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by James Joyce

George William Russell Timeline and Summary

Episode 7: Aeolus

  • J.J. O'Molloy heard a rumor that Stephen accosted Russell in the street to ask him about planes of consciousness. He assumes it was a joke, but it becomes clear that Stephen was actually quite serious.

Episode 8: Lestrygonians

  • Bloom thinks of how one of the girls that wrote into his request for a typist, Lizzie Twigg, had worked with George Russell. As a result, Bloom had deemed her too literary.
  • Shortly later, he hears a man coming up behind him talking about a twoheaded octopus. Russell and a young poorly dressed woman move past him. Bloom regards this as a major coincidence since he had just been thinking of Russell.

Episode 9: Scylla and Charybdis

  • Eglinton, in light mockery, asks Stephen if he has found six young people to whom he can dictate his work.
  • Russell pipes in and suggests that Stephen would need seven if he were to write something like Hamlet because seven is a mystical number. He laughs.
  • Russell is irritated with Stephen's attempts to explain Hamlet from a biographical point of view (we enter this discussion in medias res), and suggests that these questions are purely academic and otherwise irrelevant. He thinks that, "Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring" (9.18). He thinks that such conversation is only fit for schoolboys. Stephen retorts that schoolmen were schoolboys first.
  • Russell makes a stump speech about the power of lovesongs. He thinks that the real power in poetry comes from the hearts of simple peasants. Russell references Mallarmé.
  • After Stephen begins his argument on Shakespeare, Russell reiterates his point that prying into the life of a man, his drinking and his debts, is irrelevant. He says, "We have King Lear: and it is immortal" (9.64). Stephen reflects that he owes Russell some money.
  • Russell announces that he has to leave, and Eglinton asks if he will be at the poet George Moore's reading this evening. He announces to the group that Russell is putting together a young group of Irish poets. Stephen feels rebuffed.
  • Stephen thanks Russell for passing on Deasy's letter and making an effort to print it. Russell announces that they are also printing a letter of Synge's. He leaves.

Episode 15: Circe

  • In Stephen's absinthe induced dream in Bella Cohen's brothel, Russell appears as Mananaan Maclir, the Irish god of the sea.