonderful and perhaps very private abandonment sentimental he does not fail to reserve it for us.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy