In a number of articles I published when I began my training as a psychoanalyst at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, now the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, I became intrigued by James Joyce's concern with mothers and maternal images. I found that writing “Stephen's Mothers in Ulysses” crystallized my sense that amor matris, to use Stephen Dedalus's phrase, the ambiguous “mother love” (a mother's love for her son or a son's love for his mother or both at once), was a way into many of the mysterious, unfathomed, even unfathomable passages in Ulysses.As I continued my training, while simultaneously teaching English literature at San Francisco State, I became more and more aware that the way I enjoyed teaching—the close, systematic textual analysis of literature, explication de texte—was dovetailing with the ways I was learning to listen to, and to muse about, my patients. In effect, I was learning that by focusing on the inner lives of patients and literary characters—on what Paul Schwaber in his psychoanalytic reading of Ulysses, The Cast of Characters (1999), calls “minds in action”—I was doing much the same thing. I was trying to pay the closest attention to the repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and associations that make human beings unique.