His excellency the minister for Spain had ordered his carriage for half past six. Perfumed, powder-puffed, be-medaled, dressed with effeminate elegance, the Baron of Bernicarlés placed his Panama, cane, and gloves on a console. Sucking in his stomach, he now laced his corset tight and retraced his steps to his boudoir. Carefully rolling up a trouser leg, so as not to crease it, he administered a shot of morphine. He stretched his leg, limped slightly, returned to the console, and put on his hat and gloves in front of the mirror. His bulging eyes quivered at the corner; his drooping mouth betrayed his roller-coastering thoughts. As he eased on his gloves, an image of Don Celes’s yellow pair flashed through his mind. Now other snapshots hurtled through his memory, scampering as vigorously as a young bull in the ring. From acute angles and with ruptured grammar, words unleashed themselves with epigrammatic energy: futile jab of the goad; young steers from Guisando; hewn from granite. A lethal leap on the trampoline and a single thought hanging in the air, weightless and gaseous: Don Celes! What an entertaining ass! Splendid! The thought then dissolved into a vaguely playful feeling, transmuted into a succession of graphic, vivid intuitions suffused with the absurd logic of a dream. Don Celes was performing fantastic tricks with clownish sacks in a circus arena. It was that rotund whitey for real. Wow wee!
—James Joyce? Not quite. It’s Ramón del Valle-Inclán from Tyrant Banderas, wonderfully translated from the Spanish by Peter Bush. Ulysses was published in its entirety in 1922 and Tyrant in 1927. We think the comparison is fitting.