Scene: The School
Technic: Catechism (Personal)
This chapter, for me, pretty much, cements the idea of Stephen-as-loser. It's not as impenetrable as the following chapter, but the dynamics of the preceding chapter are teased out a little, too - when Deasy goes off on his jag about being in debt, Stephen thinks of the amount that he owes to Mulligan. It's a longwinded way of saying "he hates his job, and wants to get the hell out" but there's a poignancy I find quite compelling in, say, the exchange between Stephen and the student who asks for help with his maths: Stephen's being very pitying of the kid, and these thoughts bring his dead mother to mind. I don't know - as a description of someone stuck in a job that's ok but not at all what they want to do, I think it's pretty good. The introduction in my copy of U suggests that this chapter's also notable because it's one of many examples of false history, mouthed by people in power: the idea that "woman bought Parnell low" is, apparently, a load of shit - though I'm not versed enough in history to say whether it's so.Schema bits: Scene and hour are self-explanatory, I guess. Colour? I guess the brown could refer to horses/cattle, which're mentioned so much - this'd also take care of the symbol, horse, too. And as for the technic? I think it comes from Deasey's attempts to convince Stephen that he (Deasy, not S) is correct about everything that they touch upon: ususry, immigration, foot-and-mouth; it's about failure of conversion. Stephen doesn't believe any of Deasy's bollocks, any more than his students are interested in his own attempts to pass on knowledge. It's interesting that he is made to take Deasy's theory on foot-and-mouth for publication - it's like he becomes the conveyor of knowledge that he doesn't particularly believe in.
Odyssey relation to title: Nestor is the person that Telemachus visits before setting off on his quest to find his father, though the visit provides nothing worthwhile. This is true of Stephen's visit to Deasy - only moreso, as there's money involved in the visit; it's not spontaneous, it's a bought ear. It's Polonius-like, too, continuing the constant references in the first chapter to Hamlet. Interesting, too, is the idea that Deasy gets Stephen to use his contacts in print to get the letter an airing. Experience is impotent, perhaps? Hm.
Scene: The Strand
Technic: Monologue (Male)
This is one of the more dfficult chapters, I think. Not because it's particularly weird, but because it's so fluid and hard to fix meaning to. I'm not even entirely convinced that there is meaning to be found here; it's just the peregrinations of a dissatisfied, yet intelligent, mind.
I love the description of his ashplant cane as following him, calling his name, though - that not-quite-onomatopoeia is pretty cool, I think. This is something that comes out a bit later on in the novel, too, but I particularly like it here - the attempts to pin a sound to something; the ocean, say - is in stark contrast with the propulsive way the chapter seems to construct itself as it goes along - Dedalus' speechifyin', even if it is internal, reminds me of one of those Looney Tunes cartoons where a character keeps nailing plank on plank on plank, out, over a chasm endlessly. It's pleasing, but you're wondering when he's going to say "Ah, fuck it" and walk off for a beer, say. As it is, he just picks his nose, instead. I like the way that, Poe-like, he links fancy unto fancy. In terms of the solitary walker's habit of talking shite to oneself, this is about as true-to-life as it gets. (Well, to a point: I don't particularly wonder whether God was my father, y'unnerstan'...)
Schema bits: Scene and hour are self-explanatory. Art: Philology = a study of words. There's exploration, somewhat, of the way words sound, and the way they can link together, I guess; I think that's what's being explored here. Symbol: the tide suggests to me constant change - that's pretty much what's shown here in the flow of Stephen's thoughts. Mind-as-ocean, perhaps, or just as a river with changing levels? Unsure. Technic: pretty self-explanatory. Joyce's writing here echoes the way one's mind will skip from subject to subject based on what's seen at the time. It's an internal monologue, and aside from the rapid-skipping nature of it, I don't think there's any real writer's trickery involved in it. There's subject matter here that carries over from Portrait (I think - the "Naked women!" bit is foggily remembered...), in the form of reminiscence, while other times it appears that he's just riffing of varying things that he sees, or that pass through his mind. I don't know particularly where the "male" part comes in, other than it is the internal monologue of a male character. Joyce could be suggesting that it's him, as opposed to Molly Bloom's monologue of the final chapter, that is signed as "Monologue (female)"?
Odyssey reference: Proteus is the sea god, a shapeshifter. Presumably, this maps onto the way that Stephen's narrative shifts around, unceasingly.
Am still truckin' on with the reading - might well start up the next thread soon...