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“OMNIUM GATHERUM”

233

solemn beardframed face. The broadcloth back

ascended each step: back. . . . Welts of flesh behind

on him. Fat folds of neck, fat, neck, fat, neck.

(Joyce, 1986: 97)

Unlike the fictional Crawford who dominates the episode,

Brayden makes only a very brief appearance. The

representation of this figure seems conflicted: he is “stately”

and “solemn” on one hand, but “fat” and ludicrous on the

other. Moreover, he is steered by an umbrella, which, like a

scepter, or phallic symbol, could signify both his power

and

his

lack

he needs something to maintain his stateliness. The

conflicting representation of Brayden implies that the

pressman

as well as the press generally

is more ludicrous

than grand, more pompous than solemn, and more ineffectual

than powerful. As Bloom quips: “But will he save the

circulation?” (98). However much Brayden attempts to look

impressive, Bloom seems to suggest that his efforts to reverse

the decline of the

Freeman’s Journal

are incompetent. Kiberd

argues that Joyce uses the gusts of wind filling Crawford’s

offices “to evoke the flatulent rhetoric of much

Freeman

journalism” (2000: 467). Before entering Crawford’s office, in

fact, we sense the flatulence of the

Freeman

through the

caricature of its editor. It is interesting that Joyce differently

represents two editors: the one is drunken, nostalgic, and

incoherent; the other stately and swollen. Together, the

fictitious and factual editors speak to the status of the Irish

press: presentable on the outside, but corrupt within. Richard

Ellmann mentions that in 1903 Joyce intended to set up a

“newspaper of the continental type” in Dublin because he

considered its newspapers corrupt (1982: 140). If, as Kiberd

observes, Joyce has appropriated methods of the popular press

and cast himself as the editor working on the newspaper that is

Ulysses

(2000: 463), we may argue that it is his distrust and

dissatisfaction with pressmen that drives him to become an