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THE ONLY BLOOMSDAY SENTENCES YOU WILL EVER NEED TO KNOW
June 6, 2012 - 2:50pm

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UD

Part Two

(See this post for background.)



1.)  Page 403.  O, I so want to be a mother.  

We're in Nighttown, the late night hallucinogenic bad dreams part of Ulysses.  Leopold Bloom, a cuckold, has struggled all day with his sense of his shaky masculinity, and now in this insanely desublimating setting he has been transfigured into a puling, mincing pregnant woman.

2.)  Page 473.   Ho!

Bloom's struggles with his masculinity have played out in Nighttown; Stephen's struggles with his guilt over his mother's death (and with mortality altogether) have also played out there.  Here he responds to a sudden nightmare vision of his mother, dug up out of her grave and reanimated, yet with all the horror of her rot intact.

3.)  Page 481.  But in here it is I must kill the priest and the king.

We're still in Nighttown.  Stephen taps his forehead and, in an echo of something he said in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he reminds himself that freedom is first mental freedom; and, if you're Irish, that might mean freedom from the Catholic church and from British imperialism.

4.) Page 497.  Rudy!

Stephen's ghostly encounter is with his mother; Bloom's is with his son Rudy, who died a few days after he was born.  This is the last statement in the Nighttown section, and is - always - at least for me - profoundly moving.

5.) Page 537.   - I propose, our hero eventually suggested after mature reflection while prudently pocketing her photo, as it's rather stuffy here you just come home with me and talk things over.

The madness of Nighttown behind them, Bloom and Stephen hang out in the city together trying to calm down.  Bloom here invites Stephen to sober up at his place, where they can continue chatting.

6.) Page 573.  The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.

Stephen and Bloom leave his house (Stephen to wander off who knows where into the night), pausing to look at the glorious evening sky.  This is what they see, put into prose by the most poetic prose stylist of his time.

7.)  Page 604.  He kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each plump melonous hemisphere, in their mellow yellow furrow, with obscure prolonged provocative melonsmellonous osculation. 

Bloom, an earthy sensual man, likes to kiss his wife Molly's bottom.  Deeply, Exploratively.  Excitedly.  Here Joyce renders the sweet obsessive infantile business with sweet obsessive infantile prose.

8.) Page 607.  Where?

Here Bloom, in a chapter organized around questions and answers, falls asleep, so that this final question goes unanswered.  He has crashed; no stream of consciousness anymore.  The white space on the page under the word Where?  conveys the final silence of our hero -- for this is the end of his part of the novel.  The last words belong to his wife, Molly Bloom.

9.) Page 621.    he wanted to milk me into the tea well hes beyond everything I declare somebody ought to put him in the budget if I only could remember the 1 half of the things and write a book out of it the works of Master Poldy yes

Molly's long unpunctuated stream of consciousness recalls Bloom wanting, while she was breast-feeding, to milk her into his cup of tea.

10.) Page 628.  my hole is itching me

More of Molly's uncensored thoughts.

11.)  Page 633.  O Jamesy let me up out of this pooh

James Joyce's literary creation is so tired of her own stream of consciousness that she addresses her creator directly:  James Joyce!  Put your pen down!  Enough already!

12.)  Pages 643-644.  how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Last line of the novel.  Molly's glorious breathless recall of her full erotic life powerfully counterbalances the masturbatory gloom of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom.

 

 

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