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characterizes traditional Western intellectuals: a representative

of the independent and resistant intellectual, as Said sees him

(1996: 16-17)

the embodiment of the idealistic aspects of the

intellectual indeed

Stephen of


may be proud and

rebellious, but is soon defeated by the harsh realities of daily

life when setting out to undertake the enterprise of forging the

uncreated conscience of his race. Like Icarus, he soars too high



, and the wax on his wings melts; inevitably and

heavily, he falls to the ground in


. What remains after

the fall is merely glumness, frustration, and wasted potential,

and despite the subversive power of the Parable, it is left

unappreciated and powerless. Stephen himself is equivocal

about his “vision”: “He gave a sudden loud young laugh as a

close” (Joyce, 1986: 119, 122), feeling awkward and

unconfident, in sharp contrast to the Stephen of



proudly announces his enterprise. Stephen’s predicament

reveals the insufficiency of the overtly idealistic aspects

characteristic of many intellectuals: ignoring the realistic

aspects, they end up being stranded in their idealism, which

turns out to be no more than empty rhetoric. O’Connell

endeavored to bring about the repeal of the Act of Union by

constitutional means supported by stirring speeches, but the

government prohibition on rallies, together with his insistence

that there be no bloodshed, resulted in the dwindling of his

influence and the failure of the parliamentary system. Young

Irelanders and Revivalists might have striven to reconstruct an

Ireland unspoiled by Anglicization, but this endeavor was

doomed to failure on account of its idealization of the remote

past and divorce from social reality. Stephen, obviously, is not

the only one who confronts limits to his project.

Significantly, Joyce depicts Bloom as an intruder in the

“OMNIUM GATHERUM,” the only person who actually