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by James Joyce

Thomas Lyster

Character Analysis

Lyster was the real life librarian of the National Library of Ireland from 1895 to 1920. He translated a biography of Goethe, and thus it comes as no surprise that he is discussing Goethe at the start of the "Scylla and Charybdis" episode . Being a Quaker instead of a Roman Catholic, his religious faith was often made suspect. We notice this when Stephen repeatedly refers to him as "the quaker librarian" instead of by name. At several points, Lyster tries to be kind to Stephen when the other men are snubbing him. Lyster tells him that his theories are interesting and asks if they will be published. He disappears midway through the episode to help Bloom search for the Kilkenny People. Lyster appears briefly in "Circe" in one of Stephen's dream sequences.