James Joyce says of Mr. Duffy that, " He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances." Hmm! Don't we all? Or maybe not! Maybe insight allows the integrated, whose simulacrum had moved sideways to fuse with the body, no longer permits viewing the body from the distance but rather allows movement in time to a stronger tune. We used to say of a senior surgeon who was , I guess, blessed with an absence of self- examination, "Frequently wrong but never in doubt." Blessed assurance! When I read the bleak stories of the Dubliners it is clear why Joyce fled to Paris but he couldn't escape the simulacrum that tied him to Ireland any more than my ancestors that fled to the Ottawa Valley. Looking for a stronger tune may be okay, but to deny continuing glancing at your body from a distance may carry a bit of pain but it comes with a reality if you also are given outsight. Mr. Duffy couldn't handle the pain.
For Jim's past posts, check out his old blog here: