Something that caught my attention was coming across the correspondence between James Joyce And his wife Nora Barnacles. The intense eroticism that such letters exude touch the boundary between the hinted and the explicit at many points. And at times, it touches the limit between what is explicit and what is too, excessively explicit.
The eroticism and sensuality of the writers is the point where they are best discovered, and particularly in this type of correspondence, where mutual need seems to force us to be close, giving us the most "dirty" to try (as Joyce says in one of his letters) of those whose name has been exalted for its "cleanliness."
Here I share with you some of the letters:
Table of Contents
November 22, 1909 - 44 Fontenoy Street, Dublin
Dearest, your telegram was in his heart that night. When I wrote you those last letters, I was in utter despair. I thought I had lost your love and your esteem ... as well as deserved. Your letter this morning is very sweet, but I am waiting for the letter that you would probably write after sending the telegram.
I still do not dare, my dear, to be familiar with you, until you give me permission again. I have a feeling I shouldn't, even though your letter is written in your old, familiar, mischievous tone. I mean when you talk about what you will do, if I disobey you on a certain issue.
I'm going to venture to say just one thing. You say you want my sister to wear underwear for you. No, dear, please. I don't like anyone, not even a woman or a girl, to see things that belong to you. I wish you were more careful not to leave certain of your clothes lying around, I mean when they just got home from the laundry. Oh, I wish you would keep all those things hidden, hidden, hidden. I would like you to have a lot of underwear of all kinds, of all kinds of delicate colors, stored, ironed and perfumed.
How terrible it is to be away from you! Have you accepted your poor lover back into your heart? I will be impatient for your letter, and yet I thank you for your loving telegram.
Don't ask me to write you a long letter now, my dear. What I have written has saddened me a bit. I'm tired of sending you words Our glued lips, our arms entwined, our eyes failing in the sad joy of possession would please me more.
Forgive me my dear. I intended to be more reserved. And yet I must long for you and long for you and long for you.
December 2, 1909 - 44 Fontenoy Street, Dublin
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 dear, do not be offended by what I write. You thank me for the beautiful name that I gave you. Yes, my dear, "my beautiful wild flower of the hedges" is a nice name! My dark blue flower, soaked by rain! As you can see, I still have something of a poet. I will also give you a beautiful book: it is the poet's gift for the woman he loves. But, by his side and within this spiritual love that I feel for you, there is also a wild beast that explores every secret and shameful part of him, each of his actions and smells. 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.
This allows me to burst into tears of pity and love for you because of the sound of some chord or musical cadence or to lie down with my head on my feet, tail to tail, feeling your fingers caress and tickle my testicles or feel you rub your butt against me and your burning lips suck my cock while my head makes its way between your plump thighs and my hands attract the padded curve of your buttocks and my tongue voraciously licks your thick red sex. I have thought of you almost to the point of fainting when hearing my voice singing or murmuring to your soul the sadness, passion and mystery of life and at the same time I have thought of you making dirty gestures with your lips and tongue, provoking me with obscene noises and caresses and doing in front of me the dirtiest and most shameful act of the body. 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.
You are mine, my dear, you are mine! I love you. All I wrote above is a single moment or two of brutal insanity. The last drop of semen has been injected with difficulty into your sex before everything is over and my true love for you, the love of my verses, the love of my eyes, for your strangely tempting eyes comes blowing over my soul like a wind of scents. My cock is still stiff, hot and shaken after the last, brutal envestment that he has given you when he hears a tenuous hymn rise, of pious and tender worship in your honor, from the dark cloisters of my heart.
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 wild flower of the hedges, my blue flower dark soaked by rain.
December 3, 1909 44 Fontenoy Street, Dublin
My dear little girl of the nuns: there is some star very close to the earth, because I am still prey to an attack of feverish and animal desire. Today I would often stop abruptly in the street with an exclamation, whenever I thought of the letters I wrote you last night and the night before. They must have looked horrible in the cold light of day. Perhaps you disliked their rudeness. I know that you are a much finer person than your strange lover and, although it was yourself, you horny little girl, who wrote first to tell me that you were impatient for me to fuck you, still I suppose that the wild filth and obscenity of my answer has exceeded all limits of modesty. When I received your express letter this morning and saw how loving you are to your despicable Jim, I was ashamed of what I wrote. However, now the night, the secret and sinful night, has fallen on the world again and I am again alone writing to you and your letter is once again folded in front of me on the table. Don't ask me to go to bed, dear. Let me write to you, dear.
As you know my dear, I never use obscene words when speaking. You've never heard me, have you, uttering an inappropriate word in front of other people. When the men here tell dirty or lewd stories in front of me, I hardly smile. And yet you know how to turn me into a beast. It was you, you, who slipped your hand into my pants and gently pushed my shirt aside and touched my cock with your long, tickling fingers and little by little you took it whole, fat and stiff as it was, with your hand and You gave me a handjob slowly until I came between your fingers, without stopping leaning over me, or looking at me with your calm and holy eyes. Your lips were also the first to utter an obscene word. I remember very well that night in bed in Pola. Tired of lying under a man, one night you tore your nightgown violently and climbed on top to ride me naked. You put your cock in your pussy and started riding me up and down. Maybe I wasn't horny enough, as I remember you leaned into my face and tenderly murmured, "Fuck me, darling!"
Nora dear, I was dying all day to ask you a question or two. Allow me, my dear, for I have told you everything I have done in my life; So, what can I ask you, in turn. I don't know if you will answer them. When that person whose heart I crave to stop with a revolver shot put his hand or hands under your skirts, did he just tickle you on the outside, or did he stick his finger or fingers? If it did, did they go up high enough to touch that cock on the end of your cunt? Did it touch you from behind? Was he tickling you for a long time and did you come? Did he ask you to touch it and did you do it? If you didn't touch it, did it come on you and did you feel it?
Other questions, Nora. I know I was the first man to fuck you, but did a man ever jerk you off? Did that boy you liked ever do it? Tell me now, Nora, answer the truth with the truth and the sincerity with the sincerity. When you were with him at night in the dead of night, did your fingers never, ever unbutton his pants or slide inside like mice? Did you ever jerk him off my dear, tell me the truth, him or anyone else? Didn't you ever, ever, ever feel the cock of a man or a boy on your fingers until you unbuttoned my pants? If you are not offended, don't be afraid to tell me the truth. Darling, darling tonight I have such a wild desire for your body that if you were here by my side and even if you told me with your own lips that half the red-haired louts in the Galway region fucked you before me, I would still run to you dead with desire.
Almighty God, what kind of language is this that I am writing to my proud blue-eyed queen? Will you refuse to answer my rude and insulting questions? I know I risk a lot by writing like this, but if you love me, you will feel that I am crazy with desire and that I must tell you everything.
Honey, answer me. Even when I found out that you had also sinned, perhaps I would feel even more united to you. Anyway, I love you. I have written and said things to you that my pride would never allow me to say to any woman again.
My dear Nora, I am gasping for your answers to these filthy letters of mine. I am writing to you clearly, because now I feel that I can keep my word to you. Don't be angry, dear, dear, Nora, my wild flower of the hedges. I love your body, it yearns for it, I dream about it.
Speak to me dear lips that I have kissed with tears. If these crap that I have written offend you, make me regain my mind again with a lash, as you have done before. God help me!
I love you Nora, and it seems that this is also part of my love. Excuse me! Excuse me!