Opening Ulysses’ third role-play, based on the third episode of Ulysses, known as Proteus, will begin on Thursday. If you haven’t read Proteus before, this blog post will help orient you. Proteus, in Greek mythology, is a god of the sea. Stephen, during this episode, walks along the seashore (Sandymount Strand to be specific), but the basic plot of the chapter is neither the most important connection to the Greek figure, nor really the point of the episode. We get a flow of Stephen’s thoughts and memories (the loss of his mother features among them). The thoughts flow like the sea and change form, as Proteus is a shape-shifter (think protean). Stephen sees a dead dog and a live dog, as if the dog too changes form.
This episode can be read online at The Literature Network, or you can read a digital facsimile of the 1922 edition at The Modernist Versions Project.
If you’re new to reading Proteus: what puzzles you about this episode? If you’ve read it before, what do you think is the most important of Stephen’s thoughts?