Calypso 0050

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Bloom continues his perusal of “Matcham’s Masterstroke”; the sentence he reads from the story is Joyce’s quotation from his own real-life submission for Tit-Bits (according to Gifford; if you want to read a dirty joke into the title of the sketch, be my guest).  Does the “Just right,” the “Neat certainly” refer to the story, or to what’s just fallen down the hole in the cuckstool?  Notice how Bloom uses this opportunity to perform a little amateur literary criticism, assessing the story the same way he assesses his bowel movement:  “Print anything now,” “Begins and ends morally,” “Smart.”

Suddenly writing for Tit-Bits doesn’t seem so hard, and Bloom begins thinking that he and Molly might collaborate on a sketch of their married life–perhaps a smaller, more manageable, “neater” version of Ulysses (without all the foreign languages, obscure references, and adultery).  Note he thinks of the two of them as Mr. and Mrs. L. Bloom, asserting their married state, in contrast to Boylan’s letter addressed to “Mrs. Marion Bloom.”  As he starts to tell a version of their story, he envisions Molly talking and dressing, the image and its thought bubbles taking on the yellow of the narrator’s text boxes as Bloom narrates his own life.  This page is a collage of storymaking:  the narrative of Bloom’s bowel movement, Bloom’s reading of the story in Tit-Bits, Bloom’s own stream of consciousness, and then Bloom’s composing his own sketch of his marriage in his head.

 

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Reader’s Guide to IV: Calypso

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