James Joyce quote about time from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it?
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Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it?
 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). copy citation

Context

“Boundless extension of torment, incredible intensity of suffering, unceasing variety of torture—this is what the divine majesty, so outraged by sinners, demands; this is what the holiness of heaven, slighted and set aside for the lustful and low pleasures of the corrupt flesh, requires; this is what the blood of the innocent Lamb of God, shed for the redemption of sinners, trampled upon by the vilest of the vile, insists upon.
—Last and crowning torture of all the tortures of that awful place is the eternity of hell. Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it? And remember, it is an eternity of pain. Even though the pains of hell were not so terrible as they are, yet they would become infinite, as they are destined to last for ever. But while they are everlasting they are at the same time, as you know, intolerably intense, unbearably extensive.” source

Meaning and analysis

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