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Ulysses 2017 > Discussion Twelve – The Cyclops

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3032 comments Mod
Episode 12, The Cyclops – pp 376 – 449 new (page 277 old)


Scene: The Tavern
Hour: 5 p.m.
Organ: Muscle
Art: Politics
Symbol: Fenian
Technic: Gigantism


A close encounter with a chimney sweep’s gear nearly takes the eye of our unidentified narrator in the Cyclops episode. Tall tales told in this Cyclops cave of a tavern as the patrons feel the effects of their ale and their nationalist pride.


message 2: by Christopher (last edited Jul 07, 2017 11:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Christopher (Donut) | 70 comments I remember hearing somewhere that the mock heroic, Ossianic parts of this episode are from the dog's point of view.


message 3: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan (TheindefatigableBertMcGuinn) | 15 comments Christopher wrote: "I remember hearing somewhere that the mock heroic, Ossianic parts of this episode are from the dog's point of view."

That's funny--that almost makes me want to go back and read this chapter. I hope I remember that if and when I do go back for a second read


Mark André Christopher wrote: "I remember hearing somewhere that the mock heroic, Ossianic parts of this episode are from the dog's point of view."
That's a pretty funny idea! - )


Mark André For me this is where the 3,3,3,3... grouping of the chapters falls down. The next group of three will group Nausicaa with Oxen and Circe; and this makes little sense.
Nausicaa is intimately related to Cyclops. The primary relationship between these two chapters are Bloom's racial characteristics. In the Cyclops chapter Bloom catches a lot of heat because he is seen as an alien. While in the Nausicaa chapter Bloom's physical appearance turns Gerty on.

The most natural division of the narrative comes between the 13th and the fourteenth chapters.
The scenes move from day to night.
The boys finally come together and co-mingle.
The direct internal monologue style is now replace with an indirect "reported" interior monologue.
The overall reading difficult reaches it's maxim level in the last five chapters!
And in the older editions the first 13 chapters and the last five cover almost an equal amount of pages.


message 6: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3032 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "For me this is where the 3,3,3,3... grouping of the chapters falls down. The next group of three will group Nausicaa with Oxen and Circe; and this makes little sense.
Nausicaa is intimately related..."


The three chapters per week was strictly mathematical... I will post Nausicca later today


Mark André Hey, Jim, I didn't mean my remarks as any form of a criticism; and as far as the group's conversations are concerned having Nausicaa up now or later does not make any difference. I just thought it was the right place to make an observation I thought could lead to some interesting debate. I apologize to yourself and to the other members. - )


Mark André Though Bloom is seriously and unjustly abused by the citizen, and others, there are some lighter moments in the episode. Still abusive, but lighter, like:

"I declare to my antimacassar if you took up a straw from the bloody floor and if you said to Bloom: Look at, Bloom. Do you see that straw? That's a straw. Declare to my aunt he'd talk about it for an hour so he would and talk steady." (316)


Christopher (Donut) | 70 comments I just finished reading this (and I was already familiar with the audio by Donal Donnelly, which helped immensely 'catch the sprit'), and while I did like the concept of a salty narration interspersed with parodies of ostentatious prose.. although isn't something very like it coming up in Oxen?.. I have to say that I thought some of the passages were very tedious- belaboring the joke.

I guess it's obvious that Joyce is more of a redskin than a paleface- that he is the sort of writer who would hope eventually to use every word in the English language (and beyond), a Melville or a Rabelais, and not a classical writer like Jane Austen or Racine, who would never use whole forests of words.

Anyway, one has to wonder if some of the other alleged 'facts' about Bloom and his father are just as unfounded as the 'fact' that he just won five pounds on a long shot, but is too cheap to buy them all drinks (as if he owed them any, btw).

Very funny the ascent to heaven as Elijah in the end, and it reminds me that one of Joyce's inspirations was Flaubert's Temptation of St. Anthony.

The Temptation of St. Antony


message 10: by Tracy (last edited Jul 11, 2017 06:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) | 158 comments Christopher wrote: "I just finished reading this (and I was already familiar with the audio by Donal Donnelly, which helped immensely 'catch the sprit'), and while I did like the concept of a salty narration intersper..."

Any thoughts on who old Troy is?
I think the wordiness of Joyce is merely a characteristic of his native land. I think often he's just soaked up and mimicking the patois. I've been to Ireland and those people can talk a blue streak, hoo-boy. (and I'm 2/5ths Irish meself, with another bit of Scots and English). I went into a shop in Sligo to buy one of those thick heather wool sweaters, and once the salesclerk heard my last name (Harte) he talked my arm off for nearly an hour about all the Hartes thereabout and even pulled out poetry books and read me several poems about potential ancestors, etc. Went into a pub for directions out in the country and was invited to help bring the hay in with pitchforks and everything. Magic tongues, those Irish, full of the Blarney:)

i.e.: -Are you strictly t.t.? says Joe
-Not taking anything between drinks, says I.

And I'm wondering how often all the gossipers who find Bloom cheap stand for drinks themselves. Is it the Irish who started this annoying habit of buying rounds for others rather than every man for himself? That custom always makes me uncomfortable--having to keep track. Plus, I'm female, in theory exempt, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

Wonder why Ireland doesn't have a tradition of Stand-up comedians ? I suppose it's because Pub culture has them naturally, and gratis. No need to pay someone to be funny and outrageous.


message 11: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark André Bloom is falsely accused of not sharing his supposed "good fortune" with the others in the bar. A serious breach of "sociableness" amongst drinkers.
I think that most men, who are regular drinkers, with friends, assume that it averages out over time: who pays for the drinks.


Christopher (Donut) | 70 comments By the way, I was in a pub yesterday, called the James Joyce.

And I had a half and half. No cigar, though.


message 13: by Tracy (last edited Jul 12, 2017 05:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) | 158 comments Christopher wrote: "By the way, I was in a pub yesterday, called the James Joyce.

And I had a half and half. No cigar, though."


We have a James Joyce here too. Must be a popular name.


Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) | 158 comments Has anyone cracked the code of this u.p. up business? I haven't tried looking it up anywhere.


message 15: by Mark (last edited Jul 12, 2017 06:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark André How about: Ulster protestant .


Christopher (Donut) | 70 comments The explanation I heard (although Joyce never went on record) was U. P. up means "you pee when up," i.e., you urinate instead of ejaculate when erect.
(shrugs shoulders)


message 17: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark André I think that is Ellmann's old explanation. But it has never made much sense.


message 18: by Tracy (last edited Jul 13, 2017 09:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tracy Reilly (TracyReilly) | 158 comments Ok, finally made it through Cyclops--sections were a chore, but by the end I thought it paid off!! Understood it better than ever this time through, after tying it back to the ODYSSEY. So here's my take, forgive me if I am stating the obvious. This is all without any reliance on outside readings, so I may be getting into things everyone already knows.

Ok, first the Cyclops episode of the Odyssey is pretty familiar to me as I used to teach it to 9th Graders. Cyclops is a one eyed monster, but is also the son of Poseidon. After he traps Ulysses' men in his cave and eats them one by one, Ulysses plots an escape by having his men ride out under the giant's sheep after he stabs out his only eye with a sharpened pole. The Cyclops goes out and bellows loudly enough that Poseidon hears, thereby (after Odysseus brags, "It is I Odysseus who did this) condemning Odysseus and his men to be lost at sea for 10 years.

Okay, so, the pub in this episode is obviously the Cyclops' cave, and the citizen is the Cyclops. Instead of being a cannibal, he kills men with words, and his chief victim here is Bloom. As the night goes on and he gets drunker, his rhetoric becomes more inflamed, and Bloom, being sensitive, steps out to avoid confrontation while waiting for Martin et.al. Since weapons are words here, when Bloom comes back briefly, it is when Bloom tells him--to counter his anti-semitic rant (is he the one with his fly open??) "Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me..." This is his stake in the eye of citizen, who I'm guessing is just a stand-in native-son personification for all the anger due to ill treatment by England and the world.

Bloom and company are portrayed as whisked off in a dolphin and maiden surrounded carriage, accompanied by an entire pageful of every-saint-known-to-ireland for protection, while citizen sics his mangy hydrophobic dog Garryowen after it, shouting, "Did I kill him..or what?!" To the uproarious laughter of the pub denizens who are now in the pissing and spitting stages of the evening.

Ends with a bang, boy. Now Leo's gonna have to stay out all night...


message 19: by Mark (last edited Jul 13, 2017 11:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark André I've always sort of felt sorry for the Cyclops. They are very anti-social monsters. That's why they live alone on islands. - )
add
Odysseus knows he shouldn't be on the island and then his men commit some crime, as usual, and then the confrontation with the islander....


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