“A man of genius makes no mistakes”: Joycean misapprehensions
Joyce invites misapprehension in many ways. He overtly signals the importance of error with Stephen’s famous line in ‘Scylla and Charybdis’: ‘A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery’. This is a particularly shrewd move on Joyce’s part. Since a man of genius makes no mistakes, anything that seems like a mistake must actually be something ingenious that can only be discerned by a suitably astute reader. In effect, Joyce implies that there are no mistakes in this text, just artistic brilliance that may or may not be properly apprehended.