James Joyce, Ulysses
(Paris: Shakespeare & Co, 1922)

The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos. Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one.

This extract is from the Proteus episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Stephen Dedalus—whose nickname is Kinch—wanders on Dublin’s Sandymount Strand philosophizing and navel-gazing. Imagining the umbilicus as a telephone cord, his stream-of-consciousness taps into the maternal line. Placing a call to Eden, he begins with the first Hebrew and Greek letters.

by Glenn Johnston