I love this little piece from the Futility Closet blog, on a character in James Joyce’s Ulysses that Bloom can’t quite place.
He turns up again later: “In Lower Mount street a pedestrian in a brown macintosh, eating dry bread, passed swiftly and unscathed across the viceroy’s path.”
And still later: “A man in a brown macintosh springs up through a trapdoor.”
Altogether the mysterious man is mentioned 11 times in the novel. In the Cyclops episode we’re told, “The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead,” and in Ithaca, a catechism of questions and answers, we’re asked, “What selfinvolved enigma did Bloom risen, going, gathering multicoloured multiform multitudinous garments, voluntarily apprehending, not comprehend? Who was M’Intosh?”
Thankfully, Vladimir Nabokov puts us out of our misery. Possibly.