Telemachus 0017

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Everything you need to know about Mulligan is in this brief exchange.  He’s the kind of guy who steals a broken mirror from one of his aunt’s servants, and then makes fun of her for being ugly.  Joyce has shown us this type before in his short story “Two Gallants,” starring Lenehan and Corley, who also appear in Ulysses.

Mulligan’s line about the “rage of Caliban” is lifted from Oscar Wilde, who in the preface to the Portrait of Dorian Gray says “The nineteenth-century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth-century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.”  It’s interesting that this follows Stephen’s interior moment (on the last page) where he doesn’t recognize his face, or rather, wonders who “chose this face for me.”

And as for Ursula…  a virgin of note, a leader of virgins, probably apocryphal.  Her name means  a little (female) bear.

 

View this Page of the Comic

Reader’s Guide for I: Telemachus

Dramatis Personae for I: Telemachus

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7 thoughts on “Telemachus 0017

  1. The comic’s rendition of the sky and clouds as generally black and foreboding does not IMO reflect the fact that this June 16th was a warm, bright, sunshiny day.

  2. Thank you, and you’re right about the weather–there’s been a long drought and it’s a sunny day, or “a day of dappled seaborne clouds” as Stephen thinks later. This is one of a number of decisions that are at odds with the “real” world of Bloomsday, though we try to not wander from the text indiscriminately. Our goal is not to make a perfect detail-for-detail visual translation, but to take liberties where we think it supports our method… Let’s see if we can get Rob to weigh in on why he’s made it so cloudy…

  3. A lot of what I wanted to accomplish with this first scene is atmospheric, Frank, and has to do with establishing a small piece of the world of this novel through the dialogue of the first two characters who appear in it. Again, my choice here was to think of it as an opening curtain on the day, and the rolling energy of the clouds helps to create that in a fairly sparse environment.

    (I should also mention that the energy of clouds and water that we’re seeing bits of here will be particularly useful in the “Proteus” chapter later in the day. Making that work in a cartoon means dropping some of those effects in now, more than one hundred pages earlier…)

    The clouds we’re seeing here roll back quite a bit as the day opens up and even within the chapter as Stephen, Mulligan and Haines head down for their swim. But opening with dark clouds does suggest a morning of some importance and make Mulligan’s mass a bit more stagey, don’t you think?
    -Rob

  4. In a much belated reply, Frank D adds the following comments:

    robberry237 says:
    June 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Rob: A lot of what I wanted to accomplish with this first scene is atmospheric, Frank, and has to do with establishing a small piece of the world of this novel through the dialogue of the first two characters who appear in it. Again, my choice here was to think of it as an opening curtain on the day, and the rolling energy of the clouds helps to create that in a fairly sparse environment.

    Frank: I believe Joyce would _not_ have wanted it that way. He was very particular about adding just what he wanted and deleting everything he did not want. I don’t think he would think kindly of anyone changing anything in his novel.

    Rob: The clouds we’re seeing here roll back quite a bit as the day opens up and even within the chapter as Stephen, Mulligan and Haines head down for their swim. But opening with dark clouds does suggest a morning of some importance and make Mulligan’s mass a bit more stagey, don’t you think?

    Frank: I apologize for being what will come across as a narrow-minded, punctilious nerd, but no I don’t think anything in _Ulysses_ needs punching up. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have _Ulysses_ but a travesty of it.

    I’m sorry to say that because I think your comic version of _Ulysses_ on the whole is pretty wonderful. Are you sure you can’t just illustrate Joyce’s story without injecting superfluous stage effects?

  5. For the name “Malachi”: the meaning in Hebrew is “My Messenger”, “My Courier”, “My Proxy” and mostly “my Angel”. Malach, an angel in Hebrew, is in the Bible God’s envoy and proxy. Malachias, the last book, and, the last prophet in the Old Testament, speaks mainly about The right ways to serve God.

  6. I think Malachi’s comment about Caliban’s rage is a critique of contemporary Ireland: in the comment, Malachi is comparing Dedalus, the artist and dispossessed son who represents Ireland, to the romanticists who look back to traditional Irish culture to find an artistic identity instead of acknowledging the reality of the situation which to Malachi is that one must look to the foreign (in particular Hellenistic Greece) to construct an artistic identity.

  7. - Traduction française / French translation –

    L’essentiel de ce qu’il faut savoir de Mulligan est résumé dans ce bref échange. C’est le genre de type capable de voler un miroir cassé à une domestique de sa tante, pour se moquer ensuite de la laideur de la servante (NDT : en la traitant de Caliban). Joyce nous a déjà montré de tels énergumènes dans sa nouvelle des “Deux galants” (NDT : cf. “Gens de Dublin”) avec les personnages de Lenehan et Corley, qui figurent aussi dans “Ulysse”.

    Les propos de Mulligan citant la “rage de Caliban” sont tirés d’Oscar Wilde qui, dans la préface au “Portrait de Dorian Gray”, dit que “la répulsion du dix-neuvième siècle pour le réalisme est semblable à la colère de Caliban à la vue de son visage dans une glace. La détestation du dix-neuvième siècle envers le romantisme est celle de Caliban ne reconnaissant pas sa propre face dans un miroir.” Il est intéressant que cela suive un moment de questionnement intérieur où Stephen ne se reconnaît pas lui-même, ou plus exactement où il se demande “qui a choisi ce visage pour moi ?”

    Quant à Ursula, c’est une célèbre pucelle, chef des “onze mille vierges” et probablement apocryphe. Son nom signifie “petite ourse”.

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