Chapbook

In Brief

Noting that his witticism about piers has gone unappreciated by the boys, Stephen thinks in Nestor of contributing it to "Haines' chapbook," recalling what Haines told him in Telemachus: "I intend to make a collection of your sayings if you will let me."

Read More

As he thinks of contributing to this Collected Utterances of an Authentic Irishman, Stephen imagines himself as a sidekick to the English conqueror, at first a subversive one ("to pierce the polished mail of his mind"), and then, more realistically, as a sycophantish "jester at the court of his master." It is a role, he reflects, that many Irishmen have been willing to adopt: "Why had they chosen all that part?"

In Proteus, he will return once more to this question, metaphorically comparing his literary co-optation to the schemes of various noble "pretenders" to the throne of England: "For that are you pining, the bark of their applause? Pretenders: live their lives."

JH 2012
Henry VIII playing a harp in the company of his jester Will Somers, in the King's Psalter, dating probably from the later 16th century and held in the British Museum, London. Source: www.zwoje-scrolls.com.