Prix de Paris

As he often does in this jocoserious book, at the end of Proteus Stephen takes his probing metaphysical thoughts in an absurdly comic direction, turning the idea of a mild "Seadeath" into an advertiser's pitch for a desirable new experience. His musing consideration of Homer's Odyssey, continued in the phrase "Prix de Paris," gives way by complicated shades of ambiguity to the huckster's cry, "Just you give it a fair trial," and his customers' hilarious testimonial, "We enjoyed ourselves immensely."

JH 2014

Prince Paris with Apple, marble sculpture by H. W. Bissen, ca. 1830-40, displayed in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket in Copenhagen. Source: Wikimedia Commons.