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Joycene Creed: Last Word

Wednesday, November 18, 2009; 06:42 am Leave a comment

So, to wrap up Catholicism and Ulysses I’ll give a run down of the major Catholicism scenes in the chapters (I focus more on the early chapters, because my thoughts have significantly changed since those first posts), the themes that have emerged, and what I’m still looking for in scholarly sources. (Post finish: Sorry, this took me an unexpected amount of time to compile. Warning, long).

Telemachus introduced the idea of people standing in for Saints and Heretics right off, with Stephen and Buck as Arius (18), and Chrysostomos (1). Here we watch as Buck paints Stephen as the “gloomy jesuit” (14) which defines what Stephen spends the rest of the book attempting to reject. In fact, Stephen, in the very first chapter, begins to define himself by what he rejects, as mentioned by George Castle in Ousted Possibilities (Castle 309).

Looking back retroactively, I can also see that Stephen is more attracted by the delivery of the idea, rather than the idea itself, looking at his relationship to Buck/Chrysostomos. St. Chrysostomos was another fiery theologian, with theories that Stephen must have been inundated with at school. However, he would now reject them as a good heretic. His attraction to Chrysostomos/Buck, therefore, is an echo of his attraction to both Arian and Aquanian theory. He dislikes the person, but likes the performance, or passion of their delivery.

In part, this goes back to our discussion of Sirens, where Bloom can enjoy the musical output of Simon and Ben without being repulsed by their personalities (225). I’m actually not certain that this is what Joyce wants us to take away from Ulysses. Buck is an awful influence on Stephen, and does not really care for him; Simon is as poisonously uncaring of Bloom in Hades. While it’s good that both Bloom and Stephen can put their abuse behind them in exchange for pure intellectual stimulation and pleasure, these are not healthy relationships, and it might be best for them to break off ties with their friends. Indeed, I love that Bloom really dislikes Buck (does he even have anything good to say about Malachi Mulligan?), while Stephen has broken off all ties with his father. They are only half free of those negative influences, and in an awkward way, it benefits both by the end of the night, for if it was not for Buck trying to give Stephen the slip, and Bloom’s connection to Simon, the two would not have crossed paths significantly, and this would have been a shorter book.

Not that this supposition has anything to do with Telemachus, or my obsession. Nestor only continues the saints as people theme, mostly focusing on Stephen as Columbanus: “Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His Mother’s prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode” (23).

However, Nestor is also important as it is the first point where I noted trinities. “The same room and hour, the same Wisedom: and I the same. Three times now. Three nooses round me here” Stephen thinks, telling himself that he can break them any instant (25). He cannot. At best, he only succeeds in denting the lampshade in Circe (477). The nooses hearken back to Telemachus where Stephen is the servant of three masters, Britain, the Catholic Church, and Ireland, “who wants [him] for odd jobs” (17). Taken in the context of the Trinity, Britain takes the place of the Father, domineering, in control, and patriarchal in Joyce, usually, as can been seen in Aeolus, Scylla and Charybdis, and Wandering Rocks, to name a few examples. The Catholic Church becomes Jesus in this trinity, which if viewed in relation to Britian on the national stage, acts just as several other Jesuses that litter the pages of the novel — Best, Bloom, right off the top of my head, although there are so many more. That is to say, the Catholic Church is ineffectual, and likely to become crucified in accordance with the will of the Father.

This is probably one of the stronger arguments against a Roman Catholic Irishness that Joyce returns to in the form of the ineffectual, disconnected Father Conmee of Wandering Rocks (180-184). Finally we have the almost forgotten Ireland, hovering on the edge of Stephen’s consciousness as the Holy Spirit. Stephen is not yet prepared to face the questions of the Holy Spirit, signaling his distance from Irish Nationalism, yet it tantalizes him, and haunts him through out the novel. The Trinity cues the relationships we are supposed to observe through out the novel, and also points to the secret questions/mysteries with which the characters are grappling when the Holy Ghost appears.

Ghost is an appropriate, really. Much of the time we see the Holy Ghost, it has to actually do with the dead, as in a lot of ways, Ulysses is all about mourning gone awry, and how death should be dealt with. The afterlife of the soul, clearly stated in Christian Dogma, is once again acting as Jesus, to the Catholic Church’s role as God for the characters of Dublin. Heaven and Hell are secondary thoughts for the living, no matter how the Church imposes its doctrine of Hellfire. The ghost of this morbid trinity is how the living are supposed to go on living after the dead have taken over their lives. No one really knows, and none of them handle it well. We have Simon Daedalus, incapable of getting over May, Stephen wrapped up in his guilt, and thus haunted by his mother, in scenes that turn May into a Holy Ghost herself. As part of Stephen’s search for the answers to the Holy Ghost, he is desperately searching for the way to forgiveness, and lifting of his guilt over his mother’s death (474).

Beyond this Trinity of death, we have the death of Rudy spinning both Molly and Bloom into damage control and denial. As for Rudy’s older sister, Milly becomes the ignored Holy Ghost. She is not physically present in the novel, her needs basically ignored by both parents, who merely react to what she says and does (630). Bloom, the father, controls her location, but does not seem to think that she would do better as a young girl with her parents. Molly, taking the Jesus role, crucified by Rudy’s death (640) and incapable of motherly acts since then, merely responds to Milly’s growing restlessness with knee-jerk reactions (631-632). What neither of them see is that they have Milly, a real living child, who is the future, as we’ve talked about, with her continuing the line through her “technical Jewishness” (Simpson November 16, 2009). Through Milly, the Holy Spirit can be vividly something desirable, and forgotten/ignored by those who need it the most.

Trinities that I’m still uncertain of:

– Trinity of the dead: May Goulding, Paddy Dignam, and Rudy Bloom. I haven’t figured out how these three all work together, and play off each other in the novel, but as they are all involved in other living/dead trinities, and there are three of them that are named, I want to say that they are one of these Father, Son, Holy Ghost trinities.

– Does Rueben J. Dodd’s son (curiously unnamed, yet conspicuous in a similar there/not there way that I associate with the characters acting as Holy Ghosts) fit into this?

Proteus is a mine for looking at Stephen theologically. I’m still plowing my way through the library books on consubstantiality, the Arian idea that Stephen entertains so happily, in the fact that it’s a heresy. I’m not prepared to wrap that up yet. While in a way, it seems to be displacement activity as Stephen avoids considering the Holy Ghost, because the nature of Jesus’ divinity is an easier concept to grasp, it’s still a really fascinating heresy. I’m hoping that once I understand the underpinnings, and logic behind it, I’ll be able to apply it to the microcosm that it wraps up and affects.

We also get an pre-echo of the arguments on the nature of the soul (37), in many theological discussions completely wrapped up in the Holy Ghost, that will appear throughout the novel, culminate in Molly’s theology in Penelope (643). Stephen is prefers to pin his soul on Aristotle, saying that “[his] soul walks with [him], form of forms” (37). This gives us a very intellectual soul that is part of the miracle of transubstantiation, which is based on Arisotolean thought. The conversations that we’ve had about cannibalism and the Eucharist, “those white corpuscles” (3) coming from “Corpus: body. Corpse” (66), center around the conflict of whether transubstantiation is real or not, which is also one of the critical points of the Reformation, as Protestants rejected the idea that the Eucharist was a miracle. Here, Stephen, in accepting that his soul is the original form, is accepting Catholic thought, even as he is trying to turn himself into a heretic. Oh Stephen.

For those who don’t remember what the theological argument of the transubstantiation of the Eucharist is I have a quick run down about how this connects Aristotle and miracles using dinosaurs: Okay, so you have a dinosaur that changes into a chicken. Everything that we can perceive about the dinosaur is now telling us that it is a chicken. However, the dinosaur still knows that possesses dinosaur-yness. This is normal and could possibly happen given enough evolutionary quirks. Or it is possible that the dinosaur actually knows that it is a chicken after the external change has taken place. Indeed, the natural change has changed dinosaur-yness into chicken-yness. Both options work. What doesn’t work without a strange amount of hocus-pocus is a dinosaur remaining physically a dinosaur, but thinking that it is a chicken. This is a miracle according to Aristotelian thought. The Eucharist takes place with bread and wine that rejects dinosaur-yness for chicken-yness. Protestants had a lot of issues with this idea, because the bread seemed to remain bready and full of awesome bread-yness.

Calypso hasn’t become any more of a helpful chapter in retrospect. We have Catholicism doing a lot through out the book. The “middle” up to Naausica focuses most obviously on the Catholic church as a controlling institution, and comments on it’s growing power over Irish Nationalism. With Circe, everything is all over the map, but we get a lot of everything. My posts pretty much cover everything that I skimmed over here.

Things to be aware of:

– Joyce’s comment on the growing Catholic nationalism = it’s a bad idea

– Trinities act as a pointer to interpreting character actions and placing them in a larger national context, or interpersonal actions

– No real difference between saints and heretics = call for perspective, moderation, and re-examination of race/gender/what makes people people.

– Circularity does not mean completion, or strength. Triangles/threes/trinities are the key!

Issues I still am having issues with:

– How does the cult of Mary fit into this to make a cohesive whole?! It’s just kind of off there in the background, relating female and male characters to the various aspects of the Virgin.

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Demons, Circles, and Supplication, oh My

Wednesday, November 4, 2009; 03:38 pm 1 comment

This might cut into Judaism and Ulysses, but Josh didn’t mention it, so I will! The Fan on pg. 430 becomes God to Bloom’s Moses, at the pivotal moment of the burning bush. “Have you forgotten me?” becomes the question of forgetting the God of Bloom’s fathers. “Am all them and the same now me” echoes “I am he who is” or “I am who am” which are semi basic English translations of the passage in the Latin Vulgate (I think. Correct me on this, if I’m in error. I know that the King James translation is “I am that am,” but the King James is a faulty translation on many counts, and also, we’re dealing with Joyce’s Roman Catholic background, so I want to go Latin).

However, as the recitation of this burning bush continues, Bloom transforms from the powerful Moses into an ordinary Catholic Man, seeking supplication from the Virgin Mary.

The Fan

We have met. You are mine. It is fate.

Bloom

(Cowed) Exuberant female. Enormously I desiderate your domination. I am exhausted, abandoned, no more young.

Interesting to note that he is using a verb with a Latin base to indicate his longing for the Fan, the exuberant female, the Virgin who draws her mantle over the abandoned, exhausted, and the weakly aged. This contributes to the “churchy” feeling of supplication present in the scene.

Part of the echoes, obviously, have to do with Bloom’s spiral from himself, to the servile fantasy fetish Bloom-Ruby that is occurring in the nightmare. However, Bloom’s submission to the Fan reflects Stephen’s rejection of the Church in the form of his rejection of women. They both expect the same end, that the woman will dominate their lives. For Bloom this is twisted fantasy, for Stephen, it is the repugnant as Ann Hathaway was for “shrewridden Shakespeare” (335). The Virgin becomes the Church, almost entirely driving out the masculine that was associated with Catholicism in earlier chapters. As Blooms submission to the Church is part of his private nightmare, and the nightmare of the book, it is abject submission to any one thing that becomes nightmarish.

Indeed, once Bloom submits to the Mary of the Fan, the devil replaces the Virgin, and the imagery becomes even darker. “All things end,” says the Fan, snuffing out hope, “Be mine. Now” (431). The demand managed to alert Bloom that something has gone wrong, but he has parted with his talisman of a potato, and can do nothing against the devil. Significantly, the idea of the warding symbol is very Catholic. It turns Bloom into a pilgrim, lost on his way to Jer-Bloom-usalem, encountering the devil in the wastes. He cannot fight the Evil One, as he has lost his pilgrims badge, the talisman potato. So, he must kiss the Devil’s cloven hoof.

When he does fight Bella/Bello’s influence and finally rejects it, we do see Bloom taking Bella’s place in the original God/Moses, Mary/Supplicant roles. Bella sees him now as both God and devil: “I know you, canvasser! Dead cod!” she cries (452). One normally would yell to the devil, “I know you, Satan!” and the canvasser comment is tempting to associate Satan with a canvasser of souls. However, Bella adds “Dead cod!” rather “Dead God,” which would actually be Jesus, who died for the sins of men. In this way, the devil and God become conflated with one another, which just goes back to one of my favorite themes of this book: that right and wrong are too simple to apply to actions, because invariably there is no real difference between them on a cosmic level. A saint is a heretic, and a heretic is a saint in Joyce’s world. The hoof of the devil once was the foot of the Virgin.

On a side note to Josh: I’m not certain that I agree with “The fact that Bloom focuses so intently on tying a shoe on her (cloven unkosher) horse hoof (2810).” Hoof in this case seems to be referring to, say, a more goat-like hoof/pig trotter, as it is cloven. Horses have solid hoofs. Besides, it just gets better on the kosher, unkosher level, when the Jewish Bella has pigs feet, and Bloom is bending to make them neat, thus, in some way “clean.” It could be possible that by eating unkosher things himself, Bloom is somehow making them clean, becoming the new Jewish, Moses descended Messiah as we talked about in class.

There is a lot more Bello/Fan/Hoof/Bella association with the devil, see page 443 if you’re interested in seeing how this crosses with Jewishness. The Nymph and the Yews (which in German, and I think Hungarian, is the verbal pronunciation of the word “Jew”) offer more to mine on both Devil, Jewishness, and the Blessed Virgin on page 450-451. However, I should get back to the second part of my post, which is Stephen oriented. Oh Stephen, how we have missed you.

I’ve been playing with the idea of Stephen being a circular being since Proteus. We see so much of this in Circe that now I’m probably going to have to go back and look for circles surrounding Stephen in general. Anyway, despite the fact that Stephen’s thinking and movements (the empty fifths) cycle endlessly, in perfect infinity, the never ending oroborus, Stephen does not actually feel whole. I believe that he is actually searching to make himself a trinity, and triangular. “Where’s the third person of the Blessed Trinity?” is his drunken out burst to Gummy Granny, who wants his help (486). He cannot help the Nationalist cause because he is not a trinity yet.

While dancing, he waltzes, a moving circle made out of four steps at the easiest level (469). In the beginning of the dance, while everything was going Carnival crazy, Stephen does “minuet forward three paces on tripping bee feet,” however, he cannot keep it up. The prelude ends, and the real music forces him to waltz once more, becoming circular again. He switches partners three times, trying to achieve perfect trinity by association (471). Still, however, he circles, while his fellow partners, “Bloombella Kittylynch Florryzoe jujuby women” form the edges of one big triangle around him (472).

Stephen is surrounded by a trinity that he wants to become a part of, but he does not seem to notice for once that the trinity is made up of women. Arguably, Lynch might be a man, but he is subordinated by Kitty as “Kittylynch.” Bloom’s full femininity is expressed in this scene as “Bloombella” a “jujuby wom[an].” Stephen longs to become part of that female trinity of Marys that dance around him in a triangle, but he cannot, because he must find his own “third person of the blessed Trinity.”

Soap, Sun, Aurora Borealis and the Shattering of the Chandelier in Circe

Wednesday, November 4, 2009; 05:08 am Leave a comment

First of all, I have a new theory that I explained to my group last meeting. So I established in my last post that Boylan = the sun (his nickname is Blazes, as well as character traits like his pushiness and fame). By this logic, I would then argue that the soap Bloom has been carrying around in his pocket is representative of the sun and therefore Boylan. Textual evidence: “He points to the south, then to the east. A cake of new clean lemon soap arises, diffusing light and perfume” (15:336-7). In this bit of description, the soap clearly appears as the sun, thus by my argument equating it with Boylan. Interpretive evidence: Bloom has been carrying the soap with him all day, just as the anxiety of Molly and Boylan’s meeting has been haunting him. As we discussed in class, Bloom is rather generously aware of what would attract and please Molly (Boylan) just as he is sensitive enough to buy her to soap and novel. Similarly, the need to return and pay for the soap has also been bothering Bloom, just as he considers the question of whether Boylan is paying Molly from a purely economical standpoint. With the relief that accompanies the Nausicca episode, Bloom is freed from his anxiety over the affair and his unpaid-for soap; though both Boylan and the soap appear later on, they are not attended by the same worry and obsession. Finally, when Bloom smells himself searching for the “man smell,” he encounters the soap instead; Boylan to many seems to represent the quintessential man, and would therefore have the man smell.

Another point which I mentioned in class is the new appearance of another kind of light: aurora borealis. In the first part of the episode, it is mentioned by name twice, lines 170 and 1373, but the heavenly lights themselves reappear gold, pink, and violet in the dancing scene in the brothel (pages 468-9) in which an entire day is experience through light, from morning to noon to twilight and night. This new light, which is colors, at night, in the sky (a location which is in my light-math is Boylan and Molly’s [Molly(moon) + Boylan(sun) = Sky]) presents new concepts for consideration. I would argue that this coloring of their affair is representative of Bloom’s path towards reunification with Molly through is improving prospects and performance in this episode, especially in his gaining of an adopted son. Thus, aurora borealis represents a disruption of the established light patterns, not only colors, but lights that both move and change.

A climactic point in this episode is Stephen’s destruction of the chandelier (4243-5), which is another critical disjuncture from the previous light patterns in that light and its production actually becomes part of the action of the story. I have a couple possible interpretations of this instance, but I would be interested to see how the rest of the class interprets it. For one, Stephen’s destruction of light could be linked to the light as religion and his willful rejection of religion as forced on him by and tied to his mother, whose ghost has just appeared to him. Another possibility would be that in his destruction of the king of lamps, the chandelier (which is called a lamp after it is broken and therefore appears smaller and more normal) could be indicative of his rejection of the opposite of shadow, being his realm of light (as I posited in class). This topic would also bring up the discussion of the ashplant, with which we could surely do much.

Stampede

Wednesday, November 4, 2009; 04:49 am Leave a comment

Circe is both a blessing and a curse for the animal obsession. The abundant animal references in this section reinforce some ideas I’ve had throughout the novel, but also complicate many other ideas. One of the more exciting aspects for me about Circe was seeing how Stephen connected to animals. As I stated in class on Monday, I felt that Stephen was connected to birds more than any other animal. This continued in the second half: “[Stephen] cries, his vulture talons sharpened” (pg. 466). Interestingly, Simon Dedalus is also turned into a bird on this same page. Seeing both father and son as birds made me realize that their flying ability connects back to the story of Daedalus.

As for Bloom, I mentioned on Monday that I was starting to see a strong connection between Bloom and dogs. I certainly saw more support for this in the second half of Circe, but there are so many other animals associated with Bloom that I’m starting to veer farther away from the mindset of connecting him to just one. One new development in Bloom’s association with animals is that he seems to be connected to a lot of animals who have horns. Amy pointed out the connection between Bloom and the Minotaur in our last class, and in the second half of Circe Bloom is described as having antlers. I thought the reason for these associations might go back to the myth of Jews having horns.

Another interesting animal-human connection involves Boylan. In his brief appearance in Circe, Blazes seems to be associated with horses. Blazes arrives on the scene on the sideseats of a “gallantbuttocked mare”, he at one point “strides off on stiff cavalry legs”, Lydia describes the intercourse between Blazes and Molly as “he’s carrying her round the room doing it! Ride a cockhorse”, and his voice is described as “hoarsely” (pg.460-62). Also in this scene, Blazes pays Bloom before having sex with his wife (pg. 461). This places Bloom in the position of a pimp. This notion is especially intriguing when thinking about how Bloom was wrongfully accused of winning lots of money by betting on the horse Throwaway. (Side note: on page 462 Molly is also described as having a “hoarsely” voice. This seems like a clever way for Joyce to call Molly a whore through wordplay that I didn’t pick up on at first).

I’ll continue going over Circe tomorrow morning, and hopefully my fresh eyes will spot other fun animal developments.

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Music and Song in Circe Part II

Tuesday, November 3, 2009; 11:39 pm Leave a comment

Performance: 11111

Opera: 11111111111

Song: 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Music: 11111

Composer: 11111

Instrument(s): 1 (plus numerous minor references)

As per usual, and mostly just out of habit, my counting system is above. Musemathematics at its finest. Nearly all of the songs referenced in Circe follow the general structure of the episode in that they draw on previous occurrences and thoughts experienced by either Bloom or Stephen.

Notably, the frequency of music or song references was not quite as lacking as I had originally stated on Monday. A quick glance at my post for episodes 10-12 revealed more or less the same amount of occurrences (over the course of roughly 100 pages) as Circe, which although it is 50 or so pages longer, was not a considerable difference.

Oddly enough, in this confusing and lengthy episode, the sentiments expressed in the music seem to accurately echo the themes or experiences of the characters, perhaps to a higher degree than in earlier episodes. A conversation between Virag and Bloom about choosing women, for instance, references John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (How happy could you be with either, 15.2351), reflects both Bloom’s lacking sexuality and his desire for such acts (Gifford 493).

A little bit of research on the pianola (first mentioned at 15.1991) yielded some interesting results. According the Oxford English Dictionary, it was an extremely recent device: “The prototype of the piano-playing device which came to be known as the pianola was constructed in Detroit in 1895 by Edwin Scott Votey (1856-1931).” (http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50178470?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=pianola&first=1&max_to_show=10) Why then, would it show up in the red light district of Dublin only nine years later? That aside, the Pianola raises some interesting questions with regard to some of my earlier posts. The concept of detachment from the authentic or complete performance of something and what can be captured on a page (a play, sheet music, etc.) is not relevant here; the Pianola is both script and performance (as is the gramophone for that matter).

Another interesting feature of the episode is the interior/exterior concepts, which are strikingly similar to the beach/temperance meeting of Nausicaa. The gramophone playing “The Holy City” outside stands in stark contrast to the occurrences within the building, yet both are at hand in the presentation of the scene.

15.2664-67: As the Gifford points out, Joyce cites this verse as the one most quoted by his father (199). This further cements the idea of the household as a place of song, and perhaps as the place of strictly Irish song, as several secondary sources I’ve read have indicated. The fact that no such text has been found could imply a few different things: the obscure nature of household songs or perhaps that Joyce’s father actually wrote a few songs himself. Whatever the case may be, this passage certainly stood out.

15.400ish: The re-appearance of “My Girl’s A Yorkshire Girl” represented roughly ten of the fifty or so song references in Circe. The numerous lovers in the song obviously draw a parallel between Bloom and, well, everyone else. The “girl” is of course married (Molly), though neither of her two other lovers seem to be aware of this until they attempt to go to her cottage (similar of course to Boylan).

I mentioned in my last post that I would have more on the abundance of music and noise on page 422. However, I don’t really know what to make of it other than framing it as some kind of coincidence or maybe as a climax of the noise and and sound of the city in general.

As a quick note, the concept of empty fifths is described here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_fifth) under the heading “Use in harmony.” It’s a fairly basic description and part of it is not applicable, but I figured I’d include it in case anyone was curious. Somehow I also managed to overlook Blamires’ comments on this concept, which are on pages 168-169.

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Music and Song in Circe Part I

Monday, November 2, 2009; 05:31 pm Leave a comment

Apologies for the late post, I read the assignment too quickly the first time.

The beginning of Circe marked some of the most barren pages for music and song, perhaps due to the combination of the new form (much less internal) and the breakdown of the family unit which Stephen and Lynch witness.  It is puzzling then, why the conversation between Bloom and Rudolph is also as devoid of references, but perhaps this serves to drive home the broken domestic unit of the Bloom family.

Again, the lack of music and song must be a result of the dramatic form, and thus only really bears significance when music itself is the topic of discussion.  A notable occurrence of this is Stephen and Zoe’s conversation at roughly 15.2070-2090 (pages 410-411) where two important concepts are presented: the notion of music without identity in the “series of empty fifths” which Stephen plays on the piano (lacking the third, the progression lacks minor/major identity), and the importance of the authenticity of authorship and in music—a point which Stephen asserts really does not matter, as long as the work has some larger significance.  Closely related to this is Philip Drunk’s concept of musical transposition (the same song played in a different octave) as a “Reduplication of personality” (15.2523).  As an early speculation, maybe this relates somehow to concepts of nationalism and Bloom’s concept of Irishness or his lack of nation.

Later on, for the first non-Sirens time, an abundance of music and performance overwhelms the scene on page 422.  More on this later.

Paternity and Circe

Monday, November 2, 2009; 04:36 am Leave a comment

What I’m seeing so far with fatherhood in Circe is a conflation of the generations, which we’ve seen before. Bloom becomes Virag, the grandfather, the father, etc. And He’s also simultaneously Henry Flower… all the versions of his last name are present. Morphing of surnames, all the linguistic and semantic play Joyce has exercised before. There’s also a lot of development of Joyce’s views of the genders. How he creates Bloom as a womanly man, and how he moves to give that validation. Also, Virag gives a lovely summary of the development of gender roles on page 423:

“Woman, undoing with sweet pudor her belt of rushrope, offers allmoist yoni to man’s lingam. Short time after man presents woman with pieces of jungle meat. Woman shows joy and covers herself with featherskins. man loves her yoni fiercely with big lingam, the stiff one…Then giddy woman will run about. Strong man grapses woman’s wrist. Woman squeals, bites, spucks. Man, now fierce angry, strikes woan’s fat yadgana.”

Virag then “(chases his tail)” and makes nonsense sounds, both things that serve to confound man with animal as well. I hope we can dissect this passage a little in class, because there’s also the aspect of the Orient, as Virag uses the Hindu terms for the genitalia.

Also in this chapter, Bloom’s dream of becoming a father is realized when he becomes the mother of 8 male children, healthy, who grow up to be smart guys who work in positions that Bloom would value. I’d love to work with Amy to figure out how Bloom’s birthing here works with past male pregnancies and the androgyny of Bloom.

Another thing that popped up during Bloom’s stint as Lord Mayor is the idea of male virginity. Greg brought this up in class on wednesday and how it cannot be verified, for there isn’t any physicial proof. Dr. Mulligan in Circe claims “I have made pervaginal examination and, after application of the acid test to 5427 anal, axillary, rectoral and pubic hairs, I declare hiim to be virgo intacta.” Is Bloom’s virginity able to be verified because he is womanly? Because he’s able to give birth in this hallucination, and because he’s doing immaculately? On this topic, I’d love to hear Mari’s take on his comparison to Mary. (And how does this affect our view of him compared to Marion/Molly?)

Oh. And his testicles are “off side.” Hilarious. and “heavier.” Because he hasn’t been sexually active? He isn’t using his semen to create children…. so that’s waste for you… waste of the potential for fatherhood.

Can’t wait to talk about this incredibly funny chapter… oh Joyce, you surprise me with your humor.