Fictional Narratives

The Window
I watch the evening light falling on it, a melodious charm. The window’s steel limbs are falling as bent shadows on to the cream curtain. Light is life playing a gentle rhythm of shadows. The curtains are swaying gently in the music of evening breeze. An epiphany is taking place.


Samson’s Hair

We all know the Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah. Samson the hulk was selected by God to rampage the Philistines. With his encounter with Delilah, a seductive Philistine woman, he became enamored with her. God said to him, that the secret of his strength lay on his long hair. Twice after Delilah offering him booze, asked him what was his secret of his strength, but he did not divulge it to her. During the third time, the tippler, Samson told her the secret. In drunken stupor his hair was cut down. Samson’s hair as an Idiom means becoming a prey while facing a precarious situation. I don’t want to invite Samson’s hair into my life.

Quixote
In the age of writing the novel: Quixote, Quixote was labeled as a mad man and he was a satire of chivalry. Then came the modern age where he was given address as a romantic hero. With the dawn of postmodernism, he was elected to be a chosen prophet of trials in life. His relentless mania for rescuing the fairer sex, his imaginary battle with windmills, his quest for an unknown spirituality, all make him a novel figure in life.

Ulysses
When James Joyce wrote the Ulysses, it was a novel of one day in a person’s life. The book translates into an aesthetic adventure. Here is a constructed narrative of twelve hours.

Morn
Morn dawned with the cheep cheep and twitter of the birds. The sky was gleaming red, steaming with libidinous virility. I watch the ritual of a cow being milked and its rich creamy milk fall into the bucket. The newspaper arrives and it is full of narratives about the Corona virus. I scan it briefly and drink my cup of coffee and light a cigarette. I dress to go for my work.

Till Evening
I am in class taking the lesson: Gift of Magi written by O Henry. It’s a story about how a wife and husband sacrifice what is precious for them to a buy a gift for each other. While exchanging their gifts, they realize that the gifts they brought were to be used for the things that belonged to them as precious.

Evening
The poem of the sky becomes painting. The sky is covered with veils of crimson. Light is playing music of colors. I feel quite lonely as I watch the birds floating in the sky. Leaves wave gently in the evening breeze.

Night
I have dinner and go to bed. I am full of erotic thoughts. I observe how my body becomes a sublime lyric. I feel like mating with the sweet passion of a river. I dream of a Greek Erotic festival called the Corybantic dance.

The Metamorphosis
Kafka’s metamorphosis is reminiscent of a sales man being transformed into a gigantic insect. When his family realizes it, they isolate him in his room. It’s a story of ironic horror. In a way Kafka’s struggle of acceptance by his father is a major theme in the story. Metamorphosis brings into being repulsion, distaste, disgust and loathing for the self. One wonders if it is a story of a weak willed person. Metamorphosis asks the pertinent question, if the law of attraction works, there would be no need of irony in the world. Metamorphosis reveals a pathos of extreme angst, a Kafkaesque.

Newly Brewed Idioms

Climb the Ladder
Climb the ladder means getting a promotion or a raise. My present job as an obscure teacher in a remote village school has no opportunities for climbing the ladder.

 
Kill the Serpent
Kill the Serpent means manipulating somebody. Kill the serpent is the life and blood of popular culture.

 
Fire Catching
Fire Catching is an idiom from Malayalam and it means something is very expensive. Luxury cars have a fire catching price.

 
Mustard Seed
Mustard Seed is from the Bible and it means having the smallest amount of faith. It’s good to have a mustard seed of faith. Having a mustard seed of faith is enough to win a lottery.
Fooling God
Fooling God means shirking one’s duty or work. He lost his job because he was fooling God.
Daily Bread
Daily Bread from the Bible means satisfying one’s material needs. God, feed with your daily bread.

Elephant
Elephant means being huge and heavy. His body is an elephant.
James Joyce
James Joyce the novelist is famous for streams of consciousness writing. James Joyce means writing in streams of consciousness. His fictional work is James Joyce.
The Robin Sings
The Robin Sings means getting a large windfall. I hope this 2019, the Robin will sing for me.
Colored English
Colored English is the English spoken in the former colonies previously under the British Regime. Colored English as an idiom are those who have a preferential view towards Native Speakers of English. International Schools of South East Asia are prejudiced against colored English.
Eating Chocolate
Eating Chocolate means having an Orgasm. While eating chocolate one is in ecstasy.
Hotel California
Hotel California means being doped and drunk. Today’s youth are addicted to being Hotel California.
Wake Up Little Suzy
Wake up little Suzy means going on a date for the first time. Wake up little Suzy was a wonderful experience for me.
Sweet Jesus
Sweet Jesus means a miracle happening in one’s life. When will Sweet Jesus happen to me?
Ali Baba
Ali Baba and the forty thieves is an all time famous story. Ali Baba means, being ingenious and clever. When it comes to my profession, I am an Ali Baba.
Road to Heaven
Road to Heaven means being highly optimistic. I am on the Road to Heaven when I buy lottery tickets. Our lives should be a road to heaven.
Knock Knock on Heaven’s Door
Knock Knock on heaven’s door means mocking God. I don’t knock knock on heaven’s Door.
Sunny Skies
Sunny Skies as an idiom means being very cheerful. I am always a sunny skies.

 

Analysis of the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

James Joyce heralded the birth of the modern novel. He is known for bequeathing the genre of writing in Streams of Consciousness. Portrait of the artist as a young man shows the gestation of Joyce’s soul. Joyce’s literature is marked by anti-realism.
The novel bears the traces of impressionism. The novel belongs to the genre of the Bildungsroman which denotes the formative influences of artist’s life. However the novel is also a Kunstlerroman showing the artistic developments of the novelist. Joyce uses epiphany as a mode of narrative. For Joyce Epiphany is a spiritual manifestation. The novel is inclusive of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century political and cultural landscape of Ireland.
In the novel Joyce tries to link smells with ideas. His mother put an oil-sheet and it had a fetid odor. His mother had a nicer smell than his father. The sensation of smells is put into epiphanies of ideas. Using smells as a motif we get to understand the workings of the consciousness of the writer.
The novel begins with Stephen’s life in college and his saying goodbye to his father and mother. One incident that happened in school is worthwhile mentioning. Joyce gets caned for not doing his work. The excuse that he has lost his glasses does not bear convincing fruit with the Jesuit.
Again in the novel Stephen encounters the word ‘suck’. For him it is a queer word and he births it into a nourishing intellectual catharsis. Stephen is homesick in college and longs to be at home.
There’s an episode in the novel where his fellow colleagues end up teasing Stephen for having kissed his mother while going to bed. The kiss becomes a song of embarrassment for Stephen. On other hand like Proust, Stephen remembers the kiss of his mother with metaphoric fondness. Soft, tender and wet is the kiss for Stephen.
Stephen recollects the discussion on Politics which has taken place at his home. The discussion is about Parnell the Irish liberator who had to quit politics when he became accused of illicit promiscuity. Parnell becomes a shameful hero, an ugly toad of tempest brewing in the minds of Irish people.
There is a description about Stephen’s passionate encounter with a hustler. Her embrace was passionate as poetry. Going to bed with her was a honey of ecstasy. Stephen becomes confronted with Christian virtues and becomes confessional before a priest. Stephen writes a remarkable epiphany of guilt and passion. Probably this incident would have led to the generation of the artist in him.
There are some remarkable views on pity, terror, art and aesthetics in the novel. Let’s examine the Joyce’s narrative on pity and terror. ‘Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant human suffering and unites it with the sufferer. Terror is the feeling which arrests the mind in whatsoever is grave and constant in human suffering and unites it with a secret cause’. Pity is treated on a lower dimension and resembles Aristotelian notion of catharsis. Terror on the other hand is deep rooted in angst and resembles the experience of nausea in existential philosophy.
Rhythm for Stephen is the ‘formal aesthetic relation of part to part in any aesthetic whole or of an aesthetic whole to its part’. Stephen’s idea of rhythm is similar to Nietzsche’s theory of art which speaks of the Dionysian element of rhythm.
‘Sound, Shape and color are the prison gates of our soul—an image of beauty we have come to understand that is art’. This is in tune with Ezra Pound’s definition poetic imagism as an ‘image which is an intellectual and aesthetic complex’.
‘Art’ said Stephen ‘is the human disposition of the sensible or intelligible matter for an aesthetic end.’ For example the smile of Mona Liza is known for its aesthetic sense because of its mystic mysteriousness. ‘Beauty’ for Stephen ‘is the splendor of truth’; this can be familiarized with Keats’ dictum: ‘Truth is beauty: beauty truth’.
There are three forms of art for Stephen, the lyrical, the epic and the dramatic. A lyrical form is where ‘the artist presents his image in immediate relation to himself’: the epical form is the one where ‘the artist presents his image in immediate relation to himself and to others’: and the dramatic form is the one where ‘the artist presents his image in immediate to relation to others’.

Analysis of James Joyce’s Ulysses

James Joyce a prolific writer who heralded the birth of the modern novel. He is famous for his streams of consciousness writing. Ulysses records 12 hrs of day and is written as an epic. The main characters in Ulysses are Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and Mary Bloom.
Ulysses records trivial things happening in day to day life. It is novel entirely set in Dublin. In the novel Joyce wanted to break-free from the bondage of Catholicism. Joyce instills Hellenism in the novel. Objet d’ art is common place objects. For example a cracked mirror is a Hellenic sculpture.
Stephen Dedalus is school teacher and a poet. He seems to be suffering from an oedipal trauma. He feels guilty of not having prayed beside his mother’s death bed. When teaching at school, he encounters angst. The sea is an occurring leitmotif in Joyce’s Ulysses. The sea is an aesthetic artifact. Joyce uses various types of allusions in the novel. There is a debate on whether transubstantiation or consubstantiation is right.
Bloom is a man in his fifties. He feels sorrow at the death of his daughter. Joyce is known for his penetrating character insight. Bloom wanders through the streets of Dublin as a bucking bronco. He encounters Stephen and invites him to his house. He is cuckold and forces Stephen to make love to his wife. Molly Bloom is reminiscent of a mother Goddess. She is a symbol of cultic sexuality. Her sexual organs are described in Gothic narcissism.
The novel abounds in literary passion. The novel has broken the traditional fringes of realism. There is no plot in the novel. Joyce has set forth the avant garde. The novel cannot be considered a philosophical one. The novel is a kunstlerroman. Stephen represents Joyce’s youth and Bloom represents Joyce’s old age. Tropes are used sparingly. The novel is a brilliant narrative in steams of consciousness. There is no comic or tragic effect in the novel. The novel can be rated as a brilliant work of art. The sea is taken as symbolism of the mother Goddess. The novel evokes the consciousness of the fin de siècle. Celtic myths are made a pagan hyperborean in the novel. Irony and romanticism are the key elements in the novel. The novel is evocative of a sensual catharsis. We find the characters to be delusional and obsessed with the narcissism of their minds. The novel is similar to the Greek epic Ulysses. It does not evoke a deep philosophical thought. The novel alternates between stoicism and nihilism. Time does not follow a linear sequence. The novel is a technical master piece. Joyce was rebelling against his own indoctrinated Catholicism. One is able to probe into the workings of the interior mind. Women are feminine and man effeminate. Bloom languishes at his own sexual escapades. The streams of consciousness narrative enables the reader to come to terms with his own self.