“Calypso” is the fourth chapter in Ulysses, and introduces us to the character who will take up the vast bulk of the rest of the novel: Leopold Bloom. It also introduces us to his wife, Molly, whose adulterous tryst with her music manager Blazes Boylan is scheduled for later in the afternoon. The tension around this assignation and the reasons for the dysfunction in the Blooms’ marriage drive much of the psychological drama in the ensuing chapters. First-timers note Bloom’s tenderness towards the cat, his efforts to comprehend her, and his comical error when he thinks he has. Cats, dogs, rats: all will feature prominently from here on out.
Associate Professor | English | U. of Victoria