I was 15 and in my first year at boarding school when I first read James Joyce. First, DUBLINERS, then PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN. We talked about these books in English class, and I thought about them in my 8' by 10' room, and after a while I decided that I'd been a Jew long enough --- I was going to convert to Catholicism.
This was, of course, not about Jesus in the least. It was about Ireland. The peat. The mist. The pubs. The priests and their secrets. The cooking smells. The accents. The omnipresence of death.
A friend correctly pointed out that I'd get close to none of that by con