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James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Mot Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written
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Nora Barnacle, James Joyce's lover, and muse is still surrounded by mystery and wonder. She is famous as the addressee of the extraordinary James Joyce's love letters.

These James Joyce's love letters are indeed unique in the history of literature. And not only because of who wrote them but because of how they were written.

Who Was The Woman Behind James Joyce's Love Letters?

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

On June 10, 1904, James Joyce spotted a tall, well-built girl with reddish-brown hair and a proud walk on a Dublin street. Their famous first date would take place on June 16, 1904.

The girl was Nora Barnacle. The date of their first meeting would be immortalized in Ulysses as a tribute to Nora.

Three months later, Miss Barnacle, the woman behind James Joyce's love letters, had already answered "yes, all right, yes," and the couple went into exile. The marriage was formalized in 1931.

What's left of Nora's visual appearance is scarce. She had a fleeting gesture - she did not like to be photographed. She was rarely photographed from the front, and she was often with a 1920s hat pulled down to her eyebrows.

James Joyce's Love Letters: Proof Of Joyce's Immense Love For Nora

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Mot Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

Prisoner of jealousy, Joyce doubted Nora's virginity but never abandoned her. On the contrary, they continued their love story with greater passion. They were both from modest families, and Nora soon went to work to help the struggling family finances.

When they met, she had had a teenage love, while Joyce's first sexual experiences were with prostitutes, as was usual then.

Their infatuation with each other was so intense that Nora accompanied him when, months after they met, he decided to flee Dublin. Joyce was 21 years old, and she was 19.

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After passing through France and Switzerland, they ended up in Trieste, then a port of the Austro-Hungarian empire. There they lived in poor conditions. Joyce gave English classes while she worked as a laundress.

The famed writer bordered on alcoholism throughout his life and was from the first moment very jealous of his wife within obsessive and free sexuality. In James Joyce's love letters, one can read the birth and development of his passion.

Nora Barnacle: The Muse In James Joyce's Life And James Joyce's Love Letters

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Mot Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

For her part, Nora was a simple hotel maid from the Irish city of Galway, willing to do anything for the love of this manipulative and childish man. She did not deny any of his fantasies and faithfully accompanied him throughout a life that was a continuous move through different European cities.

Ellmann, Joyce's most famous biographer, referred to the poor education of this Irishwoman from Galway who would soon "meet one of the most refined minds of the century." Nora could not be an intellectual match to the Joyce family, especially James's brother Stanislaus.

Joyce himself seemed to anticipate these views when he wrote in his 1902 essay on William Blake: "Like many geniuses, Blake was not attracted to cultured and refined women."

Nora Barnacle, on the other hand, influenced Joycean literature. From Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, through Molly Bloom in Ulysses and Bertha in Exiles, to Anna Livia Plurabelle in Finnegans Wake. Her presence came into force that feminine principle, or nature and sensuality. That counterpointed with the flights of the spirit reached by the masculine world of Joyce.

The biography, the photos, the literature: none of these manage to surpass the mysticism of Nora Barnacle. She remains a secret silhouette, a hidden inspiration behind James Joyce's love letters.

The Intimate World Between Lovers

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

There were reply letters to James Joyce's love letters from Nora, but it is unlikely we will ever see them. Her voice sounded immersed like an echo in Joyce's.

The mysterious Nora of flesh and blood was seen in the intimacy of this private act on paper. And perhaps this is so because, in this unique case, letters and literature were two worlds expressly divided.

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If literature is intended for public admiration, James Joyce's love letters allude to everyday intimacy.

"In the telegram, I put - Be careful. I meant that you be careful to keep my letters secret", Joyce writes. Elsewhere, she writes him: "A letter for my eyes only." This demand for the privacy of James Joyce's love letters is given by both lovers.

James Joyce's love letters will finally be universally read. That gives the letters their uniqueness and separates them from other famous letters, such as those from Kafka to Milena or Flaubert to Louise Colet.

They are distinguished by the absence of the "literary theme," the lack of reference to a work in progress, or literature practice.

James Joyce's love letters raise a wall of paper behind which a couple talks about themselves, a room where a man and a woman celebrate their private rites.

James Joyce's Love Letters Full Of Passion

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Mot Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

Between the ups and downs in which they lived, Joyce moved through different cities, searching for greater fortune. During their first separations, the two sent love letters describing in detail the strangest sexual desires. Among which there were episodes of voyeurism, sadomasochism, and coprophilia.

All this was as if they were trying to make love at a distance, getting excited with the words they received in the mail.

Written between 1904 and 1920, James Joyce's love letters rarely reveal bursts, apart from the love discourse, the voluntary exile from a country, Ireland, and a city, Dublin. James Joyce's love letter from September 10, 1904, is remarkable, as he draws a quick and painful spiritual self-portrait and where he dwells on the death of his mother.

But, above life's circumstances, what drags us is the powerful erotic flow enhanced in the text. This amuses the reader in a kind of involuntary voyeurism.

It seems like James Joyce's love letters resemble the medieval tradition of courtly love. In these letters, the woman is encrypted in the name of Nora, towards whom the author addresses himself with adoration, to the point that at certain moments he cannot find a word worthy of naming it:

"Why should I not call you as I continually call you in my heart? What is it that prevents me unless no word is tender enough to be your name?"

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James Joyce's Love Letters Were Full Of Symbolism

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

The ancient topic of the feminine duality of Eve/Mary, perdition/salvation, expresses an extraordinary vitality urgent in the writing of James Joyce's love letters. Within the tone of exalted invocation, Nora reaches the dimension of a woman savior:

"My saint, my angel, guide me. Oh! Take me into your soul of souls and then I will truly become the poet of my race. Oh! if I could nest in your womb like a child born of your flesh and blood, feed on your blood, sleep in the warm secret darkness of your body!"

Like Magna Mater, the woman, Nora, also represents the city and the homeland. She is the motherland for those who, as exiles, had been condemned to wander from one country to another. This symbology emerges naturally from writing, where Nora becomes the only place of reference.

The spiritual aspect merges with the other, notably lewd and pornographic, ranging from fetishist delirium to perversion.

The desire for his wife's absent body obsesses Joyce. James Joyce's love letters express, name, and describe what desire tells him to do with her. In that distant body, magnified by a passion that the absence exacerbates, everything is erotic.

Joyce spills into his letters. He recommends nightwear, he wants Nora dressed as a prostitute, and he demands the worst she can get out of herself.

Visions of that body witnessed in James Joyce's love letters remind us of animality, as the words had the absolute power of summoning Nora's burning body there, on the table.

These fragile pieces of paper make one think of miraculous salvation. How did they survive? How did they not get lost, burned, torn?

James Joyce's love letters seem to have outlived, sustained almost magically by the powerful Joycean writing. The voice of James Joyce, given to extreme love and eroticism, meets forever with the name of Nora to offer us, once again, another version of the mystery of love. A version that each reader of these extraordinary letters, in their own way, will try to unveil.

In the end, we indulge you in excerpts from erotic and juicy James Joyce's love letters. Enjoy!

James Joyce's Love Letter From December 9, 1909

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James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

"You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I f*cked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole."

"You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling's c*nt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your c*nt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly."

James Joyce's Love Letter From December 6, 1909

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

"The smallest things give me a great co*kstand—a whorish movement of your mouth, a little brown stain on the seat of your white drawers, a sudden dirty word spluttered out by your wet lips, a sudden immodest noise made by you behind and then a bad smell slowly curling up out of your backside."

"At such moments I feel mad to do it in some filthy way, to feel your hot lecherous lips sucking away at me, to f*ck between your two rosy-tipped bubbies, to come on your face and squirt it over your hot cheeks and eyes, to stick it up between the cheeks of your rump and bugger you"

James Joyce's Love Letter From December 2, 1909

James Joyce's Love Letters: The Most Provocative And Erotic Letters Ever Written

"My dear, maybe I should start by asking your forgiveness for the amazing letter I wrote you last night. While I was writing it, your letter rested next to me, and my eyes were fixed, as they still are now, on a certain word written on it. There is something obscene and lewd about the very appearance of the cards. Also, its sound is like the act itself, brief, brutal, irresistible, and diabolical."

"My love for you allows me to pray to the spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness that is reflected in your eyes or to bring you down below me, on your soft breasts, and take you from behind, like a pig riding a sow, glorified in the sincere stink rising from your rear, glorified in the bare shame of your turned-up dress and your white girlish panties and in the confusion of your rosy cheeks and disheveled hair."

"Do you remember the day you pulled up your clothes and let me lie down under you to see how you did it? Then you were embarrassed to even look me in the eye."

"The last drop of seed has hardly been squirted up your c*nt before it is over and my true love for you, the love of my verses, the love of my eyes for your strange luring eyes, comes blowing over my soul like a wind of spices."

"Nora, my faithful darling, my mischievous sweet-eyed schoolgirl, be my whore, my lover, whatever you want (my little handjob lover! My bitch bitch!) You are always my beautiful wildflower of the hedges, my blue flower dark soaked by rain."