Force, hatred, history, all that. That's not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it's the very opposite of that that is really life.
What? says Alf.
Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred.
“The city itself is brought to life to an extraordinary degree. As piece of urban portraiture, there is nothing like it in English, apart from Dickens’s London. We are led through a maze of courtyards, lanes and quays, though pub and library, schoolroom and hospital, cemetery and brothel. Voices and faces, hoardings and headlines, birdcries and traffic sounds, are all noted. So are Reuben J. Dodd, solicitor, and the one-legged sailor skirting Rabaiotti’s ice-cream car, snuffling Nosey Flynn and bald Pat the waiter (“Bald deaf Pat brought quite flat pad ink. Pat set with ink pen quite flat pad”). Shopfronts slip past. We are in a city on the move, a city of criss-crossing routes and chance encounters. And it is rendered in an appropriately dynamic manner. The profusion of detail would pall, if everything were described from the same fixed neutral standpoint. But as it is, every scene has its own tone. Joyce’s prose registers the individual sensibility and the distinctive aura.”
Ulysses is one of the most extraordinary works of literature in English. When James Joyce completed Dubliners in 1906, he considered including a short story called Ulysses (which he had not yet written). Instead, he decided Ulysses would be a short book and began writing it in 1914. Seven years and 732 pages later, Ulysses was completed (sort of, Joyce had a hard time letting go of manuscripts and was constantly revising and adding to Ulysses.)
At the literal level, it explores the adventures of two characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold bloom, over the course of a single day in Dublin. But this is merely a peg onto which to hang all manner of streams-of-consciousness on topics ranging from such generalities as life, death, and sex through to the contemporary state of Ireland and Irish nationalism.
Threaded through this work is a continuing set of allusions to the Odyssey – the original Homeric account of Ulysses wanderings. Occasionally illuminating, at other times these allusions seem designed ironically to offset the often petty and sordid concerns which take up much of Stephen’s and Bloom’s time, and continually distract them from their ambitions and aims.
The book conjures up a densely realized Dublin, full of details, many of which are – presumably deliberately – either wrong or at least questionable. But all this merely forms a backdrop to an exploration of the inner workings of the mind, which refuses to acquiesce in the neatness and certainties of classical philosophy. Rather, Joyce seeks to replicate the ways in which thought is often seemingly random and there is no possibility of a clear and straight way through life.
Ulysses opened up a whole new way of writing fiction that recognized that the moral rules by which we might try to govern our lives are constantly at the mercy of accident, chance encounter, and by-roads of the mind. Whether this is a statement of a specifically Irish condition or of some more universal predicament is throughout held in a delicate balance, not least because Bloom is Jewish, and thus an outsider even – or perhaps especially – in the city and country he regards as home.
Joyce divided Ulysses into eighteen chapters or "episodes". At first glance much of the book may appear unstructured and chaotic; Joyce once said that he had "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant", which would earn the novel "immortality". The two schemata which Stuart Gilbert and Herbert Gorman released after publication to defend Joyce from the obscenity accusations made the links to the Odyssey clear, and also explained the work's internal structure.
Every episode of Ulysses has a theme, technique, and correspondences between its characters and those of the Odyssey. The original text did not include these episode titles and the correspondences; instead, they originate from the Linati and Gilbert schema. Joyce referred to the episodes by their Homeric titles in his letters. He took the titles from Victor Bérard's two-volume Les Phéniciens et l’Odyssée which he consulted in 1918 in the Zentralbibliothek of Zürich. Bérard's book served as the source of Joyce's idiosyncratic rendering of some of the Homeric titles: 'Nausikaa', the 'Telemachia'.
Part I: The Telemachiad
Episode 1, Telemachus
It is 8 a.m. on the morning of 16 June 1904 (the day Joyce first formally started courting Nora Barnacle). Buck Mulligan (a callous, verbally aggressive and boisterous medical student) calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer first encountered in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) up to the roof of the Martello tower, Sandycove, overlooking Dublin bay. Stephen does not respond to Mulligan's aggressive and intrusive jokes. Stephen is focused on, and initially disdainful toward Haines (a nondescript, anti-Semitic Englishman from Oxford), whom Buck Mulligan invited around. Stephen's annoyance stems from the intrusion, as he was disturbed the previous night by Haines ranting in his sleep.
Mulligan and Dedalus proceed to look out over the sea, and Stephen is reminded of his deceased mother, for whom he is visibly still in mourning. This, and Stephen's refusal to pray at his mother's deathbed, remains an issue of some contention between the two. Stephen reveals that he once overheard Buck referring to his mother as "beastly dead." When faced with this, Buck makes a brief attempt to defend himself, but gives up shortly. He shaves and prepares breakfast, then all three eat. Buck then departs, and sings to himself, unknowingly, the song that Stephen once sang to his dying mother.
Later, Haines and Stephen walk down to the water, where Buck and his companions are swimming. We here learn that Buck has an absent friend from Westmeath who has a yet-unnamed girlfriend. Stephen declares his intention to depart, and Buck demands the house key and to be lent money. Departing, Stephen declares that he will not return to the tower tonight, citing Buck as a "Usurper."
Episode 2, Nestor
Stephen is teaching a history class on the victories of Pyrrhus of Epirus. The class is visibly bored, unconcerned with the subject and not disciplined. Before seeing the boys out of the classroom, Stephen tells the students a cryptic and impenetrable riddle about a fox burying his grandmother under a bush, which falls flat. One student, Sargent, stays behind so that Stephen can show him how to do a set of arithmetic exercises. Stephen indulges him, but looks at the aesthetically unappealing Sargent and tries to imagine Sargent's mother's love for him. Afterwards, Stephen visits the anti-Semitic school headmaster, Mr. Deasy, from whom he collects his pay and a letter to take to a newspaper office for printing. Deasy lectures Stephen on the satisfaction of money earned and the importance of efficient money management. This scene is the source of some of the novel's most famous lines, such as Dedalus's claim that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" and that God is "a shout in the street." He rejects Deasy's biased recollection of past events, which he uses to justify his prejudices. At the end of this episode, Deasy makes another incendiary remark against the Jews, stating that Ireland has never extensively persecuted the Jews because they were never let in to the country.
Episode 3, Proteus
In this chapter, characterized by its stream of consciousness narrative style, the action is presented to the reader through the prism of Stephen's interior monologue. He finds his way to Sandymount Strand and mopes around for some time, mulling various philosophical concepts, his family, his life as a student in Paris, and again, his mother's death. As Stephen reminisces and ponders, he lies down among some rocks, watches a couple and a dog, writes some poetry ideas, picks his nose, and urinates behind a rock.
Part II: The Odyssey
Episode 4, Calypso
The narrative shifts abruptly. The time is again 8 a.m., but the action has moved across the city to Eccles Street and to the second protagonist of the book, Leopold Bloom, a part-Jewish advertising canvasser. Bloom lives at No. 7 Eccles Street and is preparing breakfast at the same time as Mulligan in the tower. He walks to a butcher to purchase a pork kidney for his breakfast and returns to finish his cooking. He brings breakfast and the mail to his wife Molly, whose given name is Marion. He reads his own letter from their daughter, Milly. The chapter closes with his plodding to the outhouse and defecating.
Episode 5, The Lotus Eaters
Bloom now begins his day proper, furtively making his way to a post office (by an intentionally indirect route), where he receives a love letter from one 'Martha Clifford' addressed to his pseudonym, 'Henry Flower'. He buys a newspaper and meets an acquaintance, C. P. M'Coy; while they chat, Bloom attempts to ogle a woman wearing stockings, but is prevented by a passing tram. Next, he reads the letter and tears up the envelope in an alley. He makes his exit via a Catholic church service and thinks about what is going on inside it. He goes to a chemist, then meets another acquaintance, Bantam Lyons, to whom he unintentionally gives a racing tip for the horse Throwaway. Finally, Bloom visits the baths to wash for the rest of the day.
Episode 6, Hades
The episode begins with Bloom entering a funeral carriage with three others, including Stephen's father Simon Dedalus. They make their way to Paddy Dignam's funeral, passing Stephen and making small talk on the way. Bloom scans his newspaper. There is discussion of various deaths, forms of death, and the tram-line before arriving and getting out. They enter the chapel into the service and subsequently leave with the coffin cart. Bloom sees a mysterious man wearing a mackintosh during the burial and reflects upon various subjects. Leaving, he points out a dent in a friend's hat.
Episode 7, Aeolus
At the newspaper office, Bloom attempts to place an ad, while Stephen arrives bringing Deasy's letter about 'foot and mouth' disease. The two do not meet. Bloom notices a worker typesetting an article in backwards print, and this reminds him of his father reading the Haggadah of Pesach (written in Hebrew, read from right to left). The episode is broken up into short sections by newspaper-style headlines, and is characterized by a deliberate abundance of rhetorical figures and devices. Lenehan appears in this section.
Episode 8, The Laestrygonians
Most of this episode is Bloom's stream-of-consciousness as he walks down the street, hungry, his thoughts peppered with allusions to food. During his walk, Bloom meets a former girlfriend, Josie Breen. Her husband, Mr. Breen, received an anonymous postcard in the morning, with "u.p.: up" written on it. Mr. Breen is subsequently attempting to respond with legal action.
Bloom then enters Burton's restaurant. Repulsed by the sight of people eating like animals, he makes a hasty exit heading instead to Davy Byrne's. Inside, Bloom is greeted by Nosey Flynn. Bloom consumes a gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of burgundy. When Bloom leaves the restaurant, Nosey Flynn talks to other patrons about Bloom's character.
Bloom goes to the National Museum to look at the statue of Venus, and, in particular, her bottom. Bloom suddenly spots Boylan across the street. Panicked, he sharply turns into the gates of the National Museum.
Episode 9, Scylla and Charybdis
At the National Library, Stephen explains to various scholars his biographical theory of the works of Shakespeare, especially Hamlet, which he claims are based largely on the posited adultery of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. Bloom enters the National Library to look up the Keyes ad. He only encounters Stephen briefly and unknowingly at the end of the episode. Buck Mulligan does see Bloom, however, and jokingly warns Stephen of Bloom's possible homosexuality.
Episode 10, The Wandering Rocks
In this episode, nineteen short vignettes depict the wanderings of various characters, major and minor, through the streets of Dublin. The chapter ends with an account of the cavalcade of the Lord Lieutenant, William Humble, Earl of Dudley, through the streets, where it is encountered by the various characters we have met in the episode. Neither Stephen nor Bloom sees the Viceroy's procession.
This chapter is unique in that it draws Homeric parallels to an incident that is described third-hand in the Odyssey. That is to say, the Wandering Rocks are spoken about in the Odyssey, but never experienced by its protagonist, Odysseus. This is perhaps why Joyce disembodies the narrative from the three main characters.
Episode 11, The Sirens
In this episode, dominated by motifs of music, Bloom has dinner with Stephen's uncle Richie Goulding at the Ormond Hotel, while Molly's lover, Blazes Boylan, proceeds to his rendezvous with her. While dining, Bloom watches the seductive barmaids Lydia Douce and Mina Kennedy and listens to the singing of Simon Dedalus and others.
Episode 12, The Cyclops
This chapter is narrated largely by an unnamed denizen of Dublin, although his style of speech is heavily modelled on John Joyce, Joyce's father. He runs into Hynes and they enter a pub for a drink. At the pub, they meet Alf Bergan and a character referred to only as the 'Citizen', who is largely modeled on Michael Cusack, founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Eventually, Leopold Bloom enters waiting to meet Martin Cunningham. The citizen is discovered to be a fierce Fenian and begins berating Bloom. The atmosphere quickly becomes anti-Semitic and Bloom escapes upon Cunningham's arrival. The chapter is marked by extended digressions made outside the voice of the unnamed narrator: hyperboles of legal jargon, Biblical passages, Irish mythology, etc., with lists of names often extending half a page. The episode title Cyclops refers both to the narrator, who is often quoted with 'says I', and to the Citizen, who fails to see the folly of his narrow-minded thinking.
Episode 13, Nausicaä
Three young women, Cissy Caffrey, Edy Boardman, and Gerty MacDowell, have come to the strand to watch a display of fireworks. The chapter opens by following Gerty's stream of consciousness as she daydreams of finding someone to love her. Eventually, Bloom appears and they begin to flirt from a distance. The girls are about to leave when the fireworks start. Cissy and Edy leave to get a better view, but Gerty remains. Bloom has made his way to the rocks of Sandymount Strand where he encounters the young beauty. Bloom becomes the romantic stranger to Gerty by watching her from a distance. She sees Bloom's troubled face and ponders over what terrible thing may have cast him out upon this rocky shore. It is here that Gerty becomes like the Virgin Mary, the beacon "to the storm-tossed heart of man" (346). Her romantic notions of marriage and passion become more abundant as she views Bloom.
Gerty becomes anxious for her friends to leave and inquires of the time as a subtle hint that they should be getting on their way. One of the girls approaches Bloom, asking for the time. Bloom discovers that his watch has stopped at half past four. Later the reader discovers that this is probably the time at which Bloom's wife, Molly, was committing adultery with Blazes Boylan. Bloom does not strike up a conversation with the girl but rather keeps his focus on Gerty who is now fully aware of her admirer. The girls decide that it is late and begin to leave. As they are packing up the children's things, Gerty begins to entice the stranger through the exploitation of her body.
At about this time the benediction at the church has drawn to a close and fireworks are set off. Everyone runs to see the fireworks except for Gerty and Bloom. Gerty, filled with passion, is enticed by the fireworks as she tilts her body backwards to see. As she moves back on the rocks she deliberately exposes herself fully to Bloom. At this moment a long Roman candle is shot off into the air. Gerty sees the long rocket as it goes "higher and higher" (Joyce 366) and leans back even further, exposing even more to Bloom. Gerty's sexual excitement grows as she is "trembling in every limb" (Joyce 366). The imagery of the long rocket corresponds with Bloom's manhood as he is masturbating to Gerty's display in time with the rocket. Finally the two reach their climax as the Roman candle explodes in the air and from it gushes out "a stream of rain gold hair threads" (Joyce 367).
Gerty then leaves, revealing herself to be lame, and leaving Bloom meditating on the beach. Gerty's display of her body is inset with allusions to the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament taking place across the street from the strand in a Catholic church. This is usually read as Joyce's playful punning on the ceremonial display of the 'Body of Christ' in the form of the Host coupled with Gerty's displaying her own body to Bloom (who is clearly acting out his own version of an Adoration). Gerty's final revelation of being 'lame' is also read as Joyce's opinion of the state of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Ireland. The first half of the episode is marked by an excessively sentimental style, and it is unclear how much of Gerty's monologue is actually imagined by Bloom.
The prose style of this chapter parodies the cheap romantic magazines for women or feminine novlettes, popular in the early 20th Century; as precursors to 'chick-lit', the magazine prose-style was over-written and florid and so in the first half of this chapter, the Joycian prose is full of cliches and hackneyed phrases.
Episode 14, The Oxen of the Sun
Bloom visits the maternity hospital where Mina Purefoy is giving birth, and finally meets Stephen, who is drinking with Buck Mulligan and his medical student friends. They continue on to a pub to continue drinking, following the successful birth of the baby. This chapter is remarkable for Joyce's wordplay, which seems to recapitulate the entire history of the English language to describe a scene in an obstetrics hospital, from the Carmen Arvale
Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus. to something resembling alliterative Anglo-Saxon poetry
In ward wary the watcher hearing come that man mildhearted eft rising with swire ywimpled to him her gate wide undid. Lo, levin leaping lightens in eyeblink Ireland's westward welkin. Full she dread that God the Wreaker all mankind would fordo with water for his evil sins. Christ's rood made she on breastbone and him drew that he would rathe infare under her thatch. That man her will wotting worthful went in Horne's house. and on through skillful parodies of, among others, Malory, the King James Bible, Bunyan, Pepys, Defoe, Addison and Steele, Sterne, Goldsmith, Junius, Gibbon, Lamb, De Quincey, Landor, Dickens, Newman, Ruskin and Carlyle, before concluding in a haze of nearly incomprehensible slang, bringing to mind American English employed in advertising. Indeed, Joyce organized this chapter as three sections divided into nine total subsections, representing the trimesters and months of gestation.
This extremely complex chapter can be further broken down structurally. It consists of sixty paragraphs. The first ten paragraphs are parodies of Latin and Anglo-Saxon language, the two major predecessors to the English language, and can be seen as intercourse and conception. The next forty paragraphs, representing the 40 weeks of gestation in human embryonic development, begin with Middle English satires; they move chronologically forward through the various styles mentioned above. At the end of the fiftieth paragraph, the baby in the maternity hospital is born, and the final ten paragraphs are the child, combining all the different forms of slang and street English that were spoken in Dublin in the early part of the 20th century.
Episode 15, Circe
Episode Fifteen takes the form of a play script with stage directions and descriptions, with characters’ names appearing above their dialogue. The majority of the action of Episode Fifteen occurs only as drunken hallucinations.
The episode opens on Mabbot Street, or what Joyce––following journalistic practice––calls "Nighttown", one of the entranceways to Dublin's red-light district. Stephen and Lynch walk toward a brothel. Bloom attempts to follow Stephen and Lynch to Nighttown, but soon loses them. Here, the episode's first hallucination begins, in which Bloom is confronted by family members, such as Molly Bloom and his parents, and also by Gerty MacDowell, in regards to various offences.
Awakening from this hallucination, Bloom feeds a dog. This act leads onto another hallucination in which Bloom is questioned by a pair of Night-Wardens. From here, Bloom then imagines facing trial, accused of a variety of outlandish crimes, including forgery and bigamy, possibly alluding to a subconscious guilt over his marital duplicity. Bloom is accused and testified against by recognisable figures like Myles Crawford, and Paddy Dignam. Mary Driscoll states that Bloom made inappropriate advances towards her when she was under his employment. Shaking off this fantasy, Bloom is approached by Zoe Higgins, a local prostitute. Zoe tells him Stephen is currently in the brothel that she works in. Another fantasy ensues, in which Bloom gives a campaign speech. Attracting the attention and subsequent admiration of both the Irish and Zionists, and is subsequently hailed as the leader of "Bloomusalem." The hallucination turns more surreal and unpredictable when Bloom is accused of yet more outlandish offenses and for having rumoured sexual abnormalities. Bloom is then declared a woman, and spontaneously gives birth to eight children. Zoe then reappears, signalling the end of the hallucination, with only a second having actually passed since she last spoke.
After Bloom is led inside the brothel and sees Stephen, another hallucination begins with the arrival of Lipoti Virag, who lectures Bloom about sexual attitudes and conduct. Then, the owner of the brothel, Bella Cohen, appears and soon turns into a male version of herself "Bello," who proceeds to dominate and humiliate Bloom, who is conversely referred to in the feminine. In this hallucination, Bloom proceeds to "die". After his "death" he converses with the nymph from the picture in the Blooms’ bedroom, who berates Bloom for his fallibility. Bloom, regaining a degree of triumphant confidence, stands up to the nymph, questioning her own sexual attitudes.
Bloom then returns to reality, finding Bella Cohen before him. Bloom takes his lucky potato from Zoe and Stephen pays for the services received, in his drunken state, paying far more than necessary. Seeing this, Bloom confiscates the rest of Stephen's money. Another hallucination starts, involving Bloom watching Boylan and Molly fornicate. Returning to consciousness, Bloom finds Stephen dancing to the pianola. Another hallucination then starts, this time Stephen's, in which the rotting cadaver of his mother rises up from the floor to confront him, a manifestation of his own guilt and lingering uncertainty over his role in his mother's death. Terrified, Stephen uses his walking stick to smash a chandelier. Bloom quickly repays Bella, who demands more than is fair for the damage, then runs after Stephen, worried for his safety.
Bloom quickly finds Stephen engaged in a heated argument, and Dedalus gets punched and knocked out. The police arrive and the crowd disperses. Bloom tends on and checks Stephen, as an apparition of Rudy, Bloom's deceased child, appears, underlining the parental feelings Leopold has built up toward the younger Stephen.
In short, this episode is the longest in the novel yet occurs within a rather short time-frame. Molly's letter from Boylan and Bloom's from Martha are reworked into a series of seductive letters ending in a trial. Bloom's sexual infidelities, beginning with Lotty Clarke and ending with Gerty McDowell, are relived and reconciled.
Part III: The Nostos
Episode 16, Eumaeus
Bloom and Stephen go to the cabman's shelter to restore the latter to his senses, where they encounter a drunken sailor, D. B. Murphy. Leaving the shelter with Bloom, Stephen meets Corley, familiar to readers of the Dubliners story "Two Gallants".
Episode 17, Ithaca
Bloom returns home with Stephen, who refuses Bloom's offer of a place to stay for the night. The two men urinate in the backyard beside the sleeping dog, Stephen departs and wanders off into the night, and Bloom goes to bed. The episode is written in the form of a rigidly organized catechism, and was reportedly Joyce's favourite episode in the novel.
Episode 18, Penelope
The final episode, which also uses the stream of consciousness technique seen in Episode 3, consists of Molly Bloom's Soliloquy: eight enormous sentences (without punctuation) written from the viewpoint of Bloom's wife.
The first sentence begins with Molly expressing annoyance and surprise that Bloom has asked her to serve him breakfast in bed, as it is he that usually does this for her, (such as in the fourth episode, Calypso). She then guesses that Bloom has had an orgasm today, and is reminded of his past possible infidelity with other women. In turn, she thinks of her afternoon spent with Boylan, whose conventional and masculine lovemaking technique provided a welcome change after a decade of celibacy and Bloom's strange lovemaking techniques. Yet, Molly feels Bloom is more virile than Boylan and remembers how handsome Bloom was when they were courting. Reminded of Josie's and the mentally unstable Denis Breen's marriage, Molly feels that she and Bloom are lucky, despite the current marital difficulties.
In Molly's second sentence, she reflects upon her previous and current admirers: Boylan; the tenor Bartell D’Arcy, whom she was kissed by in a church; Lt. Gardner, who died during the Boer War. Molly then thinks about her husband's underwear fetish. She then thinks about seeing Boylan on Monday and their upcoming trip to Belfast alone. She then thinks of her career: concert singing, and Bloom's help. Thinking about her future meetings with Boylan, Molly decides that she must lose weight. She thinks about how Bloom should quit his advertising job at Freeman and get better paid work elsewhere, like in an office. But then remembers having to plead with Mr. Cuffe, a previous employer for Bloom's job back after he was fired, which was refused.
Moving on to the third sentence, Marion thinks of the time Bloom suggested she pose naked in exchange for money, and of pornographic imagery, which she associates with the nymph painting that Bloom used to explain the concept of metempsychosis earlier this morning. Her thoughts once again turn to Boylan and of her orgasm earlier.
Molly's fourth sentence begins with a train whistle and her Gibraltar childhood, her companions there, and recollections of how she had resorted to writing herself letters after they left, out of boredom and loneliness. Molly then thinks about how Milly sent her a card this morning, whereas her husband received a whole letter. She imagines that she may receive another love letter from Boylan, as she did earlier.
This line of thought leads to the next sentence, in which she recalls her first love letter, from Lieutenant Mulvey, whom she kissed under the bridge in Gibraltar. She later lost contact with him and wonders what he would be like now. Her thoughts turn again to her career, and she remains dismissive of silly girl singers. Molly wonders what path her career could have taken had she not married Bloom.
In her sixth sentence, Molly thinks again about Milly and how it was Bloom's idea to send Milly to Mullingar to learn photography, because he sensed Molly's and Boylan's impending affair. She feels that Milly has become as Molly used to be. Molly senses the start of her period, confirmation that her tryst with Boylan has not caused a pregnancy. Events of the day spent with Boylan run through her mind.
In her seventh sentence, Molly climbs quietly back into bed and thinks of the times she and Bloom have had to relocate. Their financial situation makes Molly worry that Leopold may have wasted money on another woman, or on the Dignam family out of pity. Her mind then turns to Stephen, whom she met during his childhood. She predicts that Stephen is probably not stuck-up, and is most likely clean. Furthermore, she fantasizes about future sexual encounters with him, including fellatio. Molly resolves to study before meeting him so he will not look down upon her.
In her eighth sentence, Molly thinks of her husband's strange habits, how he never embraces her, instead kissing her bottom, as he did earlier. Molly speculates that the world would be much improved if it consisted of Matriarchal Societies, run exclusively by women. She thinks again of Stephen, and of his mother's death, and that of Rudy's death, she then ends this line of thought as it is making her depressed. Molly thinks about arousing Bloom in the morning, then revealing the details of her affair with Boylan to make him realize his culpability. Molly then decides to procure some flowers, in case Stephen Dedalus decides to come around. Thinking of flowers, Molly thinks of the day she and Bloom spent at Howth, his marriage proposal, and her response, reaffirming her love for Leopold, even during a period of turbulence within the marriage.
The concluding period following the final words of her reverie is one of only three punctuation marks in the chapter, the others being after the fourth and eighth "sentences." When written this episode contained the longest "sentence" in English literature, 4,391 words expressed by Molly Bloom.
During the novel’s seven years of gestation, Joyce's friends and fellow writers became restless. Ezra Pound, working as a foreign editor for the American magazine The Little Review, approached Joyce about serializing Ulysses in the magazine. Margaret Anderson, editor of The Little Review, wrote, This is the most beautiful thing we'll ever have. We'll print it if it' the last effort of our lives. Chapter one appeared in the March 1918 issue.
In June 1919, the United States Post Office determined that The Little Review was in violation of Postal Laws and Regulations, due primarily to the obscene content of Joyce's work, and refused to distribute certain issues of the magazine through the mail. But, Joyce continued to send his writing and The Little Review continued to publish it. By this time, Pound was already editing the content of Joyce's writing, without his permission or knowledge. In 1920 Joyce complained in a letter to Harriet Shaw Weaver that many passages are omitted and hopelessly mixed. Due to the court case in 1921, The Little Review was forced to stop the serialization of Ulysses. A U.S. book deal for Ulysses would be impossible. In 1919, Weaver's The Egoist magazine in London had serialized five episodes, but couldn't find a printer to take on the entire work.
While writing Ulysses, Joyce moved around Europe. He arrived in Paris in 1920 and soon became part of the literary crowd on the Left Bank, which included Sylvia Beach (an American). After working as a nurse during WWI, Beach, with her friend Adrienne Monnier, opened an English-language bookstore and lending library, Shakespeare and Company, in 1919. She was well aware of The Little Review trouble in the U.S. and in 1921 offered to publish the book, and Joyce accepted immediately. Beach wrote, I thought it rash of him to entrust his Great Ulysses to such a funny little publisher. But he seemed delighted, and so was I . . . . Undeterred by lack of capital, experience, and all the other requisites of a publisher, I went right ahead with Ulysses.
Darantiere of Dijon agreed to print the work with the understanding that it would not be paid for until (and unless) money from the subscriptions arrived. Fortunately, each of the 1,000 copies sold, many purchased by Joyce's fellow writers, with the notable exception of George Bernard Shaw. Both Beach and Pound had encouraged Shaw to subscribe, and after a lengthy exchange and numerous refusals, Shaw sent a postcard to Pound. It was a reproduction from a painting of Christ's entombment, with the four Marys in tears around Him. Underneath this picture, Shaw had written: J.J. being put into his tomb by his editresses after the refusal of G.B.S. to subscribe to Ulysses.
The actual publication and typesetting of Ulysses turned out to be quite an ordeal. Virginia Woolf had estimated that it would take a professional two years to typeset Ulysses, but she did not take Joyce's constant revisions into account. Beach had ordered the printer to supply Joyce with all the proofs he wanted. Joyce told Beach that he had written a third of Ulysses on the proofs. This delayed the intended publication date of August 1921. Beach received letters complaining about the delay, including one from T.E. Lawrence demanding his copy of Ulysses (which is now in the possession of the University of Texas at Austin, by the way).
That same year, Harriet Weaver announced the publication of an English edition, much to the chagrin of Sylvia Beach. Regardless, the first edition of Ulysses finally was published by Shakespeare and Co. in February 1922 on Joyce's birthday. That same day, Joyce wrote to Beach, I cannot let today pass without thanking you for all the trouble and worry you have given yourself about my book during the last year. All I can hope is that the result of its publication may be some satisfaction to you.
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