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Eric Columbus @EricColumbus
, 7 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
As the year draws to a close, I’d like to recommend a personal holiday tradition: reading James Joyce’s lovely yet bracing novella “The Dead,” which can be found at this link. Please indulge me for a few tweets. 1/…
Unspooling over the course of a holiday party and the hours that follow, the story, which is easily readable in one sitting, is a useful bookend to another seasonal classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 2/
If the lesson of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is that you may loom larger in others’ lives than you think, the lesson of “The Dead” is that sometimes you don’t. 3/
In both cases, the lesson is learned by the male protagonist, a family man, whom we imagine will be wiser for it. 4/
According to Hasidic lore, Rabbi Simcha Bunam said that everyone should have two pockets, so as to pull out a piece of paper from one or the other as needed. 5/
One piece of paper should say “For my sake was the world created.” The other should say “I am but dust and ashes.” 6/
In 2019, may we keep each piece of paper in our literal or figurative pockets in case we need them — and may those times be few. 7/end
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