Desktop versionMobile version
OpenEdition Books

Studies on Joyce’s Ulysses

 | 
Jacqueline Genet
, 
Wynne Hellegouarc’h

Interloper at Eccles Street

Bruce Stewart

Full text

Composition of place.
Ignatius Loyola, make haste to help me!

  • 1 Page references to Ulysses are marked by numbers only. Those to other works by Joyce are prefixed (...)

Ulysses, 2411

1In this paper I want to talk about the advent of Bloom: I mean the way in which James Joyce inserted his fictional hero into the fully tenanted city of Dublin that he himself had left behind in 1904, but also the way that he substituted his “competent keyless citizen” [818] for the egoistical young artist, Stephen Dedalus, at the centre of his literary world.

  • 2 The vocation ascribed to him in Stephen Hero [188] and the profession entered in James Joyce’s pas (...)
  • 3 Joyce’s remark to Frank Budgen that the most revealing element in the title is its modifying claus (...)

2Conceived in the tradition of Thomas Carlyle’s “Hero as a Man of Letters”2, Stephen had been the self-constituted moral hero and the only morally creditable person in Joyce’s earlier manuscript novel, Stephen Hera Portrayed as “the intense centre of the life of his age., standing] to it in a relation than which none could be more intimate” [SH75], he was intended as a pattern of social and aesthetic awareness upon which the Irish could model themselves. The Portrait puts it a little more ironically (or perhaps more fatuously): “How could he hit their conscience or how cast his shadow over the imaginations of their daughters, before their squires begat upon them, that they might breed a generation less ignoble than their own?” But moral eugenics proved unworkable as an imaginative strategy in the long run, and the autobiographical project which absorbed Joyce over twelve years was finally wound up, in 1916, with the production of a text flawed (or redeemed) by ambiguities which render it difficult to attain a clear view of the value that the author attaches to his central character3. A Portrait is a stylistic medallion, one side of which is the intelligence and courage, and the other side of which is the egoism and conceit of its central character. After that, Joyce cut his ties with Stephen, ceasing to use him as the privileged vehicle of his maturer values. In future, Leopold Bloom was to assume that role.

  • 4 The impact of Nora Barnacle on James Joyce, both as a companion and a model for his female charact (...)
  • 5 Frank Budgen, op. cit., p. 186.

3Perhaps the greatest mark of difference between Bloom and Stephen is in their respective relation to woman. “She prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels” [PA288]: this is the hope expressed by Stephen’s mother – and, for all we know, by Joyce’s – on the last page of A Portrait of the Artist; but there is little indication in Ulyssesthat Stephen has adopted the humaner attitudes which voluntary exile with Nora Barnacle taught the author4. Bloom, on the other hand, is living in the condition of life that Joyce considered the necessary fulfilment of manhood. One of the reasons he gave for preferring Odysseus (or Ulysses) to Jesus as a hero was that Jesus “never lived with a woman... surely one of the most difficult things a man has to do.”5. Bloom has the easy sensuality of a husband, touching affectionately on Molly’s “large soft bubs” [77] and the “plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump” [867] as points of reference in his day (notwithstanding their discontinued sexual relations). Even the emotion caused by the knowledge of her infidelity – an emotion compounded on “envy, jealousy, abnegation, [and] equanimity” [864] – is tempered by the recognition that the adultery has been natural, non-felonious, inevitable and irreparable [865].

  • 6 See Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 162-62: “To set Ulysses on this date was Joyce’s most (...)
  • 7 Op. cit., p. 43.
  • 8 Later, in Finnegans Wake, which is built up of such distinctions, he summarised the process of aut (...)

4In fact, Stephen stands poised unhappily at the threshold of the transforming experience of freely given love which Nora Barnacle bestowed on James Joyce on precisely the date of Bloomsday – and Ulysses is therefore a monument to that event6. Joyce stressed the point, in talking with Frank Budgen, who wrote The Making of Ulysses under his guidance, that Stephen “has never been loved by any woman.”7. In the Library scene, when Stephen described Shakespeare’s initiation to love, he asks querulously “And my turn? When?” [244], and when, at a book-barrow in “Wandering Rocks”, he finds a pamphlet called ’How to win a woman’s love’, he greets it ironically with “for me this” [312]. Stephen is, precisely, the image of James Joyce up to the point when he ceased to be an adolescent and became an adult. By this distinction between his younger and older alter egos in Ulysses, Joyce neatly divided his personality in two: Stephen and Bloom: artist and citizen; “priest of the eternal imagination” and the ordinarily uxorious man: innocence and experience8.

  • 9 He admits that his literary efforts are more imaginary than real. In Proteus, he dwells sardonical (...)
  • 10 Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (1959), p. 116.

5The advent of Bloom is decisively marked by the new tone of Calypso, where he makes his entrance. After long exposure to the baneful intelligence and melancholic temper of the younger man in Telemachus, Nestorand Proteus, we suddenly encounter a new spirit of cheerful pragmatism, appraising human frailty with a kindly gaze. By comparison .Stephen’s mentality begins to seem more pathetic than heroic as be walks through Bloomsday battling hopelessly [285] against the elements of an increasingly desperate personal situation. Troubled by guilt about his treatment of his dying mother, and terrified of becoming like the father whose drinking habits he emulates so strenuously throughout the novel, he also feels usurped in his proper function as an artist and ostracized by the members of the Irish Literary Revival9. His resentment is double-edged; like Antisthenes, it is hard to tell “if he were bitterer against others or against himself” [188]. His explosive cry, “Non serviam!” [1682] in the Circe episode, only serves to increase his isolation, while the Homecoming chapters give no indication that he is capable of recognising the real worth of Leopold Bloom upon which Ulysses itself is founded. Joyce was adamant about the limits of Stephen’s significance for the novel. “Stephen doesn’t interest me anymore,” Joyce told Budgen, “he has a character that can’t be changed.” And he added, “as the day goes on, Bloom’s justness and reasonableness should overshadow them all.”10.

  • 11 “I have a new story for Dubliners in my head. It deals with Mr. Hunter”. (Selected Letters, p. 112 (...)
  • 12 See Richard Ellmann, Ulysses on the Liffey (1974), xiii-xv.

6One way of assessing the originality of Bloom is to consider him as a character in the final story projected for Dubliners – for that is how Ulysses originated11. Here is an advertising canvasser, modelled on one Alfred F. Hunter12, whom Joyce might have been expected to treat as harshly as any other of the characters in that collection: beset with difficulties – a wife’s adultery – which arouse him to no demonstrative gesture of self-assertion or dissent. Yet the angle of approach in Calypso is entirely new. Bloom has broken free from the “scrupulous brute force” [S175] of Joyce’s lethal ironies in Dubliners. No longer the victim of a “vivisective art” [SH37], he has become the vehicle of a warmer concept of humanity.

  • 13 Later, he established four points of similar difference between his cat and his daughter: passivit (...)

7Unlike the lost souls of the Dubliners stories, the quality in Bloom’s thoughts and feelings convinces us of his moral resilience from the outset. In Calypso, he begins to display a mind compounded of honesty and unaffected humour – as distinct from literary wit – which invests his world with imaginative good-sense. His characteristic mental process is a right-minded method of enquiry, proceeding by comparison among familiar objects; and if it is occasionally skewed by errors of information or analysis, it is always equal to the demands of practical experience. His thinking is habitually informed by an altruistic phenomenology which admits of various points of view – not only in relation to other people (Molly, Milly, Simon Dedalus) but in relation to animals and things – as he demonstrates in his dealings with his cat early in Calypso “Wonder what I look like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.” [66]13.

  • 14 See Gordon Tweedie, “Common-Sense: James Joyce and the Pragmatic L. Bloom”, James Joyce Quarterly, (...)
  • 15 The Hades of Ulysses chapter contains a more extended critique of religious formalism, framed by B (...)

8In stark contrast with Stephen, Bloom’s mental habits are intuitive and pragmatic rather than theoretical and deductive14. Where Stephen Dedalus conceives himself scholastically as “a conscious rational animal proceeding syllogistically from the known to the unknown...” [818], Bloom is content to feel that he has “proceeded energetically from the unknown to the known” [818] when he has dropped through “the incertitude of the void” [818] from street level to the basement of his home at 7 Eccles Street. Yet, if only an informal fabric of aperçus, his thinking nevertheless throws up a system of authoritative insights into the world around him. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his grasp of the way religions work, as for instance when he discovers the common denominator between Christians and cannibals in the church at Westland Row: “Corpus. Body. Corpse., rum idea: eating bits of a corpse why the cannibals cotton to it” [99]. True or false in point of scientificologies (in this case, his anthropology is dubious) Bloom’s convictions are always sane and forthright.15

9In creating Bloom, Joyce uncovered a practical conception of experience which stands at the opposite pole from Stephen’s unrealisable aesthetic theorising. (What conditions of life would actually satisfy Stephen Dedalus?) Yet, paradoxically, Bloom does fulfil those high ideals, in so far as his processes of heart and mind enact the kind of affirmation which interests Stephen: “the affirmation of the spirit of man in literature” [777]. The fact that Leopold tacitly dissents from Stephen’s opinion on this point need not detain us, since they agree about much else – most significantly in their shared skepticism about the way that prejudice blocks out the perception of the real. Indeed, in Ithaca, Joyce was at pains to stress the likeness of their intellectual temperaments: “Both [are] indurated by.. an inherited tenacity of heterodox religious, national, social and ethical doctrines” [777]. Together, they constitute an oasis of liberal thinking in a society blinded by narrow principles in politics, morals, and religion.

  • 16 “His present instinct is to get away from fathers, living or mythic, elected or adoptive”. Hugh Ke (...)

10Just as Joyce was Stephen’s age on Bloomsday, 16 June 1904, he was Bloom’s age (38) when he created him. Hence they represent complementary aspects of their author’s personality, in adolescence and early middle age. How, precisely, are they related as characters in the novel? The Odyssean and Shakespearean parallels, canonically inscribed on the Gilbert and Linati schemas, tend to break down in point of detail. Ulysses-Bloom, remorselessly slaughtering his wife’s suitors, and Stephen-Hamlet, prince of Sandycove, avenger of his father’s murder, are provisional analogies only, though they powerfully illustrate the sense of betrayal felt by each of them. The son-in-search-of-a-fafher and the father-in-search-of-a-son approach is viciated by the fact that, as Hugh Kenner has said, the last thing on earth Stephen needs at present is another father16. A more fundamental ground of similitude and difference is their shared relationship to the privileged landscape of Ulysses for both are vitally connected with the same address in north central Dublin, the Holy of Holies of Joycean fiction: Eccles Street.

  • 17 7 Eccles St. is now buried beneath an extension of the Mater Hospital which Joyce called “Mary Mer (...)
  • 18 See Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin (1859; 1972), and Maurice Craig, Dublin ¡660-1860 (1980). (...)
  • 19 William Makepeace Thackeray, The Paris Sketchbook, the Irish Sketchbook, etc., (London 1883), p. 5 (...)
  • 20 In Finnegans Wake, Joyce satirised the superior accent of the English visitor to Ireland: “Tiperaw (...)

11Eccles Street was not unknown to literary history before the advent of Bloom, though it can never now be thought of apart from it him again, unless by Dubliners themselves17. Laid out in the late eighteenth century on the former estate of a seventeenth century landlord Sir John Eccles18, Bloom’s neighbourhood was visited in 1842 by the English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray who noted caustically: “after Eccles Street, potatoes begin”19. Is that the reason why Bloom carries a shrivelled potato in his pocket as a lucky charm?20 Perhaps. Before the advent of Bloom, in any case, Joyce had chosen Eccles Street as the place where Stephen Dedalus discovered or invented his “epiphanies”.

  • 21 The Epiphany Introit reads: “Arise, be enlighted, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glor (...)
  • 22 The Citizen is modelled on Michael Cusack (1847-1905), who founded the Gaelic Athletic Association (...)

12In Stephen Hero, Joyce carefully specified the meteorological and – more potently – the symbolic atmosphere of Eccles Street by means of images of mist and darkness derived from the Introit for the Feast of the Epiphany21. The point of such imagery is that Stephen is anointed as a kind of literary prophet or messiah (lumen gentium): not merely the privileged recipient of naturalistic revelations but the living embodiment of the power of disclosure itself. In time this power was to pass from the artist to the citizen – that is, from Stephen to Leopold. It is comical but not accidental, therefore, that when Bloom lights a candle in the kitchen after his arrival home with Stephen, he is described as “light to the gentiles” [790]. In the Cyclops episode, the Citizen22 sarcastically refers to Bloom as “a new apostle to the gentiles [432].. ” “the new Messiah for Ireland!” [438]; and it is the! same messianic Introit from the liturgy for the Epiphany, Surge Illuminare [“Arise and be enlightened”], which is chanted by a procession of real Dublin clerics of all denominations when Elijah Ben Bloom ascends, in a mock apotheosis, “at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donoghue’s in Little Green Street like a shot off of a shovel” [449].

  • 23 The scene of Stephen’s epiphany in Eccles Street is revisited in Finnegans Wake, where the spirit (...)

13There is a large difference in the climate of the Eccles Street settings in Stephen Hero and Ulysses, and the notation in Calypso takes full cognisance of this fact23. For Stephen, trudging through “a misty Irish evening” in the “misty Irish spring” [SH188], it is an appropriate scene for a diagnostic glimpse of the moral blight of Ireland which he undertakes to document with unflinching accuracy. In particular, he plans to document the “purely suppositious [sic] conscience” [SH188] of Irish women whom, as a manuscript footnote to Stephen Hero tells us, he considers “the cause of all the moral suicide in the island” [SH179]. The first epiphany, with its mute drama of female modesty and male prurience, was precisely tailored to suit this purpose. Lacking charity or humour, it was written – as the footnote frankly adds – “n the spirit of revenge” [SH179]. Stephen has been jilted by Emma Clery, and what he sees as he walks the city streets are consequently “stray images” of her soul, each revealing a new taint of petty-bourgeois hypocrisy. In consequence, the Eccles Street of Stephen Hero is more like a crime of passion than a moment of redemptive grace.

14Nothing could be more different than the sunny mood of Leopold at eight o’clock on June 16, 1904, or even his less certain optimism when he returns at 2.00 a.m., tired but not dispirited, to precisely one of those brown brick houses in Eccles Street – the phrase occurs in both passages. In Stephen Hero, they represent “the very incarnation of Irish paralysis” [SH188]. In Calypso, they are momentarily shrouded by a passing cloud as Bloom turns into his own street of “blotchy brown brick houses”; but the darkness is dispelled as “quick warm sunlight [comes] running from Berkeley Road, swiftly, in slim sandals., a girl with gold hair on the wind” [74]. Depressed by the gloom, – “the grey sunken cunt of the world” [73] – Bloom as quickly regains good humour. Something has altered in the degree that only a revolution in the sensibility of the writer is sufficient to explain it. When Joyce chose Eccles Street as Bloom’s home, he must have had some reasons for doing so: either to confirm the meanings that he had already assigned to it, or else to overthrow them.

  • 24 Sec Danis Rose, James Joyce: The Lost Notebook, (Colchester, 1989), Preface, p. xiii.

15After three chapters of Stephen’s studied pessimism, the tone of controlled hilarity at the opening of Calypso marks a new departure – all the more impressive when we consider that Joyce suffered something like a nervous breakdown between the composition of the Telemachiad and the Wanderings of Ulysses24. This is hardly surprising since what was involved was the tearing away of a literary mask which had been fixed to his face with all the adhesiveness of a paranoid obsession during the long years of A Portrait of the Artist. Take the comic overtones of the straight-faced opening sentence: “Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls..” This is wryly satirical, but Leopold Bloom, Esq., himself remains unscathed. Instead, it is the methods of conventional fiction, with its insistence on the formal introduction of a character, which is being satirised.

  • 25 “This magnetization of style and vocabulary by the context of person, place, and time, has its hum (...)

16In the earliest draft of A Portrait, an autobiographical essay and literary manifesto of 1904, Joyce had already sketched a new method of characterization – or, at least, hinted at the function that it should perform. The passage in question has rightly been identified as the germinal expression of his innovative stylistic methods, foreshadowing the magnetized language25 which does the work of characterization in Dubliners, A Portrait, and Ulysses by excerpting from the characters’ own vocabularies.

  • 26 The 1904 Portrait essay is printed in Helene Cixous, The Exile of James Joyce (1979), p. 206-12.

Our world., recognizes its acquaintance chiefly by the characters of beard and inches and is, for the most part, estranged from those of its members who seek through some art, by some process of mind as yet untabulated, to liberate from the personalised lumps of matter that which is their individualising rhythm, the first formal relation of their parts. But for such as these a portrait is not an identificative paper but rather the curve of an emotion26. [Italics mine]

17In Ulysses, Joyce defers giving solid information about Bloom’s vital statistics until the cathetical chapter at the end, where the deficit is repaid with interest. That chapter is a reservoir of information which Joyce was precluded from presenting at the outset by the rules of the interior monologue. If the first reference to Bloom’s physique is merely a flurry of “stork’s legs” in Calypso [79], the questions-and-answers in Ithaca are there to tell us that his full height is five foot nine and a half inches, his complexion olive, his build full [858], and that his thigh and calf measurements are both 12 inches, after two months of exercise with Sandow’s athetic pulley [850].

18Bloom’s entry, then, is less concerned with “beard and inches” than with the hermeneutic orientation of a new kind of fiction. To emphasis this, Joyce skewed the idiom: “Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting the breakfast things on the humpy tray.” Not “on his mind”, as we normally say; for here we are being introduced to the stream of consciousness along which we will be carried for some time to come. From that standpoint, things are apt to look a little different: “His hand took his hat from the peg..” [67]; “his hand accepted the moist tender gland and slid it into a sidepocket. Then it fetched up three coins from his trouser pocket..” [71]. The mind observes its body’s movements.

  • 27 Trans. Hazel Barnes, Being and Nothingness (1966), p. 588. Elsewhere, he complained that Joyce “la (...)

19The wider rationale for presenting Bloom as an organ-eater is the fact that his existence is irreducibly organic. Thoughts pass through his mind in a digestive flux just as solids and liquids pass through the alimentary canal. Indeed, all of Bloom’s momentary alarms in Ulysses make noises like troubled indigestion: “His heart quop[s]” [149] when Boylan is spotted near the National Library. This blending of physical and psychic levels of reality is the feature of that Jean Paul Sartre identified in Being and Nothingness27 as “the initial project of the recovery of the body”, and therefore “an attempt at the solution to the problem of the absolute.” For Joyce, however, the transcendence of the physical inevitably had religious overtones. Catholicism was the native language of his imagination, and his intellectual development involved refashioning rather than abandoning it. By the time that Bloom has taken us to the lavatory (“holy of holies”, 859) and to the bath-house (“rite of St. John”, 859), where his mind entertains the blasphemous phrase, “this is my body” [107], we fully recognise that Joyce’s theme is the human physicality of the Word Incarnate

20The place where sensations and ideas combine is in the human mind. (Joyce, incidentally, does not swallow Berkeley’s theory of a world of ideas only; as Stephen demonstrates, the objective substrate of perception is “there all the time” without [us]: “and ever shall be, world without end”, 46.) The tempo of a sentence in Calypso is, accordingly, that of living perception rather than action recollected in tranquillity. Take, for instance, the business with the door: “He pulled the halldoor to after him very quietly, more, till the footleaf dropped gently over the threshold, a limp lid. Looked shut. All right till I come back anyhow.” [67]. Here more has the accent of a present tense, in spite of the preterite form of the sentence. The same criterion of psychological realism, translated into style, also dictates that Marion Bloom makes her first appearance in the novel as a bare pronoun, rather than a proper name. No apology is made for the missing anaphoric reference in the phrase, “She didn’t like her plate full”, because this is the way that wives feature in the consciousness of husbands, as distinct from novelists.

  • 28 See Hugh Kenner, Ulysses (1980), p. 47.

21One of the most startling implications of the merging of the characters’ consciousness with the language of the text is that events are included or excluded from the narrative according to a psychological criterion. As Hugh Kenner has shown, Calypso omits the final interview between Bloom and Molly when she tells him that Blazes Boylan is going to arrive at four o’clock28. By the ordinary standards of fiction, no piece of information could be more important, yet it is resolutely – or perhaps neurotically – suppressed, coming to our attention only in later episodes where Bloom’s anxieties surface fitfully: “At four she said” [335]. A whole chain of nudging reminders and second thoughts throughout Bloom’s day relate back to this missing episode: “Today today not think” [230]; “I could go home still: tram: something I forgot.. No.” [156]; “useless to go back” [214]; “About six o’clock I can” [143], and finally, “Go home.. No. Might still be up” [496]. All of these participate in the grammar of truncated thoughts. Here is another: “if he... O! Eh? No ..No. No, no, I don’t believe it. He wouldn’t surely. No, No .. Think no more about that” [194]. It has suddenly occurred to Bloom that Boylan might infect Molly with a venereal disease.

22This new stylistic method invites at every turn the questions, who is thinking this, whose words are these? Elements of that technique had been developed in the Portrait and in Dubliners and can be traced back further still to Joyce’s first attempts at literary prose: the earliest epiphanies. According to Stephen, an epiphany was a presentment of some self-revealing gesture of vulgarity or some “phase of the mind itself in the language native to it rather than the language of an author [SH188]. But Stephen was primarily concerned with show-casing the hypocrisies of his Dubliners; the mature Joyce was more interested in the workings of consciousness per se. In Ulysses, the balance has decisively shifted away from the indictment of vulgarities towards the manifestation of typical – and untypical – states of mind. In effect, Bloom inherits a method of expression forged by Stephen Dedalus in Eccles Street.

  • 29 See J.F. Byrne, The Silent Years (1953).
  • 30 Thom’s Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the Year 1904 (Du (...)
  • 31 Frank Budgen, op. cit., p. 68.

23But Stephen and Leopold have each a different lease on Eccles Street. Stephen was an autobiographical character, drawn from life, walking in places where Joyce had walked, while Bloom is a fictional creation whom Joyce inserted in the meticulously gazetted landscape of Ulysses. In 1902 the house at 7 Eccles Street had been occupied by Joyce’s college friend J.F. Byrne, the model for Cranly in A Portrait of the Artist29. In 1904, the house stood empty, awaiting its fictional inhabitant. Nothing expresses the realistic code of Joyce’s novel better than this slipping of Bloom into an empty home. For though Joyce played clever variations on the demography of Dublin when it suited him, he copied into his novel a great number of actual tenants and their Dublin addresses from Thom’s Official Directory30 for 1904, lending substance to his claim that the city could be reconstructed from Ulysses31.

24Memory supplied much of the literary and cultural personnel of the novel. George Russell and George Moore, W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, John Eglinton, Richard Best and Fred Ryan, John Howard Parnell, Maud Gonne, Arthur Griffith, and Buck Mulligan (Oliver St. John Gogarty) were all transposed from contemporary history via Joyce’s personal acquaintance or knowledge of them. Many of the less celebrated Dubliners in Ulysses, petty officials and their hangers-on, were friends of Joyce’s father. John Wyse Nolan, John Henry Menton, Bob Dollard, and Joe Hynes are of this class. Another one of these, Matthew F. Kane, a Castle official, has the distinction of occurring under several forms: as Martin Cunningham in Hades and Cyclops; but also as Paddy Dignam, whose funeral in Ulysses Joyce modelled on Kane’s which he attended with his father in July 1904. Kane also occurs under his own name when Bloom cites his death by drowning in Dublin Bay – the actual circumstances – in a list of departed friends and acquaintances in Ithaca [827].

25Another death-date that Joyce adjusted was his own mother’s. In Ulysses, May Dedalus, nee Goulding, dies on April 24th 1903 – at least, she is buried on April 26th [815]. May Joyce, nee Goulding, actually died on April 13th, 1903. Because Bloom is preparing for the anniversary of his own father’s death on April 27th [815], he has been unable to attend her funeral: otherwise the encounter of Bloomsday would have been pre-empted by a meeting in the previous year. In the Library, Mulligan tells Stephen that Bloom “knows your old fellow” [257], and the Ithaca chapter supplies further details of their acquaintance: Bloom is aware of having met Stephen then an infant, at a garden party in 1887, and more briefly in the coffeeroom of Breslin’s hotel on a rainy Sunday in 1892 [795]. On the basis of such acquaintance, he is at least as likely to pay his respects to Stephen’s mother as to Paddy Dignam. The effect of the altered date is to enhance the verisimilitude of their relation to each other in the context of Stephen’s known biography. Other connections are these: both have been baptised by the same priest, the Reverend Charles Malone, C.C. [798], and both have known Mrs. Riordan [795-6], Stephen’s Dante in A Portrait, and James Joyce’s maternal aunt, Mrs. Conway, in real life.

  • 32 Doran’s habit of going on “periodical bends” [89] is mentioned early in Ulysses and witnessed as s (...)

26Joyce could substantiate Bloom’s existence by linking it in with real lives. In other cases, however, he extended the fictional biographies of characters previously familiar from the Dubliners stories. Thus in Ulysses, Bob Doran enjoys – or suffers – a squalid after-life, appearing as a sentimental drunkard in the Cyclops episode [391ff]32. Once the pattern was established, new – and entirely ficticious characters -could be also made to function in the same reassuring way. Philip Gilligan, who died of phtisis in Jervis St. Hospital in 1888 [827], serves Bloom as an aide-memoire to the year in question [196]. He is mentioned twice in Ulysses and looks more credible for that, but there is no evidence that he ever existed in real life.

  • 33 Joyce had a copy of the Irish Independent for June 1, 1904 in which the opening of the Mirus Bazaa (...)
  • 34 The dentist is called Marcus J. Bloom in ULysses. Ellmann notes that Joseph Bloom converted to Cat (...)

27The Dublin newspapers also played a role in authenticating Bloom and Bloomsday, furnishing events such as the Minis Bazaar33 [233, 324], but Thom’s Directory was the only place where he could check – what he naturally had to check – where the other Dublin Blooms, if any, were living in 1904. One such, Joseph Bloom, a dentist, was listed in Thom’s as living at 38 Lombard Street. Joyce adroitly slipped Leopold and Molly into his house, their first home after marriage. If this seemed high-handed, he ensured that dentist Bloom is mentioned on his own account in Wandering Rocks, where the blind stripling passes his clinic at 2, Clare Street34. Joyce also profited by the possible confusion of Bloom and Bloom. In the Cyclops episode, Jack Power is heard to wonder if they are related [438]. When people start arguing about who his cousins are, his existence is put beyond dispute.

  • 35 The details recalled by Bloom in Ithaca about the deaths of Percy Apjohn, “killed in action, Modde (...)

28By searching the Directory, Joyce unearthed many Dublin Jews whom he had never known. In effect, he determined where Bloom had lived during previous stages of his life by identifying those streets listed in the Directory which held Jewish communities of his own class. The crowd of Jews who weep over miscreant Bloom in Circe [655] includes a Scholomowitz, a Goldwater, a Watchman, and an Abramovitz, all of whom lived on Lombard Street. A Moisel resided at Arbutus Terrace near Lombard Street West, so he occurs in Bloom’s memories of early marriage days in Calypso [72]. Citrons and Mastianskys, Apjohns and Goldbergs, were families living on or near St. Kevin’s Parade, where Moses Herzog the hire-purchase man also dwells, and this became the scene of Bloom’s childhood35. Many other Dublin Jews, such as Marcus Tertius Moses, tea merchant, or Dr. Hy Franks, the venereologist, Louis Werner, the impressario, Louis Wine, the jeweller, George Mesias, Bloom’s tailor, or the unnamed ’jewman tailor’ who made Ben Dollard’s unpaid for trousers [314] were similarity transposed from fact to fiction.

  • 36 See Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 38 and 377., and also Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated ( (...)
  • 37 Louis Hyman, The Jews of Ireland (1972). The Jewish community numbered 2,018 souls in 1902 Census, (...)
  • 38 Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman, Ulysses Annotated (1990).

29In other instances, the traffic was from fiction back to fact. One Jew who never lived in Dublin was Moses Dlugacz, a Zionist intellectual whom Joyce knew in Trieste. He was installed in 55a Dorset Street, the premises of Michael Brunton, pork-butcher, in order to set in motion Bloom’s train of thought on the Semitic race. The one Dublin Jew who comes in for more than casual anti-semitism is Reuben J. Dodd, a solicitor acting for the Patriotic Insurance Company (5, Ormond Quay), and money lender on his own account. Simon Dedalus holds a particular grudge against him, and even for Bloom he is the archetypal pattern of “what they call a dirty jew” [149]. Names like “Barabas” [118, 318] and “Judas Escariot” [344] inevitably attack him as being of “the tribe of Reuben” [117]. Yet in spite of a Hebrew forename, he was not in fact a Jew36. Joyce’s father had suffered at his hands, and his son was happy to avenge him. Besides, it obviated calling any real Dublin Jew a Jewman. The real existence of the Jews of Ulysses is in most cases corroborated in Louis Hyman’s indefatigable study, The Jews of Ireland37, though the shorter way to track them down today – we may as well admit – is to study the index of Gifford’s invaluable annotations for Ulysses38. But here is a curious fact: Hyman’s book was not prepared as a handbook to Ulysses instead, it is dedicated to a community of hard-working immigrants, that rarest of Irish social groups. Yet the reason why it stands in many university libraries, is precisely that it provides a social context for a Dublin Jew who never actually existed: Leopold, son of Rudolf Virag and Ellen Hegarty, herself a Jew on her father’s side [797-98].

  • 39 In Stephen Hero, Stephen’s criticism of political and religious life in Ireland bulks very large i (...)

30With a parentage like that, Bloom is not of course a racial Jew according to the matrilineal criterion. Nor does he qualify on the other grounds mentioned by Mulligan in his blasphemous reference to the “collector of prepuces”. Bloom is uncircumcised, as we learn from a detail in the masturbatory sequence of Nausicaa (“Stuck.. the foreskin is not back”, 487). In fact, no religious denomination can claim him. A racial Jew, he has in fact been christened in the Church of Ireland and rebaptised as a Roman Catholic before his marriage to Molly[798]. Intellectually skeptical and religiously agnostic, he leans towards atheism on the doctrine of the resurrection of the body: “once you are dead you are dead” [133]. Though familiar with all religions, he is unmarked by any. It is this uniquely heterodox outlook which qualifies him as Joyce’s new hero, substituting an unimpassioned curiosity about the religion and politics for Stephen’s aggrieved anti-clericism and vociferous anti-nationalism in A Portrait.39

  • 40 – about which he has particular reason to be sensitive since his father died of an overdose of aco (...)

31For Joyce, Bloom’s Jewishness was primarily the measure of his immunity to pressure from the established cultural, religious, and political traditions in Ireland. It allows him to use the distancing third-person pronoun whenever he has something critical to say about the Irish. When, in Hades, when conversation touches on suicide40, a sense of difference is perceptible: “They have no mercy on that here.” In this way, the Irish world reveals itself to Bloom objectively; and if his apparent lack of commitment to sectarian causes makes his speculative turn of mind seem a dull irrelevance to other Dubliners – “his jawbreakers about phenomenon and science and this phenomenon and the other phenomenon” [394] – he still deserves to be called what the narrator of Cyclops sarcastically calls him, “our distinguished phenomenologist” [B445].

  • 41 A Presbyterian. Gifford glosses swaddler as a contemporary Catholic term for the morally rigid Pro (...)

32The question, how far is Bloom Jewish, depends on point of view. Normally he himself is diffident about drawing attention to his race. In Calypso, he leaves the Jewish butcher Dlugacz’s mute enquiry unanswered: “No: Better not: another time” [72]. Yet Dubliners know that he is a racial Jew, and even his civic virtues are seen through racial archetypes. Hence when Bloom donates five shillings to Paddy Dignam’s family fund, John Wyse Nolan reaches for his Shakespeare: “I’ll say there is much kindness in the jew” [317]. But there is much uncertainty about his current religious affiliations: “Is he a jew or a gentile or a holy Roman or a swaddler41 or what the hell is he?”, enquires one of the Citizen’s sycophants [438]. Nosey Flynn thinks that he is a member of the Freemasonry – “he’s in the craft” [227] – and Mr. Kernan considers him a Protestant, expecting him to prefer the Anglican funeral service to the Catholic one [133]. When nationalism, with its racist implications, enters in, however, the position clarifies immediately: Bloom is an alien. “We want no more strangers in our house,” says the Citizen [420].

33The anti-semitic climate of Irish nationalism is dramatised most fully in the Cyclops chapter, where Bloom courageously defends not only his own race [431] but also the idea of universal love. – “Christ was a jew like me” [445] – is a leading instance of Joyce’s belief that Dubliners can be depended on to epiphanise their own vulgarity: “By Jesus, says he, I’ll brain that bloody jewman for using the holy name. By Jesus I’ll crucify him so I will” [445]. Yet the high drama of Bloom’s “altercation with a truculent troglodyte” in Barney Kiernan’s pub [859] is certainly not the only incident of anti-semitism in the novel. In the early chapters, Haines and Deasy exemplify English anti-semitism, as distinct from the native variety. For Haines, a “Britisher” with Gaelic sympathies, “German jews” are now the English “national problem” [25], while Mr. Deasy’s Ulster Unionism is armed against Jews as well as Fenians [38]: “England is in the hands of the jews .. The jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying” [41]. Stephen answers with a socialist epigram, “A merchant.. is one who buys cheap and sells dear, jew or gentile” [41], and so far, at least, his position is impeccably non-sectarian. But the epiphany of the Jewish moneylenders at the Paris Bourse which follows in his silent stream of consciousness, full of the chill of anticipated pogroms, is more ambivalent: ” .. gold-skinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabbles of geese. They swarm loud, uncouth about the temple. ... Time would surely scatter all ..” [41-42]. Joyce wrote this epiphany in 1902 before his own conversion to pro-Judaic feeling. That is not to say his anti-semitism ever ran deep, but there are more traces of it than the plan of Ulysses might suggest.

34Consider this from the first draft of his autobiographical Portrait, written on January 7, 1904:

  • 42 “A Portrait”, 1904, in Cixous, op. cit., p. 211.

He saw between camps his ground of vantage, opportunities for the mocking devil in an isle twice removed from the mainland, under joint government of Their Intensities and Their Bullockships. His Nego, therefore, written amid a chorus of peddling Jews’ gibberish and Gentile clamour, was drawn up valiantly.42 [Italics mine.)

  • 43 Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 385.
  • 44 Notably in J.J. Molloy’s recitation of John F. Taylor’s Liverpool speech of 1902 on “the language (...)

35The irony is that, in constructing a position for himself between the various camps in Irish politics – a position later to be occupied with maximum effect by Leopold Bloom, his Dublin Jew – Joyce slips unthinkingly into the contemporary jargon of abuse. In fact, his conversion to the cause of Judaism occurred during his sojourn in Trieste, where he knew closely members of the Jewish community including Otto Schmitz (Italo Svezo). Schmitz once asked Stanislaus to tell him some secrets about the Irish because Joyce had been asking him so many questions about Jews that he wanted to get his own back on him43. Joyce had come to recognise the analogy, not only between Israel and Ireland (which plays such a large part in the nationalist discourse of Ulysses)44, but more significantly, the analogy between the Judaic diaspora and his own artistic exile. It took twelve years for him to grasp the analogy firmly enough to make Bloom the spokesman for his own critique of Irish life.

  • 45 See Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 152.

36One early critic who noticed this hiatus was John Eglinton, the editor of who refused to publish the 1904 Portrait essay as incomprehensible, according to his own account, and indecent, according to Joyce’s45. In his Irish Literary Portraits, he wrote:

  • 46 Irish Literary Portraits (1935), p. 141-42.

Demonstrably, [Joyce] must have carried with him into exile a mass of written material but it was long before he learned how to deal with it, or to recognise, probably with some reluctance in the merry imp of mockery which stirred within him the spirit that was at length to take him by the hand and lead him out into the larger spaces of literary creation.46

  • 47 Bloom’s accidental mistranslation of a related Torah text (Exodus 33:3) has ironic implications fo (...)

37The resemblance of these phrases is perhaps no more than a coincidence: Joyce’s ’mocking devil’ and Eglinton’s “imp of mockery”. In Ulysses, the term mockery is reserved for the treacherous wit of Oliver St. John Gogarty (Buck Mulligan): ’The mockery of it!, he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek!” [2]. Stephen keeps his answer to himself: “the brood of mockers of whom Mulligan was one .. Idle mockery. The void awaits surely all them that weave the wind” [25]. But Eglinton had a point: Dubliners had been cramped indeed; and it was Bloom not Stephen who eventually led Joyce out to those larger spaces of literary creation. And Stephen himself seems to acknowledge as much when he chants the 113rd Psalm from the scripture common to both their religions on leaving Bloom’s household: In exitu Israel de Egypto: domus Jacob de populo barbaro [ 818]47.

  • 48 See “Swiss Customs: Zurich’s Sources for Joyce’s Judaica”, James Joyce Quarterly, 27, 2 (1989).

38The prevalence of anti-semitism in Ireland was one of the themes that Joyce addressed most forcefully in the novel, and one of the topics which ensure the relevance of Ulysses in a wider than Irish context. In Europe, Joyce met anti-semitism, and knew of its existence elsewhere. In Zurich, at the time of writing Ulysses, he was following press accounts of the persecutions in North Africa which underlie Bloom’s allusion in Calypso: “at this very moment sold off in Morocco like slaves or catties” [432]48. But there was an instance of anti-semitism much nearer home, which Joyce avoided mentioning because it would inevitably have altered the balance of Ulysses. In April 1904, there occurred in Limerick a boycott of Jewish shopkeepers, instigated by one Father Creagh, which resulted in several deaths. Before that tragic outcome, a series of articles appeared in the United Irishman, the Sinn Fein organ, in which the editor Arthur Griffith publicly endorsed Fr. Creagh’s position:

  • 49 United Irishman, 28 May, 1904. Quoted in Dominic Manganiello, Joyce’s Politics (1980), p. 134.

The Jew in Ireland is in every respect an economic evil .. he produces no wealth himself – he draws it from others – he is the most successful seller of foreign goods, he is an unfair competitor with the ratepaying Irish shopkeeper, and he remains among us, ever and always an alien49.

  • 50 Ibid., p. 131. Sinn Féin was the successor to United Irishman, the former having been closed by a (...)

39He later published two vitriolic attacks on Jews by Oliver St. John Gogarty, one of which includes the sentence: “I can smell a Jew.. and in Ireland there is something rotten.” (Sinn Féin, 1 December 1906)50. Joyce, who continued to receive Irish papers in Trieste, dismissed Gogarty’s articles as ’stupid drivel’ in a letter to Stanislaus from Rome (3 December 1906, SL134). A month earlier, he had condemned the “pap of racial hatred” which he detected in Griffith’s newspaper [SL111).

  • 51 Quoted by Darith Ofri-Scheps, in “Intervenor’s Questions James Joyce Quarterly, 26, 4, (1989).

If anti-semitism was a reality of contemporary Ireland, it was not an essential component of the nationalist tradition. Early in 1904, Michael Davitt, founder of the Land League, had condemned jew-baiting in the Freeman’s Journal: Jews have never done any injury to Ireland. Like our own race they have endured a persecution, the records of which will forever remain a reproach on our “Christian” nations of Europe. Ireland has no share in this record.51

  • 52 Ibid.

40Behind that lay Daniel O’Connell’s great speech of 11 September 1829 on Jewish Emancipation: “Ireland is the only country unsullied by any act of persecution of the Jews.”52 In casting Mr. Deasy’s witticism in these terms – “Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews .. because she never let them in” [44] – Joyce declared his position by contraries. There is no evidence, incidentally, that he had any better source for O’Connell’s phrases than his own memory.

  • 53 Translated as “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages” in The Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. E (...)

41However large it looms in Ulysses, anti-semitism was less of interest to Joyce than the question of national identity which it illustrates. Bloom’s heterogeneous brand of Irishness is the result of a modern conception of nationality to which Joyce gave expression in 1907, when he wrote his lecture on Ireland for the Universita Popolare in Trieste, Irlanda, Isola dei Santi e dei Savi53. After a short history of Irish rebellions and betrayals, he turned to the racist attitudes of Irish-Ireland so evident at that date. He began with a generalisation about the complexity of European cultures: “Our civilisation is a mixture of many strands .. Nordic aggressiveness and Roman law, the new bourgeois conventions and the remnants of a Syriac religion.” Then he asserted that “no race has less right [’to boast of being pure today’] than the race now living in Ireland.” And, from these premises, he concluded that:

Nationality ... must find its reasons for being rooted in something that surpasses and transcends and informs changing things like blood and the human word. [CW166]

42Blooms famous definition of nationhood in Calypso expresses the pragmatic and non-racist view that Joyce himself took: “a nation is the same people living in the same place” [430]. This formula is calculated to include the emigrant of ancient or more recent stock (as distinct from the Protestant plantations of the sixteenth century, the Jewish immigration to Ireland occurred in the 1890s). A close analogy with Bloom’s position is offered by his thoughts on Councillor Joseph Patrick Nannetti, the foreman at Freeman printing works who subsequently became a Lord Mayor of Dublin in spite of his Italian extraction. “Strange”, reflects Bloom, “that he never saw his real country.” [150]. Then, in parenthesis, he adds: “Ireland my country” [150], the point which he will insist on in the Cyclops episode: “I was borne here. Ireland” [431]. Finally he calls to mind the phrase about the Norman families of the Conquest who became “more Irish than the Irish themselves” [98]. The xenophobia of the nationalist prevails, however, and in the list of Bloom’s adventures at the end of the day, this episode is called the holocaust [859].

  • 54 See F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine (1971), in which a chapter bears this title (219ff).
  • 55 See Manganiello, op. cit., p. 23. Joyce’s source was The Life of Charles Stewart Parnell, by Barry (...)

43If the attitude of Irish Ireland during the period which the nationalist journalist D.P. Moran called “the battle of two civilisations”54 was the greatest threat to Joyce’s heterogeneous conception of Irish nationality, he was determined to carry the game into the Sinn Fein court in Ulysses. He did so, daringly, by introducing the rumour that it is none other than Bloom who “gave the idea for Sinn Fein to Griffith to put in his paper” [436]. “He’s a perverted Jew,” says Martin Cunningham, “from a place in Hungary and it was he drew up all the plans according to the Hungarian system. We know that in the castle” [B438]. Now, this is a far more compelling claim to historical renown in Ireland than his having returned Charles Stewart Parnell’s lost hat55 in a public demonstration, as we learn in Eumaeus [761]. For by this sleight of hand, Bloom is represented as the political philosopher who originated the strategy that led inexorably to the creation of a separate Irish state in 1921.

  • 56 “An Irish Poet” Daily Express, 12 December, 1902; printed in Critical Writings, ed. Ellsworth Maso (...)
  • 57 John Eglinton, Irish Literary Portraits, p. 133.
  • 58 See Henry Boylan, A Dictionary of Irish Biography (1988); Roy Foster, Modem Ireland (1989), 456-57 (...)

44Arthur Griffith (1871-1922), a member of the Gaelic League and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, founded the Celtic Literary Society and edited the newspaper United Irishman (1890) with Willie Rooney, whose posthumous poetry Joyce reviewed harshly in 1902)56. In articles published in January-July 1904, and then issued as The Resurrection of Hungary (1904), Griffith argued that the Irish Members of Parliament should follow the example set by Joseph Deak after 1848, when the Hungarian Parliament was abolished by Emperor Franz Josef in a measure seen by Griffith as analogous with the political Union with Great Britain (1800) that terminated the history of the Irish Parliament. Establishing a separate assemble in Budapest, Deak finally elicited recognition for the Hungarian Diet in 1867. At a convention in 1905, Griffith expounded these ideas under the name of Sinn Fein, a phrase coined by the Irish language movement (“Ourselves Alone”), inaugurating a political party of that name. While remaining the figure-head of Sinn Féin, he was effectively outmanoeuvred by militant republicans on the Executive council, and physical force movement advanced under cover of his organisation. As John Eglinton put it, “political agitation was holding back its energies for a favorable opportunity while the organisation of Sinn Fein was secretly ramifying throughout the country.”57. Without abandoning his policy of passive resistance, Griffith took part in the Howth gun-running episode of August 1914 which armed the Irish Volunteers. Though not connected with the Rising, he was arrested in 1916. In 1917, when his Hungarian policy was finally implemented, he stood down as leader of Sinn Fein in favour of Eamon de Valera but was elected Vice-President of the Republic declared by the first Dail Eireann in the Mansion House, Dublin, 1918. Imprisoned again in 1920 during the guerrilla war, he led the Irish plenipotentiaries who negotiated the Treaty in 1921 and defended the Treaty in the Dail. He died in 1922 after a brief period as President of the Free State58.

  • 59 See Robert Adams, Surface and Symbol: The Consistency of Ulysses (1965), p. 100-01.
  • 60 Hugh Kenner, Ulysses (1980), p. 133.
  • 61 Ibid.

45Students of Ulysses have always been incredulous about Bloom’s connection with Griffith, doubting that Joyce intended to insert his common man in the pattern of such momentous national events59. If the rumour were true it would surely have crossed Bloom’s mind at some stage in the day60. Yet it does conform with probability in some respects. There is no reason why Bloom should not be aware of the passage of events in Hungary during his father’s lifetime; hard to imagine that he was not. Rudolf Virag (subsequently Rudolf Bloom) had arrived in Ireland by an itinerary which make those events an inevitable part of his awareness of the world: “Szombathely, Vienna, Budapest, London and Dublin” [797]. And Molly knows that Leopold has been “going about with some of them Sinner Fein lately or whatever they call themselves talking his usual trash of nonsense” [886]. Assuming – and it is a great deal to assume – that Griffith needed a Dublin Jew of Hungarian extraction to alerting him to the political parallel, Bloom is a reasonable candidate for the role of prompter. There is a final odd touch: Griffith himself was rumoured to have had a Jewish ghost-writer. As Hugh Kenner has suggested, Bloom probably believes as much. That is why he identifies Griffith’s witticism about the Home Rule logo – “a homerule sun rising up in the northwest from the laneway behind the bank of Ireland” – as an “Ikey touch” [68]61. Certainly Joyce did not expect us to believe that Bloom himself was that person. There is one good reason why we should doubt it: Bloom is a fiction and Griffith is a fact. In the last analysis, therefore, Bloom’s credibility as a historical Dubliner – as Joyce puts it in Finnegans Wake – is simply “a matter of fict” [FW532.15].

46Indeed, Bloom’s record as a practical revolutionary hardly bears examination. Bloom remains vague about the organising principles of Sinn Fein, which he confuses with the more militant Fenian Brotherhood: “Back out and you get the knife. Stay in, the firing squad” [U207]; and his considered opinion of Griffith is less than adulatory – “a squareheaded fellow... has no go for the mo’” [134]. In politics, he leans towards parliamentary nationalism, having been a supporter of “the agrarian policy of Michael Davitt [and] the constitutional agitation of Charles Stewart Parnell”, and formerly a romantic “backtothelander” [843]. The extent of his actual involvement in political agitation has been limited to watching a Home Rule procession from the fork of a tree on Northumberland Road on 2 February 1888 [843]. Nor should it be overlooked that he has a furled Union Jack in his living-room [829]. But if there is any truth in the rumour of his intellectual donation to the Irish freedom movement, he surely deserves to be remembered as Political Father of Modern Irish State. Joyce has inserted his imaginary hero not merely into the peripheral spaces of the Irish world of 1904, but into the bloodstream of Irish nationalist history.

  • 62 Peter Costello has written a life of Bloom. He shares his grave with Molly, who died of cancer a f (...)
  • 63 Joyce had a copy of Historic Graves in Glasnevin Cemetary (Dublin 1915) in his Trieste library. Se (...)

47And the last of Leopold Bloom62? We know his body lies in the Dublin cemetery near those of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Paddy Dignam and other famous Irishmen63. He has dockets in his drawer “relative to the purchase of a graveplot” in the “Catholic Cemetaries at Glasnevin” [852].

Silent, each contemplating the other in both mirrors of the reciprocal flesh of theirhisnothis fellowfaces. [824]

48The ultimate convergence of Bloom and Stephen has been anticipated in other ways throughout Ulysses As early as the Proteus episode, for instance, Joyce gave Stephen an Oriental dream foreshadowing his encounter with Bloom: “Street of harlots. Remember. Haroun al Raschid. .. that man led me, spoke. I was not afraid. The melon he had he held against my face .. You will see who.” [59]. In Ithaca, under the astrological sign of Molly – astronomy is the science of the episode – their meeting is mapped onto the cosmos by the occurrence of a “celestial sign .. a star precipitated across the firmament.” [826]. This is a kind of epiphany, and it foretells an advent, just as – in Stephen’s theory – a star foretold Shakespeare’s: “a star, a daystar, a firedrake rose at his birth .. read the skies .. Where’s your configuration? Stephen, Stephen ..” [269-70].

- What is that, Mr. Dedalus? the quaker librarian asked. Was it a celestial phenomenon?
- A star by night, Stephen said, a pillar of the cloud by day.
What more’s to speak? [270].

49Across the interstellar spaces of the novel’s cosmographic structure, star speaks to star, confirming the equivalence of the older and the younger artists, Shakespeare and Stephen, when the latter has entered the orbit of Leopold and Molly. Stephen does not depart into the night merely to lose himself in literary anonymity. Having encountered the reality of experience in Leopold Bloom, he goes forth to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race – a racebroadened by experience to include, as its unlikely representative, the Irish Jewish Everyman of Ulysses.

Notes

1 Page references to Ulysses are marked by numbers only. Those to other works by Joyce are prefixed with the appropriate initials. The editions I have used are:

SH- Stephen Hero [SH], ed. Theodore Spencer (Grafton, 1986).
AP – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Jonathan Cape, 1943).
U – Ulysses (Bodley Head, 1963).
FW – Finnegans Wafee (Faber and Faber, 1971).
CW – The Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. Ellsworth Mason (Viking Press, 1966).

2 The vocation ascribed to him in Stephen Hero [188] and the profession entered in James Joyce’s passport. Joyce’s indebtedness to Thomas Carlyle has never been adequately stated. The celebrated phrase “spiritual paralysis”, to name but one borrowing, is from Carlyle’s essay on Chartism.

3 Joyce’s remark to Frank Budgen that the most revealing element in the title is its modifying clause, “.. as a Young Man”, is widely taken as the proper measure of his limited intentions in A Portrait In “The Portrait in Perspective”, Hugh Kenner argued that Joyce set out to circumscribe his “futile alter ego” in a system of stylistic ironies which check the uncompromising heroism of the earlier draft version of the novel, Stephen Hero. See Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (1959), p. 60, and Hugh Kenner, Dublin’s Joyce (1955), Chp. 8.

4 The impact of Nora Barnacle on James Joyce, both as a companion and a model for his female characters, for long a theme of Joycean biography, has been treated most fully – and most assertively – by Brenda Maddox in Nora (1987).

5 Frank Budgen, op. cit., p. 186.

6 See Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 162-62: “To set Ulysses on this date was Joyce’s most eloquent if indirect tribute to Nora, a recognition of the determining effect upon his life of his attachment to her. On June 16 he entered into a relation with the world around him and left behind him the loneliness he had felt since his mother’s death.” Then and later, when Joyce wrote to Nora, he associated her with the fulfilment of his literary ambitions, expressed in much the fashion that Stephen Dedalus expresses them: “O take me into your soul of souls and then I will become indeed the poet of my race” [15 November, 1909; SL169].

7 Op. cit., p. 43.

8 Later, in Finnegans Wake, which is built up of such distinctions, he summarised the process of autobiographical fission in these terms “his own personal life unlivable, transaccidentated through the slow fires of consciousness into a dividual chaos, perilous, potent, common to allflesh, human only, mortal.” [FW186].

9 He admits that his literary efforts are more imaginary than real. In Proteus, he dwells sardonically on his earlier epiphanies, “deeply deep” [50]. His sojourn in Paris, the land of exile to which he flies at the end of A Portrait, has not been successful: “Fabulous artificer, the hawklike man. You flew. Whereto? ... Paris and back. Lapwing. Icarus” [270]. According to John Eglinton, W.B. Yeats said that he had never seen so much pretension with so little to show for it. Irish Literary Portraits (1935), p. 137.

10 Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses (1959), p. 116.

11 “I have a new story for Dubliners in my head. It deals with Mr. Hunter”. (Selected Letters, p. 112; Rome, 30 Sept. 1906).

12 See Richard Ellmann, Ulysses on the Liffey (1974), xiii-xv.

13 Later, he established four points of similar difference between his cat and his daughter: passivity, economy, instinct of tradition, and passivity [813].

14 See Gordon Tweedie, “Common-Sense: James Joyce and the Pragmatic L. Bloom”, James Joyce Quarterly, 26, 3 (1989).

15 The Hades of Ulysses chapter contains a more extended critique of religious formalism, framed by Bloom’s happenstance perceptions and reflections: “The priest took a stick with a knob at the end of it out of the boy’s bucket and shook it over the coffin. Holy water that was, I expect, shaking sleep out of it” [131]. This is the more effective for his being ignorant of the name and function of the asperser in Catholic rites. Elsewhere, his reflections on the theology of fertility ["the priest won’t give the poor woman the confession..”, [91], and sacerdotal celibacy ["the tree of forbidden priest”, 489] are particularity incisive.

16 “His present instinct is to get away from fathers, living or mythic, elected or adoptive”. Hugh Kenner, Ulysses (1980), p. 17.

17 7 Eccles St. is now buried beneath an extension of the Mater Hospital which Joyce called “Mary Mercerycordial of the Dripping Nipples” in Finnegans Wake [260.F2].

18 See Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin (1859; 1972), and Maurice Craig, Dublin ¡660-1860 (1980). Joyce expressed a wish to have Gilbert’s History in a letter to Stanislaus of 13 November, 1908, and used it extensively, together with other histories of the city, in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

19 William Makepeace Thackeray, The Paris Sketchbook, the Irish Sketchbook, etc., (London 1883), p. 555. Patricia Hutchins drew attention to this passage, but without claiming for it a more than coincidental relation to Joyce’s writings. James Joyce’s World (1957), p. 52-3, and 72.

20 In Finnegans Wake, Joyce satirised the superior accent of the English visitor to Ireland: “Tiperaw raw raw reeraw puteters out of Now Sealand in spig[h]t of the patchpurple of the massacre ... goddam and biggod, sticks and stanks, of most of the Jacobiters”. [FW110.36f]. This is hardly the most effective passage in Finnegans Wake, but it catches the amalgam of potato patches, prejudice, repression and futile rebelliousness that struck Thackeray as the chief ingredients of the Irish scene. See following note.

21 The Epiphany Introit reads: “Arise, be enlighted, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people; but the Lord shall rise upon thee .. and the Gentile shall walk in thy light” [Isaias 60.1-6]. Joyce’s birthday, falling on Candlemas Day (February 2nd) when the Paschal Candles are lit, gave the light tropism of the Liturgy particular significance for him. The messianic gestures in the early Portrait drafts bask in this symbolic atmosphere.

22 The Citizen is modelled on Michael Cusack (1847-1905), who founded the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884. Cusack, who used the Republican honorific, reviled all this English.

23 The scene of Stephen’s epiphany in Eccles Street is revisited in Finnegans Wake, where the spirit of knight-errantry is captured neatly: “What child of a strandlooper but keepy little Kevin in the despondful surroundings of such sneezeful cold would ever have trouved up on a strate that was called strete a motive for future saintity ..” [FW110.32f]. The straight street is the road to Damascus where St. Paul saw the light, an even comparable to Stephen’s dramatic conversion to literary realism in Dublin, 1900. Stephen Dedalus is, of course, a celebrated “strandlooper” or “beachwalker” [FW110.36].

24 Sec Danis Rose, James Joyce: The Lost Notebook, (Colchester, 1989), Preface, p. xiii.

25 “This magnetization of style and vocabulary by the context of person, place, and time, has its humble origins in the few pages Joyce wrote for Dana.” Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 157. See also Hugh Kenner, Joyce’s Voices (1978), where he describes it as the “Uncle Charles principle” (p. 17).

26 The 1904 Portrait essay is printed in Helene Cixous, The Exile of James Joyce (1979), p. 206-12.

27 Trans. Hazel Barnes, Being and Nothingness (1966), p. 588. Elsewhere, he complained that Joyce “lacks the intermonadic dimension” (What is Literature, 1967, p. 132).

28 See Hugh Kenner, Ulysses (1980), p. 47.

29 See J.F. Byrne, The Silent Years (1953).

30 Thom’s Official Directory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the Year 1904 (Dublin 1904).

31 Frank Budgen, op. cit., p. 68.

32 Doran’s habit of going on “periodical bends” [89] is mentioned early in Ulysses and witnessed as shown in evidence at several later points. The malicious account of goings-on at Mrs. Mooney’s given by the narrator in Cyclops is essential secondary reading for students of “The Boarding House” [391].

33 Joyce had a copy of the Irish Independent for June 1, 1904 in which the opening of the Mirus Bazaar by Viceroy William Humble, Earl of Dudley, on the previous day was reported [324].

34 The dentist is called Marcus J. Bloom in ULysses. Ellmann notes that Joseph Bloom converted to Catholicism in order to marry. James Joyce (1965), p. 386.

35 The details recalled by Bloom in Ithaca about the deaths of Percy Apjohn, “killed in action, Modder River”, and Philip Moisel, “pyemia, Heytesbury Street” [827], were, however, wholly imaginative additions to the bare facts in Thom’s Directory.

36 See Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 38 and 377., and also Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated (1990), p. 110.

37 Louis Hyman, The Jews of Ireland (1972). The Jewish community numbered 2,018 souls in 1902 Census, while the “Statistics in Ireland” section of Thom’s Directory puts the number at 3,898 in 1901, an increase of 2,119 since 1891. See also Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated (1990), p. 40 (2.442).

38 Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman, Ulysses Annotated (1990).

39 In Stephen Hero, Stephen’s criticism of political and religious life in Ireland bulks very large indeed. In A Portrait, his conversation with Davin is a compact equivalent of several conversations in the earlier novel. In Ulysses, however, he keeps his thoughts about these issues to himself in the newspaper office and elsewhere. It is not so much a question of his changing his mind – he still thinks Ireland “the old sow that eats her farrow” [692] – as of retreating into silence, cunning, and exile, his adopted strategy. In Circe, he taps his drunken brow and says: “In here it is I must kill the priest and the king” [688].

40 – about which he has particular reason to be sensitive since his father died of an overdose of aconite [801].

41 A Presbyterian. Gifford glosses swaddler as a contemporary Catholic term for the morally rigid Protestant denominations (Ulysses Annotated, 1990, p. 367), but the usage is much older than that. An unacted play of that name was written by Amyas Griffith, according to W.J. Lawrence in a query answered in Irish Book Lover 1 (1919).

42 “A Portrait”, 1904, in Cixous, op. cit., p. 211.

43 Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 385.

44 Notably in J.J. Molloy’s recitation of John F. Taylor’s Liverpool speech of 1902 on “the language of the outlaw” in Aeolus [179ff]. The best discussion of Joyce’s use of Taylor’s oratory, and more broadly the Irish rhetorical tradition, is still to be found in Malcolm Brown, The Politics of Irish Literature (1973).

45 See Ellmann, James Joyce (1965), p. 152.

46 Irish Literary Portraits (1935), p. 141-42.

47 Bloom’s accidental mistranslation of a related Torah text (Exodus 33:3) has ironic implications for his Irish hosts: “That brought us out of the land of Egypt into the house of bondage” [494].

48 See “Swiss Customs: Zurich’s Sources for Joyce’s Judaica”, James Joyce Quarterly, 27, 2 (1989).

49 United Irishman, 28 May, 1904. Quoted in Dominic Manganiello, Joyce’s Politics (1980), p. 134.

50 Ibid., p. 131. Sinn Féin was the successor to United Irishman, the former having been closed by a libel action in 1906.

51 Quoted by Darith Ofri-Scheps, in “Intervenor’s Questions James Joyce Quarterly, 26, 4, (1989).

52 Ibid.

53 Translated as “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages” in The Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. Ellsworth Mason (1957), p. 153-174.

54 See F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine (1971), in which a chapter bears this title (219ff).

55 See Manganiello, op. cit., p. 23. Joyce’s source was The Life of Charles Stewart Parnell, by Barry O’Brien (1898), which he held in his Trieste library.

56 “An Irish Poet” Daily Express, 12 December, 1902; printed in Critical Writings, ed. Ellsworth Mason (1966), p. 84-85. The poems, edited posthumously by Griffith, were frankly patriotic. Joyce warned: “.. a man who writes a book cannot be excused by his good intentions .. he enters a region where there is a question of the written word, and it is well that this should be borne in mind, now that the region of literature is assailed so fiercely by the enthusiast and the doctrinaire.”

57 John Eglinton, Irish Literary Portraits, p. 133.

58 See Henry Boylan, A Dictionary of Irish Biography (1988); Roy Foster, Modem Ireland (1989), 456-57fn., and Manganiello, op. cit., p. 119-121, and Gilford, Ulysses Annotated (1990), p. 17, 55, and 367.

59 See Robert Adams, Surface and Symbol: The Consistency of Ulysses (1965), p. 100-01.

60 Hugh Kenner, Ulysses (1980), p. 133.

61 Ibid.

62 Peter Costello has written a life of Bloom. He shares his grave with Molly, who died of cancer a few years after Bloomsday. See Leopold Bloom: a biography (1981).

63 Joyce had a copy of Historic Graves in Glasnevin Cemetary (Dublin 1915) in his Trieste library. See Richard Ellmann. The Consciousness of Joyce (1977), p. 121. An earlier work on the subject is, History of Dublin Catholic Cemeteries (1900), by W.J. Fitzpatrick. Patrick Pearse’s famous oration at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa on 1 August, 1915, stands in a tradition of mortuary patriotism which inspires much of the business in the Hades episode of Ulysses.

Author

The University of Ulster

© Presses universitaires de Caen, 1991

Terms of use: http://www.openedition.org/6540