Calypso 0006

 

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Calypso 0006

This is the first page in Calypso where we see multiple voices and perspectives interacting quite vigorously, I think: I like the back and forth between Bloom’s internal voice (thought balloons), Bloom’s external voice (speech balloons), combined with the comments of the omniscient narrator (text box). Rob tells me that contemporary comics artists have moved away from balloons, so the choice to use them throughout Ulysses “Seen” seems worth talking about.  We get a lot of registers on this page, from Bloom’s babytalk directed at the cat, to his musings on what must be her inner life, to the poetic imagery of the narrator.

Watch out for shifts in tone and word choice that indicate differences between the all-seeing and all-knowing narrator who likes to turn a phrase and Bloom’s own voice (voices?)–maybe check out Mike Barsanti talking about Hugh Kenner’s take on Joyce’s voices here. Over the course of the novel, Bloom and the narrator start to push against each other in complicated ways.

Bloom serves the cat milk (and I love the little, insistent “Mrkgnao!” in the corner of the milk bottle: I think the halo surrounding it must be coming from the cat’s POV. Or maybe I’m just a crazy cat lady).  This echoes his serving of Molly/Calypso, and also reminds us of the milkwoman in Telemachus, another evocative “she.”

Reader’s Guide for IV: Calypso