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Date Posted: Sat, Jun 12 2004, 6:34:05 GMT
Thank you, Dick Gage, I was very pleased myself that my writing mind hit upon that turn-around of angels and Sodomites. I tried it very many different ways. For a time, in the book, there were going to be many of such "turned-around" parables, drawn from the Christian scriptures -- rather like the very late parables of Oscar Wilde. After a long time, I realized they belonged (the most of them) to another book entirely. (There were also going to be turns-around of Socratic (Platonic) parables. The ten years was spent, mostly, cutting things out -- horrible fate.)
But it has long seemed to me that the Sodomites in the bible story behaved almost exactly like a gay-hunting gang. I suppose I should say "homophobic" -- but I dislike that word, and the way it has come to be used. I distrust words which seek to explain, rather than to describe. And etymologically, the word is a nonsense, meaning merely fear of the same.
Waffle, waffle. And now to Wirrasthrue. Well, it comes from the (Gaelic) Irish "a Mhuire is trua" (mh in Gaeilge being pronounced w). It translates as : O Mary it is a pity / O Mary it is a sorrow. As an adjective in Irish English (what they now rather grandly call Hiberno-English) it carries the connotation of "Sorrowful" or "to-be-pitied". Hence the "wirrasthrue Jaysus" of Joyce, to which you refer.
Amn't I just a font of knowledge? Not really, but I like words. Or rather, I like the notion that words have meanings and histories of usage, a kind of archaeology.
Your seventieth summer? -- that's very special for someone younger than you, but still in his last year's winter. My love, Jamie.