Photo (cc) Laura Appleyard.
From today’s Guardian. Some things don’t change.
“My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the centre of paralysis.”
For Joyce, “paralysis” represents a moral failure resulting in the inability to live meaningfully. It appears on the first page of the first story, “Two Sisters”, in a sentence that offers a key to the whole book:
“Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word Simony in the Catechism.”