Kelly and Dermot talk dogs, specifically Tatters, the dog encountered by Stephen on the strand at Sandymount. Topics include Joyce’s belief that the dog is the most protean creature, Tatters’ many forms on the seashore, cocklepickers then and now, seamorse, heraldry, Stephen’s many phobias, reincarnation, sea gods, the ninth wave, pards, the Buddha-nature of a dog, cameos by Nicolas Cage and Peter Falk, Tatters as a muse, Tatters as a Zen master, Stephen’s struggle with duality, Stephen’s creative inspiration, urination, and why Dermot thinks the medievals are great (not stupid).
This certainly wasn’t done by a dog-lover,” said Joyce. “I don’t like them. I am afraid of them. – Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses
James Joyce was a cat person. His brother Stanislaus recalled a family trip to the seaside town of Bray, south of Dublin, when James was attacked and badly bitten on the leg by “an excited Irish terrier.” The wound was bad enough that he had to be taken to a doctor for care. Though he recovered, the memory lasted a lifetime, and Joyce took a liking to cats instead. Joyce transferred his fear of dogs to his literary avatar Stephen Dedalus. In “Proteus,” our young Artist encounters two dogs along the strand at Sandymount – one dead, ensablé: