Brunetto

Twice in successive chapters the novel alludes to a figure from Dante's Divine Comedy, Brunetto Latini, to evoke Stephen's search for paternal affirmation. In Scylla and Charybdis he recalls some words of "Messer Brunetto" while enduring the harsh glare of John Eglinton's eyes, and at the end of his conversation with Almidano Artifoni in Wandering Rocks the narrative evokes the end of Dante's conversation with Brunetto as Artifoni runs after a tram. The allusions in these passages oppositely characterize Eglinton and Artifoni—older men who respectively scorn and encourage Stephen's artistic aspirations. 

JH 2021

Gustave Dore's 19th century illustration of Dante's meeting with Brunetto Latini. Source: www.wikiart.org.

  Dante (foreground, in red) and Brunetto Latini (at his right shoulder) in Heaven, in a detail from a fresco attributed to Giotto in the Cappella del Bargello, now held in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Source: www.mmdtkw.org.

  Title page of 1528 Venetian edition of an Italian version of Brunetto's treatise Livres dou Trésor, one of many such translations. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Virgil and Dante meet Brunetto among the sodomites, an illustration from Guido da Pisa's commentary on the Comedia, ca. 1345. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Detail of Dante et Virgile, 1850 oil on canvas painting by William-Adolphe Bouguerau, held in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Source: Wikimedia Commons.