The Siren Call of Song

Ulysses_SirensAnother chapter read this very morning in two sittings separated by trip to the local store for bread and a newspaper! I find Ulysses less a pea-souper fog to find my way through and more an actual pea-soup to eat  – tasty! I’m not sure where we are in Sirens or what time it is either – however, eventually I do fathom the position of the characters. Initially I mistakenly thought we were in a tea room with all the talk of tea, but it appears we are in a bar and the ladies I thought were taking tea are … what? Barmaids. The bronze and the gold are later joined by several of the men we have met previously and both Simon and then Ben sing a song. The blind guy who has been wandering about turns out to be a piano tuner who has mislaid his tuning fork and is on his to retrieve it. Continue reading

Leopold Bloom

The everyman hero of Ulysses, Joyce’s reworking of Odysseus.  Bloom is 38 years old, Hungarian Jewish from his father (Rudolf Virag) and Irish Catholic from his mother (Ellen Higgins).  He currently works as an ad canvasser for the newspaper The Freeman’s Journal, but he’s had other odd jobs throughout his life.  He spends the day of June 16 wandering around Dublin:  going to a funeral, checking in at the office, visiting the National Library, walking on the beach.  He’s a deeply human and compassionate character, and carrying around with him two heavy emotional burdens:  grief over the death of his infant son Rudy 11 years before the action of the novel, and anxiety over his impending cuckoldry by his wife Molly, with whom he has not had full sexual relations since their son died.