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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion


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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #331 (permalink) Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:09 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Sorry for the hurry but how about this one:

Quote:
Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak.


I understand the schema for Telemachus in colour is white and gold. So 'the light untonsured hair' would be naturally taken as 'the untonsured light hair' (fair). Even so, is there any possibility left for 'bright' due to the morning sun?

Thank you!

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #332 (permalink) Sat Sep 20, 2008 16:38 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello Haihao,

I would take it myself as the colour, since it's immediately expanded with the reference to oak. But it certainly adds to the picture of "sunny Buck".

Best wishes,

MrP
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #333 (permalink) Sat Sep 20, 2008 22:22 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello MrP,

Good morning! Thank you for the insightful comment. I have another one succeeding that:

Quote:
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly.
-- Back to barracks! he said sternly.


1. I suppose the mirror with a razor is laid on the bowl rim crossedly and suspendedly. If so, 'Buck peeped under the mirror' would suggest he glanced at the lather then covered the bowl. Sorry for taking it up again but I still wonder what Buck's purpose is of this action and with what he covered the bowl. (his hand?)

2. To whom he said 'Back to barracks!'? To some troops on morning parade? For his 'mass' performance?

And,

Quote:
The plump shadowed face and sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages.


3. It seems to me there is a pun on 'shadowed': a. shadowed by something from the sunshine because of his moving off the gunrest; b. sullen like his oval jowl. Which is more natural or it is a pun?

Thank you!

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #334 (permalink) Sun Sep 21, 2008 13:47 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello Haihao, good morning! It's an appropriate text for the day.

1. I think he lifts the mirror, looks at the lather, and then replaces the mirror. I would guess that his purpose is to check that the lather is still sufficiently lathery; but there is a point in the celebration of the Mass where the paten is unveiled, and this may well be Buck's obscure reference.

2. Since the tower is of military origin, "back to barracks" would suggest "go back downstairs to the living quarters". However, why Buck should say this is unclear. It might be addressed to the lather, in which case I'm mystified; or it might be addressed to Stephen, since he is generally unkempt, and therefore not fit to be "on parade"; or it might be some further allusion to matters literary or ecclesiastical.

3. I think "shadowed" is both "in shadow", and "shadowy with stubble". (Here is a picture of Oliver St John Gogarty, by the way, Buck's original.)

Have a pleasant Sunday,

MrP
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #335 (permalink) Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:14 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello MrP,

Very convincing to me!

Quote:
I think he lifts the mirror, looks at the lather, and then replaces the mirror. I would guess that his purpose is to check that the lather is still sufficiently lathery; but there is a point in the celebration of the Mass where the paten is unveiled, and this may well be Buck's obscure reference.


Penetrating paraphrasis to me! In order to check the lather with those movements to see if the 'consecration' is taking place! That's why later he said 'A little trouble about those white corpuscles'. Now everything has got a place and a place for everything!

Thank you!

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #336 (permalink) Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:57 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Let me be a little picky on this one:

Quote:
-- My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan, two dactyls. But it has a Hellenic ring, hasn't it? Tripping and sunny like the buck himself. We must go to Athens. Will you come if I can get the aunt to fork out twenty quid?


1. Could 'Malachi' be a pun on the Hebrew prophet in the Bible?
2. Could 'Mulligan' be a pun on Irisher?
3. Could 'two dactyls' be connected with a Hellenic ring and Athens which are seen to be poetic (or rather philosophic)?
4. Is 'the aunt' Buck's aunt?

And,

Quote:
You know, Dedalus, you have the real Oxford manner. He can't make you out.


5. Normally thinking, Stephen couldn't be seen with the real Oxford manner. Is it because 'He can't make you out' or S has a bookman air?

Quote:
-- A woful lunatic! Mulligan said. Were you in a funk?


6. Does 'A woful lunatic' refer to H or S or both?

Thank you!

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #337 (permalink) Mon Sep 22, 2008 23:15 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello Haihao, good morning,

1. I think an allusion is intended, yes "Malachi" means "messenger"; and the prophet himself castigates the priesthood, like Buck. (I think it may also be an Old Irish name.)

2. I'm not sure about the original meaning of "Mulligan" (one online source relates it to the Gaelic Mullechean, "the top or summit"). But I've no doubt that JJ chose it with care.

3. Yes; I think he means that the rhythm resembles two dactylic feet in a Homeric hexameter, and thus has a Hellenic sound ("ring"), like S's name (though Greek verse is based on quantity, not stress, so the parallel isn't quite exact). His mind then characteristically jumps to the thought of Athens.

4. I think so, yes: the aunt whose skivvy's mirror Buck has appropriated, and who thinks Stephen killed his mother.

5. I think he means that S. has the genuine air of an Oxford scholar, which puzzles Haines, who thinks that S. is "not a gentleman".

6. I would say to Haines. ("Were you in a funk?" suggests justified fear.)

All the best,

MrP
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #338 (permalink) Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:56 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Hello MrP, good evening!

Thank you for your broadscaled and deepembedded insightful comments. Another trifle's come up:

Quote:
He broke off and lathered again lightly his farther cheek. A tolerant smile curled his lips.


1. I would take 'farther' here as 'other'. Is it possible to suggest as well his more distant cheek from S's view?

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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #339 (permalink) Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:06 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

.
I think this is an easy one-- yes, but primarily more distant. It is more visual than 'other'.
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #340 (permalink) Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:13 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Thank you, MM. And one more:

Quote:
-- But a lovely mummer! he murmured to himself. Kinch, the loveliest mummer of them all!


2. I'd think 'mummer' has a pun on the following 'murmured'. Among its three possible meanings, a. a masked or costumed merrymaker; b. one who acts or plays in a pantomime; c. an actor, which is most appropriate to the context or B's intention?

All the best,

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #341 (permalink) Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:29 pm   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

.
Probably a combination of a and c (and what else should we expect of JJ?)-- Kinch the knife blade and Stephen Hero acting in front of everyone. Funny, but I would discount the obvious alliteration. And I don't recall any specific mummery- perhaps MrP does.
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #342 (permalink) Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:30 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

Thank you, MM, for your comment about S's acting in front of everyone, which reminded me that B likes to call S 'our bard', which could have been his 'specific mummery'?

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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #343 (permalink) Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:40 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

.
Yes, and note this definition of mummery:

2. any performance, ceremony, etc., regarded as absurd, false, or ostentatious.

.
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #344 (permalink) Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:17 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

I am puzzled as well by this one:

Quote:
Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coatsleeve. Pain, that was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart. Silently, in a dream she had come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him, mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes. Across the threadbare cuffedge he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him. The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of liquid. A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile which she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning vomiting.


1. Normally is it leaned his brow against his palm more natural?
2. Is this a trans-subject to describe 'she bent over him and he felt her breath upon him?
3. From his attitude of 'Across the threadbare...' does it suggest another cross and bowl, like Buck's earlier, holding 'dull green mass of liquid' and 'A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile'?
4. I couldn't determine the objest for 'torn up'. I suppose it would be 'which' (the bile) but a little unnatural and the following 'vomiting' could as well act as its gerund.

Thank you!

Haihao
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Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion #345 (permalink) Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:47 am   Ulysses (James Joyce) - A literary discussion
 

.
1. Normally is it leaned his brow against his palm more natural?-- I think it can be viewed and written either way. JJ does have a tendency to choose the road less taken.

2. Is this a trans-subject to describe 'she bent over him and he felt her breath upon him?-- She bent over him and breathed upon him.

3. From his attitude of 'Across the threadbare...' does it suggest another cross and bowl...'?-- I am not one who subscribes to allusions in every word that JJ writes; I see it as a very graphic visual image only. The 2 mothers, of course, should be considered and compared.

4. I couldn't determine the object for 'torn up'. I suppose it would be 'which' (the bile) but a little unnatural and the following 'vomiting' could as well act as its gerund.-- The object of 'torn up' is 'bile'. 'Vomiting' is a gerund, 'groaning' is an adjective. Via short violent periods of vomiting (accompanied by loud groans), she tore the bile up from her liver. What part seems unnatural to you (I mean of the original, not my awkward paraphrase)?
.
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