This article is a transcript of the third session of a reading group on James Joyce’s Ulysses run by the five lizards who guard the grave of Joyce in Zürich. The third chapter of Ulysses is “Proteus,” in which the character Stephen Daedalus strides across Sandymount Strand meditating upon the “ineluctable modality of the visible” and his own variegated processes of perception as he takes in the sea and the beach. Each lizard articulates a different perspective on sensory perception and a different modality of reading directed by that perspective, and so the lizards cannot agree on what the focus of their discussion should be. As the lizards become more creatively inspired, several other characters appear and add their own perspective, and through the liveliness of conversation and the difference of voices there emerges a kind of “chameleonics” in which multicolored light is projected from within the bodies of each lizard. The mobilization of creativity in this discussion aims to open out the “ineluctable modality of the visible” occurring in the first sentence of Joyce’s chapter into a sensory manifold that both plays and is played by the voices of the meteorological forces themselves that render the seascape protean.

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