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- Brain Pain - Ulysses Discussion Three – Episode 3, Proteus Showing of 50
- The Books: “Ulysses” – the Proteus episode (James Joyce)
- Semantics and Artistic perception In The Proteus Episode Of Ulysses
Endless, would it be mine, form of my form? Who watches me here?
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Who ever anywhere will read these written words? Signs on a white field. Somewhere to someone in your flutiest voice. The good bishop of Cloyne took the veil of the temple out of his shovel hat: veil of space with coloured emblems hatched on its field. Hold hard. Flat I see, then think distance, near, far, flat I see, east, back. Ah, see now.
Falls back suddenly, frozen in stereoscope. Click does the trick. You find my words dark. Darkness is in our souls, do you not think? Our souls, shame-wounded by our sins, cling to us yet more, a woman to her lover clinging, the more the more. The Sheila Variations. Skip to content. Below are a couple of excerpt from the Proteus episode in Ulysses.
Brain Pain - Ulysses Discussion Three – Episode 3, Proteus Showing of 50
The Proteus episode is an inner monologue, everything having to do with philology. The first paragraph of the Proteus section is rightfully famous. I will lead off with it below. I am blind as a bat myself, and that is a perfect description of the experience of sound, when I am without my glasses And lastly, from Proteus: His shadow lay over the rocks as he bent, ending.
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This entry was posted in James Joyce and tagged Ulysses. Bookmark the permalink. Search for:. Tweets by sheilakathleen. Load More Stephen's thoughts look 'deep,' and Joyce works overtime to achieve this appearance, taking us on an eccentric allusionary tour through his mental library of philosophy, theology, aesthetics, etc. I began to understand this only after traveling to Dublin and spending a sunny Sunday morning on Sandymount Strand. The strand is a huge sandflat. At low tide the soppy sand stretches far out to the barely visible edge of the sea, and it's possible to walk out over the flat, if you don't mind trudging through shoe-sucking muck.
When the sea stops holding its watery breath and exhales back toward the land, the tide comes in very quickly over the flats. I still have an old pair of shoes stained darker brown by Irish Seawater. Even at high tide, you can probably wade out a considerable distance before the water hits your waist.
Likewise, while Stephen Dedalus appears to be a Hamlet plumbing his depths, those depths are in fact almost all shallows. Whenever his broody musing threatens to touch a deep place in himself, a place of guilt or shame or anxiety about sex or death, Stephen flies off on yet another tangent, soaring away into his mental library, into the rhetoric of theology, philosophy, history, into memories and fantasies, into self-mockery.
The passage in which the cocklepicker man orders his dog away from the dead dog's body reproduces the structure of the entire episode in miniature: the Claudius-voice of Authority orders Stephen Hamlet to put off these thoughts of death [" Tatters! Out of that, you mongrel! And most of it is, importantly, aimed at his former self, an "other me" who can be more safely dismantled.
The Books: “Ulysses” – the Proteus episode (James Joyce)
Another point about this shallowness: late in the section we see Stephen's naked emotions, his loneliness and neediness and self-pity; we glimpse a kind of depth, and it's not a pretty picture. This depth is, in fact, embarrassingly shallow: adolescent, maudlin. Posh Virginia wanted to believe that all human beings or at least that tiny minority that finds its way into serious fiction are unfathomably complex.
Joyce knew that most of the time we are insufferably shallow creatures, ankle-deep and mucky like Sandymount Strand.
Semantics and Artistic perception In The Proteus Episode Of Ulysses
There are some endlessly interesting juxtapositions of writing, sex and death near the section's end. Stephen, so horny he's kissing the air, has a thought and writes it down on a torn scrap of paper, a wordy ejaculation that we cannot read. This is the 'job' he thinks of in the line " Better get this job over quick. The eroticized description of the tide might thus be understood as a construction of Stephen's masturbating consciousness.
And after this, after he comes, he punishes himself with a guilty vision of sexual putrefaction the drowned man as a "bag of corpsegas" with a "quiver of minnows" in its trousers. And from this vision he predictably flees into pseudo- Hamlet , The Tempest and typically Dedalean intellectual parody.
Sandymount, it seems, was where Dubliners went to wank in Today they have internet porn. The deep power of "Proteus," the part that hurts, is Joyce's bulls-eye portrayal of young male literary consciousness.