“Why would a recurrent frustration the more depress him?
Because at the critical turningpoint of human existence he desired to amend many social conditions, the product of inequality and avarice and international animosity.
He believed then that human life was infinitely perfectible, eliminating these conditions?
There remained the generic conditions imposed by natural, as distinct from human law, as integral parts of the human whole: the necessity of destruction to procure alimentary sustenance: the painful character of the ultimate functions of separate existence, the agonies of birth and death: the monotonous menstruation of simian and (particularly) human females extending from the age of puberty to the menopause: inevitable accidents at sea, in mines and factories: certain very painful maladies and their resultant surgical operations, innate lunacy and congenital criminality, decimating epidemics: catastrophic cataclysms which make terror the basis of human mentality: seismic upheavals the epicentres of which are located in densely populated regions: the fact of vital growth, through convulsions of metamorphosis from infancy through maturity to decay.
Why did he desist from speculation?
Because it was a task for a superior intelligence to substitute other more acceptable phenomena in place of the less acceptable phenomena to be removed.
Did Stephen participate in his dejection?
He affirmed his significance as a conscious rational animal proceeding syllogistically from the known to the unknown and a conscious rational reagent between a micro- and a macrocosm ineluctably constructed upon the incertitude of the void.
Was this affirmation apprehended by Bloom?
Not verbally. Substantially.
What comforted his misapprehension?
That as a competent keyless citizen he had proceeded energetically from the unknown to the known through the incertitude of the void.”
(James Joyce, Ulysses.)
“His (Bloom's) logical conclusion, having weighed the matter and allowing for possible error?
... That it was a Utopia, there being no known method from the known to the unknown: an infinity, renderable equally finite by the suppositions probable apposition of one or more bodies equally of the same and of different magnitudes: a mobility of illusory forms immobilised in space, remobilised in air: a past which possibly had ceased to exist as a present before its future spectators had entered actual present existence.”