Calypso 0021

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The “sting of disregard”/”weak pleasure” shows how Bloom gives women power, sexual and otherwise.  Is this suggesting he finds being ignored kind of a turn-on?  Bloom wants, and then not being wanted back makes him want more.

While Dlugacz patiently waits for his threepence, Bloom indulges in a bit of soft-soft-core fantasizing.  I like the way Rob conceptualizes this moment as theatrical:  he is actually representing the stage of Bloom’s mind, and playing off the ways fantasizing is about watching, a little bit about voyeurism turned inward.  It’s also an interesting comment on how people we turn into objects of desire could be thought of as performing for our benefit.  And yes, of course, there’s a dirty joke about sizable sausages here.

We’ve already seen how Joyce uses the theatre, so the image is definitely fitting; and here, as elsewhere, we have an allusion to a song:  “O Please Mr. Policeman, I’m Lost in the Woods.”  It’s not mentioned on Music in the Works of James Joyce, but it is part of the James Joyce Sheet Music Collection at the University of Miami.


Read the comic

Reader’s Guide for IV: Calypso


One thought on “Calypso 0021

  1. When I first read the novel I had an objective; I was wondering what it might be like to present it as a movie using only the spoken dialogue and the actions displayed rather than diving into interior monologue and memory; would the sparkling language and human drama still show through?

    Not where I wound up going eventually. I think I’m more concerned with the “inner movements” of the novel now than I am with external depiction. But Bloom’s mind is the reason for that fascination.

    I grew up with a TV in my head. For children of the ’60’s and ’70’s that means seeing your whole life like it’s on camera sometimes. Bloom, as the new modern man, thinks that way well in advance of television. He sees the world around him dissolve into tableau. And he’s fine with that. Living a modern and humble life might actually mean being comfortable with allowing one’s mind to wander. Would that Stephen could find the same comfort.

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