In a list of “most difficult chapters to read” this one would rank thankfully low – so low that it was even enjoyable. I certainly appreciated the break. This chapter consists of many smaller episodes all interlinked with each other and with the other events in the book, but most easy enough to understand the basics of what and where. That’s not to say the meaning is easy to get at but still the relief from all that stream of consciousness from one point of view is genuine.
Oddly, even though this seems once more all about structure, here I got a real sense of what Joyce’s writing may be like if he did just write straight-forward prose. Y’know, like anyone else! Without the constant drone of allusion and the layers of puzzle it might at least have been a quarter of the length. I know though, that that is not the point. I just couldn’t help saying it anyway. Continue reading →
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.
[singlepic id=37 w=320 h=240 float=right]Buck Mulligan is the antagonist of the Telemachus episode. He attempts to maintain superiority over Stephen Dedalus through mockery and other subtle bullying tactics.