Catholic Nationalism Note Form
Okay, there’s a lot going on in Circe, and I suspect we’ll have a lot of fun on Monday, trying to coalesce around each of our obsessions, but for now everything is kind of flying each way in my brain.
– Catholicism seems to be speaking to nationalism again. Most mentions of Catholicism occurred in Bloom’s dream/fantasy of ruling Ireland. “His most Catholic Majesty” (397), however, spends his fantasy mixing up the various religions he has had contact with. I feel he just associates the Christian religion with power, and thus only wants to use it, or honestly cannot tell the differences. Either way, it’s telling that Bloom is “a man like Ireland wants” (395). Also, he calls for a “Free lay church in a free lay state,” which might be the Freemasonry talking, but adds compelling evidence that to Bloom, religious differences are unimportant — or might suggest that he actually agrees more with Quaker or certain sects of Protestant belief (399).
– Crucifixion scene associates Bloom even more deeply with Jesus (405-407), but Reuben J appears as everything Bloom despises about himself (see in particular page 413) throughout the first section of Circe, while playing Judas Iscariot (406). Perhaps this dislike extended to Jesus, thus making Jesus Judas, which seems to be a repeat of the theme that the Heretics are no different from the Saints, and betrayer and redeemer become one in the same.
– A lot of demonic imagery that I’m beginning to associate with Stephen, due to Buck’s comment about his education basically being in the fear of Hell fire. However, Bloom seems to welcome the demons, “walking on into Hellsgates” while followed by a whining dog, possibly a stand in for Stephen (367). A piece of foreshadowing, again placing Bloom in the Jesus/Teacher-Socrates role, while Stephen remains an Apostle/Student-Plato(?)-Aristotle. A lot of hoofs appear, particularly on Molly’s camel (359), who I took to be another Bloom, beast of burden, and servant to Molly. Oddly, though, Bloom, before giving a lot of welcome to these demons (comparison to the camel, and kissing Bella’s “hoof” on 431-2), believes that the cramp he experiences is a mark of the beast (356). Although this was slightly unclear, and the mark of the beast could also be lost cattle, an emblem of luck, such as his potato, or something totally unrelated from earlier today. [Side note, for those of you who have heard of Braid: “Now, the protagonist is looking for a princess who could be his estranged girlfriend, his dead sister, or the atomic bomb.”]
That’s all my confused little mind can coherently piece together for now. I have a lot more, but it’s completely in connection cupcake format, which means it’s just a bunch of annoying literary snibbly-wibbleys at the moment. And I think I might have spelled wibbleys wrong, but wibblies also looks strange. And of course, neither are recognized by Open Office as actually being words.