Monday, March 10, 2014

[The objective third-person voice in Telemachus]

(Surely there's a simpler name for this rhetorical device?!)

(In later episodes too) I'm noticing descriptions that attribute actions to bodyparts-- faces, voices, lips, heads, forms, figures, hands:

the shaking gurgling face that blessed him
the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him
His curling shaven lips laughed and the edges of his white glittering teeth. Laughter seized all his strong wellknit trunk.
A voice within the tower called loudly:
His head halted again
His head vanished
Buck Mulligan's voice sang from within the tower. It came nearer up the staircase, calling again.
Buck Mulligan's gowned form moved briskly about the hearth
A tall figure rose from the hammock where it had been sitting, went to the doorway and pulled open the inner doors.
-- Have you the key? a voice asked.
Buck Mulligan's face smiled with delight.
His hands plunged and rummaged in his trunk
A limp black missile flew out of his talking hands.

It gives a sort of disembodied clinical objectivity...? While also animating nature...

The boy's blank face asked the blank window
The words troubled their gaze
Had Pyrrhus not fallen by a beldam's hand
the scrappy field where sharp voices were in strife
his old man's voice cried sternly
Their sharp voices cried about him on all sides: their many forms closed round him
Stephen's embarrassed hand moved over the shells
Stephen's hand, free again, went back to the hollow shells.
A coughball of laughter leaped from his throat dragging after it a rattling chain of phlegm. He turned back quickly, coughing, laughing, his lifted arms waving to the air.


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