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Feb 11, 2019 12:59

"Proteus" is the third chapter of the book.
The theme of usurpation and the meaning of History are combined together in a peculiar way. Stephen, the protagonist of our story, walking by the bay of Sandycove, is reflecting about the place is going to stay and also trying to figure out Aristotle`s theory over space. In the chapter before Time and History were the contents of his reflection while here he tries to figure out how eyesight and thoughts are deeply connected through language. Language is not seen simply as our own language but as the common ground on which we walk. Rocks and sand eroded by the work of the sea-time, are the language-ground on which our words stay still.
Proteus is an image of the evolution of transformation of both language and reality.
In the equivalent Homeric, Proteus is the mutant monster that Menalaus has to immobilize in order to figure out a way out of the island where he has stranded.
In modern times, the continual variation of words and thoughts is something we need to follow without being possible to grasp once and for all.
The conclusion is emblematic of the difference between Ancient and Modern Times. Stephen thinks that "the evening will find itself in me, without me". The subjected is usurped from his centrality by the object. In the middle of the Being, we have the object as language, the subject no more.
Before such a conclusion, Stephen thoughts wandered about famous heresiarchs whose idea of God and Son implied a sort of continue mutation, transformation.
Saint Ambrose said that diebus and noctibus iniuras patiens ingemescit meaning that objectiveness and suffering conspire together to dethrone the subject from his central and comfortable position.