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  • Mirroring and MummerySeeing Ourselves As We Would Like to See Others Seeing Us

Joyce is a Gestaltist. Two things about that statement. First, it seems obvious. More than once, a student in a Joyce course of mine has said words to this effect: "You know, this is like one of those pattern-recognition things in Psych class." Stephen's Portrait account of what Stephen Hero called, and Ulysses will call, epiphanies—wholeness, harmony, radiance—is entirely about the formation of a classic Gestalt. To read Finnegans Wake, especially, is, when it's going well, to go from one "aha!" (radiance!) moment to another, and these moments are foreground-from-background (wholeness!), and connect-the-dots (harmony!) experiences. They are, quintessentially, Gestalt moments, as are, at a different level, the figure-ground reversals (temptress or crone? rabbit or duck? crop or corpse? [FW 55.8]) that are constantly being generated by its page-to-page run of coinciding contraries.

This seems obvious, but apparently it isn't. Do an MLA online word search for anything published whose key words include both "James Joyce" and "Gestalt," and you will get exactly three hits, none of them serious, in the last fifty years.

Why is that? Because, I think, a lot is being overlooked. Here is one example, from Robert M. Adams's 1967 Surface and Symbol, a smart and, in its time, influential book with some blind spots, one of which is particularly characteristic of the field, then and now. Adams considers the scene in "Circe" where Bloom wonders whether to surrender his newly purchased crubeen to a dog. To quote Bloom: "Sizable for threepence. But then I have it in my left hand. Calls for more effort. Why? Smaller from want of use" (U 15.669–70). Adams here is interested in two things: minutiae and myth. He's concerned, first, with the "threepence" and how it [End Page 106] fits into Bloom's money calculations and, second, with the dog and how, presumably as Cerberus, it fits into the mythical scheme: micro and macro. Like others then and since, he is, I suggest, insufficiently attentive to the mediating mechanisms, simultaneously physiological and psychological, through which one has translated into the other. For instance, Adams cares little about that left hand and how it experiences the weight of the crubeen: "Whatever the reason for which Bloom is worried about his left hand. …"1

Bloom's thoughts here are about the Gestalt of the moment, and they epitomize an ongoing feature of "Circe," and not just "Circe," the understanding of which is essential to the understanding of much of what happens. If, for instance, you want to know why, in Bloom's encounter with Zoe Higgins, "the bronze flight of eagles" suddenly appears in "the orient, a sky of sapphire" (U 15.1326–27), you need to keep in mind that Zoe is wearing "a sapphire slip, closed with three bronze buckles" (15.1279–80) and humming along with Stephen Dedalus, at the piano, as he plays "oriental music" (15.1318). That is how she becomes, in Bloom's eyes, a harem's "houri" (15.1988). These and other converging perceptions are being processed by Leopold Bloom, "gaz[ing] into the tawny crystal of her eyes," in a state of semi-hypnosis to which he is exceptionally susceptible. The eroticism of the apparition engendered out of this conjunction of inner and outer, subjective and objective, is relatively resistible—she strokes his thigh (15.1296), he strokes her breast (15.1343), without any noticeable sign of arousal—and also evanescent: He is a middle-aged man who has recently masturbated, and any sexual charge evaporates completely the moment he smells Zoe's bad breath (15.1339–41). It is a Gestaltian intersection, with those inner and outer components meeting along a sliding scale.

In the case of the dog and the crubeen, Bloom has been backed into a dark corner, away from the lights of a lamplit street, and his vision is accordingly diminished because the setting is suddenly dark and because it will take his pupils a measurable while to adjust and dilate. (Something similar happens to the boy in "The Sisters."2) Therefore, he is more dependent on what in Joyce's early years were coming to be named, defined, and measured as "kinesthetic" stimuli, muscular and other signals that tell us, for instance, how much weight to put on one foot, then the other. It kinesthetically occurs to him that because he is right-handed and has therefore throughout his life used his right hand more than his left, [End Page 107] the left hand is less muscularly developed, and an object in it will feel significantly heavier than in the right.

By "significantly" I mean measurably, as determined by what contemporary psychologists were later to call the j.n.d. (the liminal "just noticeable difference"), the basic unit of what William James, drawing on the research of experimental psychologist Wilhelm Wundt among many others, had earlier termed the "barely perceptible sensation"3—that is, the minimal increment that enables us to distinguish one note or color or, here, degree of weight, from another. One fact of j.n.d.'s being experimentally documented in Joyce's time was that the quantitative range of the increment is inversely proportional to the intensity of concentration being applied—or, as James and his forerunners had earlier posited, attention augments sensation.4 It augments the intensity, and it augments the clarity. For example, a few lines before Bloom's meeting with Zoe, the apparition of Paddy Dignam, hearing a foghorn with his "pricked up ears," responds with the word "Overtones" (U 15.1246). Those two pieces of data, the sound of the foghorn and the heightened degree of auditory attentiveness, interact on that sliding scale: Hearing the foghorn, he can detect overtones because he has pricked up his ears, increasing the intensity and clarity of what he hears. The same had been the case in "Calypso," where Bloom heard the "Overtone" (4.549) in the church bell-ringing because the earlier creaking sound coming from its apparatus prompted him to prick up his ears. Here, because he is in the dark in Nighttown and more reliant on hearing than sight, Bloom is more attentive to and discerning of sounds. This auditory sensitivity conforms to a theory of sensory compensation as old as the tradition of Homer's blindness, and since confirmed by modern science, which has established that laboratory mice hear better after being kept in the dark.5 We find this same sensory compensation in "Proteus" when Stephen "closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells" (4.10): Those last five onomatopoetic words, I would bet, register at the moment when Stephen's eyes closed and his ears took over. Similarly, in Bloom's encounter with the shape-shifting dog in "Circe," his acuteness of hearing is being further enhanced because he is suddenly alone in the dark with the animal, nervous about it, and therefore more attentive to its sounds: The dog's canine noises become suddenly louder, detectable, and then more than detectable. As with Stephen's suddenly "crackling" shells, Joyce renders this auditory attentiveness in onomatopoeic language: Bloom hears as the dog "gluts himself with growling greed, crunching the bones" (5.673–74). The [End Page 108] dog in question may well correspond to Cerberus, but it gets there by becoming a "mastiff" (15.673), large and hungry and aggressive, only after being earlier identified as a "setter" (15.677) when it seemed to be hunting Bloom. Prior to that it was a "wolfdog" because it had lolled out its "long black tongue" (15.663–64) and because, by the conventions of heraldry and other pictorial codes, the j.n.d. distinguishing a wolf from a dog is a prominent or protruding tongue.6 This is also why, back in "Proteus," Tatters's tongue, when it becomes newly visible, is a "wolf's tongue" (3.346).7 These metamorphoses result from an individual's detection of a j.n.d., along a sliding scale, at one end of which is relative intensity of stimuli and, at the other, relative intensity of attention.

All of these effects are predictable by way of William James, whose 1890 The Principles of Psychology is Gestaltist avant la lettre. In fact, I venture that James, considered as a synthesizer of his era's findings in what is now generally called "experimental psychology," is the psychologist whose work has most to say about Joyce's writings.8 He is, after all, the one who introduced the phrase "blooming, buzzing confusion"; the phrase precisely describes what the mind's pattern-recognition processes interact with when they select from and coordinate the world's swarm of data into something apprehensible, recognizable, and nameable. James coined the term the "stream of consciousness" to describe this phenomenon, and in Finnegans Wake, Joyce uses a process that "knits knowledge that finds the nameform" (FW 18.25). The scenes in Ulysses where Bloom and sometimes others seem unaware of what their bodies are doing or did—for instance, in "Calypso," when "his hand took his hat from the peg" and later when Bloom asks, "Where is my hat, by the way? … Funny I don't remember that" (4.466, 485)—are readily explicable by reference to one sentence in James's chapter on "Habit": "Habit," James writes, "diminishes the conscious attention with which our acts are performed."9

To James's name, let me add one other, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who coined the phrase "amour propre," something for which, as far as I can tell, neither James nor contemporary psychology has an equivalent term, although "narcissism" may come closest. "Narcissism" is a pejorative word—its most frequent occurrence in the literature is as "Narcissistic Personality Disorder"—but it shouldn't be. We all need some degree of narcissism; it is our protective bubble of self-regard, the deflector shield that lets us make our way past the world's slings and arrows, and to lose it would be to face what Joyce may have had in mind when he designated [End Page 109] "The Egocidal Terror" as the "sense" of "Cyclops,"10 the chapter in which Bloom's own amour propre is most menaced.

A personal example here. I am walking down a city street, and out of the corner of my eye I detect an old guy wearing glasses and a ridiculous hat. It is a Gestalt, momentarily minus amour-propre. Then I realize that, actually, by God, that's me! Some damned store has put a mirror where a window ought to be! What follows in, perhaps, less than a second, is, I think, impressive. Behold that distinguished, white-bearded, scholarly looking gentleman in the stylish headgear! What words of wisdom must be running through his distinguished head!

In such moments, my amour-propre has done a Tom Kernan. In "Wandering Rocks," Tom Kernan encounters a mirror. He is a short, florid-faced, half-broken-down alcoholic overdressed in second-hand clothes. That, anyway, is what the world sees—for instance Molly Bloom, who remembers him as "that drunken little barrelly man" (18.1264–65). What he sees in the mirror, on the other hand, is a "[r]eturned Indian officer" ([U 10.756]: He isn't, but he may be wearing a red or reddish frockcoat), his face weathered and reddened by the tropical sun, his body beaten but unbowed in service of the empire whose uniform he still proudly wears, forging bravely ahead.

Kernan's access of amour-propre, like mine with the sidewalk mirror, has taken in the sensations at hand and, in the process of integrating them, upgraded them. It is a process of pattern-recognition, in this case energized by an inner current, or jolt, of amour-propre. As such, it is its own distinct category of Gestalt, and, I think, also as such, a Joycean specialty.

Other writers also present surges of positive Gestalt, as when a character feels ennobled when seen through the doting eyes, real or imagined, of his or her lover: Don Quixote, when he thinks of Dulcinea, or Esther Summerson on the last page of Bleak House, when, disfigured (probably) by smallpox, she hears her loving husband say that she is "more beautiful than ever" and starts to believe it.11 On the reverse side, there are fictional moments of perceptual disillusionment, of things falling apart before one's eyes because some vital pretense has dwindled or departed.12 Joyce has these moments. Zoe Higgins's bad breath initiates one such. In other cases, the requisite energy—the force of attention—is too weak for the Gestalt to cohere in the first place. Thus, the horse of "Eumaeus" is not a steed or a stallion or Dobbins or Bessy, but just a "fourwalker, a hip-shaker, a blackbuttocker, a taildanger" (16.1784–85)—the sensation falls [End Page 110] short of perception, of the knitting of the "nameform." This imprecision occurs when it does because "Eumaeus" follows "Circe," in which the whole Gestalt-forging process was overloaded and blew its circuits. Bloom, who in the previous chapter could turn buckles on a blue dress into a scene out of the Arabian Nights, cannot so much as put the parts of a horse together to make a horse. It is a matter of energetics, of the relative force of the Gestalt-making process, having gone from one extreme to the other. Presumably, the ideal—what Matthew Arnold, on Shakespeare, called seeing things steadily and seeing them whole—falls somewhere in between.

Such fluctuations can, again, be explained through James, and not just through him. Thought, according to turn-of-the-century mental science, is electricity, and electricity is radically variable: It can dim or illumine or electrocute or go black or short out. In "Eumaeus," it has pretty much been shorted out. What Joyce brings to this discussion is the realization and demonstration that ego, as amour propre, is a powerful generator of this energy—or, when not switched on, the reverse. Gerty McDowell's mental energy gets post-orgasmically switched off with the words "She's lame!" (13.771),13 dismantling the inner narrative that had allowed both her and Bloom to read her distinctive immobility as a sign of sublimity. Similarly, in "Telemachus": "Buck Mulligan turned suddenly for an instant towards Stephen but did not speak. In the bright silent instant Stephen saw his own image in cheap dusty mourning between their gay attires" (1.569–71). Stephen sees himself as he is seen by two others who scorn him, and the boy who would enjoy invisibility is suddenly visible and exposed, his amour-propre bubble temporarily out of commission.

Exhibit A, my third and last mirror, is the Gresham Hotel's pier-glass—a full-length mirror giving a sudden and unprepared, unwelcome full-body apercu to a forty-year-old man—in which Gabriel Conroy, after the failed overture to Gretta, remembers seeing himself "as a ludicrous figure, acting as a pennyboy for his aunts, a nervous well-meaning sentimentalist, orating to vulgarians and idealizing his own clownish lusts, the piteous fatuous fellow he had caught a glimpse of in the mirror" (D 220). This is a Gestalt epiphany: wholeness by way of the mirror's frame, harmony by way of the cohering percept of one single male body, radiance as a result of Gabriel's feeling that what he is seeing somehow sums up what he is when his amour-propre is out of commission.

As such, it may constitute a partial truth. But epiphanies—this is certainly the case in Joyce's personal collection of them—can be wrong, and [End Page 111] at most only incompletely or temporarily right. Why have so many readers taken Gabriel's mordant self-assessment as the whole truth?

I am here returning to an old theme of mine,14 about something I just do not understand. I understand why people might dislike Stephen and Molly and even Bloom, who really ought to be ashamed of the way he is stringing Martha Clifford along. However, I simply cannot begin to understand critics, and their name is legion, who look down on Gabriel, who take that pier-glass self-assessment as definitive.15 Gabriel, I suspect, is a better person than I am, and, speaking of amour-propre, that is neither modesty nor false modesty, because I consider myself a pretty good fellow, and anyway, doubling down here and I hope no offense, I think he is probably a better person than you are, too. Who among us could have gotten through that evening with as much credit? I understand that he entertains some uncharitable thoughts, which he does not voice. Who, on such an evening, would like to be judged by everything that passed through our mind? Miss Ivors gets a rise out of him, but only because that is what she set out to do; the reason she leaves the party right after can probably be explained by the two words, "Mission Accomplished." It's true that Gabriel is fudging when his speech mixes up the three goddesses with the three graces, but on what plane of reality does that do anyone any harm? Goodness gracious, mercy me, and please pass the smelling salts. At the end of the long evening, he wants to make love to his wife, but he can't read her mind. This does not make him an insensitive clod or, by any but the most prosecutorial of criteria, an abeyant rapist.

On the contrary: If anyone is insensitive here, it is Gretta. The Conroy home is about a twenty-minute carriage ride out of town, but Gabriel has rented a room in an expensive, classy hotel, for one night away from the kids. They have danced together. He has made nice. When asked if they want a light in their room, he says no. When they get in the room, he takes her in his arms. Gretta, exactly how many hints do you need?

Later: "He had never felt like that towards any woman but he knew that such a feeling must be love" (D 223). Oh, rubbish, Gabriel. The story you are in is a story of a man in love. What has happened is that you are mentally exhausted, as who would not be after such an evening, and that your self-image of the pretty good fellow you have shown yourself to be has temporarily been denuded of the most crucial figure in the carpet, the knowledge that you are loved in return by your wife, in whose eyes, you would like to think, you have earned the right to think that you might, on such a night, show to advantage. Withdrawal of eros has devastated [End Page 112] ego, thus dissipating amour-propre, draining the picture-making Gestalt-forging faculty that allowed Gabriel to see himself as something other than the diminished and disassociated pieces of self displayed in the mirror after the night just past and its deflating denouement.

Gabriel sees and feels himself, as we say today, falling to pieces, coming apart at the seams. But there is another Gestalt, replacing it, also and as always a matter of the moment, compounded of inner state and outer stimuli. Like Stephen on the beach with his eyes shut and Bloom in Nighttown's dark corner, the central consciousness can hear things more acutely, in this case the taps of snowflakes on the window pane (surely, a liminal sound) because he is in a dark room, and because his alertness to that particular set of stimuli has been, as the academic terminology would put it, promoted by Gretta's story of Michael's Furey's gravel, thrown against her window. He has a vision, of Michael and others, and it is a fuzzy vision at least in part because he is myopic and has presumably removed his glasses for bed, and because there are vision-blurring tears—"generous tears," because Gretta has recently called him "generous"—in his eyes. As for the phrase "The time had come for him to set out on his journey westword" (223): Gabriel is falling asleep, with that swoonily falling feeling that sometimes goes with it, and the imagined direction of the movement—central plain to Bog of Allen to Shannon to Oughterard—is consistently westward because of all the westering cues of the night just past, because his hotel window is facing west,16 because he was and is looking out that window, toward the snow from the west, and, especially, because of Gretta's story of Galway in the far west. Also: he feels, at one with the dead partly because he is horizontal, between sheets, and chilly.

But the good news is, he is going to sleep. In the words of the Gestaltist Kurt Koffka, "The whole is something else than the sum of its parts."17 The whole, given time and rest, will re-integrate. The pieces—that old raveled sleeve of care—will re-knit. For one thing, Gretta really does love him. He loves her. In the morning, the apparition of Michael Furey will have diminished, then vanished, along with the snowfall and gaslight, but that will perdure. Gabriel will feel better and see things better—maybe even, more or less, see them steadily and see them whole—including, even in the Gresham's pier-glass, himself.

John Gordon

John Gordon is Professor Emeritus of English literature at Connecticut College. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, with a doctorate from Harvard University. He is the author of six books, three of them on Joyce, and numerous articles. He is presently at work on the online "John Gordon's Finnegans Wake Blog," a series of notes supplementing the fourth edition of Roland McHugh's Annotations.


1. Robert M. Adams, Surface and Symbol: The Consistency of James Joyce's Ulysses (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), 110–11.

2. "I groped my way toward my usual chair in the corner …" (D 14). He has just left an upper room "suffused with dusky golden light" streaming through "the lace end of the blind" and entered the dimly lit parlor below, and it takes a few seconds for his eyes to adjust: he can see well enough afterwards. Other writers have registered such ophthalmic effects, but Joyce in my experience is unique in not pointing out the reason. The same goes for the change in brightness between the two rooms: The house's blinds are drawn for the funeral (compare U 6.12), but the light of the set sun reflecting off a "tawny gold of a great bank of clouds," in turn reflected off the "window-panes of the houses that looked to the west" (so: this room's window is facing east, toward the reflected sunset) shines through that "lace end of the blind," as it does not through the blinds downstairs. Why not? A number of plausible reasons: that the lower room does not have windows facing east; that its blinds are drawn farther down than the ones upstairs; that the shadow of an adjoining building reaches to the lower story but not the upper, or, simply, blocks the light from the window panes, that those window panes, seen from a different angle, are not reflecting the light in the same way, or at all, and so on.

3. William James, The Principles of Psychology (New York: Dover Publications, 1950) I, 538

4. James I, 425

5. See "Kanold study in Neuron: A short stay in darkness may heal hearing woes," BB: Brain and Behavior Initiative (February 6, 2014), available at

6. For examples, enter "heraldic wolf" in Google Images, or see Julian Franklyn, Shield and Crest (London, 1967), especially pages 102, 103, 109, and 110: With Franklyn as a guide, it becomes clear that each of the identities assigned to the dog in "Proteus"—hare, buck, bear, calf, as well as wolf—result from a match between the shape it has temporarily assumed and Stephen's preconceptions, largely derived from the pictorial conventions of heraldry. (Running, Tatters becomes a "bounding hare," for instance, when his ears become prominently "flung back" (U 3.334) as a result; long ears are, in heraldry as elsewhere, a hare's distinguishing feature.) Although Bloom does not likely share Stephen's familiarity with heraldic codes, prominent tongues were and are frequently a signature in the popular image of wolves: See, for example, the Big Bad Wolf in Disney's "Three Little Pigs," or the character "Wolfie" in many Tex Avery cartoons, or the wolf in the Fleischer Studios Betty Boop cartoon "Dizzy Red Riding Hood." (All are available on YouTube.) Speaking of Little Red Riding Hood, at FW 411.21–24, the ("dogmestic") religiously dogmatic/domestic Shaun, on sticking out his tongue ("Her's me hongue!": He is presumably acting out the role of communicant at mass, his tongue protruding to receive the wafer), and is thereby transformed into a ("tarabred") Tara—Irish—thoroughbred who has "painted our town a wearing greenridinghued." In "Cyclops" (U 12.715), we are informed that a "wolfdog" is the Irish breed (compare U 12.715). Shaun's display of tongue simultaneously establishes his Irishness, his Irish Catholic piety, his Irish canine pedigree, and, as wolf, wolfhound, or wolfdog, his qualification to play the Big Bad Wolf in a pantomime of "Little Red Riding Hood."

7. So much, I think, for the theory, originating in the 1970s and still around, that Stephen has broken his glasses and cannot see things distinctly. A myopic Stephen could not have detected that tongue and processed the resulting composite as suggested, or have recognized the two women on the beach as cocklepickers (U 3.342–43), or have discerned the "smokeplume" of the mailboat, however "vague," about five miles distant (1.575) from the Martello Tower, or have identified the names of the horses in the prints on Mr. Deasy's wall (2.301–4) or the names of the fighters in the "faded 1860 print" in "Clohissey's window" (10.831–32). A presbyopic Stephen (see Jan van Velze, "'Noticeably Longsighted from Green Youth:' Ocular Proof of James Joyce's True Refractive Error" James Joyce Quarterly 54, 1–2 [2016], 45–66, and FW 293.23–294.1), the grown-older version of the boy of Portrait who is pandied because he cannot read the page in front of him, would not have been "glancing at the name and date in his gorescarred book" during the "Nestor" lessons (U 2.212–13), or have been browsing through the book stalls of "Wandering Rocks," reading, with no apparent difficulty, the words ("se il yelo nebrakada feminum!" [U 10.849]) in one of them. Another possibility, that Stephen broke his glasses during a physical contretemps with Mulligan in the Westland Row station, shortly before the beginning of "Circe," is also dubious, first, because Bloom's memory of the incident includes nothing of the sort (you do not caution someone against "trust[ing]" someone else if you have recently witnessed the two in a fistfight [16.279–80]); second, because, sobered up in "Ithaca," Stephen apparently has no trouble either writing or reading (17.736–40). Close-up, far-away, middle-distance: Stephen's vision is evidently 20–20, up until the period (end of "Oxen of the Sun, "Circe," most of "Eumaeus") when, visually and otherwise, he has become so befuddled with drink that he thinks that a cigarette thrown to him has appeared by "magic," and then has trouble bringing it into contact with a match (15.3618–32).

8. Freud is the obvious favorite here. My own judgment on this much-discussed topic is that Joyce was sincere, and to some extent probably correct, in claiming that he had independently arrived at the sorts of insights generally associated with Freud's name. Stephen's "Scylla and Charybdis" Shakespeare theory certainly has strong affinities with "the new Viennese school" that, he says, John Eglinton "spoke of" (U 9.780), but by beginning the chapter in medias res, after Eglington has had his say on the subject, Joyce is able to both acknowledge and largely ignore any connection.

9. James I, 114.

10. Richard Ellmann, Ulysses on the Liffey (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 187–89.

11. Charles Dickens, Bleak House (New York: Norton Company, 1977), 770.

12. The meaning of the title of William Burroughs's Naked Lunch is "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork." Compare this, from Virginia Woolf's The Waves, to a dinner party from which, for complicated reasons, the gemütlickeit has suddenly evaporated: "We have been taking into our mouths the bodies of dead birds." (Virginia Woolf, The Waves [New York: Harvest, 2006], 217.) Or this, from a suddenly disillusioned character in Ford's The Good Soldier, "The burning logs were just logs that were burning and not the comfortable symbols of an indestructible mode of life." (Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier [New York: Vintage Books, 1989], 240.)

13. Arriving at the precise liminal moment when their two monologues cross, these words, voicing an anxiety latent throughout Gerty's share of the discourse, are, I think, as much hers as they are Bloom's: Mirror-wise, she suddenly sees herself as (she thinks, correctly) he suddenly sees her.

14. See my essay "Evidence in Joyce: The Empirical Strikes Back," Notes on Modern Irish Literature 13 (2001), 5–9.

15. See Michael Murphy, "'The Dead': Gabebashing in Joyce Country," English Studies 81, 1, 41–55. Also, see Melissa Free, "'Who is G. C.?': Misprizing Gabriel Conroy in Joyce's 'The Dead'," Joyce Studies Annual (2009), 277–303. Murphy attributes the cascade of abuse to misguided feminist zeal. (A role-reversal thought experiment may be instructive here: Gretta and Gabriel, alone at last, in that dark hotel room. Gretta to Gabriel: "A penny for your thoughts, dear." Gabriel to Gretta: "I was just thinking about my first girlfriend, darling.") Gabebashing, in my experience, at conferences for instance, continues apace.

16. More precisely, west by southwest. Ireland's prevailing winds, therefore its precipitation, are from the southwest, hence the snowflakes, landing with enough force to be (barely) heard.

17. Kurt Koffka, Principles of Gestalt Psychology (Oxford: Harcourt Brace, 1935), 176.

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