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Today's Stichomancy for James Joyce

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The War in the Air by H. G. Wells:

world state, orderly, scientific and secured, nothing seems so precarious, so giddily dangerous, as the fabric of the social order with which the men of the opening of the twentieth century were content. To us it seems that every institution and relationship was the fruit of haphazard and tradition and the manifest sport of chance, their laws each made for some separate occasion and having no relation to any future needs, their customs illogical, their education aimless and wasteful. Their method of economic exploitation indeed impresses a trained and informed mind as the most frantic and destructive scramble it is possible to conceive; their credit and monetary system resting on

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey:

fought for possession of the instrument. Then Snap, becoming solicitous for its welfare, jumped into the fray. They tussled for it amid the clamor of a delighted circle. Snap, passing from jest to earnest, grew so strenuous in his efforts to regain the harp that he tossed the Navajos about like shuttle-cocks. He got the harp and, concealing it, sought to break away. But the braves laid hold upon him, threw him to the ground, and calmly sat astride him while they went through his pockets. August Naab roared his merriment and Hare laughed till he cried. The incident was as surprising to him as it was amusing. These serious Mormons and silent Navajos were capable of mirth.

Hare would have stayed up as late as any of them, but August's saying to


The Heritage of the Desert
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:

storm blew over. She answered: "It is not THAT! It is not THAT! I want to go home! O take me away from here!"

I said that she could not go till the light came; but I felt her brush past me and go away. It was too dark to see where. Then the whole sky was split open with one tremendous flash, as if the end of the world were coming, and all the women shrieked.

Almost directly after this, I felt a man's hand on my shoulder and heard Saumarez bellowing in my ear. Through the rattling of the trees and howling of the wind, I did not catch his words at once, but at last I heard him say: "I've proposed to the wrong one! What shall I do?" Saumarez had no occasion to make this confidence to

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:

watched the moonlight on the rippling river, and the black heads of the firs, and the silver-frosted lawns, and listened to the owl's hoot, and the snipe's bleat, and the fox's bark, and the otter's laugh; and smelt the soft perfume of the birches, and the wafts of heather honey off the grouse moor far above; and felt very happy, though he could not well tell why. You, of course, would have been very cold sitting there on a September night, without the least bit of clothes on your wet back; but Tom was a water-baby, and therefore felt cold no more than a fish.

Suddenly, he saw a beautiful sight. A bright red light moved along the river-side, and threw down into the water a long tap-root of