Flesh of a different man

At several points in the novel, men reach out to Stephen in efforts to guide him—often literally, with a physical touch. In his obvious brilliance and obvious lostness Stephen attracts paternal feelings, and in this epic of the human body that need for human connection often registers in touch, just as it does in Stephen's need for a heterosexual relationship. But not all of these overtures are welcome.

JH 2013

Source: www.cbsnews.com.