Monday, January 08, 2007
Ulysses was published in 1922 in Paris. It was simultaneously hailed as a work of genius and obscenity. In fact it was not allowed into the UK or the USA until 1933.
The novel is experimental, and yet it follows a very clear pattern. Each chapter or "episode" has a distinct formal style, ranging from newspaper column to monologue. Each episode also corresponds to a section of Homer's Odyssey, of which Ulysses is meant to be a relfection and a retelling in modern terms.
Episode 14, "The Oxen of the Sun", which, as Joyce says in the play, "by a miracle of compression, uses the gamut of English literature from Chaucer to Carlyle to describe the events taking place in a lying-in hospital in Dublin."
'DESHIL HOLLES EAMUS. DESHIL HOLLES EAMUS. DESHIL HOLES Eamus.
Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit. Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit. Send us bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit.
Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, hoyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa.
Universally that person's acumen is esteemed very little perceptive concerning whatsoever matters are being held as most profitable by mortals with sapience endowed to be studied who is ignorant of that which the most in doctrine erudite and certainly by reason of that in them high mind's ornament deserving of veneration constantly maintain when by general consent they affirm that other circumstances being equal by no exterior splendour is the prosperity of a nation more efficaciously asserted than by the measure of how far forward may have progressed the tribute of its solicitude for that proliferent continuance which of evils the original if it be absent when fortunately present constitutes the certain sign of omnipollent nature's incorrupted benefaction. For who is there who anything of some significance has apprehended but is conscious that that exterior splendour may be the surface of a downwardtending lutulent reality or on the contrary anyone so is there inilluminated as not to perceive that as no nature's boon can contend against the bounty of increase so it behoves every most just citizen to become the exhortator and admonisher of his semblables and to tremble lest what had in the past been by the nation excellently commenced might be in the future not with similar excellence accomplished if an inverecund habit shall have gradually traduced the honourable by ancestors transmitted customs to that thither of profundity that that one was audacious excessively who would have the hardihood to rise affirming that no more odious offence can for anyone be than to oblivious neglect to consign that evangel simultaneously command and promise which on all mortals with prophecy of abundance or with diminution's menace that exalted of reiteratedly procreating function ever irrevocably enjoined . . .'
Episode 17, "Ithaca", "cast in the form of the Christian Catechism!" as Gwendolen exclaims.
'WHAT PARALLEL COURSES DID BLOOM AND STEPHEN FOLLOW RETURNING?
Starting united both at normal walking pace from Beresford place they followed in the order named Lower and Middle Gardiner streets and Mountjoy square, west: then, at reduced pace, each bearing left, Gardiner's place by an inadvertance as far as the farther corner of Temple street, north: then at reduced pace with interruptions of halt, bearing right, Temple street, north, as far as Hardwicke place. Approaching, disparate, at relaxed walking pace they crossed both the circus before George's church diametrically, the chord in any circle being less than the arc which it subtends.
OF WHAT DID THE DUUMVIRATE DELIBERATE DURING THEIR ITINERARY?
Music, literature, Ireland, Dublin, Paris, friendship, woman, prostitution, diet, the influence of gaslight or the light of arc and glow-lamps on the growth of adjoining paraheliotropic trees, exposed corporation emergency dustbuckets, the Roman catholic church, ecclesiastical celibacy, the Irish nation, jesuit education, careers, the study of medicine, the past day, the male-cent influence of the presabbath, Stephen's collapse.
DID BLOOM DISCOVER COMMON FACTORS OF SIMILARITY BETWEEN THEIR RESPECTIVE LIKE AND UNLIKE REACTIONS TO EXPERIENCE?
Both were sensitive to artistic impressions musical in preference to plastic or pictorial. Both preferred a continental to an insular manner of life, a cisatlantic to a transatlantic place of residence. Both indurated by early domestic training and an inherited tenacity of heterodox resistance professed their disbelief in many orthodox religious, national, social and ethical doctrines. Both admitted the alternately stimulating and obtunding influence of heterosexual magnetism . . .'
Go here for full text versions, the whole novel and more commentary than even a dramaturg can stomach! The Internet Joyce