Thursday, July 9, 2009

In no case shall the said Bernard Bodley be

The man returned to the lower office and sat down again at his desk. He stared intently at the incomplete phrase: In no case shall the said Bernard Bodley be... and thought how strange it was that the last three words began with the same letter. The chief clerk began to hurry Miss Parker, saying she would never have the letters typed in time for post. The man listened to the clicking of the machine for a few minutes and then set to work to finish his copy. But his head was not clear and his mind wandered away to the glare and rattle of the public-house. It was a night for hot punches. He struggled on with his copy, but when the clock struck five he had still fourteen pages to write. Blast it! He couldn't finish it in time. He longed to execrate aloud, to bring his fist down on something violently. He was so enraged that he wrote Bernard Bernard instead of Bernard Bodley and had to begin again on a clean sheet.
- from Counterparts by James Joyce


  1. I studied this book 20 years ago at school and the phrase 'in no case etc' always stuck in my mind also. Perhaps I long for the glare & rattle...

  2. To quote another Irishman : "Work is the curse of the drinking class"

    Welcome to these parts.