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Dubliners - "An Encounter" (Story 2 of 15) 
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Post Re: Dubliners - "An Encounter" (Story 2 of 15)
I copied this from wikipedia and I think it will help a little in thinking about the stories in Dubliners.

Quote:
Gnomon is the name given to an aesthetic process utilized by James Joyce in his set of short stories Dubliners, whereby there is some absence, removal, or avoidance in each story.


In other words, something is casting a shadow.



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DWill, geo
Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Dubliners - "An Encounter" (Story 2 of 15)
I don't see the sex with the cat, either, but Camacho's ideas are interesting, especially the political angle. I was thinking that, along the lines of geo's equating crossing the Liffey on the ferry with crossing over to Hades on Charon's boat, the Vitriol works near where the adventure first starts connects with some kind of Hellish landscape. Vitriol is apparently sulfuric acid, a byproduct of some manufacturing process, I guess. It's possible to read the journey as allegorical, though I tend to want to resist that. I'm not a big fan of symbolism in general. I don't think, for example, that linking the q.o.j. with the devil adds anything to the story.



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Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Dubliners - "An Encounter" (Story 2 of 15)
Had the man went away to have sex with a cat I doubt the boys would have remained behind. Not that seeing a guy walk a short ways away to masturbate is a common or normal occurrence, but it would be met with less shock and horror than had he walked away to copulate with a little cat.

One of you said that you thought he went to masturbate in front of some other kids and I don't recall reading anything to make me believe his act was committed in front of some other children. I just got the impression that this guy went a bit away to do the deed so as not to scare them. He couldn't control his need or desire but he knew masturbating directly in front of them would likely run them off. So he stepped out of the danger zone, masturbated within their line of sight, and then came back. Creepy behavior for sure.

When he came back he quickly turned the conversation to his thoughts on spanking little boys, possibly as another test to see how receptive they were to the idea of being spanked. "Hmmm... They didn't run after seeing me pleasure myself. Now let's see their reaction to my spanking fetish..."



Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Dubliners - "An Encounter" (Story 2 of 15)
Although the narrator organizes the escapade, his spunk seems to desert him during the encounter. Mahony has had no trouble detaching from the sleazy man, and readily labels him a queer old josser when he sees why he left the scene momentarily. The narrator seems either mesmerized or just unable to be impolite to an adult. He has to create an excuse to get away from him. He feels repentent at the end for thinking poorly of Mahony, probably now appreciating that he has qualities that the narrator himself lacks,



Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:35 pm
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