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Breakfast in Ulysses

Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hendcods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were in the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him feel a bit peckish.

The coals were reddening.

Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn't like her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout stuck out. Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry. The cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.

- Mkgnao!

- O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire.

Breakfast in Robinson Crusoe

From the 14 th of August to the 26 th , incessant rain, so that I could not stir, and was now very careful not to be much yet. In this confinement, I began to be straitened for food: but venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat; and the last day, which was the 26 th , found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me, and my breakfast; a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the turtle, for my dinner, broiled – for, to my great misfortune, I had no vessel to boil or stew anything; and two or three of the turtle's eggs for my supper.


They were all hungry. The smell of bacon and eggs was very good. They ran down the stairs and said good-morning to their aunt. She was just bringing the breakfast to the table. Their uncle was sitting at the head, reading his paper. He nodded at the childre. They sat down without a word, wondering if they were allowed to speak at meals. They always were at home, but their Uncle Quentin looked rather fierce.

It's almost relaxing to know I'll die fairly soon, as it's a comfort not to obsess about my next orgasm. I've been ambitious, and ambition no longer has plasn for the future-except these essays. My goal in life is making it to the bathroom. In the past I was often advised to live in the moment. Now what else can I do? Days are the same, generic and speedy-


seem to remove my teeth shortly after I glue them in-and weeks are no

more tedious than lunch. They elapse and I scared notice. The only boring measure is the seasons. Year after year they follow the same order. Why don't they shake things up a “bit”? Start with summer, followed by spring, winter, then maybe Thanksgiving?

I've wanted to kill myslef only three times, each on account of a woman. Two of them dumped me and the other died. Each time, daydreams of suicide gave me comfort.


Donald Hall. Essays After Eighty.


remembered how for the three years after I lost her, even when I got up

in the dark to take a leak, she was all I thought about: even at four a.m., standing over the toilet seven- eights asleep, the Kepesh one-eighth awake would begin to mutter her name. Generally when an old man pisses at night, his mind is completely blank. If he's capable of thinking of anything, it's only about getting back into bed. But not me, not then. “Consuela, Consuela, Consuela,” every single time I got up to go. And she'd done this to me, mind you, without language, without cogitation, without cunning, without an ounce of malevolence, and with no regard to cause and effect. Like a great athlete or a work of idealized sculptural art or an animal glimpsed in the woods, like Michael Jordan, like a Maillol, like an owl, like a bobcat, she'd done it through the simplicity of physical splendor. There was nothing the least bit sadistic in Consuela. Not even the sadism of indifference, which often goes with that magnitude of perfection.

Richard Roth. The Dying Animal, 44.

If If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

The Ruined Castle

In the very middle of it, on a low hill, rose the ruined castle. It had been built of big white stones. Broke arch ways, tumbledown towers, ruined walls- that was all that was left of a once beautiful castle, proud and strong. Now the jackdaws nested in it and the gulls sat on the topmost stones.