The bubble of life in Joyce’s Portrait

His very brain was sick and powerless (…) He seemed to have put himself beyond the limits of reality. Nothing moved him or spoke to him from the real world unless he heard in it an echo of the infuriated cries within him. He could respond to no earthly or human appeal, dumb and insensible to the call of summer and gladness and companionship (…) retaining nothing of all he read save that which seemed to him an echo or a prophecy of his own state… (Chapter 2)

He could scarcely interpret the letters of the signboards of the shops. (…) listlessness seemed to be diffusing in the air around him a tenuous and deadly exhalation and he found himself glancing from one casual word to another on his right or left in stolid wonder that they had been so silently emptied of instantaneous sense until every mean shop legend bound his mind like the words of a spell and his soul shrivelled up sighing with age as he walked on in a lane among heaps of dead language. His own consciousness of language was ebbing from his brain… ( (Chapter 2, Chapter 5)

A sense of fear of the unknown moved in the heart of his weariness, a fear of symbols and portents, of the hawk-like man [Daedalus] whose name he bore soaring out of his captivity on osier-woven wings, of Thoth, the god of writers, writing with a reed upon a tablet and bearing on his narrow ibis head the cusped moon.  (Chapter 5)

the cry of his heart was broken. His lips began to murmur (…) then went on stumbling through half verses, stammering and baffled; then stopped. The heart’s cry was broken.  (Chapter 5)