In “Nausicaa” Bloom takes a quiet interlude on the beach at Sandymount, the same beach on which Stephen meditated in “Proteus.” Cissy Caffrey, with her two younger brothers Tommy and Jacky; Edy Boardman with her baby and Gertie McDowell are also on the beach. Gertie and Bloom indulge simultaneous fantasies about each other as the others move off to view a fireworks display. Gertie casts hers in terms of romance fiction, leaning back farther and farther to let the dark, sad (he is in mourning) stranger have a clear view of her legs and eventually her knickers. Bloom, meantime, masturbates through his pants pocket as he looks on. As the fireworks climax, so does Bloom. Gertie settles her clothes and begins to leave, revealing to Bloom’s dismay/excitement that she is lame. Overcome with lassitude, Bloom lingers on the beach revisiting his first encounters with Molly and the events of his day. He falls asleep briefly, before repairing to Andrew Horne’s Lying-In (Maternity) Hospital to see whether an old acquaintance, Mina Purefoy, has delivered her latest baby yet.
Due to a technological setback, the MVP is unable to post Dr. Anne Fogarty’s lecture at this time.
We hope to have Dr. Fogarty’s lecture up within the next couple of weeks. Please check back here for updates.
On Friday, January 18th at 1 pm EST / 10 am PST, James Gifford will moderate the MVP’s tenth YoU Twitter chat, focusing specifically on “Cyclops.” The hashtag for the Twitter chat is #yearofulysses.
James Gifford is Assistant Professor of English at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver, where he is also Director of the University Core. His work on modernist authors has appeared in Journal of Modern Literature, Mosaic, and English Studies in Canada. He is also co-Director of the Modernist Versions Project. James has been equally active in literary studies and opera.
In search of Martin Cunningham, Bloom ventures into Barney Kiernan’s pub, where a character known only as the Citizen holds court. The Citizen is an Irish nationalist of the “blood and soil” order, and gradually begins baiting Bloom on the issue of his Jewishness. When Bloom ducks out to see if Cunningham is at the Law Courts, Lenehan starts the idea that Bloom had won a significant sum on the horse “Throwaway” (which he inadvertently and completely unconsciously tipped to Bantam Lyons in “The Lotus-Eaters”), and that he has gone to collect it. Martin Cunningham arrives in the midst of general abuse of Bloom as a miserly Jew and tries to calm things down. When Bloom arrives Cunningham gets him out of the pub and into a cab. As they are pulling away, the Citizen, who has worked himself into an epic rage, hurls an empty biscuit tin at Bloom, bringing to a bathetic head the latent violence that has simmered throughout the chapter. He misses and Bloom taunts him about Christ’s Jewishness as the cab turns the corner. Stylistically, “Cyclops” provides the novel’s most savage satire as the blowhard Citizen’s romantic nationalism is repeatedly mocked through sudden inflations of tone and diction to describe mundane phenomena. The emptiness of (his) rhetoric is demonstrated thus, and the power of language to imbue everyday happenings with mythic and/or historical resonance is openly mocked.
James Clawson is an Assistant Professor of English at Grambling State University in Louisiana. His PhD focused on transition and liminality in the works of Lawrence Durrell. Since then, he has presented and published on the interaction of politics and philosophy with twentieth century literature. His current research interests include Alasdair Gray’s Lanark and James Joyce’s Ulysess.