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Brief Update

Wednesday, September 30, 2009; 03:36 am Leave a comment Go to comments

As we did not directly discuss my obsession during class on Monday, I’ll try to post some sort of an edit to Monday’s post after tomorrow’s class.

In the meantime I will try to briefly hit on some of the high points from episodes 4-6, as my most recent post only touched on Aeolus and Lestrygonians.

In Hades, as the other funeral procession enters the graveyard, the other characters present at Dignam’s funeral comment on the circumstances of the death of illegitimate children.  During this time, a song by Thomas Noel, “The Pauper’s Drive,” comes into Bloom’s mind (Gifford 111).  Although the topic of conversation immediately before and after the quoted section deals with the topic of suicide, it seems odd that Bloom recalls this particular song, seeing as the lyrics seem to view the deceased as unimportant: “Rattle his bones.  Over the stones.  Only a pauper.  Nobody owns” (6.323-33).  As the text implies, Bloom buried his own son, Rudy, in a similar manner, thus creating a distinct disconnect between what songs would make sense for Bloom to dwell on, and the lyrics which he ultimately does spend time thinking about.

A second passage in Hades, and also in the graveyard of note occurs when the mourners decide to visit Parnell’s grave.  This time the song appears in a much more logical sense, although Bloom’s subsequent thoughts on burial are a bit odd.  The song he thinks about is by Richard F. Harvey, and it comes to Bloom’s mind right after he looks at the “. . . crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, [and] stone hopes praying with upcast eyes . . .” (6.928-9), and if his eyes were following these structures down to their bases, thinking of Ireland (in terms of soil) is a logical next step.  As previously stated, while his thoughts on burial are a bit odd, his transition to them is entirely logical.

Although this was a fairly short post, I’ll try to add to either this one or Monday’s post following class tomorrow.

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