James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study by Stuart Gilbert

This is a must and hors concours. Following extracted from preface justify this:

vi) In making a translation the first essential is thoroughly to understand what one is translating; any vagueness or uncertainty in this respect must lead to failure." (Ao fazer uma tradução o primeiro (elemento) essencial é cuidadosamente compreender o que se está traduzindo; qualquer imprecisão ou incerteza a este respeito deve levar ao fracasso).

viii) I am sometimes asked, "Did Joyce believe in theosophy, magic and so forth?" An answer is difficult, owing to the ambiguity of the term "believe in" In the meaning the verb has, for example, in the Christian Creed, I doubt if Joyce, though he owned to several deeply rooted superstitions (as they are called), believed in any such doctrines. But he accepted their existence as a fact, on a footing of validity no higher and no lower than that of many of the fashionable and fluctuating "truths" of science and psychology. He had none of the glib assurance of the late-nineteenth-century rationalist. (I m of course speaking of Joyce as I knew him, in his maturity - when his view of la condition humaine was mellower, less dogmatic than that of the astringently young man of the Portrait.

viii) Às vezes sou perguntado: "Será que Joyce acredita em teosofia, magia e assim por diante?" Uma resposta é difícil, devido à ambiguidade do termo "acreditar em" No sentido que o verbo tem, por exemplo, no Credo cristão, duvido que Joyce, embora tivesse várias superstições profundamente enraizadas (como são chamadas) , acreditasse em tais doutrinas. Mas ele aceitou a sua existência como um fato, numa colocação com um fundamento de validade não superior nem inferior a de muitas das elegantes e flutuantes "verdades" da ciência e da psicologia. Ele não tinha nada da certeza verbosa e fluente do racionalista do fim do século XIX. (Naturalmente falo de Joyce como eu o conheci, em sua maturidade - quando sua visão de la condition humaine era mais madura, menos dogmática do que a do mordaz jovem do Portrait.

ix) Thus it was necessary to emphasize the "classical" and formal elements, the carefully planned lay-out of the book, and the minute attention given by its author to detail, each phrase, indeed each word, being assigned its place with pointilliste precision

ix) Desta maneira, era necessário enfatizar os elementos "clássicos" e formais, o lay-out cuidadosamente planejado do livro, e a cuidadosa atenção dada pelo autor ao detalhe, cada frase, até cada palavra, sendo atribuído o seu lugar com precisão pointlista (como na pintura deste estilo)


Quando imaginei a operacionalização, no quesito de compreensão nos moldes de, Don Gifford, Blamires, aulas do Prof. Heffernan, me pareceram não apenas suficientes, mas imbatíveis. Na medida em que fui desenvolvendo o exemplo em Telemachus, percebi que havia necessidade de maior contextualização, porque Joyce... é infernal... Como não tenho autoridade para expressar opinião, uso o sistema de acessar quem de direito e aprecio as resenhas do NY Times. Que leio ha 30 anos e sei da competência que eles têm na área da crítica de livros, peças, filmes, coisas culturais, etc. Este livro foi escrito em 1930 e existe um comentário no NY Times em 1931 e não consegui acesso completo a ele, mas pelo abstract, me pareceu que não ia adiantar nada para o fim que pretendo aqui: Quem não leu, não tem tempo ou vontade para isto, mas tem que ter uma opinião educada, o que deve pensar sobre este livro? Comprei o livro quando o projeto já estava mais ou menos montado, e senti o que vai acima e decidi incorporar o que sinto ser aproveitável para nossas finalidades. Quem discordar ou desconfiar de minha opinião, leia o primeiro capítulo do livro logo em seguida e compare com o artigo de Richard Ellmann sobre o mesmo tema:

When I imagined the operationalization, about understanding along the lines of, Don Gifford, Blamires, classes of Prof. Heffernan, it seemed to me not only enough, but unbeatable. Insofar as I developed the example of Telemachus, I realized there was a need for greater contextualization, because Joyce is ... hell ... Since I have no authority to express an opinion, I use the system to access the rightful and appreciated reviews of NY Times. I read it for more than 30 years and I know the competence they have in the area of critical reviews about books, plays, films, cultural stuff, etc. This book was written in 1930 and there is a review in the NY Times in 1931 which I could not get full access to it, but the abstract, it seemed to me it would do no good for the purpose I intend here: Who did not read it, does not have the time or desire to do so, but have to have an educated opinion, what should think about this book? I bought the book when the project was more or less fitted, and I felt it is insuperable and decided to incorporate what I feel to be usable for our purposes. Who disagree or distrust my opinion, read the first chapter of the book and compare with the article by Richard Ellmann on the same topic:





Ulysses is the record of a single day, June 16, I904. That day was very much like any other, unmarked by any important event and, even for the Dubliners who figure in Ulysses, exempt from personal disaster or achievement. It was the climax of a long drought and the many public-houses of the Irish capital claimed most of the Dubliners' spare time and cash; the former, as usual, abundant, the latter scarce, as usual. In the morning a citizen was buried; a little before Midnight a child was born. At about the same hour the weather broke and there was a sudden downpour, accompanied by a violent clap of thunder. In the intervals of imbibing Guinness, Power or "J.J. & S." the Dubliners discoursed with animation on their pet topic, Irish politics, happily bemused themselves by the singing of amorous or patriotic ballads, lost money over the Ascot Gold Cup. At about 4 p.m. an act of adultery was consummated at the residence of one Leopold Bloom, advertisement-canvasser. A perfectly ordinary day, in fact.
The structure of the book as a whole is, like that of all epic narratives, episodic. There are three main divisions, subdivided into chapters or, rather, episodes, each of which differs from the rest not only m subject-matter but also by the style and technique employed.
The first part (three episodes) serves as prelude to the narrative of Mr Bloom's day, the main theme, and may be regarded as a "bridge-work" between the author's earlier work, the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1) and Ulysses.

(I)This, Joyce's first full-length novel, is almost entirely autobiographical. In it many of the aesthetic principles on which Ulysses is based are expounded by the 'young man," Stephen Dedalus; a careful perusal of the Portrait is indispensable for the proper understanding of Ulysses.-


The three episodes which compose this part are concerned with Stephen Dedalus, the hero of the Portrait, and his doings from 8 a.m. till noon. Stephen is still the arrogant young man who entered in his diary (the concluding lines of the Portrait): "I go to encounter for the Millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race… Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead." In the interval between this invocation of the first artist of the Hellenic world, maker of the labyrinth of Cnossos and the honeycomb of gold, and his participation in the Odyssey of Mr Bloom, Stephen has passed a year or so at Paris, but it is evident that his knowledge of the "reality of experience" has been little enlarged, in, so far as such knowledge implies a capacity for self-adaptation, or acquiescence with one's surroundings. He is still an intellectual exile, proudly aloof from the mediocrity of his contemporaries, and he still displays an ironic disdain for their shoddy enthusiams, combined with a predilection for the "abstruosíties" inculcated by his Jesuit upbringing, the scholastic habit of dialectic and exact definition.
In the first episode we discover him living in a disused Martello tower, overlooking Dublin Bay, in the company of Buck Mulligan, a cynical medical student with a taste for blasphemy, and a somewhat ridiculous Oxford man named Haines. Next we find him (at 10 a.m.) giving a Roman History lesson at Mr Deasy's school, where, as Mr Deasy correctly anticipates, he is not destined to remain very long; and, finally, see him walking on the Dublin strand, hear his musings on things seen and unseen and follow the restless current of his associative thoughts, symbolized by the upswelling tide. There is, as will be shown later, an intimate connexion between the personalities of Stephen and Mr Bloom, the Ulysses of this modern Odyssey; the spiritual relationship of these two, apparently poles apart, is one of the leitmotifs of the book; thus this detailed presentation


of Stephen's mental make-up is an integral part of the psychological background of Ulysses.
Mr Bloom's day begins, like Stephen's, at 8 a.m., when is preparing his wife's morning tea at their house, No.7 Eccles Street. He goes out for a few minutes to buy a kidney for breakfast, after having set the kettle on the fire. On his return he hands his wife her letters in the bedroom and presently brings up the tray with the tea-things. Mrs Bloom is better known in Dublin as Madame Marion
Tweedy, the singer. An over-ripe, indolent beauty of a southern type (she is of mixed Spanish, Jewish and Irish traction), this lady is admirably fitted to the taste of Mr Bloom, who also is of Jewish descent. Unfortunately, however,
for him, Marion Bloom is not satisfied by the exclusive attentions of her mature husband, who tolerantly imputes her frequent infidelities (which, nevertheless, he deplores) the call of her "Spanish blood". Amongst the letters which Mr Bloom hands her is one from a certain "Blazes" Boylan, a young Dublin man-about-town, who is acting as her impresario in a coming concert tour and is the most recent of her lovers; in his letter he tells her that he is coming at four that afternoon to show her the programme Throughout Mr Bloom's day the thought of this interview will weigh on his mind. Each time he encounters Boylan or hears his name mentioned, the comfortable flow of his silent monologue is checked, he tries to concentrate his attention on the first object that meets his eye, but can never wholly rid himself of his obsession
At 10 o'clock Mr Bloom starts his day's work. He is naturally sociable and anxious to please, and his métier of advertisement-canvasser requires that he should keep in, touch with many classes of Dubliners, business-men, editors, potential clients of all kinds. For in, Dublin, as in most small capitals, bonhomie brings business and the man who is known as a good fellow, a "mixer", and cultivates relations with as many of his fellow-citizens as possible, has a pull over an unsociable rival, even though the latter be more competent. His first visit, however, has a romantic object.


He obtains from a branch post-office a letter addressed to him under the anthonym of Henry Flower by a trusting typist Martha Clifford. For Mr Bloom-considering his wife's "Spanish" ways one can hardly blame him-is himself no model of fidelity, though his sins are rather of intention than of commission. In a meditative mood, hoping to hear some music, he enters All Hallows (St Andrew's) Church to witness the end of a communion service. Then he orders from a chemist a face-lotion for his wife and visits a bathing establishment. The next episode describes a funeral attended by Mr Bloom in the company of Mr Dedalus senior and others. The deceased, Dignam, was a friend and when, after the burial, a subscription is opened for the widow, Mr Bloom makes what is, considering his means, a generous donation. At noon he visits a newspaper office to arrange for an advertisement. Stephen visits the same office a little after Mr BIoom; he has drawn his salary at the school and so can invite the editor and his cronies to a neighboring bar for drinks; the invitation, needless to say, proves acceptable. He just misses encountering Mr Bloom. It is now lunch time and Mr Bloom feels the pangs of hunger. He looks into a popular restaurant but is disgusted by the sight of the "animals feeding". "His gorge rose." Finally he takes the edge off his appetite with a sandwich and glass of burgundy at Davy Byrne's public-house. The scene now shifts to the National Library where a quasi Platonic dialogue is engaged between Stephen Dedalus and some literary lights of Dublin. Mr Bloom makes a brief appearance (he has to look up an advertisement in a back number of the Kilkenny People) but, again, does not encounter Stephen. The next episode consists of eighteen fragmentary scenes of Dublin life, concluding with a coda describing the vice-regal progress through Dublin. Each fragment is thematically linked up with the others and with the book as a whole. It is now four o'clock and Mr Bloom s hunger will no longer be denied. He has a belated lunch at the Ormond Hotel (where Mr Dedalus père and others are celebrating the trinity of wine, women and song) in the company of Richie Goulding. Stephen's uncle. At 5 p.m


We find Mr Bloom at Barney Kiernan's tavern where a charitable errand, on behalf of the late Dignam's widow, has taken him. The xenophobia of an intoxicated nationalist, known as the Citizen, leads to his precipitate retreat from the patriot's den.
Weary and way-worn after incessant peregrination, Mr Bloom decides to take the air on Sandymount beach. Under the last rays of the setting sun, he yields to the seductions of a precocious Dublin chit, Gerty MacDowell but does not follow up his conquest. At 10 p.m. he visits the Lying-in Hospital to enquire after a friend, Mrs Puretoy, who is being delivered of a child. Stephen is there, carousing some medical students and at last he and Mr Bloom into contact Stephen is gradually becoming intoxicated and Mr Bloom, attracted by the young man, decides to take him under his wing. When the band of revellers sally forth and Stephen makes for the Dublin nighttown, Mr Bloom's paternal Instinct prompts him to follow the next scene, situated at the brothel quarter of Dublin, is one of the most remarkable in Ulysses. Stephen, under the influence of drink and Mr Bloom, exhausted by his daylong Odyssey, sensitive to lhe hallucinating ambiance and see their most secret desires, their fears, their memories, take form and live and move before their eyes This scene (corresponding to the "Circe" episode of the Odyssey) is usually described as the Walpurgisnight or Pandemonium of Ulysses.
The last three episodes describe Mr Bloom's return; he is accompanied by Stephen, who has decided that he will not back to the Martello tower which he shares with Mulligan. On their way to Eccles Street they halt to take a cup d coffee at a cabman's shelter, where they encounter a marine Munchausen who regales the company with tall yarns of adventure in far lands, and other exotic nightfarers Later, in Mr Bloom's kitchen, over a cup of cocoa, they compare experiences and, in the catechistic form of question and reply, the personality, antecedents and past life of Mr Bloom are scientifically dissected. Last of all, when Mr Bloom is asleep beside his wife, we have the long, unpunctuated silent monologue of the latter, the refined quintessence

of unrefined femininity. Of this episode Arnold Bennett wrote: "I have never read anything to surpass it, and I doubt if I have ever read anything to equal it." Ulysses ends, like the marriage service, with "amazement".
At a first reading of Ulysses the average reader is impressed most of all by the striking psychological realism of the narrative. He is apt to attribute this impression to an (apparently) complete lack of reticence in the self-revelation of the personages and to the presence in the text of words which, if used at all in other novels, are often travestied, like Rudyard Kipling's term of endearment, in a decent disguise, or asterisked out of recognition as in Mr Aldington's Death of a Hero. But the realism of Ulysses strikes far deeper than the mere exercise of verbal frankness; apart from the author's extreme, almost scientific, precision in his handling of words, there are two factors which place Joyce's work in a class apart from all its predecessors, even the most meticulously realistic: firstly, the creator's standpoint to his theme, the unusual angle from which he views his creatures, and, secondly, his use of the "silent monologue" as the exponent not only of their inner and hardly conscious psychological reactions but also of the narrative itself.
In most novels the reader's interest is aroused and his attention held by the presentation of dramatic situations, of problems deriving from conduct or character and the reactions of the fictitious personages among themselves. The personages of Ulysses are not fictitious and its true significance does not lie in problems of conduct or character. After reading Ulysses we do not ask ourselves: "Should Stephen Dedalus have done this? Ought Mr Bloom to have said that? Should Mrs Bloom have refrained?" All these people are as they must be; they act, we see, according to some lex eterna, an ineluctable condition of their very existence. Not that they are mere puppets of Necessity or victims, like Tess, of an ironic Olympian. The Iaw of their being is within them, it is a personal heritage, inalienable and autonomous. The meaning of Ulysses, for it has a meaning and is not a mere photographic "slice of life"- far from it-is not to be sought in any analysis of the acts


Of the protagonist or the mental make-up of the characters; is, rather, implicit in the technique of the various episodes, nuances of language, in the thousand and one correspondences and allusions with which the book is studded.
Thus Ulysses is neither pessimist nor optimist in outlook, moral nor immoral in the ordinary sense of these words; its affinity is, rather, with an Einstein formula, a Greek temple, an art that lives the more intensely for its repose. Ulysses, a Greek temple, an art that lives the more intensely for its repose. Ulysses achieves a coherent and integral interpretation of life, a static beauty according to the definition of Aquinas (as abridged by Joyce): ad pulchritudinem tria requiruntur: integritas, consonantia, claritas (1)
It is curious how few authors in any tongue have written with real detachment and a single eye to the ideal proposed b Aquinas. The novelist can rarely conceal his emotive actions (often, of course, he does not wish to do so), or his indifference is merely feigned. If, for instance, he has chosen to write on that ever popular theme, the life of a prostitute, he cannot see her with the clarity and integrity of, for instance, an intelligent business woman; that is to say the incorrigible sloven she is, a moron, charming maybe but parasitic as the most feckless of mid-Victorian spinsters, or tout simplement (as I heard a sensible Frenchwoman describe her) une bonne manquée, a tweeny who has missed r vocation. No, he makes of her a Maya, a high-priestess d illusion, a Dame aux Camélias, or a Thais. The unsentimental writer is, in fact, extremely rare. In the fiction and plays of John Galsworthy, under his studied impartiality, a profound pity and sensitive reaction to the sufferings of others is scarcely concealed. Under a more classical form and vestments of more erudite tissue Anatole France shyly enveloped a spiritual affinity with Tolstoi. The contemporary realist and Freudian schools, too, have their axe to grind; they expound the ugly or abnormal in a spate of catharsis - many, of course, being mere merchants of pornography

(1)Vide A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, page 148; Stephen, who aligned his aesthetic views with those of St. Thomas Aquinas, translates these words: "three things are needed for beauty: wholeness, harmony and radiance."


or young people whose joy it is to "make the bourgeois jump".
The attitude of the author of Ulysses to his personages and their activities is one of quiet detachment; all is grist to his mill, which, like God's, grinds slowly and exceeding small. When (abruptly to change the metaphor) some divine afflatus begins to swell the creative cyst, till it is distended Iike the wallet of winds which Aeolus gave to Odysseus, he neatly punctures it with a word, the "lancet of my art". (1) Many instances of this deliberate deflation of sentiment will be noticed in the course of this study, notably in the chapter dealing with the doctrine of metempsychosis and a citation of the climax of the Circe episode. Joyce maintained this method in his last work, Finnegan's Wake, which, despite the difficulties, linguistic and others, of the text, none of the admirers of his previous work should neglect on the ground of its supposed incomprehensibility.
All facts of any kind, mental or material, sublime or ludicrous, have an equivalence of value for the artist. But this does not imply that they are meaningless to him or that he is a mere reporter, a literal transcriber of experience. "The personality of the artist,' as Stephen Dedalus observes, speaking of the epic form of literature, "passes into the narration itself, flowing round and round the persons and the action like a vital sea." He is a composer who takes the facts which experience offers and harmonizes them in such a way that, without losing their vitality and integrity, they yet fit together and form a concordant whole. In this detachment, as absolute as the indifference of Nature herself towards her children, we may see one of the causes of the apparent "realism" of Ulysses.
Another of Joyce's innovations is the extended use of the unspoken soliloquy or silent monologue, an exact transcription of the stream of consciousness of the individual, which certainly has the aim of an untouched photographic record and has, indeed, been compared to the film of a moving picture

(1) Ulysses, page 6. (Here and elsewhere the pagination of the Random House Corrected Text Ulysses is followed)


But, as I show in the next chapter of this introduction superficial disorder of Mr. Bloom's and Stephen's meditations, the frequent welling up of subconscious memories and the linking together of ideas by assonance or verbal analogy, all in reality form part of an elaborate scheme, and the movement, chaotic though it seem as life itself, is no more disorderly than the composed confusion of the fair in ballet Petrushka, or the orchestral score of Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps. The soliloquy is, of course, no new thing; it is part of the Shakespearian technique and, as will become apparent in the course of this commentary, the influence of Shakespeare and especially of the tragical history of Hamlet, noblest soliloquist of them all, is manifest throughout Ulysses. Like Hamlet of whom Mallarmé wrote, Il se promène, lisant au livre de lui-même, Mr Bloom and Stephen their ways, each "reading the book of himself". The technique of the monologue intérieur (as M. Valery Larbaud aptly named this unuttered, undramatized soliloquy) was a matter of fact, first exploited in one time by a French writer, M. Eduard Dujardin, whose admirable tale Les Lauriers sont coupés was originally published in 1887 and re-issued thirty-seven years later and two years after the publication of Ulysses, with a preface by M. Valery Larbaud. In this preface the distinguished French critic and novelist has some interesting remarks lo make about the silent monologue as employed by Dujardin and Joyce.

"From March, 19I8, lo August, 1920, the Little Review New York), a pioneer literary periodical, published the greater part of Ulysses, the fifth work of the Irish writer James Joyce, and the influence of this work rapidly made itself felt among the younger authors writing in the English tongue. Even before James Joyce's work was complete and published in book form (by Shakespeare Co., Paris), they began to imitate or, rather, lo utilize certain of the technical devices of Ulysses. One of these especially attracted attention by its novelty and daring, and the scope it afforded for the rapid and vigorous presentation of the flow of those secret and antonymous thoughts which seem lo shape themselves


beyond the pale of consciousness and to precede in order of time coherent speech. This device carne to be known in France as the monologue intérieur. It is easy to see that this literary device, which enabled a writer to explore the secret places of the Ego and to capture thoughts at the very moment of their conception, was destined to fascinate those writers who held that the business of art is to follow nature; and such, in fact, was the effect produced by Ulysses on the younger generation of writers, whether English-speaking by birth or foreigners acquainted with the English tongue.
"In 1920 I read that portion of Ulysses which had appeared in the Little Review and soon after I had the privilege of several long conversations about Ulysses with James Joyce himself at the time when he was completing the last episodes. One day he mentioned to me that the monologue íntérieur had already been employed, as a continuous form of narration, in a tale by Edouard Dujardin, Les Lauriers sont coupés, published over thirty years before Ulysses, at the time when the symbolist movement was at its height. I knew only the title of the book and it was equally unknown to most literary men of my generation; another book of M. Dujardin, L'Initiation au Péché et à l'Amour, was more widely read, and esteemed his principal contribution to French imaginative literature. 'In Les Lauriers sont coupés,' Joyce told me, 'the reader finds himself, from the very first line, posted within the mind of the protagonist, and it is the continuous unfolding of his thoughts which, replacing normal objective narration, depicts to us his acts and experiences. I advise you to read Les Lauriers sont coupés '"

I, too, advise the readers of this commentary to follow the suggestion made by Mr Joyce to M. Larbaud, and this they can the more easily do since, as a result of that conversation, the publishers brought out the tale in an easily accessible form.(1) Meanwhile, by way of illustration, I append an extract

(1) Messein, Paris. An English rendering of this remarkable work has been published by New Directions.


from the silent monologue of Les Lauriers sont coupés. The hero is dining at a restaurant; his attention is divided between the menu and an attractive woman at another table who is with a man, her husband probably, an avoué or notaire. This passage may be compared with Mr Bloom's silent monologue in Davy Byrne's (the episode of the Lestrygonians) or at his musical lunch in the Ormond (the Sirens)
" Au poulet; c'est une aile; pas trop dure aujourd'hui; du pain; ce poulet est mangeable; on peut dîner ici; la prochaine fois qu'avec Léa je dînerai chez elle, je commanderai le dîner rue Favart; c'est moins cher que dans les bons restaurants, et c'est meilleur. Ici, seulement, le vin n'est pas remarquable; il faut aller dans les grands restaurants pour avoir du vin. Le vin, le jeu,-le vin, le jeu, les belles, - voilà, voilà...Quel rapport y a-t-il entre le viu et le jeu, entre et les beiles? je veux bien que des gens aient besoin
se monter por faire l'amonr; mais le jeu? Ce poulet est remarquable, le cresson adnurabke. Ah? la tranquillité du diner presque achevé. Mais le jeu . . . le vin, le jeu, - le vin, le jeu, les belles . . . Les belles chères à Scribe. Ce n'est pas du Châlet, mais de Robert-Ie-Diable. Allons, c'est Scribe encore. Et toujours la même triple passion Vive e vin, l'amour et le tabac . . . II y a encore le tabac; ça j'admets . . . Voilà, voilà le refrain du bivoacu ... Faut-il prononcer taba-c et bivoua-c ou taba et bivoua? Mendes, boulevard des Capucines, disait dom-p-ter; il faut e dom-ter. L'amour et le tabac . . . le refrain du bivoua-c . . . L'avoué et sa femme s'en vont. C'est insensé, ridicule, grotesque! les laisser partir! . . .-Garçon!"

Various criticisms have been directed against Mr Joyce's e of the silent monologue in Ulysses. It was, I think, Mr Wyndham Lewis who suggested that, as thoughts are not always verbal and we can think without words, the technique of the silent monologue is misleading. Against this, however, there is the equally tenable hypothesis that "without Language there can be no thought" (1) and the obvious fact

(1) Sayce, Introduction to the Science of Language. Many philosophers including Locke Hegel and Schopenhauer, endorse this view Cf the Platonic view (stated in the Sophist). 'Is not thought the same as speech with this exception: thought is the unuttered conversation of the soul with herself


that, even if we do not think, we certainly must write in words.
Again, there is Professor Curtius' objection (which, however, principally concerns the Sirens episode, q.v.) that the word-fragments of which the silent monologue is largely composed are in themselves meaningless and only become intelligible when related to their objective context. This point will be further discussed in a subsequent chapter (on Rhythm); meanwhile it may suffice to point out that all the disjecta membra are ultimately fitted together in the reader's mind and that it is exactly in this fragmentary manner that Nature herself reveals her secrets to the understanding eye of a Darwin or a Newton.
Finally, a distinguished French critic (M. Anguste Bailly, writing in the periodical Candide) observed:
"Joyce has perceived-a fact that is psychologically correct but no novelty-that our mental life is composed of a continuous monologue within, which, though it generally adjusts itself to the object of our activity or immediate pre occupation, is apt to desert this and wander far afield, to yield to other influences, to distractions, internal or external, and sometimes to be influenced by almost mechanical associations. In fact, we may listen to this inner voice yet be quite unable to control it. . It works by association in much the same way as the children's game of word-chains:
Mouche à miel; miel de Narbonne; bonne à tout faire; fer à cheval; valet de pique. . . . It follows that, if the writer wishes to give a complete and accurate study of the mind of one of his characters, he must no longer employ the classical method of analyzing and segregating thoughts, or seek to emphasize the nuances by deliberately ignoring the chaotic turmoil in which they are involved; his object is, rather, to give expression to this turmoil, its fermentation, its stormy nebula of gestation, with all its extensions, contractions and vortices, and even, so to say, its shortcomings.
But a form of art, if it is to be more than a mere technical


should be judged on its merits, its veracity. As to its merits let us waive discussion; de gustibus ...But is another matter, and my opinion is that, though the analytic method may give a partly false or artificial presentation of the stream of consciousness, the silent monologue is just as artificial and just as false. The necessity of recording the flow of consciousness by means of words and phrases compels the writer to depict it as a continuous horizontal line, like a line of melody. But even a casual examination of our inner consciousness shows us that this presentation essentially false. We do not think on one plane but on many planes at once. It is wrong to suppose that we follow one train of thought at a time, there are several trains of thought, one above another. We are generally more aware, more completely conscious, of thoughts which take
on the higher plane; but we are also aware, more or less obscurely, of a stream of thoughts on the lower levels. We attend or own to one series of reflex ions or images; but we care all the time aware of other series which are unrolling themselves on obscurer planes of consciousness. Sometimes are interferences, irruptions, unforeseen contacts between these series. A stream of thought from a lower level suddenly usurps the bed of the stream which flowed on the highest plane of consciousness. By an effort of will-power we may be able to divert it; it subsides but does not cease to exist. At every instant of conscious life we are aware of such simultaneity and multiplicity of thought-streams.
"The life of the mind is a symphony. It is a Mistake or, at best, an arbitrary method, to dissect the chords and set their components on a single line, on one plane only. Such a method gives an entirely false idea of the complexity of our mental make-up, for it is the way the light falls upon element, with a greater or a less clarity, that indicates relative importance for ourselves, our lives and acts, of each of the several thought-streams. But in the silent monologue transposed into words by Joyce, each element seems of equal importance, the subsidiary and the essential themes treated as equivalent and an equal illumination falls upon those parts which were, in reality, brightly lit up and


those which remained in the dark background of thought. I prefer the analytic method, which doubtless eliminates something of reality, but eliminates only the superfluous and neglects only the negligible."
Regarding this searching criticism of the Joycean method, two brief comments suggest themselves. First, that the silent monologues of Stephen and Mr Bloom, though they may seem to involve a confusion of values, are (as I hope to show in the course of this study) in fact laid out according to a logical plan; they are no more incoherent or ill-balanced than the fragments of a picture-puzzle which, fitted together, compose a life-like portrait, and no more irrelevant as to detail than the universe itself. Secondly, that, from the point of view of the author of Ulysses (ipse dixiti), it hardly matters whether the technique in question is "veracious" or not; it has served him as a bridge over which to march his eighteen episodes, and, once he has got his troops across, the opposing forces can, for all he cares, blow the bridge sky-high.
All the action of Ulysses takes place in or about the city of Dublin-the unity of place is as thoroughgoing as that of time-and there are many topical allusions to characteristic sights of Dublin streets, to facts and personalities of the Dublin milieu of nearly half a century ago, that are incomprehensible for most English and American readers and may become so, in course of time, even to Dubliners. But without such personal touches, these nuances of evanescent local colour, (1) the realism of the silent monologues would have been impaired; their presence in Ulysses was indispensable. It was, rather, a happy accident-if such concatenations can be called "accidents"-that the creator of Ulysses passed his youth in such a town as Dublin, a modem city-state, of almost the Hellenic pattern,(2) neither so small as to be merely parochial


in outlook, nor so large as to lack coherency and foster that feeling of human isolation which cools the zeal of Londoner or New Yorker. The only resource of metropolitans is the making of coteries, wherein birds feather are warmly cooped, and thus to create a number of little states within the state. This is consoling for the individual, rotary within his narrow orbit, but he loses something by not being obliged to rub shoulders with all sorts of citizens. Unless he make a hobby of politics he may y neglect the civic life of his polity and, like a many Londoners, ignore even the name of his Lord Mayor In the Dublin of 1904 such ignorance was virtually impossible (*) Man is naturally a political animal (the fact cannot be blinked however much one may sympathize with Mrs. Bloom, cri de coeur, "I hate the mention of politics!") and thus the Dubliner had a better right to the device Homo sum . . . than the apolitical Londoner. Civic and national politics played a prominent part in Dublin life and hovered in the background of nearly every conversation. Thus, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen's first Christmas dinner ends in disaster between the clashing rocks of politics and religion. His mother appeals: "For sake let us have no political discussion on this day of all days of the year." But, after a mention of Parnell and of the priests, there is no holding the excited Dubliners. The hostess's appeals are unheeded.

"Uncle Charles and Mr Dedalus pulled Mr Casey back into his chair again, talking to him from both sides reasonably. He stared before him out of his dark flaming eyes, repeating:

(*)"Dublin is such a small city, everyone knows everyone else's business' (Dubliners, The Boarding House)

(1)Such as the allusions to "Elvery's elephant house," the "waxies' Dargle" the "OId Woman of Prince's Street" and, generally, to the "Dublin Castle" régime.

(2)The key to Joyce's work, as Mr Cyril Connolly observed in an interesting essay (Life and Letters, April, 1929), "is in the author's pietas for his native city… His life resembles that of the old Greek poets, the youth spent in city politics and local revels, then banishment to foreign places, the publication of a masterpiece after ten years, as Dedalus promised, with his weapons 'silence, exile and cunning.' Now his whole art is applied to celebrating his native town, though his feeling for Dublin, its squares and stews and beery streets, is as different from the provincial quality of Irish patriotism as it is like to the pagan sentiment of birthplace, to the tag 'dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos,' of Virgil and Theocritus, the feelings of Sophocles for Colonus and Odysseus for Ithaca".


"'Away with God, I say!'
"Dante shoved her chain violently aside and Ieft the table, upsetting her napkin ring which rolled slowly along the carpet and came to rest against the foot of an easychair. Mr Dedalus rose quickly and followed her towards the door. At the door Dante turned round violently and shouted down the room, her cheeks flushed and quivering with rage:
"Devil out of hell! We won! We crushed him to death Fiend!'
"The door stammered behind her.
"Mr Casey, freeing his arms from his holders, suddenly bowed his head on his hand with a sob of pain.
"Poor Parnell' he cried Ioudly. 'My dead king!'
"He sobbed loudly and bitterly.
"Stephen, raising his terrorstricken face, saw that his father's eyes were full of tears."

There is, in Ulysses, a background of political preoccupations, which is frequently visible behind the texture of the narrative or soliloquies. The betrayal of Parnell is in fact, one of the themes of the work and there are many allusions to such national leaders as O'Connell, Emmet, Wolfe Tone. But the author of Ulysses, in this as in other matters, shows no bias; he introduces political themes because they are inherent in the Dublin scene, and also because they illustrate one of the motifs of Ulysses, the betrayal or defeat of the man of mettle by the treachery of the hydra-headed rabble. As far as his own outlook on these matters can be appraised, it is that of weariness and disgust. "Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow."No honorable and sincere man has given up to you his life and his youth and his affections from the days of Tone to those of Parnell but you sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled him and left him for another."
It would, however, be unsafe to draw from the embittered aphorisms of young Stephen Dedalus any absolute inference regarding his creator's subsequent attitude to politics. The title of the work whence these quotations are made is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in Ulysses young


Dedalus is but a year older and has not yet outgrown his rancour and disillusionment. In I904 he is only twenty-two years of age; Ulysses was written in Trieste-Zurich-Paris been the years 1914 and 1921, when its author was remote both in time and place from the experiences of his adolescence and could exercise the detachment which remoteness gives. This ironical indifference is well illustrated by the Cyclops episode (q.v.) where, by a technique of exaggeration, chauvinism of all kinds is distended to bursting-point and beyond, till, exploding, it betrays the void within. Moreover, by way of counterpoise to the fanaticism of most of the Dubliners and the bitterness or young Stephen, who cannot forgive his church or country for his loss of faith in
them, we have the placid commentary of sensible Mr Bloom, whose considered opinion seems to be that one government is, in general, as good or bad as another.
So much has been written and said about the "obscenity" d Ulysses since the far-off day when a favorite racing journal made England blush with its denunciatory placard (1)


that it is, perhaps, desirable briefly to comment on the author's attitude to such matters, in which the Anglo-American public, both readers and critics, seem often to take an interest disproportionate, as it appears to me, to their real importance. This obsession has, in the case of Ulysses, led to singularly unfortunate results for the significance of the work as an exact portrayal of life, realistic in form but with the facts situated and disposed according to a subtle rhythm which gives them an esoteric and symbolic universality, has been obscured for many readers by the occasional passages 'where narrative or language is conventionally ineffable.
Ulysses is the story of a day in the life of a Dubliner undistinguished by any particular virtue or vice, a kind-hearted,.

(1)This fact has been curiously enshrined in a sentence of Finnegan's Wake. "Let manner and matter of this for these our sporting times be cloaked up in the language of blushfed pospurates that an Anglican ordinal, not reading his own dunsky tunga, may ever behold the brand of scarlet on the brow of her of Babylon and feel not the pink one in his own dammed cheek."


moderately educated, mildly sensual, not even really vulgar, small-business man, who in the course of this day comes across a certain number of foul-mouthed persons, whose tongues have been loosened by drink, generally in public houses whither his business or a need for refreshment has taken him. Towards midnight he finds himself in a brothel, where he has gone to protect the young man for whom he feels a paternal solicitude. There both he and Stephen, the former rendered suggestible by fatigue, the latter by intoxication, yield themselves to the ambiance and, like the Homeric wanderers, temporarily partake of the bestial atmosphere of Circe's den. In this episode there are passages, appropriate to the cadre and to the partial collapse of inhibitions, in which the animal nature of man is laid bare in a manner never before attempted in literature. Still there is nothing "indecent" in it, if the framers of the Irish Censorship Bill correctly construed indecency as "anything calculated to excite sexual passion". These passages are, in fact, cathartic and calculated to allay rather than to excite the sexual instincts. In the last episode of all we hear, trough the month of Mrs Bloom, the voice of Gaea-Tellus, the Great Mother, speaking-the goddess whom the Romans invoked by sinking their arms downward to the Earth. Her function is what Hermes Trismegistus styled "the duty of procreation, which the God of Universal Nature has imposed for ever on all beings, and to which He has attributed the supremest charity, joy, delight, longing and divinest love",(1) and to her nothing is common or unclean. As for Hamlet "there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so", so Mrs Bloom makes short work of such cerebral distinctions. She is a creator of life, not of codes; she fashions the players of the game but does not impose on them the rules of their evolution, nor respect categorical imperatives, aetioIogical speculations. "I fear those bigs words," Stephen says, "which make us so unhappy." Mrs Bloom, too, loathes such
(1)Cf. Ulysses, page 3I4. ". . that evangel simultaneously command and promise which on all mortals with prophecy of abundance or with diminution's menace that exalted of reiteratedly procreating function ever irrevocably enjoined."


Big words, "jawbreakers"; she prefers monosyllables, curt, de, obscene. It is, of course, no defence of obscenity to say that nature is obscene. The life according to nature would be as intolerable to civilized man as the perpetual parade of nudity must be nauseating in continental "schools of nature". However, obscenity has its niche in the scheme of things and a picture of life in which this element was ignored or suppressed would be incomplete, like the home ,without Plumtree's Potted Meat.(1)

What is home without
Plumtree's Potted Meat?

In practice we find that nearly all great works, from the Bible onwards, which treat of the universe as a whole and discover a coherence in all God's works, have to include some obscenity in their presentation of the phenomena of life.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the object of the author of Ulysses was to present an aesthetic image of the world, a sublimation of that cri de Coeur in which the art of creation begins.

"The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluent and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalizes itself so to speak. . . . The mystery of the aesthetic like that of material creation is accomplished. The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."(2)
Aesthetic emotion is static. "The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing.""The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire and loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon to go from something. The arts which excite them, pornographicall or didactic, are therefore improper arts."
(1)Ulysses, page 61
(2)A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man page 252.


Such a conception of the function of the artist presided over the creation of Ulysses. The instant when the supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the aesthetic image,
"is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of aesthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley's, called the enchantment of the heart."
The artist's aim, then, is to ban kinetic feelings from his readers' minds, and in, Ulysses we find the ideal silent stasis of the artist nearly realized, his personality almost impersonalized. Nearly-but not entirely. The feeling of desire, which urges us to possess, is absent; there is not the least pornographical appeal; but the loathing, which urges us to abandon-that aversion from the sordid which made of Stephen Dedalus an exile in his own country-is, one can but feel, active in certain passages. One of the influences which may be discerned in Ulysses is that of Swift, "the great hater of his kind", to whom there are many allusions. In those passages where certain physical processes or sensual appetites are Minutely described a rapprochement with the Swiftian attitude may probably be made, that point of disgust which has been admirably depicted by a French biographer of the Dean of St Patrick's.
"The sensualist's leer is foreign to his work save as an object of sarcasm when he sees it on another's face. 'Erotic' subjects take on a purely coprologic form and he purposely presents them in a disgusting light, devoid of any sensual appeal, like a rich essential manure. This can be seen most clearly in the Iast page of his Discourse concerning the Mechanical Operation, where a lover's affections and emotions are described with a realism and a serene indecency that only utter contempt could inspire. Thus, too, the licentious passages of the Digression are simply studies in exact realism and admirably subserve the satirical effectiveness of the work


as a whole, for they add the nausea of disgust to the force of its invective." (1)

The conflict of deliberate indifference (stasis) with the loathing of disgust (kinesis) is apparent throughout Ulysses.
0f this conflict in the mind of Stephen Dedalus the author of Ulysses is fully aware, and though, as has already been pointed out, the assimilation of their personalities must not be pressed too far, it is noteworthy that Stephen is referred to as a "morbid-minded esthete and embryo philosopher and, after a characteristic homily by Stephen (at the Lying-in Hospital; the style here is in the manner of Walter Pater) on the unseemly ways of Divine Providence, Mr Bloom "regarded on the face before him a slow recession of false calm there, imposed, as it seemed, by habit or some studied trick, upon words so embittered as to accuse in their speaker an unhealthiness, a flair for the cruder things of life." Here doubtless the mind of Stephen Dedalus is being viewed from the outside, a Bloomish view, and the passages, being parodic, are not to be taken too seriously, but a study of Stephen's character as depicted both in the Portrait and Ulysses makes it clear that, though his ambition was to regard the world with the detachment of the artist M.Benda's clerc, the shock of religions and material disillusion had somewhat impaired the wholeness, harmony and radiance of his vision. Despite the ubiquity of humour "wet and dry", despite the perpetual deflation of sentiment and the negation of values which we find in Ulysses, there an undertone of despair, the failure of an Icarus soaring to hold his flight. And, perhaps, the author of Ulysses had not yet quite outgrown the rancours of the protagonist of the Portrait and the still immaturer hero of his "schoolboy's production", Stephen Hero. Yet it may be that to this very disharmony is due the seething vitality of the Dublin epic; the stream of its life is fed by the waters of bitterness.

(1)Emile Pons. Swift, Les Années de Jeunesse.