Calypso 0018

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The carnivorousness we saw in Bloom early in this episode here turns into what looks kind of like ogling. Eyeing the haunches of the nextdoor girl, her “vigorous hips,” gets Bloom thinking about her whacking carpets outside, and in fact he lingers on the image. This is not the last time we will see our hero indulging in a kind of S and M-esque fantasizing, nor is it the only instance of a propensity towards voyeurism. Molly may be Bloom’s primary object of desire, but that definitely does not keep him from looking elsewhere.

But the fantasy girl next door with the meaty behind takes on other casts as well; she reminds Bloom of cattle, which combined with picking up a paper and reading about Zionist land development in Palestine (the building of a settlement at the Sea of Galilee by Moses Montefiore, a Victorian Anglo-Jewish philanthropist), leads Bloom to begin pondering the land of his origin. Over the next ten pages as Bloom turns back to home and Molly, feminine imagery will combine with another series of imaginings of the east, this time the Holy Land, and this time rather bleak.

 

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Reader’s Guide for IV: Calypso