Telemachus: Comments by Joyce

"I want," said Joyce, as we were walking down the Universitätstrasse, "to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book."

(Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of "Ulysses," pp. 67-68 / p. 69)

I enquired about Ulysses. Was it progressing?
"I have been working hard on it all day," said Joyce.
"Does that mean that you have written a great deal?" I said.
"Two sentences," said Joyce.
I looked sideways but Joyce was not smiling. I thought of Flaubert.
"You have been seeking the mot juste?" I said.
"No," said Joyce. "I have the words already. What I am seeking is the perfect order of words in the sentence. There is an order in every way appropriate. I think I have it."
"What are the words?" I asked.
"I believe I told you," said Joyce, "that my book is a modern Odyssey. Every episode in it corresponds to an adventure of Ulysses. I am now writing the Lestrygonians episode, which corresponds to the adventure of Ulysses with the cannibals. My hero is going to lunch. But there is a seduction motive in the Odyssey, the cannibal king's daughter. Seduction appears in my book as women's silk petticoats hanging in a shop window. The words through which I express the effect of it on my hungry hero are: 'Perfume of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore.' You can see for yourself in how many different ways they might be arranged."

(Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of "Ulysses," pp. 19-20 / p. 20;
Joyce refers to "Lestrygonians" 8:638-39, p. 138)