Saturday, July 13, 2013

An Update from Bill

Bill G., one of our group's veteran Irish scholars, offers this report from his reading of Ulysses:

I've picked up on the Ulysses reading the last few days.  I just read Lotus Eaters, one of my favorite chapters. Bloom is so distraught by his own impotence in his wanderings he cannot go five minutes without hearing or thinking about the diffculty of getting it up and keeping it up. In Calypso, though his Odyssean namesake is one whom Calypso desires, who desires him?, in Dublin he can only speculate about that letter that Molly is hiding not that well beneath her pillow and wonder about Milly's blooming about which he can do nothing but hope for the best.  His own attempts at blooming as Henry Flower, while it keeps his sexual life alive, is so less real, fleshy and satisfying. To Martha, he is a mere "boy."  His sexual life has been reduced to masturbatory fantasies in the bathhouse.  Why is this interesting, sensual man so reduced to voyeurism and epistulatory seduction that is hardly heroic? Is it merely that Molly prefers Blazes Boylan? Is it because that at 41 Bloom is physically declining? The Hades chapter will provide more answers to this quesiton. I can't wait to read it today.

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