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Gettysburg Review
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“The Key”

by Philip Levine

I can still recall a college course I took in James Joyce. The distinguished Dr. Prescott raised his delicate voice above a whisper to assure us that the underlying theme of Ulysses was the Search for the Father. The class nodded its assent. I nodded my assent. The professor continued; it was the identical journey of Telemachus, of Hamlet. The class nodded. I thought for a moment and shook my head no. The class stared at me in wonder. Dr. Prescott’s face clouded with sadness.

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