Saturday, November 23, 2013

Page 3 (1.1-29) "Stately... will you?"

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Delaney: [1]

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan
came from the stairhead,

bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled,
was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air.

He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei.

Delaney: [2]

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called up coarsely:
— Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest.
He faced about and blessed gravely thrice
the tower, the surrounding country and the awaking mountains.

Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus,
he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air,
gurgling in his throat and shaking his head.

Delaney: [3]

Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy,
leaned his arms on the top of the staircase

and looked coldly
at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him,
equine in its length,
and at the light untonsured hair,
grained and hued like pale oak.

Delaney: [4]

Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror
and then covered the bowl smartly.
— Back to barracks! he said sternly.

He added in a preacher's tone:
— For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine:
body and soul and blood and ouns.

Slow music, please.
Shut your eyes, gents.
One moment.
A little trouble about those white corpuscles.
Silence, all.

He peered sideways up and gave a long low whistle of call,
then paused awhile in rapt attention,
his even white teeth glistening here and there with gold points.

Two strong shrill whistles answered through the calm.
— Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely.
Switch off the current, will you?


mysteries: Christine; white corpuscles; Two strong shrill whistles answered... Switch off the current, will you?

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1 comment:

  1. Can we see Stephen here as The Artist striving for (but not yet having achieved) Joyce's immortal/eternal tone of voice, and Mulligan as all Stephen's self-doubts personified, trying to break his will?