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ClassicsOnline Home » JOYCE, J.: Ulysses (Unabridged)
Ulysses is one of the greatest literary works in the English language. In his remarkable tour de force, Joyce catalogues one day—16 June 1904—in immense detail as Leopold Bloom wanders through Dublin, talking, observing, musing—and always remembering Molly, his passionate, wayward wife. Set in the shadow of Homer’s Odyssey, internal thoughts—Joyce’s famous stream of consciousness—give physical reality extra colour and perspective. This long-awaited unabridged recording of James Joyce’s Ulysses is released to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of ‘Bloomsday’. Regarded by many as the single most important novel of the twentieth century, the abridged recording by Norton and Riordan released in 1994, the first year of Naxos AudioBooks, is a proven bestseller. Now the two return—having recorded most of Joyce’s other work—in a newly recorded unabridged production directed by Joyce expert Roger Marsh.
An Introduction to Ulysses
by Derek Attridge
Ulysses is the most famous literary work,
in any language, of the twentieth century: this
claim would be hard to dispute, subjective
though it is. The book’s fame—or, more
accurately perhaps, its notoriety—does not
necessarily mean that it is the most widely read
of twentieth-century literary works, though it
would probably appear high on a list of works
most frequently begun and never finished. Its
difficulty is one of the main ingredients of its
reputation, the others being its length, its
psychological realism, and (connected to this)
its explicitness about sexual and other bodily
matters. While the first two seem calculated to
deter the reader, the second two are more
likely to attract him or her, out of curiosity if
for no other reason.
To those who are familiar with the novel—we might as well call it a novel, although it
could equally be called an anti-novel—this
caricature is misleading in many ways. For one
thing, it leaves out the fact that Ulysses is, to
those who tap into its humor, one of the
funniest novels ever written. Allied to this is the
sheer pleasure with which the writing is
imbued and in which the reader is invited to
participate. Joyce is said to have boasted, “I
have discovered that I can do anything with
language I want,” I and many readers would
testify that this sense of an almost boundless
capacity to exploit the potential of language—and of the English language in particular—is
an important part of their enjoyment.
There is no denying, however, that Ulysses
is a difficult novel, and it must have seemed an
impossibly difficult novel to many who picked
it up soon after its publication in 1922 (not an
easy thing for most English-speaking readers to
do, for reasons we shall come to). Its great
length did not help. Readers who grew up
enjoying the novels of George Eliot and
Thomas Hardy, or even Henry James and
Joseph Conrad, would not have known what
to do with this bloated monster of a book in
which the rules of the English language seem
to count for nothing, there is no consistency of
style after the first few chapters, and it is often
difficult to know what is actually happening—and what can be fathomed of the narrative
content bears little relation to anything that
would normally be considered a conventional
plot-line. Even today, when the long, difficult
novel that flouts the conventions of writing
and reading is not an uncommon phenomenon
(thanks in part to Joyce’s example), Ulysses
presents the newcomer with a challenge.
Yet countless readers, young and old, have
been entertained, delighted, and even
changed by the experience of getting to grips
with Joyce’s novel. They have given it the time
and the commitment it asks for, and have not
been inhibited by the book’s fearsome reputation. A good way of overcoming initial
obstacles is tackling it in a group, or comparing
notes with other readers; and for those who
are reading on their own there is a wide array
of guides and companions to assist the
beginner. Most important, however, is an
open-mindedness toward the text, a
willingness to press on even through
apparently impenetrable passages, and an
alertness to the play of language, the contours
of speech and thought, and the mundane
details of daily existence.
These qualities are also valuable in
responding to the other two aspects of the
book that I have mentioned as being central to
its reputation, its psychological realism and its
bodily and sexual frankness. While literary
critics over the past twenty-five years have
tended to emphasize the way the novel
undermines the certainties upon which we
depend in our use of language, in our relations
with one another, and in our sense of self,
there can be no doubt that Ulysses would have
long ago been consigned to the pile of
interesting but fruitless experiments were it not
for the vividness with which it conveys the
twists and turns of minds going about their
daily business. Or, more accurately, minds and
bodies: the explicit details of sexual thoughts
and activities, of the physical needs and
experiences that traverse our everyday lives, are
there as part of a rich texture of interpenetrating mental and physical worlds—desires, aversions, fears, hopes, moments of
insight or self-deception, memories,
observations, speculations, presented either
with remarkable directness in what is known as
“interior monologue” or playfully mediated by
one of a number of styles which Joyce
developed for the later chapters.
There are many ways of reading Ulysses,
and there is no reason why an individual reader
shouldn’t try several of them. For a first
reading, however, it is best not to worry too
much about the many historical and cultural
allusions, the intricate web of cross-references,
the detailed Homeric correspondences, the
ethical and political nuances, the undermining
of novelistic and linguistic conventions. There
are characters to get to know, relationships to
follow up, minutely-realized details of lives and
thoughts to register. If the first episode, or
chapter, seems hard going, little is lost by
skipping to episode 4, and following the
experiences of the book’s central character,
Leopold Bloom, for three episodes (which take
place at 8, 10, and 11 a.m.) before returning
to the opening three episodes, which focus on
Stephen Dedalus and take place at exactly the
same times in different parts of Dublin.
(Leopold’s and Stephen’s paths cross once in
the sixth episode.) It is easy to establish a
rapport with Leopold Bloom’s mental world,
full of pragmatic responses to the exigencies of his surroundings; Stephen Dedalus’s rarefied
musings, however, though deliciously funny
and entirely absorbing when you become
familiar with them, can take some getting used
to. The style of these first six episodes—known
to critics as the “initial style”—is not hard to
tune in to; the interior monologue, in which
the thoughts of the character (Stephen or
Bloom) are represented by grammatically
imperfect, present-tense bits of language,
quickly becomes second nature as we read.
After something of a departure in episode
seven, the eighth episode reverts to the initial
style, but all the episodes that follow utilize
other stylistic devices, either in conjunction
with interior monologue or moving away from
it altogether. Part of the fun of reading Ulysses
is reaching the end of one of the later episodes
and taking a deep breath before plunging into
the next one, knowing that it will offer not
only a different scene and new events but a
quite different way of representing this
outward reality in language.
Even on a first reading, some guidance can
be a godsend, providing much-needed
signposts—but it is important to remember
that the puzzles in Ulysses are there to be
enjoyed, and the premature use of notes to
solve them takes away most of the pleasure. It
helps in understanding the opening three
episodes, for instance, to have read Joyce’s
earlier novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, or at least to know that at the end of
that work Stephen Dedalus, who imagines a
future for himself as a writer, is about to leave
Ireland for Paris; finding him back in Dublin at
the opening of Ulysses, then, we wonder what
has happened to those aspirations, and look
for clues about his time in Paris and the reason
for his return. Some knowledge of Irish history
prior to June 16, 1904 (when the novel is set)
and of Dublin geography will help, and most
introductions to the novel will provide
information about the events that really did
occur on that day, such as the running of the
Gold Cup horse race at Ascot in England, and
that impinge on the characters’ lives. But most
important of all is to find one’s own way of
engaging with Joyce’s consistently inventive
language in the process of creating and recreating
a city as it was eighteen years earlier
(for Joyce when he published the book) and a
hundred years ago (for us) and the words,
thoughts, emotions, and sensations of some of
its citizens; and then beginning to explore the
powers of discourse itself as they are staged in
the novel, the many varieties of language in
use that dominate but also make possible our
lives as social beings.
That Joyce ever completed Ulysses is one
of the most extraordinary facts about it. He
began the book in 1914 at the age of thirty-two
while living in Trieste, the city where he and Nora Barnacle had made a home for
themselves when, ten years earlier, they had
left Ireland to begin a new life free from the
oppressive conditions of their native country.
When Joyce started work on Ulysses, the
career as a writer to which he had dedicated
himself (like Stephen Dedalus) was only just
beginning to bear fruit: Dubliners, his
collection of short stories, was published in
that year after nearly a decade of frustrating
negotiations with anxious publishers, and 1914
also saw the beginning of the serialization of A
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in a
journal edited by Ezra Pound. Although he
could not at that point foresee what Ulysses
would become, it is testimony to his faith in
himself as an artist that he could embark on a
project of such scope and originality when the
world had given only the most meager signs of
appreciating his art.
The outbreak of the first world war did not
make the early stages of composition any
easier. James and Nora, with their two small
children, were forced to leave Trieste (then a
part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) and
make a temporary home in Zürich, in neutral
Switzerland. Here Joyce, with very little money
(as in Trieste, private English lessons were his
main source of income), living at several
addresses, learning a new language, following
reports of the war and of the Irish struggle for
independence, persevered with Ulysses. To make matters worse, his eye troubles, which
had begun in Trieste, worsened, and were to
plague him for the rest of his life. Yet by the
time he left Zürich in 1919 he had completed
the initial versions of twelve of the book’s
eighteen episodes, and he had also arranged—again with Pound’s help—for it to appear in
serial form in an American magazine, The Little
Review. Money problems had abated
somewhat, thanks largely to the generosity of
a new benefactor in England, Harriet Shaw
After a short stay back in Trieste (where
Joyce wrote two more chapters), the family
moved to Paris, the city in which they were to
live for twenty years—until forced into exile by
another world war. Paris was to see the
completion and publication of Ulysses (and
after that the writing of Joyce’s last, and even
more challenging, book, Finnegans Wake).
These last eighteen months of work on Ulysses
are perhaps the most difficult of all to
comprehend. Although the success of
Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist had by
now secured Joyce’s reputation, he was still
beset by medical and financial problems, and
had to devote a large amount of energy to the
business of finding affordable rooms in which
he could write without endangering his eyes,
and to the frequent moves that this
necessitated. (It is a telling comment on Joyce’s
ability to work in a small apartment amid the bustle of family life that when the French
author Valery Larbaud let him spend a summer
in his Paris apartment, which included a soundproofed
room especially designed for writing,
the Irishman found it “like writing in a tomb”.)
As the pace of Joyce’s writing increased he
often worked for sixteen hours a day, going to
bed at three or four in the morning, until one
evening he collapsed while attending a musichall
performance. After this he tried to restrict
the number of hours he put in each day. In
spite of his precautions, an eye attack laid him
up for five weeks as he was finishing the last
chapter. For most of the time he was writing
Ulysses, he had no guarantee that he would
ever find a publisher: he could persuade noone
in Britain or the U.S.A. to touch the
scandalous work, and even the serialization he
had arranged with Pound was halted after the
thirteenth episode when the editors of the
magazine—three issues of which had already
been confiscated and burned by the U.S. Post
Office—were found guilty of publishing
obscenity. Only when, in 1921, he received an
offer of publication from an American
bookseller in Paris, Sylvia Beach (another of
those many women without whose support
Joyce would have achieved little), was he able
to work with an image of a published book in
Under these unpropitious conditions, Joyce
wrote the final four chapters and revised the whole book, using the successive proofs to
keep adding material. Four chapters and proofcorrection
may not sound like a great deal of
work, unless you know that these final
chapters constitute about two-fifths of the
entire book, and that Joyce enlarged Ulysses by
approximately one-third through additions to
the proofs. With changes being made up to
the very last minute, the printer, whose efforts
were nothing short of heroic, was able to
produce a copy in time for Joyce’s fortieth
birthday celebrations on February 2, 1922.
For twelve years after publication, Ulysses
lived a clandestine existence as a book banned
in the English-speaking world, a book which
had to be smuggled in under plain covers from
abroad. In consequence, its reputation as
pornography grew among the general public,
while those with a serious interest in literature
had to rely more than is usually the case upon
what the critics had to say about it. And the
critics were divided. There were those who
regarded it as immoral, or tasteless, or boring,
or arcane, or imbecilic, or a hoax, or a
combination of two or more of these. But
there were also those who hailed it as a work
of genius, confirming the achievement of
Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist, and
securing Joyce’s place as one of the leading
writers of the day. Among the influential
figures who championed the work were Pound, Larbaud, T.S. Eliot, and Edmund Wilson—although reading their highly diverse
responses makes it hard to believe they had
the same book in front of them. The novel
continued to sell steadily, and one sign of its
success was that an American editor started to
publish a pirated version in a monthly
magazine; publication had reached the end of
the fourteenth episode in 1927 before the
legal proceedings initiated by Joyce took effect.
Those who could not get access to the
book, or found it too great a challenge to read,
were thrown a lifeline in 1930 by Joyce’s friend
Stuart Gilbert in the shape of his study James
Joyce’s “Ulysses”, which summarized the
chapters and quoted liberally. Gilbert’s book
made public for the first time a plan of Ulysses
that Joyce had shown a few acquaintances but
not hitherto allowed to appear in print. This
“schema” (a version of which, drawn up by
Clive Hart, provides detailed correspondences
between the chapters of Ulysses and Homer’s
Odyssey, including the Homeric chapter-titles
which Joyce at first planned to use but then
dropped. These titles have become the
standard way of referring to the episodes of
Ulysses, and students of Joyce’s novel
sometimes find it hard to keep in mind that
they are not in fact part of the published book.
The schema also gives a time for each
episode except the last, showing how the
novel covers a single day from 8 in the morning to the small hours of the next (it is
from the novel itself that we learn that these
days are June 16 and 17, 1904). And it
proposes an elaborate system of
correspondences with the organs of the body,
the arts, and various colors, symbols, and
stylistic techniques (what Joyce calls
“technics”). Just as many parts of the novel are
parodies of ways of writing novels while
remaining highly effective exploitations of the
novel tradition, so this schema seems to poke
fun at over-elaborate systematizations of
literature while at the same time offering some
useful keys to interpretation. Gilbert, who was
advised by Joyce in preparing his study, made a
great deal of the systematic organization of the
book, and provided a solid account of its
narrative content, so that even readers who
could not, or did not want to, get hold of the
book were able to feel they had acquired some
sense of its singular qualities.
The other early book which Joyce helped
into existence, and which provided readers,
and non-readers, with useful insights into the
novel and a good selection of quotations was
Frank Budgen’s James Joyce and the Making of
Ulysses, published in 1934. Budgen and
Joyce became friends in Zürich, and kept in
touch after Joyce had left; and the book
interlaces its full account of the novel with
reminiscences about the author. Joyce felt no
inhibitions about making suggestions to Budgen about what he should include, so part
of the value of the book is its closeness to the
author’s own views (though as the overelaboration
of the schema suggests, we should
always take Joyce’s self-commentaries with a
pinch of salt). A selection of Budgen’s
recounted conversations with Joyce about
Ulysses is included in this volume.
By the time Budgen’s book was published,
however, one part of its raison-d’être had
disappeared, since a U.S. court ruling the
previous year had exempted Ulysses from the
charge of obscenity, and in 1934 Random House brought out its first edition, followed
two years later by the first British edition from
Bodley Head. Twelve years after he finished it,
Joyce’s great book could at last be freely
bought in the English-speaking world.
From James Joyce’s Ulysses A Casebook
edited by Derek Attridge, copyright 2004 by
Oxford University Press, Inc. with permisssion
of Oxford University Press, Inc.
Ulysses: a track by track synopsis by Roger Marsh
Each episode of Ulysses has a title relating it to one of the episodes in Homer’s Odyssey. Although
these titles are not to be found in the book, they are the titles which Joyce himself used. In the
following notes, each title is given a brief explanation which highlights the connections between
Homer’s epic and that of Joyce.
PART ONE: Ulysses
(The son of Ulysses. His position in the family home is usurped by Penelope’s suitors, and he sets
off to find his lost father.)
The setting is the Martello tower in Sandycove, on the shore of Dublin Bay, which Stephen
Dedalus rents and shares with the medical student Buck Mulligan, and Haines, a visitor from
Oxford. It is June 16, 1904. 8am.
1. ‘Stately plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on
which a mirror and a razor lay crossed…’ The day begins with a mock mass, as Mulligan
offers his shaving bowl to the deity. Holding centre stage, he taunts Dedalus about his name,
and rebukes him for refusing to pray at his dying mother’s bedside. This brings to Stephen’s
mind a ghostly vision of his mother—a vision which will return to haunt him throughout
2. ‘A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish
bile…’ Mulligan continues to mock. He holds the mirror up to show Stephen how others
see him—poorly dressed and slightly crazy (‘General Paralysis of the Insane’). Stephen
doesn’t seem to be amused, and Mulligan wonders if their English guest, Haines, has upset
him. But it is something else that is troubling Stephen, and he reminds Mulligan of an
offensive remark he made about his mother who was ‘beastly dead’.
3. ‘He walked off quickly round the parapet. Stephen stood at his post, gazing over
the calm sea towards the headland.’ Mulligan heads back downstairs for breakfast, but Stephen lingers, his mind filled with fond memories of his mother. The memories turn to
ghostly images again, but the nightmare is interrupted by Mulligan’s booming voice calling
him down for the breakfast cooking on the open fire.
4. ‘The key scraped round harshly twice and, when the heavy door had been set ajar,
welcome light and bright air entered.’ Breakfast is eaten while they wait for the
milkwoman to arrive with milk for tea. Stephen sees the milkwoman, when she arrives, as a
symbol of old subjugated Ireland, although she confesses to having no knowledge of the
Irish language. ‘I’m told it’s a grand language by them that knows’.
5. ‘He turned to Stephen and said: Seriously Dedalus. I’m stony.’ Haines is to visit the
National Library later that day, but Mulligan insists that first they should swim (in the
famous ‘forty-foot hole’ close to the Martello tower), and that Stephen should explain to
Haines his theories on Hamlet. Stephen has no interest unless there is money in it for him.
Mulligan agrees that theorising is best done with ‘a few pints’ inside.
6. ‘Buck Mulligan at once put on a blithe broadly smiling face.’ Chanting his own
‘Ballad of Joking Jesus’, Mulligan scrambles down to the rocks for his swim, while Stephen
and Haines share a cigarette and a discussion about religion and nationality. Stephen claims
to be the subject of two masters—‘the imperial British state…and the holy Roman Catholic
and apostolic church’. Haines is concerned about the threat to England from ‘German
7. ‘Two men stood at the verge of the cliff, watching: businessman, boatman.’ They
make their way to the beach, and overhear a conversation about a drowned man whose
body will be washed up the tide. Mulligan undresses and begins his swim, but the others
decline his call to them to join him. Leaving the key of the tower for Mulligan (and
twopence ‘for a pint’), Stephen leaves his companions agreeing to meet for a drink later in
The Ship Inn. As he departs, he reflects that he will not return to the tower tonight; nor can
he return to his home. Telemachus has been ‘usurped’—by Buck Mulligan.
Nestor (from whom Telemachus first seeks news of his lost father and hears the story of the
siege of Troy)
8. ‘You, Cochrane, what city sent for him? Tarentum, Sir.’ 10am and Stephen is teaching
a history lesson at school. He draws parallels between the cause of Phyrrus and the Greeks
and that of the Irish Nationalists.
9. ‘Talbot slid his closed book into his satchel.’ The lesson ends: it is time for hockey.
Stephen sends the pupils away with a puzzling riddle about a fox burying his grandmother
beneath a hollybush. Stephen feels pity for a weak pupil who brings his work for
correction. As the boys begin their hockey practice, Stephen makes his way to the
10. ‘A hasty step over the stone porch and in the corridor. Blowing out his rare
moustache Mr Deasy halted at the table.’ Mr Deasy gives Stephen his pay (three
pounds and twelve shillings) and some stern advice about managing his finances. This he
follows with another lecture, this time on the moral superiority of the Unionists, while
Stephen’s mind strays along ‘the Rocky Road to Dublin’. Mr Deasey needs a favour from
Stephen: he has a letter for the press, and Stephen may be able to help.
11. ‘Shouts rang shrill from the boys’ playfield and a whirring whistle. Again: a goal.’
The letter, pompous in tone and full of cliché, is on the subject of the current outbreak of
foot-and-mouth disease. Corruption is to blame, and an anti-Irish conspiracy resulting from
the fact that ‘England is in the hands of the Jews’, the second time Stephen has heard such
sentiments expressed this morning.
Proteus (The old man of the sea, with whom Menelaus wrestles on the beach)
12. ‘Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my
eyes.’ The setting is Sandymount Strand, the beach near the mouth of the river Liffey. It is 11am. The chapter takes the form of an internal monologue, in which Stephen, killing time
on his way to meet Mulligan at The Ship Inn, philosophises on matters of the soul and on
the power of language. ‘Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more,
thought through my eyes…’
13. ‘Morrow nephew…’ reminiscence of younger days—Uncle Richie Goulding and Aunt
Sara; of his student days, and his time in Paris in his ‘latin quarter hat’.
14. ‘You were going to do wonders, what?’ In Paris the exiled Irish conspirator regaled
Stephen with tales of the revolutionary movement. Finding himself venturing into the
mudflats, he turns back, past the carcass of a dead dog.
15. ‘A point, live dog, grew into sight…’ Two cockle pickers, a woman and a man,
approach. Their live dog, the rotting carcass and visions of a drowning man. Stephen’s
recollections of a curious dream.
16. ‘His lips lipped and mouthed fleshless lips of air…’ Sounds, signs and sensations.
‘Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft, soft hand…’ Stephen takes advantage of the solitude.
PART TWO: The Wanderings of Ulysses
Calypso (The nymph on whose island Ulysses is kept captive for seven years)
17. ‘Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.’ The
kitchen of 7 Eccles St, Dublin, the home of Leopold and Molly Bloom. 8am. Mr Bloom
prepares Molly’s breakfast.
18. ‘He approached Larry O’Rourkes...’ Bloom pops out to buy kidneys. Mr O’Rourke
reminds him that today is the day of Paddy Dignam’s funeral. The girl next-door, buying
prime sausages, provides the first excitement of the day.
19. ‘Grey horror seared his flesh.’ Snapping out of his reverie, Bloom now hurries home to
Molly. He takes up her post: a card from their daughter Milly and a letter from Blazes
Boylan about a planned concert tour. Boylan is to visit Molly at 4pm to ‘go through the programme’.
20. ‘He felt here and there.’ Molly quizzes Bloom about a difficult word in her book (Ruby:
the Pride of the Ring)—metempsychosis: the transmigration of souls. But downstairs the
kidneys are burning…Back in the kitchen Bloom reads the card from Milly.
21. ‘The cat, having cleaned all her fur, returned to the meatstained paper.’ Breakfast
over, Bloom wanders down the garden to the outside privy for a few quiet moments with
an old number of Titbits.
The Lotus-Eaters (On whose island Odysseus’s men would stay for ever, with the gentle, friendly
inhabitants and the narcotic leaves of the Lotus plants)
22. ‘By lorries along Sir John Waterson’s quay, Mr Bloom walked soberly…’ The streets
of Dublin. 10am. Bloom begins his wanderings: to the Post Office to collect a very personal
letter. He meets C.P. McCoy.
23. ‘Mr Bloom gazed across the road at the outsider drawn up before the door of the
Grosvenor.’ While McCoy gabbles on at him, Mr Bloom is distracted by a woman of
elegance about to step up to an ‘outsider’ (a horse drawn cab). McCoy quizzes him about
Molly’s forthcoming concert tour.
24. ‘Mr Bloom stood at the corner…’ Having finally got rid of McCoy, a theatre hoarding
leads his thoughts to recollections of his father. Walking on he finds a quiet spot to open
and read the letter from Martha, with whom he is conducting a romance—by post! She
knows him by an alias: Henry Flower.
25. ‘An incoming train clanked heavily above his head, coach after coach.’ Passing on,
he enters All Hallows church for a few quiet moments, watches women receiving the host,
and reflects on the nature of faith.
26. ‘Better be shoving along.’ He remembers that he is to have Molly’s face lotion made up,
and sets off to Sweny’s the Chemist. Leaving Sweny’s he bumps into Bantam Lyons, and lets
him keep his newspaper which has the runners for the Ascot Gold Cup. ‘I was only going to throw it away’. Unbeknown to Bloom, there is a horse running called ‘Throwaway’, and
Lyons scuttles off with the words ‘I’ll risk it!’ Bloom strolls on towards ‘the mosque of the
baths’ for a soak.
Hades (Odysseus visits the House of the Dead, to consult the shade of Tiresias, the blind
27. ‘Martin Cunningham, first, poked his silkhatted head into the creaking carriage
and, entering deftly, seated himself.’ 11am. In the company of Jack Power, Martin
Cunningham and Simon Dedalus (father of Stephen), Bloom travels with the funeral
procession from Dignam’s house to the cemetery at Glasnevin.
28. ‘Martin Cunningham began to brush away crustcrumbs from under his thighs.’
Polite conversation as they pass various city sights. They pass and greet Blazes Boylan, airing
29. ‘He clasped his hands between his knees and, satisfied, sent his vacant glance over
their faces.’ Bloom is quizzed again about Molly, this time by Jack Power. Changing the
subject, Bloom begins an amusing story about the moneylender Reuben J. Dodd.
30. ‘Dead side of the street this.’ As they approach the cemetery, the discussion turns to
suicide. Bloom’s father took his own life. ‘Verdict: overdose. Death by misadventure.’
31. ‘The carriage galloped round a corner: stopped.’ Held up by cattle, the four debate the
unseemly nature of a funeral procession competing with daily traffic. Bloom pictures
Dignam’s coffin upset from the hearse. They arrive and alight from the carriage.
32. ‘How are you Simon? Ned Lambert said softly, clasping hands.’ Meeting up with the
other mourners, they enter the chapel for the funeral service.
33. ‘Corny Kelleher fell into step at their side.’ As they leave the chapel some of the others
discuss Bloom who is following on behind. O’Connell, the cemetery caretaker, tells the
company a cemetery joke.
34. ‘The caretaker put the papers in his pocket.’ The mourners take up their positions around the grave for the interment. Bloom’s attention is drawn by an unrecognised man in
a long mackintosh. Hynes, reporting for the local newspaper, mistakenly deduces that the
man’s name is McIntosh.
35. ‘A seventh gravedigger came beside Mr Bloom to take up an idle spade.’ The grave
is filled in. Hynes suggests that they go round ‘by the chief’s grave’—referring to Parnell.
Bloom catches sight of a rat and is finally relieved to be leaving the world of the dead.
‘Brings you a bit nearer every time.’
Aeolus (The warden of the winds and ruler of the island of Aeolia, Aeolus gives Odysseus all the
unfavourable winds in a bag.)
36. ‘In the Heart of the Hibernian Metropolis’ The setting for this chapter is the
office of the Freeman’s Journal and Evening Telegraph at midday. The text is divided into
short paragraphs with capitalized headlines—as in a newspaper.
37. ‘We See the Canvasser at Work’ Bloom is at the Freeman offices to arrange for the
publication of an advertisement for Alexander Keyes’s ‘high class licensed premises’.
38. ‘And it was the Feast of the Passover’ The typesetter is setting Paddy Dignam’s
name—backwards, which reminds Bloom of his father reading from the haggadah at
Pessach (Passover). In the Evening Telegraph office he meets up with Simon Dedalus and
Ned Lambert again, with Professor MacHugh. They mock a passage from a political speech
reported in the day’s news.
39. ‘What Wetherup Said’ They are joined by the editor, Myles Crawford and Lenehan.
40. ‘Exit Bloom’ Bloom hurries out to negotiate a little more with Alexander Keyes. Stephen
Dedalus joins the company along with Mr O’Madden Burke.
41. ‘Lenehan said to all:’ Lenehan poses a riddle: What opera resembles a railway line? The
answer is ‘Rose of Castille’, a popular opera by Balfe. Stephen needs to get Mr Deasy’s
foot-and-mouth letter into the hands of the editor.
42. ‘You Cand Do It’ Crawford wants Stephen to write something for the paper. He gives a long account of a famous bit of investigative journalism by ‘the great Gallagher’ at the time
of the Phoenix Park murders in 1882.
43. ‘Rhymes and Reasons’ J.J. O’Molloy disdains the gutter press, and argues for the true
oratory of Henry Flood, Edmund Burke and Kendal Bushe.
44 ‘Impromptu’ Prof MacHugh extols ‘the finest display of oratory he ever heard’, a speech
by John F. Taylor at the college historical society, supporting the revival of the Irish
45. ‘Let Us Hope’ At Stephen’s suggestion the company prepare to decamp to the nearest
public house. As they walk Stephen improvises an ironic fable of two elderly Dublin women
who climb Nelson’s pillar with a bag of plums.
46. ‘K.M.A.’ ‘Tell him he can kiss my Arse’ is Crawford’s answer to Bloom, still trying to broker
an arrangement for Alexander Keyes. Stephen’s tale ends with the ridiculous image of the
two old women spitting out plum-stones at the foot of the ‘one-handled adulterer’.
The Lestrygonians (On an island populated by giants and cannibals, some of Odysseus’s crew
47. ‘Pineapple Rock, Lemon Platt, Butter Scotch. A Sugarsticky Girl
shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a Christian brother.’ It is 1pm. Bloom has not
followed the others, and now sets off in search of lunch. A ‘throwaway’ is placed in his
hand, advertising the visit to Dublin of Alexander J. Dowie, an American evangelist.
48. ‘He halted again, and bought from the old applewoman two Banbury cakes for a
penny…’ He catches sight of five men in tall white hats, each bearing a capital letter,
together spelling out H.E.L.Y.’S. Bloom recalls when he worked at Wisdom Hely’s (stationers
and bookbinders) himself.
49. ‘Windy night that was I went to fetch her…’ A nostalgic moment of recollection is
interrupted by the greetings of Mrs Breen, an old flame. Her somewhat eccentric husband
has been sent a mischievous postcard, bearing simply the letters U.P. and intends to take out a libel action. Mrs Breen informs Bloom that Mina Purefoy has been lying in at the
maternity hospital for three days.
50. ‘A bony form strode along the curbstone from the river…’ Taking his leave of Mrs
Breen, musing on the trials of childbirth.
51. ‘Before the huge high door of the Irish house of parliament a flock of pigeons
flew.’ Passing in front of Trinity College, and as a heavy cloud darkens the skies, he reflects
on the futility of life. He sees Parnell’s brother walking near the Provost’s House.
52. ‘Of the two-headed octopus, one of whose heads is the head upon which the ends
of the world have forgotten to come…’ The eminent poet George Russell (A.E.) passes
him, deep in conversation with a young woman. He remembers the night of the full moon,
when Boylan propositioned Molly, and thinks back to the time after their son Rudy died,
when Molly appeared to lose all interest in him.
53. ‘He passed, dallying, the windows of Brown Thomas, silk mercers.’ Finally he enters
a restaurant, Burtons, and is appalled by the bestial scene of men feeding on meat. Leaving
again rapidly, he muses on the benefits of vegetarianism.
54. ‘He entered Davy Byrne’s. Moral pub. He doesn’t chat.’ In Davy Byrne’s he encounters
Nosey Flynn, who like other Dubliners is keen to quiz him about Molly’s concert tour, and:
‘who’s getting it up?’ Lunch is a cheese sandwich and a glass of Burgundy.
55. ‘Mr Bloom, champing, standing, looked upon his sigh. Nosey numskull.’ With food
and wine reviving him, Bloom’s gaze fixes on a pair of flies stuck together on the window,
and his head fills with sweet memories of a moment of passion with Molly on Howth Head
(a moment which Molly will also recall in the closing pages of the book).
56. ‘His down-cast eyes followed the silent veining of the oaken slab.’ While Bloom steps
out to the yard to relieve himself, Nosey Flynn and Davy Byrne talk about him. They are
convinced he is a freemason. Bantam Lyons, to whom Bloom gave the newspaper he was
about to throw away, is coy about a racing tip he has been given—by Bloom.
57. ‘Mr Bloom walked towards Dawson Street, his tongue brushing his teeth smooth.’
Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ is on his mind—Molly is going to be going through a number from
the opera (Là ci darem la mano) with Boylan this afternoon. His Italian is not perfect: teco means ‘with you’ not ‘tonight’. He helps a blind stripling (a
piano tuner) to cross the street.
58. ‘With a gentle finger he felt ever so slowly the hair combed back above his ears.’
He sees Sir Frederick Falkiner entering the freemason’s hall, and then Blazes Boylan near the
Museum which greatly perturbs him. He manages to avoid bumping into him.
Scylla and Charybdis
(Odysseus must negotiate the narrow passage between a six-headed monster—Scylla and a
59. ‘Urbane, to comfort them, the quaker librarian purred…’ The setting is the National
Library, and the time 2pm. The chapter takes the form of a long discussion about
Shakespeare, between Stephen Dedalus, Mr Best, John Eglinton, Mr George Russell (A.E.)
and the Quaker librarian Thomas Lyster. When not purely narrative, the internal
monologues are those of Stephen Dedalus.
60. ‘Unsheathe your dagger definitions.’ Stephen speculates on the autobiographical
connections in Hamlet, but Russell will have none of it. Only the plays are important.
61. ‘How now, sirrah, that pound he lent you when you were hungry?’ His views on
Shakespeare’s relationship with Ann Hathaway also give rise to heated debate.
62. ‘Young Colum and Starkey. George Roberts is doing the commercial part.’ A.E.
leaves them. There is to be a literary meeting that evening featuring the work of younger
poets: Padraic Colum and James Starkey among them. The Hamlet discussion resumes.
63. ‘Good Bacon: gone musty. Shakespeare Bacon’s wild oats.’ Stephen now dominates
the conversation, warming to his task, until Buck Mulligan makes a sudden entrance and
does his best to bring Stephen back to earth. ‘You were speaking of the gaseous
vertebrate, if I mistake not?’ he asked of Stephen.
64. ‘I came through the museum, Buck Mulligan said. Was he here?’ Mulligan has
narrowly missed meeting up with Haines. Earlier the two of them had waited at The Ship Inn for Stephen and his money, but Stephen had sent a telegram to the pub, crying off. A
gentleman from the Freeman arrives: Bloom.
65. ‘We want to hear more, John Eglinton decided with Mr Best’s approval.’ Not much
is known about Ann Hathaway, but Stephen assumes she ‘was hot in the blood’. At
Shakespeare’s death he had bequeathed her only his second best bed.
66. ‘The sense of beauty leads us astray, said beautifulinsadness Best to ugling Eglinton.’
Discussion of Ann’s death leads Stephen to recall once more the circumstances of his own
mother’s death. He battles on with his flight of fancy but begins to lose the plot somewhat.
67. ‘What the hell are you driving at? I know. Shut up blast you! I have reasons.’
Speculating now about Shakespeare’s three brothers, the narrative takes the form of a playscript,
with stage directions.
68. ‘John Eglinton touched the foil. Come, he said. Let us hear what you have to say of
Richard and Edmund.’ Urged on, Stephen develops the theme of fraternity and paternity.
69. ‘Those who are married, Mr Best, douce herald, said, all save one, shall live.’ Best
and Eglinton allow Stephen to wind up his monologue, suggesting he might write it up as
a Platonic dialogue. Leaving the library with Buck Mulligan they pass Bloom—‘the
The Wandering Rocks
(Odysseus chose to negotiate Scylla and Charybdis rather than take on the treacherous
‘Wandering Rocks’. Unlike Odysseus, Bloom attempts both! The chapter takes the form of
eighteen short scenes centring on various characters whose paths interconnect. The time is 3pm.)
70. ‘The superior, the very reverend John Conmee S.J., reset his smooth watch in his
interior pocket as he came down the presbytery steps.’ Father Conmee begins a twomile
walk across Dublin to the northern suburb of Artane. On his way he encounters some
of the other characters who are to feature in the chapter: a one-legged sailor, Corny
Kelleher and Mr Maginni the dancing teacher.
71. ‘It was a peaceful day.’ During his walk, Father Conmee reflects on the number of souls
in the world still awaiting baptism into the true faith. Among other encounters, he passes a
‘flushed young man’ emerging from a field with his young woman. We meet Corny
Kelleher, undertaker, and the one-legged sailor whose cry is ‘For England, home and
72. ‘Katey and Boody Dedalus shoved in the door of the closesteaming kitchen.’
Stephen Dedalus’s young sisters, Katey, Boody and Maggy, make do with a frugal soup
lunch. Blazes Boylan buys fruit for Molly in Thornton’s. The letter men (H.E.L.Y.’S.) pass by.
And Almidino Artifoni and Stephen Dedalus converse in Italian: Artifoni urges Stephen to
consider a career in music.
73. ‘Miss Dunne hid the Capel Street library copy of The Woman in White far back in
her drawer…’ Boylan’s secretary takes a telephone message for her boss. Ned Lambert
shows a visitor round the ancient site of the council chamber of St Mary’s Abbey.
74. ‘Tom Rochford took the top disk from the pile he clasped against his claret
waistcoat.’ Rochford demonstrates a new device for displaying the sequence of ‘turns’ at
the music hall. McCoy and Lenehan recall Rochford’s heroism in rescuing a workman from
a sewer. They catch sight of Bloom, and Lenehan recalls an evening spent with him and
75. ‘Mr Bloom turned over idly pages of The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, then of
Aristotle’s Masterpiece.’ Bloom spends time perusing possible new books for Molly to
read. ‘Sweets of Sin’ seems just the ticket.
76. ‘The lacquey by the door of Dillon’s auctionrooms shook his handbell twice again
and viewed himself in the chalked mirror of the cabinet.’ Dilly Dedalus, the fourth of
Stephen’s sisters, confronts her father on the street. Tom Kernan, tea merchant and agent
for Pulbrook Robertson, returns from a successful meeting. He passes Simon Dedalus and
Father Cowley, and observes Denis Breen and his wife, following.
77. ‘Stephen Dedalus watched through the webbed window the lapidary’s fingers
prove a timedulled chain.’ Stephen stops at the bookseller’s cart and turns some of the
pages. Dilly is also there and asks for her brother’s approval of the book she has selected.
78. ‘Hello, Simon, Father Cowley said. How are things?’ Simon Dedalus and Father
Cowley meet up with Ben Dollard, whose basso profundo voice is legendary.
79. ‘The youngster will be all right, Martin Cunningham said, as they passed out of the
Castleyard gate.’ Cunningham and colleagues are heading for James Kavanagh’s
winerooms. They remark on Bloom’s contribution of five shillings to ‘the list’—a collection
for Paddy Dignam’s widow.
80. ‘As they trod across the thick carpet Buck Mulligan whispered behind his panama
to Haines.’ Mulligan and Haines meet up for tea in the D.B.C. (Damn Bad Cakes). In Clare
Street, outside the dental surgery of another Mr Bloom. A blind stripling has his cane swept
aside by the coat-tails of the eccentric Cashel Boyle O’Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell.
Paddy Dignam’s young son, returning from an errand to the butchers, reflects on his
81. ‘William Humble, earl of Dudley, and Lady Dudley, accompanied by
lieutenantcolonel Hesseltine, drove out after luncheon from the viceregal lodge.’
The Lord Lieutenant and his entourage drive through the streets of Dublin, observed by all
the characters met earlier in the chapter.
The Sirens (Two sea nymphs whose enchanting singing lures sailors to their death on the rocks
they inhabit. Odysseus contrives to hear their singing without paying the price.)
82. ‘Bronze by Gold Heard the Hoofirons, Steelyringing Impethnthn
thnthnthn.’ This abstract introduction is the prelude to a chapter forced full of music and
musical allusion; these are fragments of several of the ensuing themes. The scene is the
Ormond Hotel, where bronze haired Miss Douce and gold haired Miss Kennedy (the Sirens)
are the barmaids. Above the crossblind of the window they see the Lordlieutenant’s
procession go by. It is 4pm.
83. ‘Yes, bronze from anear, by gold from afar, heard steel from anear, hoofs ring from
afar, and heard steelhoofs ringhoof ringsteel.’ The barmaids discuss Miss Douce’s sunburn and other personal matters. Simon Dedalus enters the bar.
84. ‘Gaily Miss Douce polished a tumbler, trilling: O, Idolores, queen of the eastern
seas!’ Lenehan enters, looking for Blazes Boylan.
85. ‘Blazes Boylan’s smart tan shoes creaked on the barfloor where he strode.’ Boylan
arrives and flirts with the barmaids. Lenehan urges Miss Douce to perform her saucy party
trick of ‘Sonnez la cloche’. Boylan is impatient to be off for his rendezvous with Molly.
Bloom runs into Richie Goulding, who ushers him into the Ormond for something to eat.
Ben Dollard calls on Simon Dedalus to sing a song.
86. ‘Bald Pat in the doorway met tealess gold returning.’ Dedalus, Dollard and Father
Cowley recall an earlier musical evening, and reflect approvingly on Mrs Bloom’s talents.
Ben Doolard sings ‘When love absorbs…’
87. ‘Miss Douce, engaging, Lydia Douce, bowed to suave solicitor, George Lidwell,
gentleman, entering. Good afternoon.’ Simon Dedalus is urged on to sing ‘M’appari’.
Although Cowley would have him sing the original version, Simon prefers the English
translation ‘When first I saw…’
88. ‘Through the hush of air a voice sang to them, low, not rain, not leaves in
murmur…’ Bloom muses on the power of music, as Simon continues the aria (from
Flotow’s opera ‘Martha’).
89. ‘Bloom ungyved his crisscrossed hands and with slack fingers plucked the slender
catgut thong.’ Bloom’s secret love affair is with a mysterious ‘Martha’. The aria leads his
thoughts back to the letter he received from her earlier. He surreptitiously pens a reply to
90. ‘He blotted quick on pad of Pat. Envel. Address. Just copy out of paper.’ From his
table, Bloom observes Miss Kennedy and Miss Douce and their banter with the clients.
91. ‘Jog jig jogged stopped.’ Jingling references are to Boylan, making his way to Molly’s
house in a jingling ‘jaunting car’. He will be arriving just about now. In the bar, Ben Dollard
is called upon to give his famous rendition of ‘The Croppy Boy’. The blind stripling, who
earlier tuned the Ormond piano, is making his way home; his stick ‘taps’ as he goes.
92. ‘Bless me father, Dollard the croppy cried. Bless me and let me go.’ As Ben reaches the climax of the song, Bloom makes a move to leave, before the song ends and the
drinking begins again.
93. ‘Far. Far. Far. Far. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.’ Full of wind from his cider, Bloom makes his way
from the Ormond Hotel, as the blind stripling makes his way back there to collect the
tuning fork he has left on the piano.
Cyclops (Odysseus is imprisoned in the cave of the one-eyed giant Cyclops, and narrowly
escapes, sailing his boat away from the island as the Cyclops hurls rocks after him.)
94. ‘I was just passing the time of day with Old Troy of the DMP at the corner
of Arbour Hill there…’ 5pm sees Bloom in Barney Kiernan’s tavern. The tale is told by an
unknown tavern regular. This chapter alternates straightforward narrative in broad
vernacular, with passages which parody various literary styles and provide ironic elaboration
of aspects of the narrative.
95. ‘So we turned into Barney Kiernan’s and there sure enough was the citizen up in
the corner…’ At the pub the narrator and his companion Joe find a fierce nationalist (the
citizen) with his equally fierce mongrel (Garryowen).
96. ‘So anyhow Terry brought the three pints Joe was standing…’ Settled in at the
tavern, the narrator with Alf Bergan and Bob Doran are served beer by Terry the barman.
Bergan is dumbfounded to hear that Paddy Dignam is dead.
97. ‘In the darkness spirit hands were felt to flutter…’ Bloom arrives to join them. Joe
reads out a letter in the newspaper from a would-be hangman.
98. ‘So they started talking about capital punishment and of course Bloom comes out
with the why and the wherefore and all the codology of the business…’ Bloom’s
contribution to the conversation triggers a tirade from the citizen about the glorious
martyrs of the nationalist movement.
99. ‘The last farewell was affecting in the extreme.’ The scene is interrupted by a lengthy
parody, in the style of a newspaper account of a public execution.
100. ‘So then the citizens begin talking about the Irish language and the corporation
meeting and all to that…’ Back to the bar-room quarrel (in which Bloom is not coming
off well) which has now turned to the question of race and nationality.
101. ‘So Bob Doran comes lurching around asking Bloom to tell Mrs Dignam he was
sorry for her trouble…’ Doran takes his leave (in remarkably punctilious language,
considering his less than sober condition). The conversation moves on to the foot-andmouth
epidemic and Irish sports.
102. ‘Talking about violent exercise, says Alf, were you at the Keogh–Bennett match?’
Discussion of a famous boxing encounter, and a parody of a newspaper report of the
contest. Blazes Boylan won some money on the match—the same Boylan who is
organizing Molly’s concert tour.
103. ‘Did you see that bloody lunatic Breen round there, says Alf? Up: up.’ Ned Lambert
and J.J. O’Molloy have joined the party at the bar. They discuss the strange business of
Denis Breen’s postcard. Bloom’s intervention on the subject gets him into deeper water with
104. ‘Those are nice things, says the citizen, coming over here to Ireland filling the
country with bugs.’ As the conversation grows ever more ethnophobic, Lenehan and
John Wyse Nolan bring news of the Ascot Gold Cup, in which a rank outsider called
‘Throwaway’ has taken the prize. Earlier, Bloom had unwittingly given this tip to Bantam
Lyons by offering him the newspaper with the words ‘I was only going to throw it away’.
105. ‘As treeless as Portugal we’ll be soon, says John Wyse, or Heliogoland with its one
tree if something is not done to reaforrest the land.’ The citizen continues to develop
his theme, arguing now for a revival of Irish trade and an Irish navy. The British Navy is
corrupt and excessive brutality masquerades for discipline.
106. ‘But, says Bloom, isn’t discipline the same everywhere? I mean wouldn’t it be the
same here if you put force against force?’ Unable to keep out of the discussion, Bloom
finds his patriotism and nationality called into question. He is Irish, but also a Jew.
107. ‘And I belong to a race too, says Bloom, that is hated and persecuted. Also now.
This very moment. This instant.’ Just as the argument begins to become dangerous, Bloom remembers that he needs to find Martin Cunningham at the courthouse, and he
pops out of the pub. Lenehan is convinced that it’s because he has won money on
‘Throwaway’, and that he kept the tip to himself.
108. ‘So anyhow when I got back they were at it dingdong,…’ Martin Cunningham comes
into the pub having missed Bloom at the courthouse. The discussion now centres on
Bloom, in his absence.
109. ‘And at the sound of the sacring bell, headed by a crucifer with acolytes…’ A
lengthy parody of a ‘church news’ report of a procession and house blessing, precedes
Bloom’s return to the lions’ den. At this point the citizen’s patience gives out and he begins
to hurl abuse at Bloom.
110. ‘And begob he got as far as the door and they holding him and he bawls out of
him:—Three cheers for Israel!’ Bloom makes his escape with Martin Cunningham,
pursued by the citizen who, blinded by the sun, hurls the empty biscuit tin after the
jaunting car, like the Cyclops hurling rocks at Odysseus’ ship.
Nausicaa (Beached in the land of the Phaeacians, Odysseus is woken from sleep by the ball
games of Princess Nausicaa and her handmaidens; she takes pity on him and arranges his safe
passage home to Ithaca.)
111. ‘The Summer Evening Had Begun to Fold the World in its mysterious
embrace.’ At 8pm Bloom, having escaped from the drunken citizen, finds himself down by
Sandymount Strand, observing the play of two young children in the care of three young
girls, Edy Boardman, Cissy Caffrey and Gerty MacDowell.
112. ‘Gerty MacDowell who was seated near her companions, lost in thought, gazing
far away into the distance, was in very truth as fair a specimen of winsome Irish
girlhood as one could wish to see.’ Not part of the children’s games, Gerty dreams of
love and marriage.
113. ‘Edy Boardman asked Tommy Caffrey was he done and he said yes, so then she buttoned up his little knickerbockers for him and told him to run off and play with
Jacky and to be good now and not to fight.’ Gerty’s thoughts are interrupted by the
children, but also by the sound of voices and organ emerging from the nearby church of
Mary, Star of the Sea.
114. ‘The twins were now playing in the most approved brotherly fashion…’ The ball is
kicked back to the boys by a ‘gentleman in black’ (Bloom). When the ball rolls across to
Gerty she raises her skirts slightly, and deliberately, to kick it back to them, knowing that
Bloom is watching her.
115. ‘The exasperating little brats of twins began to quarrel again and Jacky threw the
ball out towards the sea and they both ran after it.’ Cissy has noticed that Gerty
appears to be performing for Bloom, and goes up to him to ask the time.
116. ‘Then they sang the second verse of the Tantum ergo and Canon O’Hanlon got up
again and censed the Blessed Sacrament…’ As the voices ring out, and the service
moves towards its climax, Gerty swings her leg in time to the music and Bloom, having
wound his watch, returns his hands to his pockets.
117. ‘Canon O’Hanlon put the Blessed Sacrament back into the tabernacle and the choir
sang Laudate Dominum omnes gentes…’ Getting ready to leave the beach, Cissy and
the others are distracted by distant fireworks and run to see. But Gerty and Bloom remain,
she leaning back as far as she can to see the fireworks, he with eyes fixed firmly on her.
When the show is over, Gerty walks down the strand to rejoin the others.
118. ‘Mr Bloom watched her as she limped away. Poor Girl!’ Readjusting himself, and with
a certain remorse, Bloom reflects on female desire, particularly that of Molly both in earlier
times and now.
119. ‘There she is with them down there for the fireworks. My fireworks. Up like a
rocket, down like a stick.’ Did Gerty know what she was doing? Of course she did. It’s
120. ‘Wonder how is she feeling in that region. Shame all put on before third person.
More put out about a hole in her stocking.’ Bloom’s further reflections on the mysteries
121. ‘All quiet on Howth now. The distant hills seem. Where we. The rhododendrons. I
am a fool perhaps.’ The light is fading: bats and the light of the lighthouse on Howth
Head, where he first proposed to Molly.
122. ‘Better not stick here all night like a limpet. This weather makes you dull.’ Time to
make a move. On his way home he will call in to the maternity hospital to visit Mrs Purefoy.
The priests from St Mary’s are already at home, and so is Gerty MacDowell.
The Oxen of the Sun (Taking refuge on the island of the sun god Helios, Odysseus warns his
men not to harm the sacred cattle, but they disobey, and on their departure Zeus destroys ship
and crew with a thunderbolt.)
123. ‘Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus.’ At the National
Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, young medical students and their friends (including
Stephen Dedalus) are carousing, while upstairs Mina Purefoy is enduring a long and difficult
labour. It is 10pm. The chapter takes the form of a series of imitations of prose styles
moving historically from crudely translated Latin prose to modern literary styles. The
incantation which opens the chapter mixes Gaelic (deshil: turning to the right) and Latin
(eamus: let us go), together with the address of the Hospital (Holles St). The master of the
hospital (chief consultant) is Dr A. Horne.
124. ‘The man that was come into the house then spoke to the nursing-woman and he
asked her how it fared with the woman that lay there in childbed.’ Bloom arrives at
the hospital and asks after Mrs Purefoy. He joins the medical students making merry in the
common room (despite the protestations of the Matron).
125. ‘For they were right witty scholars. And he heard their aresouns each gen other as
touching birth and righteousness…’ They discuss obstetric problems: whether in an
extreme case the mother or child should be saved; the merits of abortion. Bloom recalls his
own loss: a son, Rudy, who died at eleven days old.
126. ‘To be short this passage was scarce by when Master Dixon of Mary in Eccles, goodly grinning, asked young Stephen what was the reason why he had not cided
to take friar’s vows…’ Stephen’s answer leads him into a familiar attack on another
mother—Ireland—which has failed him. A crack of thunder outside appears to chide his
impertinence. Bloom tries to calm his fear.
127. ‘But was not young Boasthard’s fear vanquished by Calmer’s words?’ Stephen’s fear
is not of reprisal by the Omnipotent. Like the other young students in the company, he lives
for today, believing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
128. ‘With this came up Lenehan to the feet of the table to say how the letter was in that
night’s gazette and he made a show to find it about him…’ The letter from Mr Deasey
has, thanks to Stephen’s endeavours, appeared in the newspaper. This leads to a discussion
about foot-and-mouth disease, and thence to a series of associations sparked by the word
129. ‘Our worthy acquaintance, Mr Malachi Mulligan, now appeared in the doorway as
the students were finishing their apologue accompanied with a friend whom he
had just reencountered…’ Mulligan’s contribution to the proceedings is typically
outrageous. His new plan is to open a fertility clinic on Lambay Island, marked by a phallic
obelisk, for all those women who require nothing more than a suitable lover (Mulligan).
130. ‘Here the listener, who was none other than the Scotch student, a little fume of a
fellow, blond as tow…’ While the conversation turns to love and the appalling
weather, nurse Callan enters to report that Mrs Purefoy has finally been delivered of a
bouncing boy. The nurse’s appearance among the company of male debauchees engenders
some improper language, of which Bloom heartily disapproves.
131. ‘Accordingly he broke his mind to his neighbour, saying that, to express his notion
of the thing, his opinion…’ Bloom’s disapproval is rejected, and the conversation
becomes even more unpleasant.
132. ‘But Malachias’ tale began to freeze them with horror. He conjured up the scene
before them.’ Mulligan spins a Gothic yarn, which involves the Englishman Haines; but in
Bloom’s mind the story is about him, fatherless and without a son.
133. ‘The voices blend and fuse in clouded silence: silence that is the infinite of space…’ As Mulligan’s tale concludes, Bloom’s mind wanders into fantasy built up from
reminiscences of events from earlier in the day. Meanwhile, one of the students is reporting
on his own day, including details of the Ascot Gold Cup, and how, leaving a field with his
lover, he had bumped into Father Conmee.
134. ‘However, as a matter of fact though, the preposterous surmise about him being in
some description of a doldrums or other or mesmerised…’ Stephen has been in a
reverie of his own, but now snaps out of it, and a new debate begins (all reported in
pedantic, scientific style) about various complications encountered during and after
135. ‘Meanwhile the skill and patience of the physician had brought about a happy
accouchement.’ The happy outcome of this particular labour (Mina Purefoy’s) is described
in the style of Dickens.
136. ‘Mark this farther and remember. The end comes suddenly.’ Returning to the young
medicals, a lull in the conversation provides Stephen the opportunity to suggest they
adjourn to a pub (Burke’s!). They tumble out into the wet streets, led on by Stephen and
Mulligan. After a quiet word with the nurse, Bloom follows them.
137. ‘Hurroo! Collar the leather, youngun. Roun wi the nappy.’ In a drunken mixture of
modern slang and various languages, the final section of the chapter sees Stephen and co.
wheeling from bar to bar in the direction of the ‘Bawdyhouse’.
Circe (Odysseus’s men are turned into hogs by Circe’s ‘foul magic’. Overcome by Odysseus, Circe
releases them from the spell and entertains them royally before advising Odysseus to visit the
138. ‘The Mabbot street entrance of nighttown, before which stretches an uncobbled
tramsiding set with skeleton tracks, red and green will-o’-the-wisps and danger
signals.’ Stephen and cronies have drunk plenty and head for the brothel area, and Bloom
follows them to see that Stephen comes to no harm. The chapter takes the form of a play-script. The play is wild and fantastic, with parts for imaginary characters and inanimate
objects, as well as the main dramatis personae, and characters met earlier in the novel,
such as Cissy Caffrey and Edy Boardman, who were with Gerty on the beach. Stephen and
Lynch carry on a philosophical discussion the while, echoing some of their exchanges in A
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
139. ‘Bloom: Stitch in my side. Why did I run?’ Bloom is not at all comfortable in Night
Town; the ghost of his father (Rudolph) appears, chiding him.
140. ‘Marion: Welly? Mrs Marion from this out, my dear man, when you speak to me.’
Molly (Marion) also taunts him. As he runs the gauntlet of whores selling their wares, he
finds Gerty MacDowell among their number, as well as Mrs Breen.
141. ‘Mrs Breen: The dear dead days beyond recall. Love’s Old Sweet Song.’ With Mrs
Breen an old spark is rekindled.
142. ‘(Bloom passes. Cheap whores, singly, coupled, shawled, dishevelled, call from
lanes, doors, corners.)’ The quarter becomes ever more dangerous. There are drunken
British soldiers, night watch who threaten to arrest Bloom on trumped up charges: cruelty
to animals, aiding and abetting, and accusations of breach of promise by Martha (his illicit
143. ‘Bloom: Gentlemen of the jury, let me explain.’ Bloom finds himself on trial. He
protests his innocence, calling on pillars of society to speak up for him. His former maid
(Mary Driscoll) makes further accusations of impropriety.
144. ‘(The crossexamination proceeds re Bloom and the bucket. A large bucket. Bloom
himself.)’ J.J. O’Molloy conducts Bloom’s defence, but further evidence against him is
provided by a sequence of society women.
145. ‘Mrs Bellingham: Tan his breech well, the upstart! Write the stars and stripes on
it!’ The women he has apparently wronged threaten to take the law into their own hands.
He is sentenced to death by the recorder of Dublin. A would-be executioner (Rumbold)
offers his services. At the eleventh hour the ghost of Paddy Dignam offers an alibi: Bloom
was at his funeral at the time.
146. ‘(The portly figure of John O’Connell, caretaker, stands forth, holding a bunch of keys tied with crape.)’ As the ghost of Dignam disappears down a coal-hole, Bloom finds
himself free of his grotesque fantasy and able to move on. He is greeted by Zoe Higgins, a
Yorkshire girl, who tries to lure him into Mrs Cohen’s pleasure house.
147. ‘Late Lord Mayor Harrington: (In scarlet robe with mace, gold mayoral chain
and large white silk scarf.)’ Embarrassed, Bloom talks too much, and his ‘stump speech’
attracts, in further fantasy, the attention and adulation of the people of Dublin.
148. ‘Bloom: My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn.’ Awarded the keys of the
city, Bloom now begins to bestow largesse upon his devoted subjects.
149. ‘O Madden Burke; Free fox in a free henroost.’ Not all his subjects are devoted, and
a note of dissent quickly leads to more cries for his blood and accusations that he is guilty
of abnormal sexual practices.
150. ‘(Bloom walks on a net, covers his left eye with his left ear, passes through several
walls…)’ A variety of commentators, from Papal nuncio to ‘Irish evicted tenants’,
continue to test him, until Zoe brings him back to reality and eventually persuades him to
enter the brothel.
151. ‘Zoe: Ladies first, gentlemen after.’ Inside Bloom discovers Stephen and Lynch, with
Kitty, Florry and other whores. Stephen holds forth on the subject of musical modes, while
Florry is more concerned about rumours concerning the end of the world.
152. ‘The Gramophone: Jerusalem! Open your gates and sing. Hosanna….’ The music
on the gramophone seems appropriate to Florry’s concerns, and generates a fantasy
involving the American evangelist and the whores.
153. ‘(A skeleton judashand strangles the light. The green light wanes to mauve. The
gasjet wails whistling.)’ The wailing of the gasjet brings us back to reality for a moment,
before yet another fantastic intrusion—the ghost of Bloom’s father, keen to discuss with his
son the merits of the various assembled women.
154. ‘Bloom: (Absently.) Ocularly woman’s bivalve case is worse. Always open
sesame.’ As Bloom metamorphoses into his alter ego Henry Flower, Florry urges Stephen,
seated at the piano, to sing for them, but he is too drunk. Zoe tells tales on some of her
recent visitors, including a priest.
155. ‘Virag: (Agueshaken, profuse yellow spawn foaming over his bony epileptic lips.)
She sold lovephiltres….’ With Ben Dollard’s appearance (as a champion boxer!) the
musical theme continues; Virag and Henry Flower disappear. Zoe suspects that Stephen is a
priest, and Lynch leads her on. Bloom worries that a new male visitor to the house might
156. ‘(The door opens. Bella Cohen, a massive whoremistress enters.)’ The fearsome form
of Bella Cohen, holding a fan, joins the party, and immediately begins to pick on Bloom.
Bloom assumes full subservience. Bella becomes Bello and quickly effects a change of sex in
Bloom, also transforming him (like Circe) into a pig.
157. ‘Bello: (Coaxingly.) Come, ducky dear. I want a word with you, darling, just to
administer correction.’ Bello’s sado masochism proves entertaining and Kitty and Florry
beg to join in with Bloom’s torment.
158. ‘Bello: (Whistles loudly.) Say! What was the most revolting piece of obscenity in
all your career of crime?’ The humiliation continues. Now Bello taunts him with Molly’s
unfaithfulness, and parades him before his daughter Milly.
159. ‘A Voice: Swear! (Bloom clenches his fists and crawls forward, a bowie knife
between his teeth.)’ Bloom is reduced to tears and sees his own funeral. He is confronted
by the nymph whose photo he cut from Titbits and hung over his bed. She has seen his
most intimate moments.
160. ‘The Waterfall: Poulaphouca Poulaphouca Phoucaphouca Phoucaphouca.’ The
nymph has him on the back foot, contrite, until she pushes him too far and Bloom
161. ‘(The figure of Bella Cohen stands before him.) BELLA: You’ll know me the next
time.’ Emboldened by his success with the nymph, Bloom begins to stand up to Bella and
breaks the spell. The real Bella Cohen is now concerned about which of the revellers is
paying for the night’s entertainment. Stephen hands over too much money, and Bloom sets
the account straight for him, persuading Stephen to hand his money over to him for safe
162. ‘Lynch: (Embracing Kitty on the sofa, chants deeply.) Dona nobis pacem.’ As the couples settle down to some palm reading, Bloom’s mind wanders off again, constructing a
fantasy involving Blazes Boylan and Molly. Cuckolded, Bloom is allowed to watch Boylan
and Molly through the keyhole.
163. ‘(Stephen and Bloom gaze in the mirror. The face of William Shakespeare,
beardless, appears there…)’ Stephen entertains the company with some French
impersonations. Centre stage once more he begins to get out of control, much to Bloom’s
164. ‘(A dark horse, riderless, bolts like a phantom past the winningpost, his mane
moonfoaming, his eyeballs stars.)’ The sound of the drunken soldiers singing outside,
prompts Zoe to select some music on the pianola: My Girl’s a Yorkshire Girl. Stephen
dances first with Zoe, then with Florry and Kitty.
165. ‘Stephen: Pas Seul! (He wheels Kitty into Lynch’s arms…)’ Soon all are dancing, but
Stephen becomes maudlin, the ghost of his mother appearing to him accusingly. Smashing
the lamp with his ashplant, he suddenly races out of the house and into the street, leaving
mayhem behind him.
166. ‘The Whores: (Jammed in the doorway, pointing.) Down there.’ While Bloom is left
to pay for the broken lamp, Stephen gets himself involved in an altercation with the British
soldiers, which quickly turns ugly.
167. ‘Dolly Gray: (From her balcony waves her handkerchief, giving the sign of the
heroine of Jericho.)’ Bloom tries to get Stephen away, but he insists on continuing a
pointless debate about patriotism. Private Carr is deeply offended by Stephen’s lack of
respect for King Edward VII (who duly appears in person).
168. ‘Private Carr: Here. What are you saying about my king?’ Despite the interventions
of Bloom and the Private’s girl (Cissy Caffrey) the argument is going one way only.
169. ‘Bloom: (Runs to Lynch.) Can’t you get him away?’ Finally Stephen is floored by
Private Carr, the police approach and the soldiers beat a rapid retreat. Bloom is left to deal
with the police and is greatly assisted by the arrival of Korny Kelleher who appears to have
170. ‘The Watch: (Saluting together.) Night gentlemen.’ Persuaded that the situation is under control, the watchmen leave Stephen to Bloom’s care. As Bloom waits for Stephen to
regain consciousness, he sees a vision of his son Rudy, aged eleven, reading silently from
right to left.
PART THREE: The Homecoming
Eumaeus (In Ithaca, in the hut of the swineherd Eumaeus, Odysseus and his son Telemachus are
171. ‘Preparatory to anything else Mr Bloom brushed off the greater bulk of the
shavings and handed Stephen the hat and ashplant…’ Since Stephen’s companions
have deserted him, Bloom is left to see that the young man gets into no more trouble. He
suggests that they seek out the cabman’s shelter for some nourishment. There being no
public transport at this hour, they set off walking. It is 1am.
172. ‘Someone saluted you, Mr Bloom said.’ They bump into an old acquaintance of
Stephen’s, also the worse for drink, who successfully scrounges a half-crown from him.
173. ‘The pair parted company and Stephen rejoined Mr Bloom…’ Bloom disapproves of
Stephen’s generosity. Walking and talking, Bloom wonders where Stephen will spend the
night since it is a long walk home for him.
174. ‘Mr Bloom and Stephen entered the cabman’s shelter, an unpretentious wooden
structure, where, prior to then, he had rarely, if ever, been before…’ They arrive at
the cabman’s shelter, run by one ‘Skin-the-Goat’ Fitzharris, reputed to be one of the
‘Invincibles’ responsible for the Phoenix Park murders in 1882. Bloom orders coffee and a
bun for Stephen. They fall into conversation with an old sailor.
175. ‘A silence ensued till Mr Bloom for agreeableness’ sake just felt like asking him
whether it was for a marksmanship competition like the Bisley.’ The sailor, who had
docked in Dublin that morning aboard the Rosevean, regales his companions with stories of
176. ‘Mr Bloom, without evincing surprise, unostentatiously turned over the card to
peruse the partially obliterated address and postmark.’ The sailor produces a postcard
depicting ‘savage women in striped loincloths’ (although the addressee is not the sailor,
casting doubt on the reliability of any of his tall tales).
177. ‘Tired, seemingly, he ceased.’ In a lull, Bloom reflects on the immensity and importance
of the sea. Resuming, the sailor displays a tattoo on his chest, with the frowning face of
one ‘Antonio’ which can be made to smile by stretching the skin.
178. ‘The face of a streetwalker, glazed and haggard under a black straw hat, peered
askew round the door of the shelter…’ A prostitute, whom Bloom had seen earlier when
leaving the Ormond Hotel, looks into the shelter. Bloom wonders about the lot of such
179. ‘Mind you, I’m not saying that it’s all a pure invention, he resumed.’ Bloom considers
that the seaman’s stories, though far-fetched, have some basis in fact—Italians and
Spaniards are warm-blooded souls. The seaman takes a break from his yarn spinning and
pops outside for a moment.
180. ‘All, meantime, were loudly lamenting the falling off in Irish shipping, coastwise
and foreign as well, which was all part and parcel of the same thing.’ On the sailor’s
return the conversation quickly develops from lamenting the decline in Irish shipping, to
rather more forceful nationalist comments of the type heard by Bloom earlier that day. He
describes to Stephen how he made his earlier escape.
181. ‘He turned a long you are wrong gaze on Stephen of timorous dark pride at the
soft impeachment…’ Bloom attempts to explain his thoughts about nationhood and the
position of the Jew in Ireland. Stephen has no wish to become embroiled in such a
182. ‘At this pertinent suggestion, Mr Bloom, to change the subject, looked down…’
Stephen’s attitude leads Bloom to worry about him, and then to consider the benefits of his
own association with ‘someone of no uncommon calibre’ (ie Stephen). He wonders
whether the evening might make the basis of a newspaper article. He reads out to Stephen
the bodged newspaper report of Paddy Dignam’s funeral.
183. ‘While the other was reading it on page two Bloom (to give him for the nonce his
new misnomer) whiled away a few odd leisure moments…’ Bloom reads the report
of the Ascot Gold Cup, won by Throwaway. The conversation moves on to the possibility of
the ‘return’ of the lost leader Parnell. Bloom recalls an occasion when he (Bloom) handed
Parnell his hat, which had been knocked off in a brawl. While the others curse Kitty O’Shea
as the cause of Parnell’s downfall, Bloom considers the whole story in more measured
184. ‘Just bears out what I was saying, he with glowing bosom said to Stephen. And, if
I don’t greatly mistake, she was Spanish too.’ The suggestion that O’Shea was partly
Spanish provokes Bloom to show Stephen a photograph of Molly, who grew up in
Gibraltar. He reflects on the irresponsible way the press reports matters of adultery.
185. ‘On the other hand what incensed him more inwardly was the blatant jokes of the
cabmen and so on….’ Bloom considers it a shame that Stephen wastes his time with
prostitutes. He is shocked to learn that Stephen has not eaten a proper meal that day.
186. ‘Anyhow, weighing the pros and cons, getting on for one as it was, it was high
time to be retiring for the night.’ He persuades Stephen to spend the night at his house,
and they set off in the direction of Eccles Street.
187. ‘Accordingly he passed his left arm in Stephen’s right and led him on accordingly.’
As they walk, the discussion is of music. Stephen has a fine voice; Molly too is a singer.
188. ‘These opening bars he sang and translated extempore.’ Bloom is serenaded by
Stephen, and considers that if properly handled, Stephen might have a promising career as
Ithaca (Odysseus returns to his home in Ithaca. With the help of Telemechus he traps the suitors
in the manor hall and, while his faithful wife Penelope sleeps unaware, puts them to death.)
189. ‘What Parallel courses did Bloom and Stephen follow returning?’ This chapter is set
out as a succession of questions followed by their (often lengthy) answers. It is 2am. Bloom takes Stephen home to his house in Eccles Street. Having forgotten his latchkey, and not
wishing to wake Molly, he gains entry through the scullery window.
190. ‘What discrete succession of images did Stephen meanwhile perceive?’ In the
kitchen Bloom fills a kettle for tea: a paean in praise of water.
191. ‘Having set the half filled kettle on the now burning coals, why did he return to
the stillflowing tap?’ Bloom washes his hands. Stephen declines to do the same. The
water in the kettle boils.
192. ‘What attracted his attention lying on the apron of the dresser?’ The stubbs of
betting tickets remind Bloom about the result of the Ascot Gold Cup. He pours tea for his
guest. Bloom recalls some of his own early attempts at poetry.
193. ‘What acrostic upon the abbreviation of his first name had he (kinetic poet) sent to
Miss Marion Tweedy on the 14 February 1888?’ Though Bloom and Stephen had only
met on two previous occasions (when Stephen was quite young) they discover, in
conversation, a mutual acquaintance—Mrs Riordan.
194. ‘Were there no means still remaining to him to achieve the rejuvenation which
these reminiscences divulged to a younger companion rendered the more
desirable?’ Bloom catalogues some of the chief differences between himself and Stephen:
age, religion and temperament. Bloom is scientific, Stephen artistic.
195. ‘What suggested scene was constructed by Stephen?’ Stephen’s enigmatic story and
Bloom’s recollection of the sequence of events on the day of his own father’s suicide are
linked, by coincidence. Bloom is exercised by the problem of how to deal with Molly’s
‘deficient mental development’.
196. ‘What system had proved more effective?’ Bloom’s homespun philosophy leads to a
comparison of the Hebrew and ancient Irish languages. Bloom attempts to sing Stephen
some Jewish chant.
197. ‘In what common study did their mutual reflections merge?’ Stephen, in reply to
Bloom’s chanting, sings the ballad of Little Harry Hughes, involving the murderous ‘Jew’s
daughter, all dressed in green’.
198. ‘How did the father of Millicent receive this second part?’ This reference leads Bloom
to thoughts of his own daughter Milly. He reflects on Milly’s catlike qualities.
199. ‘What proposal did Bloom, diambulist, father of Milly, somnambulist, make to
Stephen, noctambulist?’ Bloom invites Stephen to stay for the night. Stephen declines,
but considers Bloom’s proposal that he return to give Italian lessons to Molly in exchange
for a course of ‘vocal tuition’.
200. ‘In what order of precedence, with what attendant ceremony was the exodus from
the house of bondage to the wilderness of inhabitation effected?’ Bloom escorts
Stephen out through the back garden, where the heaventree of stars’ detains them for a
considerable time in astronomical meditation.
201. ‘His (Bloom’s) logical conclusion, having weighed the matter and allowing for
possible error?’ Bloom marvels at the infinite, and reflects on ‘the special affinities which
exist between the Moon and Woman’. Noting that the lamp is still burning in Molly’s
bedroom window, the two men urinate side by side.
202. ‘What sound accompanied the union of their tangent, the disunion of their
(respectively) centrifugal and centripetal hands?’ As they shake hands in farewell, the
bells of St George’s church strike the hour. Stephen departs. Bloom re-enters the house,
bumping his head on something hard. He notes that Molly has been rearranging the
furniture, and observes the piano, with ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ open to the last page on its
203. ‘With what sensations did Bloom contemplate in rotation these objects?’ Bloom
does a little tidying up, and peruses the books in his ‘library’.
204. ‘What among other data did the second volume of the work in question contain?’
Sitting at the table, he turns his attention from the books to the miniature statue of
Narcissus standing on the table top. He begins to undress for the night, and reflects on
earlier ambitions to become a wealthy landowner.
205. ‘What additional attractions might the grounds contain?’ His dreams of grandeur
escalate. He will be a righteous politician and leader.
206. ‘Prove that he had loved rectitude from his earliest youth.’ He speculates on the commercial schemes from which his vast wealth might be derived.
207. ‘Positing what protasis would the contraction for such several schemes become a
natural and necessary apodosis?’ Bloom is aware that his dreams are unrealisable, but
has learnt that fantasizing in this way before retiring leads to a sound sleep. He begins to
catalogue the contents of the first drawer of the table.
208. ‘Quote the textual terms in which the prospectus claimed advantages for this
thaumaturgic remedy.’ One of the items in the drawer is a prospectus for
‘Wonderworker, the world’s greatest remedy for rectal complaints’.
209. ‘What did the 2nd drawer contain?’ The contents of the second drawer are more
personal, including the letter Bloom’s father left addressed ‘To my Dear Son Leopold’.
210. ‘What object offered partial consolation for these reminiscences?’ It also contains
insurance policies, bank book and share certificates which protect him from the indignities
of destitution, escape from which would necessitate ‘departure’. He would become a
wanderer (a wandering Jew) and a ‘Noman’ (the name Odysseus took to fool the Cyclops).
211. ‘What advantages were possessed by an occupied, as distinct from an unoccupied
bed?’ Departure seems unattractive at this hour. Making his way to the bedroom Bloom
recaps on the events of the day.
212. ‘What did his limbs, when gradually extended, encounter?’ Entering the bed he is
aware of the use to which it has been put that afternoon by Molly and Blazes Boylan. He
runs through the list of suitors prior to Molly’s latest liaison, and makes an objective
assessment of his own feelings about it.
213. ‘In what final satisfaction did these antagonistic sentiments and reflections,
reduced to their simplest forms, converge?’ Bloom settles down beside his wife. They
sleep head to toe. Although not interested in his optimistic solicitations, Molly is awake,
sufficiently, at least, to interrogate him on the events of his day. Bloom omits certain points
(Gerty MacDowell) and accentuates others (Stephen: professor and author). Eventually he
drifts into sleep.
Penelope (Penelope is persuaded that Odysseus really is her long-lost husband, because of his
detailed knowledge of the construction of their unique marital bed. The returned wanderer and
his faithful wife retire ‘mingled in love again’.)
214. ‘Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his
breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs…’ This is the internal, unpunctuated monologue
of Molly Bloom, which takes her through to the early hours of morning. Her opening
remark is the result of mishearing Bloom’s final sleepy thoughts about the ‘roc’s auk’s egg’
and ‘Darkinbad’. She can tell that ‘he came somewhere’. She suspects him of having
another woman and remembers his improprieties with their maid in Ontario Terrace.
215. ‘why can’t you kiss a man without going and marrying him…’ Lovemaking with her
husband is a thing of the past, while the lovemaking of the afternoon (with Boylan) is still
very much on her mind. All the same, Bloom has some good points.
216. ‘they’re all so different Boylan talking about the shape of my foot…’ She recalls her
first meeting with Boylan, and other lovers—Bartell d’Arcy, Lieutenant Gardner and Henny
Doyle. She looks forward to Boylan’s next visit on Monday.
217. ‘I hate people who come at all hours answer the door you think it’s the vegetables
then it’s somebody…’ Train journeys past and future with Boylan (‘something always
happens with him’). Another thing Molly hates is the discussion of politics, and she laments
the loss of so many ‘finelooking men’ in the Boer War.
218. ‘yes and half the girls in Gibralter never wore them either naked as God made
them…’ Molly gives some thought to presentational details: drawers, stockings,
219. ‘sure you can’t get on in this world without style all going in food and rent..’ With
sufficient care an older woman can remain attractive (Molly is 33). She compares the
physical attributes of men and women in some detail.
220. ‘frseeeeeeeefronnnng train somewhere whistling the strength those engines have
in them like big giants…’ The cadence of a passing train reminds her of the closing bars of ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’. She remembers her early years in Gibraltar—a collection of
memories: friends, books, national events.
221. ‘the days like years not a letter from a living soul except the odd few I posted to
myself….’ The importance of letters—recent letters and letters from the past, including
her first real love letter (from Lieutenant Mulvey) brought to her by Mrs Rubio, the
housekeeper in Gibraltar.
222. ‘he was looking at me I had that white blouse on open at the front to encourage
him as much as I could without too openly…’ Her flirtation with Mulvey didn’t amount
to much. She wonders where he is now, and how it would be if they were to meet again.
Another passing train brings her back to the present: to ‘Loves Old Sweet Song’, to Boylan,
and to the need to break wind.
223. ‘that was a relief wherever you be let your wind go free…’ Her thoughts return to
Bloom, the cat, and their daughter Milly. She wonders whether Bloom sent Milly away
because of Boylan.
224. ‘I’m too honest as a matter of fact I suppose he thinks I’m finished out and laid on
the shelf…’ Molly had been finding Milly’s behaviour increasingly irritating, and at fifteen
she is clearly beginning to be attractive to the opposite sex. She expresses irritation at
Bloom for bringing Stephen back to the house so late. Then further irritation: her period
225. ‘who knows is there something the matter with my insides or have I something
growing in me…’ Installed upon the chamber pot, she recalls a visit to the doctor and
his persistent line of questioning. She wonders how she was ever attracted to Bloom in the
first place and, observing him asleep at the foot of the bed, what misfortunes await him in
226. ‘wait there’s Georges church bells wait 3 quarters the hour wait…’ She wonders
what Bloom has been up to until this hour and, more to the point, with whom. She hopes
he is not drifting into bad ways, like those husbands who squander their money on drink:
the late Paddy Dignam, for example, and Simon Dedalus, whose son she last met eleven
227. ‘wait by god yes wait yes hold on he was on the cards this morning when I laid
out the deck…’ She looks forward to the prospect of further meetings with Stephen (‘I’m
not too old for him’). As a poet he will surely be fascinated by Molly, and, for her part, she
can teach him a great deal ‘till he half faints under me’.
228. ‘no that’s no way for him has he no manners nor no refinement nor no nothing…’
Boylan, on the other hand, shares none of Stephen’s qualities. Men are interested in only
one thing. The world should be run by women, and so should a family home. Perhaps
that’s why Stephen has gone off the rails. He has lost his mother, Molly her son (Rudy).
229. ‘O I’m not going to think myself into the glooms about that any more…’ Stephen’s
strange surname reminds her of some of the strange names in Gibraltar. It’s a shame he
decided not to stay the night. She considers how best to confront Bloom in the morning.
230. ‘God of heaven there’s nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and
the waves rushing…’ Molly considers the miracles of nature as proof of God’s existence,
and as she drifts off to sleep, memories of Gibraltar mingle with the memory of the day on
Howth Head when Poldy asked her to say ‘yes’.
Notes by Roger Marsh
Last Albums Viewed
JOYCE, J.: Ulysses (Unabridged)