Proteus may seem ponderously serious much of the time, but Stephen's meditations on his life and aspirations are shot through with jocoserious mockery. Having thought of the umbilical "cords of all" linking back to archaic times in a "strandentwining cable of all flesh," and having inferred that "That is why mystic monks" contemplate their navels as an avenue to divinity, he then becomes the "lovely mummer" that Buck Mulligan has declared him to be: "Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one."

John Hunt 2013

Telephone wires in Bangkok, photographed by Nurmi. Source: www.vibrant.com.