Kelly and Dermot deconstruct the nightmare of history shared by the Irish and the Jews alike. We further explore the intricacies of Mr. Deasy’s bigotry and what it tells us about what life was like in 1900’s Dublin. Other topics covered include one possible source of Joyce’s hatred of Gogarty, the correlation of antisemitism and nationalism and the legend of the Wandering Jew and its influence on Ulysses.
—Qui vous a mis dans cette fichue position?
—c’est le pigeon, Joseph.
Midway though “Proteus,” Stephen reminisces on his time as a medical student in Paris. Amongst those reminiscences, two names are nestled. First, on page 41 (Vintage International Edition):
But he must send me La Vie de Jesus by M. Leo Taxil. Lent it to his friend.
And later (pgs. 43, 50):
And Monsieur Drumont, gentleman journalist.
There’s not indication in the text of the link connecting these two men – Léo Taxil and Édouard Drumont. Though they have become obscure in the 21st century, their public personas likely shaped the worldview of a young Stephen Dedalus (and James Joyce).
—They sinned against the light, Mr Deasy said gravely. And you can see the darkness in their eyes. And that is why they are wanderers on the earth to this day.
To listen to a discussion of this topic, check out the podcast episode here.
We’ve already discussed Mr. Deasy’s retrograde and inaccurate views on the trustworthiness of women and his misinformed defense of the anti-Catholic Orange Order, so today we’ll complete the Mr. Deasy bigotry hattrick by taking a look at his anti-semitism. His disgust for the Jews stands out not only because it is his most impassioned prejudicial proclamation, but also because it’s the only one openly refuted by Stephen Dedalus. It also sets the stage for the arrival of Mr. Leopold Bloom in the episode after next.
Mr. Deasy doesn’t waste words on subtleties; his hatred of the Jews is on display in this passage. Naturally, the anglophilic headmaster focuses on the corruption of England rather than Ireland :