Friday, November 24, 2006

Ulysses - post X

I’m leaving the final chapter as a treat for the weekend and so these bullet points are from the penultimate chapter, which involves just the two men Bloom and Stephen.

Bullet points between pages 600 – 658

* Bloom and Stephen sit in 7 Eccles Street, Blooms house and talk about their pasts and work out they have met each other twice before and had a mutual connection but if you think that they are getting on well it seems shattered by Stephen singing an anti-Semitic song

* Despite that Bloom hopes the young man will stay and be a good influence on his wife, whom he knows is having an affair with Blaydon and there is a slight hint that he might be hoping of a future relationship with his daughter

* But Stephen opts to leave and they go out to the back door and stare at the stars and then Stephen, who has no where to go heads out into the night leaving Bloom to go back inside alone

* Back inside Bloom notices that all of the furniture has been moved around which disconcerts him and he surveys his possessions, does some accounts that indicate he is well off, and then heads to bed

* Upstairs he climbs into bed next to his wife and there is a great description that displays his full understanding about her adultery

What did his limbs, when gradually extended, encounter?
New clean bedlinen, additional odours, the presence of a human form, female, hers, the imprint of a human form, male, not his, some crumbs, some flakes of potted meat, recooked, which he removed.pg652

* He then decides that of all the options – ranging from assassination of Blaydon to divorce or suing for damages – he will stick with his wife. For those Homer references this seems to be about purging himself of the jealousy of the suitors

One of my favourite passages in this chapter is when Bloom looks back over the day – the contents of the book from his perspective so far – and reminds the reader of all the things that have happened

The preparation of breakfast (burnt offering): intestinal congestion and premeditative defecation (holy of holies): the bath (rite of John): the funeral (rite of Samuel): the advertisement of Alexander Keyes (Urim and Thummim): the unsubstantial lunch (rite of Melchisedek): the visit to museum and national library (holy place): the bookhunt along Bedford row, Merchants' Arch, Wellington Quay (Simchath Torah): the music in the Ormond Hotel (Shira Shirim): the altercation with a truculent troglodyte in Bernard Kiernan's premises (holocaust): a blank period of time including a cardrive, a visit to a house of mourning, a leavetaking (wilderness): the eroticism produced by feminine exhibitionism (rite of Onan): the prolonged delivery of Mrs Mina Purefoy (heave offering): the visit to the disorderly house of Mrs Bella Cohen, 82 Tyrone street, lower and subsequent brawl and chance medley in Beaver street (Armageddon)- nocturnal perambulation to and from the cabman's shelter, Butt Bridge (atonement).pg650

Final chapter tomorrow…

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