Furious dean

Remembering his time in Marsh's Library in the enclosure of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Stephen thinks of the important Dublin-born writer Jonathan Swift who was Dean of that cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Stephen casts the "furious dean" as misanthopic and mentally ill, associating both states with the fictional Gulliver who would (if he could) have deserted his own species for the rational horses he met on a Pacific island: "A hater of his kind ran from them to the wood of madness, his mane foaming in the moon, his eyeballs stars. Houyhnhnm, horsenostrilled."

John Hunt 2015

Oil portrait of Jonathan Swift by Charles Jervas, held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

A scene from Gulliver's Travels 4, illustrated by an unknown artist. Source: 4umi.com.