All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves...

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avidsuper

Senior Member
Japanese
Here is is sentence from Abraby by James Joyce:

All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: 'O love!O love!' many times.

The whole fiction can be found here: Fiction: Araby and the target sentence can be located in paragraph 6.

My questions are: what does "all my senses" refer to? Does it refer to "sensual feelings" the boy has for the girl? And does "veil themselves" mean "to suppress the sensual feelings"? If so, what does "slip from them" mean, slip from the senses -- indicating even though "I" I attempt to suppress them, I fail or I can't? Please enlighten me on this.
 
  • I think he means the usual five senses, since he talks of rain and light, etc.

    The preceding sentence is
    Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little.

    He feels he's slipping from the sense world and rubs his eyes to awaken to it.
     

    avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I think he means the usual five senses, since he talks of rain and light, etc.

    The preceding sentence is
    Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little.

    He feels he's slipping from the sense world and rubs his eyes to awaken to it.
    Thank you!
     
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