Yiannis Melanitis


Dog of my enemy (Stephen's Dog Digging the Beach)



The dog's bark ran towards him, stopped, ran back. Dog of my enemy. I just simply stood pale, silent, bayed about…

...Their dog ambled about a bank of dwindling sand, trotting, sniffing on all sides. Looking for something lost in a past life. Suddenly he made off like a bounding hare, ears flung back, chasing the shadow of a lowskimming gull. The man's shrieked whistle struck his limp ears. He turned, bounded back, came nearer, trotted on twinkling shanks...

...Unheeded he kept by them as they came towards the drier sand, a rag of wolf's tongue redpanting from his jaws.

His speckled body ambled ahead of them and then loped off at a calf's gallop. The carcass lay on his path. He stopped, sniffed, stalked round it, brother, nosing closer, went round it, sniffling rapidly like a dog all over the dead dog's bedraggled fell. Dogskull, dogsniff, eyes on the ground, moves to one great goal. Ah, poor dogsbody! Here lies poor dogsbody's body.

¯ Tatters! Outofthat, you mongrel!

The cry brought him skulking back to his master and a blunt bootless kick sent him unscathed across a spit of sand, crouched in flight. He slunk back in a curve. Doesn't see me. Along by the edge of the mole he lolloped, dawdled, smelt a rock. and from under a cocked hindleg pissed against it. He trotted forward and, lifting again his hindleg, pissed quick short at an unsmelt rock. The simple pleasures of the poor. His hindpaws then scattered the sand: then his forepaws dabbled and delved. Something he buried there, his grandmother. He rooted in the sand, dabbling, delving and stopped to listen to the air, scraped up the sand again with a fury of his claws, soon ceasing, a pard, a panther, got in spousebreach, vulturing the dead. (Ulysses, James Joyce)




This drawing refers to 'Proteus' chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses. A schema of the work was drawn up by Joyce around 1920 and sent to Carlo Linati, a friend and translator into Italian of Joyce's Exiles with the writer noting: 'My intention is not only to render the myth sub specie temporis nostri [in the light of our own times] but also to allow each adventure (that is, every hour, every organ, every art being interconnected and interrelated in the somatic scheme of the whole) to condition and even to create its own technique' [1] In this schema Proteus is associated with time (10am - 11am), color (Blue), Philology (Primal matter) and Symbol -Word (Tide, Moon, Evolution, Metamorphosis).



Concerning Proteus chapter, Josh Coyle writes [2]: ...The entire section in Ulysses consists of Stephen walking along the beach, and letting his mind wonder aimlessly. Joyce intended for the reader to assume the position of Menelaos, and take hold of all of the information that is given from Stephen, and no matter how difficult and elusive it may be to interpret, if we don't stop trying, it will eventually show it's meaning. During the Proteus section, Stephen decides to take a walk along the Sandymount strand. While on this beach, he contemplates visiting his mother's family. He begins to actually imagine himself there, and the chaos that he would be subjected to, upon visiting the Gouldings. It is interesting that while he is imagining this scene, the reader has no sign that it is not actually happening. He views a dog, named Tatters, digging the beach. This brings upon the image of burying his mother...'



1.James Joyce, Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann (London: Faber and Faber, 1975)

2. Josh Coyle on Ulysses (http://caxton.stockton.edu/ulysses/Proteus)

3. Yiannis Melanitis' art refers to the body in relation to the epistemological (biological) context which defines it. He produced the term bio-performance based on the conception of the "analogical body" (as opposed to digital), in an attempt to re-establish a more corporeal status of experience, de-depending the body from the domination of simulations or virtual allusions. The notion of the body as soft and malleable unity, forming a "liquid space" formation within space is proposed as a neo-appearance of corporeality.