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Substance Reads (1900-1945) > Ulysses - Episode 9 - Scylla & Charybdis

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message 1: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Please use this thread to discuss Episode 9 - Scylla & Charybdis of...

Ulysses (Oxford World's Classics) by James Joyce Ulyssesby James Joyce


message 2: by Jan C (last edited Jun 18, 2011 10:26AM) (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1526 comments Questions from Evanston, IL Public Library discussion group

Episode 9: Scylla & Charybdis – 2p.m., The Library

Key Players: Stephen, A.E. (poet George Russell), John Eglinton, Quaker librarian Lyster, and Buck Mulligan

The dangers of Scylla and Charybdis are oratorical. Who or what are Stephen’s foes?

What are your thoughts on Stephen’s debate about Hamlet with the scholars? How are both Stephen and Bloom like Hamlet?

How is Stephen an outsider among the scholars?

Consider the theme of reconciliation. How do you think it will develop in the novel?

Buck Mulligan reappears in this episode. Has your opinion of him changed? Has the dynamic shifted between him and Stephen?

Why doesn’t Stephen believe his own argument?

Organ: Brain • Art: Literature • Color: None • Symbol: Stratford, London Technic: Dialectic


message 3: by Charles (last edited Sep 22, 2011 09:56AM) (new)

Charles Has this discussion gone dead?
In my usual reductive way, it seems that what we have here is the typical bantering of students -- so needs as much decoding as one might expect from classics students (or medical or geek). The Scylla and Charybdis image reifies bantering -- the students are trying to best you, while you are trying to slip through.(The Lestrygonians refused Ulysses permission to land, ate one of his emissaries, and threw stone at him.) The remarks about fathers stand out -- Hamlet's ghost, the ghost's recall of Stephen to his mother's deathbed (that again), and amid this the brief appearance of Bloom (a hint). They all agree to go drinking later -- being students -- and Mulligan rescues Stephen from the fray. Is it necessary (though perhaps fun) to decode the rhetoric?


message 4: by Charles (new)

Charles Stephen as outsider: really? It's always seemed to me that he is concerned mostly with his obsessions and is not really paying attention. He holds his own with the banterers, although he seems not to be trying very hard, except where it touches him personally.


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles Stephen believing his own argument: why should he? His attitudes on the things which are bothering him is unformed, he doesn't have any real responses or solutions to his obsessions yet, when bantering one talks to win. Like Hamlet, he dithers, unable to act because he doesn't know what to do and can't talk the problem away.


message 6: by Charles (new)

Charles Reconciliation: not the same as acceptance or expiation or erasure (revenge -- what's the ecclesiastical word?) Hamlet was not reconciled. He accepted that the facts required action, a response in kind, to satisfy his sense of self-worth. What happens after, the reconciliation part, is of no matter. The emotional orphan Stephen finds a real father and simply pushes the other problem aside.


message 7: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1526 comments I don't know if the conversation has gone dead.

The other day I was wondering if people were still reading. It has been quite a while since anyone made any comments.

I think this was one of the episodes I enjoyed.

I think you can call Stephen an outsider in this gathering. He is hanging out with some of the intellectuals at the library and trying out some of his theories on them.


message 8: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I'm still trying - once I get going with the reading it goes pretty well but when I stop I seem to not go back to it for a while. Its a difficult one to keep going with. I'll try harder though! I'll try and post something again within the next week - put my mind to it!


message 9: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1526 comments I know what you mean.

If I hadn't had the physical group meeting, I'm not sure I would have made it all the way through. But I had deadlines to meet so a couple of days before a meeting I'd be reading. Matter of fact, I would usually be reading the night before the meeting. We had six between meetings so there was no excuse for me to be reading right up to that date, except that I am a terrible procrastinator.


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Ulysses: The 1922 Text (other topics)

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James Joyce (other topics)