Monthly Archives: September 2012

Episode 6, Hades – In which Bloom attends the funeral of Paddy Dignam and encounters Death, wearing a raincoat..

Bloom cements his role as “outsider” in this section, but also as a thinker of cool new ideas (inserting telephones in a coffin, just on the off chance one is buried alive, similar to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill?  Sheer genius!)

As he is on his way to the funeral of his suddenly departed friend Dignam, he shares a carriage ride to the services with a number of acquaintances. It is pointed out that he is the last to get in to the carriage and then frequently ignored or slighted by his companions.  We’ve all been in this situation: on a long car ride with a group, or in some sort of carpool situation with people you don’t know that well.  I myself spent half a day touring the island of Oahu with a mini-van full of relatives, sitting one butt cheek on, one off, balancing against the door at every curve in the road.  Other times I’ve pretended to be incredibly interested in the scenery due to the distinct feeling that I wasn’t really part of a conversation taking place among a group in a car and that no one was really interested in what I was saying and in fact were more interested in the lyrics to a Lady Gaga song playing just then on the radio.  For these reasons I had no problems relating to our hero/anti-hero Bloom.

One thing I was not expecting was that I would become so intimately acquainted with Stephen’s father, Simon, who turns up in the carriage.  It is a bit fun having this alternate perspective of Stephen’s take on the events of his life, as his father seems like not such a bad fellow, especially as he visits the grave of his recently departed wife later on in the section.

The chapter is overall a memorable one not just for the Occasion that the chapter centers around, but for the real go at traditional story-telling being made by Joyce.  Dialogue, conflict, time progressing at a understandable rate — I can barely believe it!

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Joyce death mask?

Joyce had a death mask?  This seemed very unlike him, but then again maybe he had no say in the matter.

Perhaps more importantly, who is this oddball peering at him so lovingly?

Some reporter.

Turns out one of the Martello towers discussed in Ulysses, home to Stephen, Buck, and detested house guest Haines, has recently re-opened to the public, despite the financial woes of Ireland.  The dreamy-eyed reporter was “horrified” by the closing of the tower for the spring and summer months, so has overcome her aversion to public service and volunteered a few shifts along with others, as part of the Friends of the Joyce Tower Society.  Worth a visit for any Joyce enthusiast I suppose.

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