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New School Classics- 1900-1999 > Ulysses - SPOILERS - Entire Book

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message 1: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
This thread is for a full discussion of our 1st Quarter 2018 Group Long Read selection, Ulysses by James Joyce.

Discuss any spoilers in this thread.


message 2: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
I realize that not many of us have actually read and finished the book, but I was wondering if those who have might be willing to give us some insight as to why you enjoyed the book and what kept you reading?


message 3: by Dan (new)

Dan Harris (dantastic) | 5 comments Katy wrote: "I realize that not many of us have actually read and finished the book, but I was wondering if those who have might be willing to give us some insight as to why you enjoyed the book and what kept you reading?"

It wasn't easy at first. There's something to the pace of Joyce that is very difficult for me when I'm not already on his wavelength, and getting there takes some serious doing. Once I get there though, it's the characters that keep me reading more than anything else. Once I've spent so much time in a character's head, suddenly every minor detail of their lives (and let me tell you, you're getting every minor detail here) takes on new significance.

The big thing though, is not to feel discouraged when you're not feeling it. There were days, at one point even a whole week, where I just was NOT feeling it, and trying to force myself on those days was a pretty perfect recipe for making myself resent it. It's a very specific, very peculiar flavor of novel, and you need to give palate time to get used to it, and some people never do, not because there's anything wrong with them, or anything wrong with the book specifically, but because it's just not aiming to be a "general audiences" kind of novel, and if you aren't in its audience, there's not much to be done about that.


message 4: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments The playfulness of the language was what kept me reading the first time. I didn't understand all that much of what was going on, but after the first couple of chapters I stopped trying to interpret everything (an impossible task anyway) and just let the words wash over me. More things fell into place as I kept reading and I started to connect more with the characters, getting a feel of who they were and sympathising with them. I also enjoyed the tour around Dublin that comes with each section, Joyce makes great use of different settings and they help to break up the story. Still above all, it's the language that I adore and the sheer genius of each chapter's unique style. Some of them I preferred to others, but that meant if I wasn't enjoying a particular section, I knew they'd be a change of style and setting in the next part.


message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick I read Ulysses a couple of years ago. For me, it completely lived up to its reputation, and I can't think of another 20th Century novel that would outrank it. The language, the ambition, the lasting influence, all important, but what clinches it for me is the emotion, the deep feeling for quotidian existence. It is truly significant that the last word is "Yes"; Joyce is saying Yes to life. I cried at the end.


message 6: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1574 comments I read Ulysses a year ago and by the end of it I came to the realization that Bloom was a lonely man living in an anti-Semitic society.


message 7: by Biblio (last edited Jan 03, 2018 05:12PM) (new)

Biblio Curious (bibliocurious) | 39 comments I'm so happy to have finished Ulysses and am joyfully reading Finnigans Wake now.

To me, Ulysses is a book that literally blooms for the reader, no puns, jokes, nothing intended. It just simply is so full of scrabble pieces & strings of words with the occasional complete thought tossed in that makes reading it is so personal. The reader can take almost anything from it that they want to. Each re-reading of it can be deeper or different from the previous time. It's great fun! Discussing it with others is also great fun because we all can see it so differently.

Then, 'professionals' can show up to the party with whatever official critical analysis of it they want and shed light on what Joyce was trying to say (Gabler, Ellmann, Academics abound!). Discussions can get pretty heated pretty quickly which is also so much fun! Everyone's entitled to an opinion! I'm so nosy, I'm bursting with curiosity on what everyone else's opinion is! I adore listening to other's chat about what Ulysses means to them. It's such a great excuse for a deep conversation ^.^

While reading it, I never expected the experience to be this rich. Or to have this many potentials for re-reading, discussions, and endless rabbit holes to explore. I kept reading it simply because I enjoyed the language. I only underlined passages that attracted me or sounded pretty. I also underlined new to me words that hint at a new meaning. About 1/2 way through, I had to stop for a few months. My poor brain needed a break. So I happily let Joyce rest for a bit. After returning, the joy was fresh again. Most of it, I don't understand and I'm ok with that. How much of life do we never get to understand fully?

In short, it's the human experience/consciousness boiled down, ironed out and laid flat onto a black and white page. We're free to argue, wrestle, grapple, debate, accept & discuss what it could mean. In the end, we'll never understand all of it! And that rocks! We've spent 100s of years debating cornerstone religious books & what they could mean, why not do the same in a lighthearted way about a book that's not religious. .... except to us nerdy followers of it? ^.^


message 8: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
Anyone else finished already? Or ahead of the Read-along?


message 9: by Gini (new)

Gini | 224 comments I think I am or was ahead of the schedule, but got lost in it and expired quietly at the side of the road. Not having the different chapter titles is was a definite handicap for me. Even the Spark notes weren't much help.
Interesting aside is the idea that revisiting a classic and bringing into modern times isn't a new idea (cf the recent Hogarth series). Joyce seems to have done it and I suspect some of the older guys like Shakespeare may have borrowed from some of their forefathers.


message 10: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
I think you are correct Gini on the rewriting of classics.


message 11: by Olivia (new)

Olivia This book has been on my To Read list for a couple years and could never get past the first couple pages so seeing it was on the group read I jumped in mid-December to get a head start. I’m mostly listening to the audiobook and reading along when I can which helps (also sparknotes a lot).

I’m currently reading “Circe” and trying to make any sense of it! There’s so many layers to this book that you would have to read it many times to fully grasp everything and yet despite all of it, I’m borderline bored. I’m thoroughly impressed with the variety of writing styles all blended together but as a story not so much. I guess I would compare how I see this book to a wheel that starts spinning so fast that it appears to not be moving at all. It has so much going on and is very fast paced but doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere.


message 12: by Gini (new)

Gini | 224 comments Started reading Nausicaa episode. Just reading this through for the first time and thought I fallen into a Victorianish romance. Not a good thing for me. :) A few pages later my fears were relieved, happily.
If I get nothing else from this first pass it's that Joyce was a very capable writer. Switching styles so freely can't be easy.


message 13: by Gini (new)

Gini | 224 comments Episode 14 so far has been rather disgusting and disrespectful on a number of counts. Archaic language doesn't obscure that in any way. Closest this has come to the charges brought against it.


message 14: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1679 comments I finished Ulysses a few days ago. Such a relief to be finished. Gave it 2 stars. What I gained from reading this book simply does not correspond to the amount of work and time I put in. It feels wrong to give it 2 stars because I understood so little. … But is the fault really mine or the book's?

I consider myself fairly well-read with some 140+ books from the 1001-books-you-should-read list. But I did not understand it – that book was not for me. Should books be written for reading or for analysis by professors at the university. I do not know the answer. Saying that Ulysses is bad or boring, feels like saying that Einstein's original paper on general relativity wasn't well written because it is hard to understand.

I liked three episodes. Episode Twelve: “Cyclops”, episode Thirteen: “Nausicaa” and episode Seventeen: “Ithaca”. Cyclops have some extreme parodies of writing styles. Most of them are very good. They seem to be a comment to the main dialogue, an effect that works well, and was so easy to understand that even I got it.

Episode Thirteen: “Nausicaa” is probably my favourite. At first the clichéd style was such a put off. Such a style can easily be the reason I give up on a book. But after a few pages “the gentleman“ enters and things start happening. Very interesting to see events with Gerty eyes and then.....

Sparknotes has many insightful comments. Most importantly "narrative style contains built-in ideology that effects what is reported and how it is reported." There is a wow-effect with Nausicaa here. That point was clear even to me.

Episode Seventeen: “Ithaca”, I think I understood too. He is - literally - procrastinating before the big final.

So I liked the three episodes that I understood...... and the rest was boring/a struggle. I am afraid so.

Episode Fifteen: “Circe” the nightmare/hallucination as a play. Yes, I saw that the play becomes increasingly un-playable with a man changing sex and giving birth in the middle of a scene. But I completely missed the major point that one person's involve elements of an other person's day and even to reference earlier scenes and words unseen and unheard by both. Sparknotes concludes that it “is perhaps more accurate to view the hallucinations of “Circe” as emanating not out of the subconscious of individual characters but out of the subconscious of the novel itself.” That is such a cool idea, but why hide it so in 150 pages?


message 15: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Mar 01, 2018 02:38PM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
J_BlueFlower wrote: "I finished Ulysses a few days ago. Such a relief to be finished. Gave it 2 stars. What I gained from reading this book simply does not correspond to the amount of work and time I put in. It feels w..."

Good for you. Now you can pick up another big book for March! And nice review -- I am feeling similar to you about the book, but 2 stars might be a stretch for me. Not finding much to "like."


message 16: by Liza (last edited Mar 01, 2018 08:06PM) (new)

Liza Tishchenko (thames_nocturne) | 25 comments Having read Ulysses in an academic setting and absolutely fallen in love with Joyce, I can understand why just reading it for the story could make for a very frustrating experience. There really isn't much to the book in the way of plot, so I can definitely sympathise with the sentiments expressed - especially how the sheer labour of slugging through the book is hardly worth it for some readers. For me personally the greatest enjoyment came from just picking apart the language, the constructions, the allusions, the manipulations of various tropes, etc... Looking back on it, had I picked up the book by myself, without my incredible professor and classmates to help guide and inspire me, I can hardly say I would have enjoyed it. (And this is coming from someone who is about to devote the better part of their academic career to Joyce!)


message 17: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Mar 01, 2018 09:41PM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
So nice that you had a wonderful experience Liza. Please feel free to enlighten us!


message 18: by Liza (last edited Mar 01, 2018 10:05PM) (new)

Liza Tishchenko (thames_nocturne) | 25 comments Katy wrote: "So nice that you had a wonderful experience Liza. Please feel free to enlighten us!"

I'm afraid my thoughts are not nearly composed enough to offer any one comprehensive argument! I'm chiefly impressed by Joyce's ability to make Ulysses feel - on the whole - like a universe of its own, with its various narratives diverging, crossing over, and coming together in ways that are so meticulously attentive to even the most minute details (a miniature of which is beautifully captured in "Wandering Rocks"). The "Circe" episode is a particular favourite of mine. It truly has a life of its own. Joyce is a master of language and, as several posters have mentioned above, you can keep re-reading the same passages time and time again and always discover something new in his constructions and references. I like to treat it as one big game. That's what makes Ulysses so interesting to me, not so much its plot (of which, as mentioned before, there isn't much to justify the page count).


message 19: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
Thanks for your thoughts. An interesting way to look at a book, and for this one -- a good view.


message 20: by Thorkell (new)

Thorkell Ottarsson I have no idea how to rate this book. The text was beautifully written but a lot of the time I struggled with understanding what the hell was happening. In the end I just gave up on trying to understand and just tried to enjoy the lyrical text. My idea was that I could try to understand the book better the next time I read it. Well, next time is not happening very soon. I feel I need something light after this. Something to make me feel clever again.


message 21: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
Thorkell wrote: "...I feel I need something light after this. Something to make me feel clever again. ..."

Great idea!


message 22: by Carlo (last edited Mar 15, 2018 02:17AM) (new)

Carlo | 206 comments I just finished.

My 3 favourite episodes:

Penelope - fantastic stream of consciousness. After reading so much about her it was great to finally get inside her head and read her thoughts.

Ithaca - Some of the best prose of the book. The "climax" of the relationship between Bloom and Stephen, which Joyce has been building up to for the whole book, doesn't disappoint.

Cyclops - Great characters and very funny episode. Bloom comes into his own.

My 3 least favourites episodes:

Eumaeus - Just very dull and cumbersome to read.

Aeolus - I found it long "winded" and tedious. Didn't like the style.

Scylla and Charybdis - I didn't like Stephen in this chapter. He came across as rather arrogant. I thought he'd never shut up about his "Hamlet theory" which I must confess bored me to tears.


message 23: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
I like the way you summarized your feelings on the book above Carlo. It makes me want to pick up the book again.


message 24: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9560 comments Mod
March 25th: This week we will discuss the Introduction and the book as a whole.


message 25: by Mark (last edited Mar 30, 2018 10:54AM) (new)

Mark André It might be helpful in summarizing the whole book to focus on the problems the three heroes present at the beginning and see if through the course of the novel their situations may have improved. Some good questions that may be asked:

Why is Stephen still in Dublin? He's buried his mother months ago. He is estranged from his father, his roommate, his job, and just about everyone else in the book. What is he hanging around for?
Why has Bloom not been boffing his wife for the last eleven years? And why when he discovers that she is planning a rendezvous with her impresario that afternoon he does nothing to prevent it?
And with Molly, the big question is, is this her first adultery, or have there been others?


message 26: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (ronaldp) | 2 comments Mark wrote: "It might be helpful in summarizing the whole book to focus on the problems the three heroes present at the beginning and see if through the course of the novel their situations may have improved. S..."

Excellent questions, Mark. Concerning Bloom not "boffing his wife," I would like to add, Molly has not made love to her husband for eleven years. Who's decision was it to abstain? Poldy's, Molly's, or mutual agreement. Why? Didn't Joyce have an older brother who was either miscarried or died at birth? I forget. I know that he had a brother, George?, who died at 14 and a younger sister who died at an early age. Rudy's death, however, is given as the sole reason for abstaining from sex. Not a very convincing reason for the abstinence to last eleven years. So, this begs your final question, "was this act of adultery her first?"

I would also raise the issue of Joyce's obsession with being cuckolded. He was absolutely destroyed when Vincent Crosgrave claimed to have bedded Nora before he left Dublin with her in October, 1904. But he then wrote the play, Exiles, about a man's obsession with being cuckolded. I would call it a desire and a fear to be cuckolded. I believe Bloom has been given that same obsession by Joyce, his creator.


message 27: by Mark (last edited Apr 27, 2018 12:27PM) (new)

Mark André Hey Ronald!

I think Bloom has chosen this course of action vis a vis not sexing his wife for 11 years as the only 100% foolproof method of birth control. He says, in Lestrygonians, "Could never like it again after Rudy."

Yes. I agree. John and Mary Joyce's first born child died in infancy. Jim was second.

I think, at least from a male point of view, the idea of being cuckolded is socially and psychologically a very complicated and disturbing subject that has been responsible for many outbursts of real or imagined violence. That's why Bloom's pacifism seems so extraordinary. There is also Stephen's speech in the Library where he eludes to Shakespeare as also being a victim of this crime(?). So, maybe, we can speculate as to how much Joyce may have wanted to walk, for artistic reasons(?) in footsteps similar to the bard's.


message 28: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (ronaldp) | 2 comments Yes, I had forgotten about the discussion in the library. Very good, Mark. Here is a passage from Chapter 17, perhaps one way to deal with the pain of betrayal: “To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.” Originating in and repeated to infinity?
Wow! That's quite a series of lovers! Joyce does seem to enjoy the humor of exagération to the extreme. I love that about Joyce. Finally, Bloom thinks objectively and scientifically regarding Molly and Boylan in order to put the betrayal in perspective. At the end of this thought process and we are informed that he is aroused. So, we have this combination of hurt feelings and desire.


message 29: by Mark (new)

Mark André Bloom's ability to forgive and forget seems to be one of his strongest personal qualities. It is implied, I think, that he chooses to unburden himself of the day's slights and affronts every evening to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Yes. I don't think the author wants his readers to know the truth about Molly's infidelities. There may not be much difference really between one and twenty. I think it's important to remember that even though Molly was satisfied by Boylan's performance in the sack it's doubtful she got held/embraced warmly until her husband caresses her bottom. Boylan f'd her, but Bloom loves her.
My favorite scene in Ithaca is the story and details of Bloom's fantasy country dream house. Bloom has an active and healthy imagination that he seems to rely upon to relieve the stress that accumulates in his daily struggle of live the life he has.


message 30: by Gerard (new)

Gerard (gerbearrr) | 89 comments I just finished this magical beast of a novel on the last day of 2018. It took me a little over a month to finally complete, but it was a challenge that I do not regret taking at all. One of my favorite aspects of the novel is how varied the opinions are regarding the distinct chapters. The general consensus is that Oxen of the Sun is the most daunting chapter for most readers, while I found Proteus, Aeolus, and Wandering Rocks more worthy of that title; not undermining the immense difficulty of Oxen at all, I just found it to be a little more coherent than the mentioned chapters. Molly's monologue in the penultimate chapter Penelope is one of my favorite literary moments. My favorite chapters (not in order): Scylla and Charybdis, The Sirens, Telemachus, Ithaca, Nestor, Nausicaa, Oxen of the Sun, Penelope. Least favorite/most frustrating/I want to throw this book against the wall and leave it there for eternity chapters: Proteus, Aeolus, Wandering Rocks, Lotus Eaters, The Lestrygonians.


message 31: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments I am getting to start reading. I hope to see my 2--or more--reading buddies here in next few days. I will be starting tonight with some prereading. Breathing Deep and Braving Up.


message 32: by Nidhi (new)

Nidhi Kumari | 266 comments Hi Cynda, I couldn’t open the link on my phone. I wanted to know what are you reading? Text or explainations or both alternately?


message 33: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1679 comments Cynda wrote: "..... Breathing Deep and Braving Up."

That is the spirit!

Good luck!


message 34: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments J_Blueflower, good to see you here :)
I thought about what you said about tryjng several times. While undoubtedly I will be reading once or twice before I stop reading back-to-back, I am alsk following a long process, a study.

I have subscribed to YouTube channel: The Omphalos Cafe.
At the suggestion of the presenter at Omphalos Cafe, I will be first reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce). The presenter says that reading The Odyssey (Homer) is of little or no value. I have read Odyssey for other reasons each time, so I'm okay.

I will be posting some comments here and some in my thread at Old &New Challenge. link.


message 35: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Thank you J_Blueflower for joining in.


message 36: by Jerome (new)

Jerome (tnjed01) | 55 comments I'm starting on this book. I was interested in its relationship to the Odyssey, so I'd like to know why the presenter thought it was of little value. Of course, I also have heard that the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" was related to the Odyssey, but I think that it was little more than an allusion to a journey back to a homeland.

I find it interesting that he opens up with allusions to a Catholic mass and wonder about Joyce's own relationship to the Catholic church, as it must have been difficult to grow up in Dublin as a writer without having one's writing colored by a reaction to Catholicism.


message 37: by Cynda (last edited Aug 09, 2020 07:14PM) (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Thanks Jerome for joining in. How did you find us? Did you see a comment I made somewhere else on Goodreads. I have been hopping too in the reading department, talking, talking, talking.


message 38: by Cynda (last edited Aug 09, 2020 07:30PM) (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Just so you won't be lost J-_Flower--and anyone else who joins--Jerome and I are both members at a GR monfiction group and have buddy read before.


message 39: by Cynda (last edited Aug 09, 2020 09:45PM) (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments I will first attempt a biographical read.

Seems that A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce) is autbiographical and a basis for Ulysses. I will read Portrait first.

Thug Notes: A Portrait of a Young Man
Ahttps://youtu.be/hrHrk3NPNsk


message 40: by Nidhi (new)

Nidhi Kumari | 266 comments Yes, it is autobiographical and has hero Stephen Daedalus whose character continues to Ulysses but they’re both independent books.

I liked A Portrait.... very much. The only other book I have read by Joyce is the story collection The Dubliners.

I am starting today and hope to finish with you all.


message 41: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1679 comments I am not going to read Ulysses again. I usually follow discussions treads for book a long time after reading them - including this one.


message 42: by Jerome (new)

Jerome (tnjed01) | 55 comments It's amazing how many references are packed in to his words. It would be very difficult for me to understand without taking advantage of annotations. An example is the fragment:
"To ourselves...new paganism...omphalos."

Apparently "to ourselves" is very close to the political slogan, "Sinn Fein", meaning "we ourselves", which began the independence/separatist movement a year after publication of Ulysses.

The other fragments connote the violation of norms inherent in the themes explored by Joyce.


message 43: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments I am doing a study. So Iistening to audiobook of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I will not be doing full on read, just listening, absorbing what I can to get background for Ulysses. I hope to do something like this for Dubliners too. Then I will reading and rereading Ulysses.


message 44: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Nidhi wrote: "Hi Cynda, I couldn’t open the link on my phone. I wanted to know what are you reading? Text or explainations or both alternately?"

Hi Nidhi. I will need all the help J can get, so starting with thestudy described just above. Then I will read the text like this:
Preview the annotations book I have.
Read the text, rereading the annotations as needed.

I am glad you are here.


message 45: by Nidhi (new)

Nidhi Kumari | 266 comments Cynda, I have another link, very useful link of another group, shall i post it? Here?

They have read Ulysses two times , once text in 2016 and once audio in 2018.


message 46: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Nidhi wrote: "Cynda, I have another link, very useful link of another group, shall i post it? Here?

They have read Ulysses two times , once text in 2016 and once audio in 2018."


Go ahead Nidhi. Yes. May help us.
Thank you.


message 47: by Nidhi (new)

Nidhi Kumari | 266 comments https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...

Here are the links , i am also using the same method of reading text and annotations alternately.
As i said this is the third time i have started , so i am on section 2 with Leopold Bloom.


message 48: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Adams | 40 comments Hi, everyone. I started Ulysses a few weeks ago with a face-to-face book group. I'm reading about a chapter a week, so it's possible you'll all blow right past me. But I think discussion is helpful with this, so I hope it's ok that I'm here!

Jerome, have you read the Odyssey before? I'm noticing more parallels as I read, I know Stephen is supposed to resemble Odysseus' son Telemachus. I'm interested in exploring this aspect of the work with you, but I think it will become more clear as we read.

You also asked about Joyce's own relationship to Catholicism. Joyce was baptized and raised in the Catholic church. He even attended Jesuit school as Stephen did. Yet he broke with the church... well, for individual reasons (feel free to correct me if anyone has a clearer concept). In the first chapter Mulligan says his aunt accused Stephen of being the death of his mother because, at her request, would not kneel at her deathbed. I think something very similar happened in Joyce's actual life. The issue is controversial because it seems it would be easy enough just to honor a dying woman's wish. For Stephen, though, I think the issue is more personal. He doesn't seem to have outright rejected faith so much as The Church. So, he wouldn't have any integrity at all if he performed actions which he did not fully believe in. I imagine the same is true for Joyce.


message 49: by Ashley (last edited Aug 13, 2020 07:32PM) (new)

Ashley Adams | 40 comments Thoughts on Telemachus (a brief breakdown to generate conversation):

Our main character, Stephen, is staying with Buck Mulligan after the death of his mother. They've been friends, but what is their financial relationship? Mulligan's aunt rented the place? Stephen is renting as well? Who brings the money?

Mulligan is big on the concept of mockery. Yet, even as he is mocking religion, say, he falls back on the ritual. Three times a day... Stephen doesn't go in as much for ritual. He doesn't kneel at his mother's bedside as she asked, but he does dress in mourning clothes.

Also staying in the tower is Haines, a British guy who is collecting Irish folktales and speaks Gaelic. So, there's the Irish/English problem pretty well laid out.

There's something about the Irish Renaissance... feel free to clarify for me here. At the time, many artists/writers/etc were embracing a return-to-the-Irish-roots approach. Where does Stephen land on this nationalism trend?

Apparently, the "cracked lookingglass of a servant" is a symbol of Irish art. Cracked because... of the emphasis on reflection in identity making? "Who chose this face for me?"

At breakfast, they eat bread (a symbol of body/the father), but lack milk (nourishment/the mother). The milkmaid arrives, Haines schools her on what he believes it is to be Irish, they don't pay her fully, and she leaves.

There are a few times Mulligan almost seems to deify alcohol. He doesn't want to analyze Hamlet until they've been drinking, he refers to a "sacred pint," and asks Stephen for drinking money. There's alcohol in the Catholic faith as well (wine). What did the mother die of? Stephen didn't kill her, but he says "someone killed her." Any chance she was a drinker (had a little too much "faith")? In her death scene her liver is mentioned. Maybe that's too much to hope for.

Then the last word. Usurper. ...Is Stephen being usurped by Haines? The Irish by the British?


message 50: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3059 comments Thanks Nishi. I will use those links as I read Ulysses.


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