Ulysses Ulysses discussion


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Favorite part

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Patrick I'm curious to see everyone's favorite aspect of this novel, be it a character, scene, enigmatic portion, whatever.

I'd have to say my favorite aspect is how Bloom never seems to really connect with someone until he begins caring for the injured Stephen.

A close second, would be the entire final portion, Molly's soliloquy.


Richard molly's piece goes without saying, it's just magical. especially read aloud by an irish lady - i recommend the movie Bloom for that sequence alone

i like the Q&A section, the way the questions become wilder and wilder, and i loved one line in particular which always makes me smile but i never know why - comes from the bar sequence

"tepping her tupping her topping her tep - tup"

the whole book is like fireworks for the brain


John Another in the bar: "Ah! Ow! Don't be talking! I was blue mouldy for the want of that pint. Declare to God I could hear it hit the pit of my stomach with a click"
Joyce contrasts this with the mock epic style of the following: "And lo, as they quaffed their cup of joy, a godlike messenger came swiftly in, radiant as the eye of heaven, a comely youth, and behind him there passed an elder of noble gait and countenance, bearing the sacred scrolls of law, and with him his lady wife, a dame of peerless lineage, fairest of her race."
Hearing, particularly the first part, read by Donal Donnelly was remarkable. I memorized it, though once when I quoted it someone said it sounded Jamacian. Nevertheless, the audio version (Donnelly and Miriam Healy-Louie) is amazing. The book fully jumps off the page when you read along with these two performers.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 17, 2012 10:21AM) (new)

Sandyboy wrote: "i like the Q&A section, the way the questions bec..."

I also love the catechism section. So playful and hilarious.

Also I think my favourite part is Scylla and Charybdis if only for the extremely complicated multi-layered argument Joyce puts forth about Hamlet through his (Hamlet) persona Daedalus. I wrote a paper about that. Same with the Nausicaa section. A second favourite.


Patrick As much as I love Hamlet, indeed it's one of three works of literature that I actually prefer to Ulysses, I didn't like the Hamlet argument so much. Hamlet's probably the one work I put more effort into studying than Ulysses, and I found that Joyce was viewing a fictional Hamlet, a Hamlet who two other people (I forget their names) wrote about, interpreted correctly in many instances but incorrectly in a few.


message 6: by Steve (last edited Sep 18, 2012 04:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steve The wacky style shifts in Cyclops. The cinematic "screenplay" of Circe. The tumescence/detumsence of Nausicaa, starting as cutseypie kiddie lit, escalating to sexual/religious epic metaphors and dropping back down to humdrum reality (the excerpted reading of this on the BBC audiotape, by James Greene as Bloom and an actress whose name I am unaware of, is totally awesome.)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

The hanging monologue in chapter 12, pretty much allof chapter 13, Dedalus discusses Hamelt


Sulima The Sirens! So beautiful.


Christina Nip Molly's soliloquy without a doubt. It moved me to tears. It made the pain of wading through 738 pages worth it.


Chris 'Proteus', the third chapter


Ashley The two things will always pop into mind first, for unknown reasons, are 2 scenes with Bloom.

The bathroom and "pussens"--I love the way he talked to that cat.


David Circe. The hilarious interactions and fantasies, the Latin refrains by Stephen, and particularly the conversation leading up to him getting punched. Bloom urging Stephen to walk away before he causes further trouble with the dense private Compton and Stephen replying, "I don't avoid it. He provokes my intelligence".


Karen Sulima wrote: "The Sirens! So beautiful."

Agreed! I read this part outloud to my husband.


John L Kane This is not meant to be crude but Joyce's description of Bloom's thoughts and actions in the outhouse really stuck in my head as so real and humorous. I also liked the preceding part in the kitchen with the kidney and his cat. So yeah, Ashley (message 11), I am with you.


Geoffrey Mulligan`s irreverent recreation of the Eucharist scene. Sorry, folks, I`m not Christian so perhaps I`ve got the wrong rite.


Karen Geoffrey wrote: "Mulligan`s irreverent recreation of the Eucharist scene. Sorry, folks, I`m not Christian so perhaps I`ve got the wrong rite."

Thats okay! I'm not either


Geoffrey I`m not apologising for not being Christain. I am apologising for not knowing any better having lived in two Christian countries in more than a half a century. Now if that doesn`t date me somewhat, the old fart that I am.
Ulysses was one of the most difficult books I ever read. I tried to keep up with it with the Gilbert Stuart studyguide at my side, but I gave up the book twice at Molly`s soliloquoy. Personally, I am not enamoured of the book. I`d much rather read so many other authors. I read his short stories last year, was it the Dubliners, and likewise, despite his enormous reputation as one of the great 20th c. authors, I find him one of the least enjoyable. I would rather go back to reading SOUND AND THE FURY and struggling through that than having to read Ulysses again. But then again, I find epic poetry tiresome as well. PARADISE LOST and FAUST were boring for me as well. I much prefer to read Camus, Hess, Kafka, and Steinbeck. Give me an Isaac Babel, Eliot, Hardy, Mann anyday.


Juliet 1. Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. The whole of chapter 4 is wonderful.

2. I agree, the Gertie chapter is delightful.

3. The chapter in the whorehouse with Bella/Bello is so insane, off the charts bizarre, and then at the very end of it Bloom has that the vision of Rudy. It's so unexpected but sincere. Coming on top of all that madness, his sheer unadulterated grief and impossible hope come straight out of the page. Makes me cry every time.


message 19: by Josh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josh Brown It's all about the Wonderworker. Encapsulates so much about this book - its higher meaning, its contempt FOR higher meaning, its physicality, its gender-bending, its encyclopedic irrelevancy. I have laughed out loud at that page every time I've re-read it.

"Insert round end."


message 20: by Esme (new) - rated it 1 star

Esme My favorite part was when it ended!

Ha! I'm an English major who read it for my senior seminar class, and while I appreciate this book, I'll never think it was the best book ever written.


Steve Zappa I can't choose a single part of the story as my favorite; however, I'll say that the funniest part was the burial service, when he considers whether or not the grounds keeper had ever proposed to a woman, and if so, how that proposal worked out for him.


Karen Steve wrote: "I can't choose a single part of the story as my favorite; however, I'll say that the funniest part was the burial service, when he considers whether or not the grounds keeper had ever proposed to a..."

That was funny! If it weren't for the funny parts this book would have driven me insane.


Steve Zappa Karen wrote: "Steve wrote: "I can't choose a single part of the story as my favorite; however, I'll say that the funniest part was the burial service, when he considers whether or not the grounds keeper had ever..."

Yeah, this book is maddening. I had the good fortune of reading it with my professor, a Joyce scholar, in my modernist literature class. If it hadn't been for her, I probably would've been lost half the time.


Karen Steve wrote: "Karen wrote: "Steve wrote: "I can't choose a single part of the story as my favorite; however, I'll say that the funniest part was the burial service, when he considers whether or not the grounds k..."

I only had Shmoop!


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