Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  225 / 126 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 225 / 126 Next Page
Page Background



and nonconformity characterize Joyce’s portrayal of his

younger alter ego, Stephen, who famously claims in

A Portrait

of the Artist as a Young Man

that “I will not serve”: “I will not

serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my

home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express

myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as

wholly as I can”; he aims “to forge in the smithy of [his] soul

the uncreated conscience of [his] race” (1964: 239, 246-247,

253). In


, Stephen asserts his ideal again: “



” (1986: 475). It is noteworthy that Bloom shares this

characteristic to some degree despite being styled a man of the



both he and Stephen “indurated by early domestic

training and an inherited tenacity of heterodox resistance

professed their disbelief in many orthodox religious, national,

social and ethical doctrines” (544). The picture of the

independent and nonconforming intellectual functioning as the

conscience of the people and speaking the truth seems to be

gravely distorted in “Aeolus,” which brings together several

pressmen, a solicitor, a professor, and a poet. Yet except

perhaps for Stephen the poet, these Dublin intellectuals act as

simple orators rather than permanent persuaders, pursue

personal gain instead of public welfare, and fall short of the

production of truth; they fail, in brief, to perform the

intellectual function. As the episode is set in the newsroom and

dominated by the editor and other pressmen, my discussion

will start with the “talents” of the press.



For Joyce’s portrayal of Leopold Bloom as loveable mass man, see Carey

(2002: 19-20).


Although “Aeolus” brings together intellectuals from various walks of life, it

is the pressmen that dominate the entire episode. A larger proportion of this

paper is therefore devoted to the dissection of the pressmen.