ALL DAY, WE TALK about “the end of the world”: the sun, black as sackcloth: the moon: as blood; country children, the afternoon, smell of petrichor, wind picking up. The bluster silences the others still up front. She appears, glowing above the field out back, like fabric in the wind.
A DEMON RESIDES within Chip’s soul. His mood flip-flops and the faint sound of wind chimes announce his appearances. Chip is a bushy, black dog of questionable ancestry. One night on a walk, dark forces awaken.
Chip pulls the chain taut like sledding huskies, tail high, seemingly happy, but with Chip nothing is certain. Midnight nears, the projects quiet: only the jangle of the dog tag in the night chill.
Suddenly, infrasound vibrates through the chain; then swells into a ferocious growl. Chip wheels around in attack mode, fangs gnashing. Sensing danger behind, Chip fends off an ambushing dog pack.
WHAT DOES THE EVIDENCE GATHERED AND PRESENTED toward illumination into James Joyce’s narratological use of the “Ithaca” episode of intellectual parody toward an overarching aesthetic presentation of the seminal Modernist prosaic statement that marks Ulysses conclude?
The subterfuge of the arid abstruseness of empirical doctrine contained within the technic of impersonal catechism of “Ithaca” provides equilibrium for the novelistic, aesthetic arc of Ulysses overall, balance constituting part of the triadic aesthetic philosophy outlined by Stephen Dedalus in a preceding novelistic outing by the author James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the catechistic and scientific tentative melding parallel to Stephen and Bloom’s communion, as well as their temperaments, “artist and scientist.” The impersonal catechism directly acts as counterpoint to the personal catechism of “Nestor,” episode two, as the subjective “Penelope” (final Nostos episode) counterpoints (and balances) the objective “Ithaca” and acts as the female monologue counter to the male monologue “Proteus” (final Telemachiad episode). The exactitude of these textual segmentations to the systemic agglomeration achieves an aesthetic holism harmonious to the novice literary surveyor as well as the academician specializing in literary analysis. The referent “ugly duckling” of Ulysses coined by James Joyce himself morphs into a pulchritudinous swan through comic and intellectual deployment of arcane language punctuated by lyrical reveries and metaphoric exactitude unearthing the human condition as one isolated like “the coldness of interstellar space.”The modern-day
hero distilled into the characterization of Leopold Paula Bloom, along with other Dubliners, expands in the inclusion of the entirety of the terrestrial populace comprising 7.25 billion Homo Sapiens organisms, a population projected to level off after reaching 10 billion in 2100, through their microcosmic connections to macrocosmic mythological documentations of varied cultures of the collective unconsciousness. Regardless of the imperfections of the inhabitants of geographies incrementally more inclusive—in a house, in a city, of a county, of a state, of a country, on a continent, on the planet Earth, the third planet of the Solar System comprised of nine planets trapped by warped space-time elliptical orbits around a central star Sol, located in the Orion-Cygnus arm of the Milky Way galaxy containing approximately 300 billion stars, of the Local Group galactic cluster, of the Laniakea Supercluster (520 million light-years wide comprised of approximately 100,000 galaxies with a mass 100 million billion times that of the sun), “the void of incertitude”— acceptance of imperfection , courtesy regardless, belief that improvements evolve from tenacity and survival endow the parenthetic brevity of our lives not only bearable but also enjoyable, perhaps; laughter makes life enjoyable. To make the best of things marks the modern-day hero, Joyce seems to say in Ulysses, a point that resonates.