| Quote #4
What are you laughing at? asked Stephen.
This is a very notable moment – it’s the first time we see Stephen stand up for himself, despite the threat (and eventual reality) of physical violence. Of course, the reason for his rebellion is poetry.
| Quote #5
The rain-laden trees of the avenue evoked in him, as always, memories of the girls and women in the plays of Gerhart Hauptmann […] he foreknew that as he passed the sloblands of Fairview he would think of the cloistral silver-veined prose of Newman; that as he walked along the North Strand Road, glancing idly at the windows of the provision shops, he would recall the dark humour of Guido Cavalcanti and smile; that as he went by Baird's stonecutting works in Talbot Place the spirit of Ibsen would blow through him like a keen wind, a spirit of wayward boyish beauty; and that passing a grimy marine dealer's shop beyond the Liffey he would repeat the song by Ben Jonson… (5.1.10)
Amidst the squalor of Stephen’s home and his city, he takes refuge in the literature he loves. This reminds us of his thoughts in the first chapter, when he took his mind off the unpleasantness of Clongowes by focusing on the words he enjoys in his textbooks.
| Quote #6
The pages of his time-worn Horace never felt cold to the touch even when his own fingers were cold; they were human pages […] even for so poor a Latinist as he, the dusky verses were as fragrant as though they had lain all those years in myrtle and lavender and vervain… (5.1.18)
This reference to Horace embodies the passion that Stephen feels for great literature. Even ancient works still have human life and warmth, despite their age, proving that art is eternal.