Houses of decay

Twice in Proteus, Stephen thinks metaphorically of houses. Concluding his reverie about Richie Goulding's house in Irishtown, he thinks, "Houses of decay, mine, his and all. . . . Come out of them, Stephen. Beauty is not there." Later, he thinks of a saying about the medieval poet Guido Cavalcanti: "But the courtiers who mocked Guido in Or san Michele were in their own house. House of..." Both houses are "houses of decay." The artist is engaged in a war against entropy.

JH 2015

Guido Cavalcanti, detail from a 16th century oil painting by Cristofano dell'Altissimo, displayed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Tombs around a Venetian church. Source: