Friday, March 21, 2014

Page 25 (2.28-63) "at his classmates... text:"

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Delaney: [58] [59] [60] Useen: [9] [10] [map] [*]
Delaney: [57]

at his classmates, silly glee in profile. In a moment they will laugh more loudly, aware of my lack of rule and of the fees their papas pay.

"silly glee in profile" recalls Mulligan
the 'rule' SD lacks must include all enforcing of conventions?
if the boys are really 14yo, cowardly SD may be terrified of them

— Tell me now, Stephen said, poking the boy's shoulder with the book, what is a pier.

surprising, that he's standing that close, and that he makes physical contact (the Linati schema warns "Telemachus doesn't yet bear a body"). he seems afraid to touch directly.

— A pier, sir, Armstrong said. A thing out in the water. A kind of bridge. Kingstown pier, sir.

Kingstown pier is highly atypical, not a platform on supporting pillars but a pair of half-mile granite walls almost-enclosing an artificial harbor.

Some laughed again: mirthless but with meaning. Two in the back bench whispered. Yes. They knew: had never learned nor ever been innocent. All. With envy he watched their faces. Edith, Ethel, Gerty, Lily. Their likes: their breaths, too, sweetened with tea and jam, their bracelets tittering in the struggle.

"back bench" we're never told how many boys, how old, how seated. if they're 14 their voices have already mostly changed,

(Somehow, for these Protestant boys, any mention of this pier brings along primarily associations of sex. During the day it was enjoyed by families, but at night, mosly unlit, it became a place for secret rendezvous...?)

SD envies their freedom from Catholic repression?

Delaney: [58]
— Kingstown pier, Stephen said. Yes, a disappointed bridge. The words troubled their gaze.
— How, sir? Comyn asked. A bridge is across a river.
For Haines's chapbook. No-one here to hear.

(This is so banal I can't believe the boys would be confused, nor would SD bother to repeat it later. Armstrong has already compared piers with bridges, a much less obvious insight. Is the point that SD is not at his best here, and can't distinguish inspiration from cliche?)
maybe JAJ intends to contrast BM's Celtic animism with British literalism?

Tonight deftly amid wild drink and talk, to pierce the polished mail of his mind. What then? A jester at the court of his master, indulged and disesteemed, winning a clement master's praise. Why had they chosen all that part? Not wholly for the smooth caress. For them too history was a tale like any other too often heard, their land a pawnshop.

"wild drink" (cf "wild Irish" above)
"his mind" = Haines (or BM?)
"they" all the Irish? or the boys here? (making SD another clement master)
England's pawnshop, because ownership is a legal fiction?

Delaney: [59]
Had Pyrrhus not fallen by a beldam's hand in Argos or Julius Caesar not been knifed to death. They are not to be thought away. Time has branded them and fettered they are lodged in the room of the infinite possibilities they have ousted. But can those have been possible seeing that they never were? Or was that only possible which came to pass? Weave, weaver of the wind.

Schrödinger's cat didn't get named until 1935. SD seems to realise it's empty philosophising

Delaney: [60]
— Tell us a story, sir.
— Oh, do, sir. A ghoststory.

They know there's only a few minutes to go before hockey.

has he told them stories before? if he's haunted by his mother and the Church, what sort of ghoststory might he improvise? wouldn't Deasy find it inappropriate? (he learned one at Clongowes: PoA1)

— Where do you begin in this? Stephen asked, opening another book.
Weep no more, Comyn said.

a weird way to ask where they stopped last time with their (regular?) teacher, presumably Deasy. SD trusts the boys to tell him, and Deasy trusts them to work it out without any tracking system...?

the gorescarred book was history, but maybe just a minimal timeline. this is some literary anthology, implausibly difficult for these young-sounding boys. they're jumping back in at the 165th line of Milton's poem.

— Go on then, Talbot.
— And the story, sir?
— After, Stephen said. Go on, Talbot.
A swarthy boy opened a book and propped it nimbly under the breastwork of his satchel. He recited jerks of verse with odd glances at the text:

why "swarthy"? (middle eastern ancestry? unclean? eg) he's got nimble fingers but is awkward reciting

'breastwork' suggests the students are at war with SD

(this can't be a feeble attempt at cheating, because SD watches him do it)
were they expected to memorise the whole poem?? (these boys, so literalminded they couldn't make the 'disappointed' leap???)



[DD 03:00-04:40]
[DD 00:00-02:11]

[IM 02:23-05:14]

[LV1 02:34-05:14]

[LV2 01:57-04:04]

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