7. Circe

Circe (4–7 pm)

“ … for the theatre as we understand it today three things are necessary1: actors2 … an element of conflict conveyed in dialogue3 and an audience emotionally involved in the action but not taking part in it.”4

– Phyllis Hartnoll

[INSERT PROLOGUE5 Blind Basil Kiernan slumped in a vinyl armchair by the gaming machines in his smutty white suit rolling a Craven “A” between freckled fingers until the last tendons of tobacco had been worked inside the semi-transparent lingerie of a damp Tally-Ho. He spat a lank ginger tassel out of a sunk eye-socket. A distracted smile played upon his face. He pursed thin pink lips as he recalled some slight sycophancy towards a giant of a man (AKA a very large dramatist), causing his imagination to spool down Darling Street spankingly in a fresh Carmen Ghia back in the Nineteen-Seventies when all the bright-cheeked Turks in new cowboy boots brandished contracts from Wilde & Woolley and ate cold pork pies with Hot English Mustard and soothed their throats with schooners of Flag Ale from the sunny front deck of the London Hotel. A smoker’s yellow smile fissured through. He drew back, sucktinna and exhaled indeterminately. His grey eyelids batted. He surveyed the assembled dignitaries.6 Tenured fags flustered in orbit.7 He allowed exaggerated white lashes to touch. Shift to present tense. A barmaid is wiping down the service area with quicksilver slashes. Grey-gazing Able Goldstein’s green moccasins bustle over the carmine carpet of the banquet hall bearing an aluminium tray with four inverted and stacked middy glasses, one jug of Resch’s draught beer, a large bag of salted crisps (unopened), a quiver, one carafe of house red and two wine glasses.8 A gold molar twinkles amongst his false teeth. Medical Dick + Medical Davy are ploughing through sacramental hand-steadiers prior to nightshift.9 A television projector reels black and white documentary film footage.]


On the nineteenth of February 1942, war came to the Australian mainland with the first devastating surprise attack on Darwin.10 [FX: Droning airplanes. Bombs falling]
A formation of two hundred Japanese bombers made their dreadful approach across clear skies. And, as the bombs were falling, the town sirens finally sounded. [FX: Belated sirens. Portentous tone] Much too late for many.11


Joyce uses personification and anthropomorphism throughout this episode.


[Speaking in discrete linguistic units. In tongues] He produced Circe in the spirit of the Georgian playhouse. It was his decisive struggle with Shakespeare. Joyce was a Regency dramatist at heart. Bloom’s dream/trial represents Joyce’s resolution of Lear’s madness in pathos, not death. His reconciliation with Molly at closure is a clinamen of the death of Hamlet Senior. Shakespeare operated in the magic hiatus of dynamic and ferocious Elizabethan crowds.

[A bartender in tight leather trousers and a fishnet singlet rises onto a high stool to manually change channels on the television by clicking a large silver dial. West Indians pace bowlers hammer their own batsmen in the training nets]


[Animated] First Test is always played in Brisbane. Been played there since 1928. Bradman’s debut, for fucks sake!12 But not this time. Oh no! Our boys are going to get sent
into bat tomorrow on the fastest pitch in world cricket13 against the greatest pace bowling attack in history14 on Day One of a new test series.15 It’s nuts!


Fromelles Part Two, mate.16


Most lopsided match-up since 1975.17


When Chang shot his fit in the roll.18


A modern arena tragedy. See Patroclus and Hector. See Achilles hobbling from the battlefield. See coma. See death.


Mocking gulls assailed him.


But they would not touch the solitary drunk lying washed up on the beach.


I met Richie on holidays at Bantayan Island. [Romantically]19 I was feeding the carp when the weeds parted for a moment and her squat form came into view. 20


[Kicking her prostrate husband] Take up your crutch and walk.


Blot raises himself from the canvas groggily as the referee’s counts SIX.


[Slumping] I can’t. Me tendons’ bung. I think they cuttem.


[In unison. Banging empty vessels on the bench.] Change the blooming channel!

[The barman obliges. Footage of Graham Langlands hobbling in back play. The camera zooms onto his footwear]21


[In unison] Don’t blame us! It was still only five-nil at half time!


They’ll roll us for a hundred tomorrow.


Correct. [Exclamatory] Beecawsehgotnorunsinem!23 [He drains dregs of ale from his tankard] I mean Henry Lawson’s batting eight. Ahead of Neilson, O’Dowd and Praed. He’s a glorified number nine at best.24


We only had a few ack-acks and some Hudson bombers that got strafed on the runway.26


He said gesturing at the screen.


[Entering the pub. Sagely. In error] Like Sergei Lermontov with a duelling pistol.


Shot in the dark.


I gave one to your plump white ewe out in the black paddock.


Outside the perimeter wire.


Ful fetisly ydight with herbes swoote.27


They burrowed up to our positions through the jungle and threw themselves in human waves onto the wire.


We turned our faces.


Hoping Penny wouldn’t appear at the flyscreen door.28


Hoping she would.


[Urgently] Because it made me harder.


It made him hotter.29


I heard her call my name.30


[Heavily pregnant] Are you out there, Donny?

[A kettle whistles]31


[Ejaculating] I’m done!


“A mighty fountain momentarily forced.”32


Ad deam qui laetificat juventutem meam.33


“A scream in Lilith’s church.”34

[Penny turns to the dim interior of the palace. The doorway is vacant. A drape twists at the threshold. A tin whistle expires]


I thought I pulled out in time.


[Heavily pregnant] NO YOU DIDN’T.


Drip-drip-drip like Uranus’ ballsack.


Or Mussolini’s head.


Zeus leaking Athena.


A miraculous escape for a construction worker in America today. He was impaled in an industrial accident by a steel rebar, which shot through his body and exited through his open mouth. He was rushed to hospital where doctors performed a ten-hour operation to save him.


[Speaking at a press conference] The angle of entry and exit is what saved him. [Cut to x-ray] The spina bifida missed his heart and other vital organs then proceeded up his throat and out his maw like Botticelli’s Chloris. It’s incredible he’s alive, let alone upright.


[Over heroic music from 1940s newsreel] Doctors are amazed that, despite the severity of his injuries, young Master Chaim is already up-and-about on his new set of stainless steel crutches.


[Riding a motorised wheelchair onstage] Here! A gift for you, son. One fit for Lord Byron.35


[With clipboard. Pen poised] Kill Ratio?


One dead son. Two living.36


Unholy Trinities.37


Elizabeth, Chaim and HIV.


Three stumps with the bails off like Peter Abelard.


Father, me and Tom.


Earwicker, Shem and Shaun.


Les, me and my real father.


Me, Les and Dick of Dick Stone meats.


Bloom, Stephen and Simon Dedalus.


John Joyce, James Joyce and any one of your choice out of Stanislaus, George, Nora, Lucia or William Shakespeare.


Molly, Bloom and Blazes Boylan.


Professor Krafter and her twin Alex’s.


[Wistfully. Folding washing] A Pope and a hope.38


Poor dead Jimmy.39




You lived a day and a night then died, Chaim.41


Once only, with one hand, your mother, in farewell, touched you.


Nobody’s fault but mine … and General Westmoreland and Robert McNamara, Harold Holt and good ole L-B-J.


Nape, Purple Grape and sweet hot Orange Crush.42


Elizabeth, Leon and I.


Gertrude, Claudius and young Hamlet.


Hamlet’s status is uncertain. The death of his father has reduced him to the level of a blood supplicant. He lacks legitimacy.


The character of Hamlet is Shakespeare recalling his youth with Anne Hathaway.


Joyce made Stephen obsessed with Hamlet. It was the cold case which could make him famous if he could only crack it. It had never been solved.


Unlike Ibsen.

[Don starts the car radio]


[Singing] Hiding in shadows … where we don’t belong …43


“Circe” is the most musical episode in Ulysses. It is full of lyrics from popular tunes and operas – often ironically employed – to indicate that Joyce wanted music to work like a film soundtrack for his novel.

[FX: David McComb in the role of Tom Hallem sits at a table in London and writes ‘Consider the Lilies of the Fields’ on the spine of a piece of paper which he folds and places inside a cassette case]44


London’s Burning – Follow me up to Carlow – Shule Aroon – Un Poco Il Cuore (I am Don Giovanni, Manny Others as Zerlina) – Love’s Old Sweet Song – Garryowen – Jim Bludso hold her nozzle – La Cigale – Dignam’s Dead and Gone Below. [In a fine tenor voice] “… He knocked the old woman who stole from his Punch.”


All art aspires to the condition of music.45


Joyce called his technique in Circe “hallucination.”46


It is a moot point with critics whether he was alluding to George Berkeley.


In the Odyssey, Circe casts a spell over Odysseus’ crew turning them into pigs. He is protected by chewing on Moly.


This episode is inundated with porcine references. Joyce is clearly playing with the capacity of symbols to withstand over-utilisation. He gorges on them.47


If you want to dispose of a human body, the best way is to feed it to pigs.


The connection with the Circe episode is that unleashed sexuality turns human beings into swine.

[Billy Capri enters the Shakespeare Hotel. He circumnavigates the bar. Professor Milkmaid is sunk in a deep lounge picking at wounds on his paperback hand. He reaches out to his younger self-image.]


William, sit down with me a while.


[He sits] You’re alone, Professor.


“Adrian is buying a round of drinks,” Milkmaid said pointing at the congested bar.


This device inserts NOW into the chronology of events set down in the opening stage directions.


He’ll be a while yet.


[Amused] Yes. Big crowd here tonight to celebrate your success.49 I enjoyed your paper. It wilfully eschewed … [long pause] compliance.50


Like your lectures.


They’re just greasepaint etudes, Billy.51


You were a leading critic once.


That was 20 years ago.


What happened, asked Billy Capri mildly.


I was sidelined by The Leavisites. I had a family to support like Shanghai Dog. I barely hung onto my job.


Anderson’s elves. Occam’s razor gang. Knife fights with Matthew Arnold down The Push.


Why did you stop writing?


[Holding Capri’s face with gaze] I’ve never stopped writing, son.52


The text pivots at this moment from a forlorn silence (two seconds in real time) to a sudden eructation.53

[A man in a tweed jacket climbs onto the bar. Insert internal monologue: “poetry once possessed a communal, frequently oral and performative dimension in Australia that has now largely disappeared.” A chestnut strand wipes the piece of paper he is reviewing. He blows it away and clears his throat. Scattered applause.]54


Some say that I’m a great big fucking ’furter

I prefer Antipodean Goethe

I’m six foot eight so I’m no runt

Just a cliché-addled, sanctimonious cunt

With symbols as big as my big flat feet

Bestriding the macrobiotic shops on Darling Street

In a giant kaftan like the Dalai Lama

Making pencil notes for a topical new drama.

I take the bogus ideology of hippie-flips in Balmain

And grind them through my lobotomised left-wing brain

Then I intellectually wank while holding forth

That gob I call The Club; this one Travelling North.

Nothing against Malouf and his libretto

But he should set it in an urban, koori ghetto

With sensitive young social workers

And wise elders seeing truth despite trachoma’s

Tugging on the Meth to stop the pain

Of bruvvas selling smack down Redfern lanes.

But poor Dave’s obsessed with Greek homo-aesthetics

I tell him, “mayte, write about diabetics.

No one’s ever taken up their plight.

It’s a sure-fire hit, all you got to do is write.”

As for me, well, I’ll just go on working.

After all, to me, it’s just like … jerking.

[Cheers. Calls for encore. Capri and Milkmaid shift attention to the Bloomsbury Set]


Everybody’s in good cheer.


[Bitterly] The Australia Council grants were announced today. They’re all celebrating.


Who got one?


Adam Aitken for poetry. Jennifer Maiden. All the tyros over there. The senior fellowships went to the usual suspects: Drewe, Foster, Hall, Hospital, Koch, Tranter.


[Loudly] My new book will be called Life is Such-a.55 The hero is a guy called Nosey Tom. He walked into an Evinrude outboard motor when he was a kid. Left a gaping hole in his face. This enables him to snort massive quantities of speed. Calls it his “blowhole.” He goes blind fixing smack behind his eyeball.


Oedipus with a stick injury.


[Disdainfully] More slapstick splatter.


I’m writing an erotic diary called Peeps.


My work-in-progress is provisionally titled, Twin Tailles of Eurydice La Change, Seventeenth-Century Hermaphrodite.


My last novel was praised as a powerful indictment of the capitalist system by Socialist Worker. My new work takes on the CIA coup against the Whitlam Government … head-on.


[Internal monologue] Unpublished works. Rejected essays. My opus. Prometheus Rebound. A trope of disillusionment. To be published privately by my executor after my death. After spending some time on earth amongst the human race, the Titan implores Jupiter to chain him back up on the rock.

[Jabber rises from his stool. Shanghai Dog and Xiao Fang enter Time Passage Bar on Caojiayan Lu. Two expatriates are watching a business show on a small TV perched upon the spirits shelf. A waitress in a white plastic boob tube, white plastic mini-skirt and white plastic

thigh-high boots leans against the filthy bar. She is wearing a green sash advertising HEINEKEN. A heater presses warm air at her feet. She is playing on a smartphone.]


In Washington DC, the IMF has forecast a sustained global recession. This announcement comes on the back of today’s dramatic cuts in interest rates in all OECD economies.56


Another pint of Paulaner, Elvis. Same for Uncle Roy.


The Chinese barman collects two tankards and begins to tap loose draft.


[Gesturing at screen] Looks bad, fellas.


I just got told to pack up the family and head home to the States.

[He forces dregs down his throat and slams down the glass. An email notification purrs. SD takes a Blackberry handset from a black pouch on his belt. He scrolls the wheel and clicks]


Merrill’s gone. NAB wobbly. Shinhan still OK. But won’t lead. Need co-investors. Need new cornerstones. Chinese options?


Carnage at Bourses all over the world today, Mishal.

[Shanghai Dog commences typing.]


[Typing] I’ll try Ping An. Also, China Life. BTW BOC A/C under 300. Please t/fer Q3 funds.

[Xiao Fang touches his arm]


What’s wrong?


[Shrugging] Just work stuff.

[Three sonar blips announce the arrival of a new email. Shanghai Dog reads the screen]


No more funds until we raise fresh capital.

[Tom Hallem enters the bar from King Street. A man rushes towards him.]57


Tommy! Come over here, lad. Give me a cuddle. Let me buy you a drink. Grandpater! Off yer arse, you old goose. Get the yung fella a beer. Here. Take my mug.




[Leaning through beer slops. Dropping twenty-dollar note on table. Loudly] Go get yun TOBBY ERA scuba Reschs!58


Keatzes charr-med cup.

[Coins taplap the laminated table. A dog reaches towards a discarded take-away wrapper in the trough. Leer lifts his bar stool emphatically]


Empty!! Owta that, you grub!

[He slaps dog]


James Joyce had two phobias – dogs … and thunder.59


[Contentedly] Corpse of a bloated dog.60 [Smiling] Splendid!

[He pushes his walking stick at the Citizen’s red setter]61



[The dog grabs the tip of Joyce’s cane. It turns into a stick of dynamite]62


Watch out, he’s making for the fire!

[The group of prospectors abandon the campsite]


He’s chasing us!


Thinks it’s a bluddy game!

[Jim dives down an abandoned shaft. Andy jumps behind a log. The dog rushes past them. Empty chases it hard and grabs the other end of the stick of dynamite. The dogs wrestle. It explodes]


[Gleefully] Like Tchaikovsky!

[Odysseus enters disguised as a beggar. Argos sniffs his foot and dies. The corpses of Argos, Empty and Garryowen are dragged from the stage by a retinue of INSERT.63 Canned laughter]

[Satisfied] It’s equal to the climax of King Lear.

[He raises a glass of white wine and toasts his father’s portrait]


[Seated at a desk. A vial of monkshood beside the ink well.] Son, please care of dear Athos.64


In New York, the Dow Jones plummeted 4.6 percent, nearly matching Wednesday’s 480-point slide.65

[Shanghai Dog continues typing]


Will try Clearwater. Also, CKI + Nanfung in HK. What about SING? Not GIC or Temasek. Any family offices? [Hits ‘Send’]


Toyota has slashed its annual profit forecast, Mishal.


Shares were down another 10 per cent today ahead of an earnings announcement.


The market is now expecting job cuts in the tens of thousands right across the car sector.


This is a real shock, Mishal. I don’t think anyone expected such a large correction.


I’ve been reworking the same text for twenty years.


I could have written … twenty plays in that time.


Four novels.


Finnegans Wake.


Have you got a mental condition?

[O rises onto the bar. She leans back to read from a scrap of foolscap paper]


Tom Keneally, you’ve got no rivals

But I can’t understand your titles.

Why can’t you be more like Franz Kafka,

And name your books for existential factors?

All that stuff about larks, heroes, paracletes and Aurora’s victim

For books about the harshness of nature and the convict system

Or the demise of ordinary but nonetheless heroic guys

Like Erzberger, who worked on the Treaty of Versailles.

Sometimes you remind me of Patrick White

With his penchant for o’er-strained poetic flight

And partiality to sensationalised plots

Which test the patience of your avid Lord and Lady Read-a-Lots.

Jimmie Blacksmith with his bifurcated ethics

Was a better subject than Joan of Arc’s hysterics

While Marshall Tito’s heroic partisans

Seem just like a Baltic spin-off from The Sullivans’.

But at least, dear Tom, your pretensions are confined

To the cover, the Manly Sea Eagles66 and the spine.67

[She bows. Crowd whoops. Jabber lays his gear on a toilet lid. The Cradle has been suspended beneath. He boots.]


Banks worldwide have taken seven hundred billion dollars in write-downs and losses since the start of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

[Grandpater places glasses on the table with a shaky grip.]


Gubb on yer, Grabpater. Here you go, Tom.

[Billy Capri observes Tom Hallem across the bar. Suddenly, he rips off Milkmaid’s head68 and strides towards his brother. Rumbold plunges his hand into the gaping belly of the whale and extracts a head clotted with coiled entrails.]


God Save the King!


He cried. Meanwhile, Billy Capri reached his brother.

[Holding Mím’s mouth against Tom’s ear]


Listen, brother!


See your blood father falling to earth. See wooden cow. Elizabeth will sire your only child. But you will never provide a roof for your daughter. You kill a friend and die alone. On your back. Wild at heart like blind Oedipus.


[Wearing a dentist’s outfit. He rips away a white sheet to unveil his latest invention] Look, I built this fine beast for you, my darling. It possesses a cunning flap for anonymous intercourse.

[Elizabeth enters the machine. Her bare backside emerges. Absalom kisses it. Poseidon fucks her. She retires with her husband’s aid. He is dressed as Joseph. Her belly distends. She enters labour. Albert assists her into the stirrups.]69


Just hang onto these straps.


For God’s sake, give me an epidural!


[Taking vial from purse] Drink!

[Elizabeth swallows the potion. She gives birth to Minotaur]70


This champion foal was bred at Widden Stud. Sired by Cane out of Pasiphae. Examine the fine lines of her transformation. A perfect segue. Renaissance construct. Consigned to the Inglis Sales Yard. Bidding starts at twenty ducats.


[Waving a big cigar] It’s a … it’s a … girl!




The male line ends.


None weds the second but who killed the first.




Inverted pervert. Infamy of Blasphemy. Aegisthus was made from rape. Christened the “male goat.”71 Killer of Atreus. With Clytemnestra, killer of Agamemnon. Cousin kills cousin. Orestes killing his mother. Murdering Aegisthus’ son. Mating with his enemy’s daughter. Bit off his own finger.


[As Chorus] After his sperm we got.


The queen lay with a prize bull.


[As Chorus] We shall name him Minos.

[A pagan ceremony ensues. Tom achieves orgasm]


The bull has been milked.


[As a Chorus] You must decide which child is at the head and which at the tail.72


[Pontificating] All are equal in my sight.73


Two heads, two tails—


Entelechy of entelechies.


The son must repeat the journey of the father.


Head of a bull, tail of a bull, body of a man.


Yung mulebludd.


From his forehead arise mosaic horns. [Rolling his eyes dramatically]


[Stabbing Mím/Milkmaid with a commando knife] Death, fiend!


[Dying] Ah! Brutus comes with a warm wet blade.


Rome holds your name in high regard, sire.


And fears Caesar’s ambition.


He would make himself King.74


Why should his name be sounded more than mine?75


Mine is as fair.


[Stabbing Caesar multiple times with used syringes] Let us all share the same blood with Caesar.76


Carve him as a dish. [Showing syringe to Billy Capri] And you, brother?


Hold fast.77

[Barman changes channel. Slow-motion replay of a photo-finish]


Master jockey Roy Higgins78 had already won the Cup on Light Fingers and Red Handed in consecutive years. He might have made it three in a row but his mount – short-priced favourite Big Philou – was scratched at the barrier.


Doped by the bookies.


Hit him up with Danthron.79


They would have taken a bath on the Cups Double.80


Nobbled eight horses that day.


Left nothing to chance.


Rain Lover won by a long-neck.


Mick Robins never found a horse that good again.


For many punters, he became the Steve Bradbury of racing.


Sensations replace time in Joyce’s teleology.


Mulligan was a true dandy.


At the House of AEIOU.81


He wore yellow kid gloves like Young Bob Browning.


Also, a dark cloak with a blue velvet collar.


He hymself as sweete as is the roote of lycorys or any cetewale.82


Browning’s submissiveness in matters of the heart is redolent of Leopold Bloote.


Not weaned properly.


Both Joyce and Browning tried to represent the slow and minute progress of life.


They both erected narrative monuments that seemed calculated to outwit the ingenuity and perseverance of even the most acute reader.


A hyper-extension of both Romanticism and Realism.


Hieratic poeticisms in highly-erratic prosceniums.


Slogans from men’s magazines.


Leopold Bloom paying out the brothel mistress for a smashed chandelier.


He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.


Unheavenly body. Obscene matter. A fool’s cap.83 Shem the penman.84


No love is true but that from far beneath.85


Chidley’s code compresses a system of significations into a series of acronyms. His writing is metaphorical not literal. A metonymy of its own signification. A crumpled shirt is seen as a source of synecdoche. Part for the whole. Furrowing of the brow becomes corrugation. It is evidence of self-abuse and moral abasement.86


He corrugates the system.


What did Samuel Beckett say about Sordello at the end of Malone Dies?


That Sordello had backed his way into the title like Lawrence of Arabia.


Perched on the footpath with an ivory cane in his Eton suit wearing glass slippers holding Stephen’s ash plant while he puked in the gutter.


A nose in the street.


Down on my kneecaps prostrate before an altar with my ashrod erect.


His shadow lay over the rocks.


[Purging last contents of his stomach] Bile and flecks of breakfast in the mode of Cassiopeia.


The green and the gold.




Mucid wattle.


An emblem of Australia.


Under the Southern Cross, I stand.


Fling out the flag of the Southern Cross!87 


“Think of it as a memento,” said Elizabeth rising. A handkerchief floated to the floorboards.


Beg not of England the right to preserve ourselves!88


A dead man’s head shifting slightly on the slab.


A rush of black liquid.


Green rill of bile.

[Elizabeth in labour]


Her waters have burst.


Breach delivery, Sister.


Arse-first like Saint Peter.


[Emaciated with AIDS. Placing a hand under his testicles] Kol Nidre!


[Presenting a minotaur to the mother] Twins!


[Tearing a chiton into rags] Apply them to the wound quickly.


Yes, Sister. [She hands some strips to the attendants including Tom Hallem] Take some.


You’re still hot from the stage lights.




Swab your brow.

[He hands a rag to Ana. She mops her forehead, cheeks and neck]89


[Wiping Hamlet’s death mask] Don’t hate me, son.


Insert other fatal mothers.90


Could a son hate a mother?


He asks himself.


My boys!


Says Don Cane opening his arms for two invisible children to enter.91


A pot of good double beer, Tom. Drink, and fear not!92

[Leer fills their glasses from a jug]


Where’d yer get all the cash, Kenneth?


Randwick trifecta, Gran’pater.93


How much?


A full brick.




Seven, four and three in descending order.


Not me own lucky ones.


How many houses do you own in Australia, Billy?


[Counting on fingers] One in Sydney.


A modest brick bungalow.95


There’s my investment property on the Gold Coast.


Stay at my place tonight.


No, thanks. I’m going home.


And the farm at Bulahdelah.


He counted his fortune by the total number of water closets in his possession.


That’s ten in total.


Give me your key, Kinch.


[Incredulously] You’re g’ack to your father’s place?




[Patting his shoulder. Wistfully] You’re a good lad really.96

[Exeunt Stephen Dedalus. Waitress returns to table]


Tell me about your castle, Billy.


I can do better than that. I’ll show you a picture. [He scrolls to the Pictures Folder of his Blackberry] You can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from the piazza.97

[He passes the phone]


[Laughing, Shocked] Is that it? But it looks so old! I think a new apartment is much better.


[Grabbing handset] Let me see. [Chuckling] Ah! It looks like an old farmhouse.


[Excitedly] Yes. It looks like my grandfather’s farmhouse in Anhui!


[Disgruntled] That house is worth thirty million kuai.


That old dump?


How much does a new apartment cost in Sydney?


Five million.


You could sell that old farmhouse and buy six apartments.


Yes. An apartment on the twentieth level of a new building in Pudong is beautiful.


It’s got … charm.


Charm?! Charm means old dump. Only foreigners like “charm.” I wish they would pull down all the charming old buildings in Shanghai and build some tall towers for people. Get rid of all the dirty buildings and alleys. Make the roads wider.


Those old buildings remind us of bad times.


Yes. They depict our century of national humiliation.


The magnificent avenues and villas of the French Concession are now seen as emblems of Foreign Imperialism by the Shanghai City Government.


It all started with your Opium War. The British East India Company forced Chinese people to buy drugs. They got everyone addicted.

[A street-walker enters the hotel. She tugs on the arm of Jabber’s denim jacket]


Can we go home to bed yet?


[Adjusting his bianzi] No way. Here. Chug on a pipe, Candy. Chill out. You can go back out later.


The British devils were losing all their silver buying Chinese tea. So, they stole our tea plants. Stuck them up their god-frocks. Smuggled them to India.


You wouldn’t have the city of Shanghai without British initiative.98


Tell me why you think I ought to change the conditions that gave Ireland and me a shape and a destiny?99


[Turning off English language television] How can you say that? Is that what you told the Aboriginals? Chinese people built Shanghai. Chinese people did all the work. They did all the work inside the buildings as well. You just took the profits. That money was rightfully ours. We would have still built places like Shanghai without you. Look at Shenzhen.


[Picking up Billy’s tankard] Would you like another beer … nongmin tongshi?100


[Irritably] No, thank you.


You probably like brown wine best.101

[The waitress turns on her heel breezily. Xiao FANG is scanning her phone. Shanghai Dog checks his handset. The television screen plays an advertisement]


[Holding up a cardboard packet to the screen] Conversation trouble? Try one of my fast-acting tropes. [He inserts a golden lozenge into Billy’s mouth] Sweets are for the sweet!


My moon cake is full of jelly.102


Anytime is the right time for Waddington’s sponge!

[1920s Chinese model in a red qi pao raises an ivory opium pipe to the camera. A Filipino bar band commences sound-check. They start to play “Cocaine” by JJ Cale. Shanghai Dog and Xiao Fang leave the bar]


Can you fix me up?


Let’s go into my office.

[Tom follows Leer to the bathroom. Leer stands at the urinal with a smoke in his mouth. He drops his zipper]


[Wagging] You can’t stand up here. It’s reserved for clergy.


[To Tom] Just ignore them. [To Fingers] You don’t have any status in here. You don’t even constitute a full set.


But I’m a war hero.


Rubbish. They fell off.


He doesn’t half want a thick ear, the blighter.


[To Cissy] Was he insulting the U.J. whilst we was piddling, Ma’am?

[Leer tidies his clothing and beckons Hallem into a cubicle. He locks the door and raises the toilet lid to dispose of the cigarette butt. Excrement is suspended on a matrix of toilet paper]103


How do you even do that, asked Tom incredulously.


The Cradle was the unique faecal calling card of an anonymous individual in hotel washrooms across inner Sydney during the New Wave era.


Who painted it nobody knows.


[Closing the lid violently. To an approaching Policeman] Officer! My wife’s bird is under that hat. Can you watch it while I get a cage?


Hey Shitbreeches, are you doing the hat-trick?104


The third one is always called “the charm.”


A golden fleece.


A gold cap.


There are numerous descriptions of hats in Ulysses.


The style of headwear chosen by a man is a mark of character.


A hat is a condom that men pull down over their brains.


Fashioned from the finest immaterial.


Clamping cockjaws!


It will always betray the true personality of its owner.


Bloom wore a black bowler. Boylan had a light straw boater in contrast.


[Gravely] There is symbolism in this comparison.


Bloom’s got a hot tip for the Gold Cup.


He was a dark horse like Throwaway.


I was the front runner against Molly’s front. I was beaten by a short half-head.105 [He stands at the threshold of 8 Eccles Street. The door opens. He enters. It closes. No occupant is seen. Cut to inside shot of hall. He propels his boater across the room and it lands over a moose antler] But not before I hanged my hat on Bloom’s cuckold horn.


A card falls from a leather headband and lands on the floor.


Both Joyce and Homer left their texts hanging at closure as if they were planning blockbuster sequels.

[Leer shuts the lid. He flushes the cistern. He opens the lid. The Cradle remains]




he says.


Even if we had a stick, it would just create a different kind of problem.

[Leer closes the lid again. He flushes the toilet again. He opens the lid. The cradle is still present. Leer closes the lid and sits down]


[Laconically] Must be a sign. Now what do you want?


A score for a friend.


Cool. I’m loaded. Got a new supplier at Cabra. But make sure you cut it down. It’s hot stuff. 106


Great. How much?


Twenty for you.


Can I take it on credit?


Sure. But I ain’t got the product here. You’ll have to come back to my place.


How far?


Down the hill. Fifteen-minute walk.


Fine. When can we leave?



[They leave the washroom. A female enters stage right. She moves towards Leer with conviction]


Ah! If it ain’t Sweet Alison!107


[Slaps his ear] You said you was coming at four.


Can only plead damnable pisstness, my love. Come. Sit down on my lap. Let me rub your adorable globes.108


I’m staying right here, thank you. Get me a Bourbon and Coke.

[Leer exits to the bar. Tom Hallem grasps his lemman harde by the haunchebones to rage and pleye as hir housbande is away at Osenebar. Thomas seys he’ll spille109 withouten. Alison responds with lickerous [e]ye. They cement a bond. Leer returns with a tray of drinks, catches his back foot on frayed carpet and stumbles. Liquid floods the bench]


Yew’ve spilled it all over me!


A flood! A flood!

[Leer plants a wet kiss on her cheek]


Against her lips I bob and on her withered dewlap pour my ale. Sit down, dear.


Look at my boob-tube!


I can’t stop looking, believe me. I’ll suck on it if you wish.


The Australian dollar traded weaker today on the back of worse economic news.


We should never have floated the currency.


It was pound for pound before Britain left the Gold Standard.


Call themselves Labor. They’re worse than bloody Thatcher.


Worse than Scullin.


Lang was the only one that stood up to them.110 He was a hero to working people.111


Lackeys of Niemeyer all.


Australia has never had a violent revolution like America or Russia.112


The further you move to the Left, the deeper the snout goes down in the trough.


Moneygrubber’s pushing them.


Branded with a hot coulter.113


Nicholas races around the room fanning his burning hind.


Cut loose the vessels!


Is that my signal?


No, Blot. Not yet.

[Jack Lang stands on a soapbox in the Domain in the robes of Hamlet Senior]


I will reinstate the jobs of the victims of the Great Strike and restore the 44 hour working week.114


The Big Fella was our political Ned Kelly.


Your very own Parnell.


This depression is the work of bankers and industrialists.


It would be better for Australia to die of starvation than repudiate British debts.116


[Holding a saucer] The problem lies with the Australian character. [Turning to an old scullery maid. Presenting his tea cup. Loudly] Ba mhaith liom bainne.117


[To Haines] Are you some kind of wog?118


[Speaking in tongues]119 Aleph Beth Ghimel Daleth Hagadah Tephilim Kosher Yom Kippur Hanukah Roschaschana Beni Brith Mitzvah Mazzoth Askenazim Meshuggah Talith.120


Where’d you learn that? Off a soap label?


It’s an ancient charm.


[Opening a large paper bag of confectionery for the assembled characters] Here. Suck on this ju-jube. It’ll fix you.


[Taking a selection of sweets] Dog red, Davitt orange and snot green jellies.


We should have learned Ireland’s harsh lesson.121


The same capitalists who wasted our sons at Fromelles now demand “bank blood.”


You’ll get nowhere negotiating with the English. You need to apply Physical Force.122


[Dictating to Joe Byrne]123 All of true blood, bone and beauty that was not murdered on their own soil, or had fled to America or other countries, were doomed to Port Macquarie, Toongabbie, Norfolk Island and Emu Plains, and in those places of tyranny and condemnation, many a blooming Irishman, rather than subdue to Saxon yoke, was flogged to death and bravely died in servile chains, true to the shamrock and a credit to Paddy’s Land.


It is less than a decade since Australian Catholics stood fast while their brothers in Ireland were crushed by the British army.


Tear up the New Departure!


Two Land Bills defeated. Constitutional means have failed.


Fitzpatrick will cause greater slaughter to the Union Jack than Saint Patrick did to the snakes and toads of Ireland.


Learn your own language. Start a mass movement. Establish a national press. Rediscover Ossian poetry. I believe your name should be O’Malley.


Gaelic is the rude speech of a barbarous people.


Australians are anonymous, featureless, nothing-men.


Cultural cringe is a disease of the Australian mind.


Without songs, architecture, history.


Know me hereafter as Seosamh Ó Foirbhilhe.


Our Laurence Sterne in Shepparton.


Confronted by Furphy, Australians grow uncertain. We fail to comprehend the original structure of his great novel.124


What would England do if America declared war, as it is all Irishmen that has got command of her armies. Even her beef tasters are Irish.


We feel therefore in view of services the A.I.F. have rendered in the Middle East that we have every right to expect them to be returned as soon as possible to the defence of Australia.


The fall of Burma would place Australia in extreme peril.


India is under threat. The Australian convoy will be diverted to Burma. I will inform the Australian Prime Minister.


In view of superior Japanese sea and air power it is a matter of some doubt as to whether this division can even be landed in Burma.


[Nervous, friendly, pulling himself from the gutter, his mouth bleeding] I understand your point-of-view. You die for your country. I die for your cuntery. Let my country die too.


The Australians would have died in useless defence at Rangoon.


I’ll wring the neck of any fucker says a word against my king.


We fought for you in South Africa. Irish missile troops. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Honoured by your monarch. Does that count for nothing?


While I was breaking out of a Boer prison camp, Curtin was making anti-war diatribes in Melbourne.


Would they fight her for the sake of the colour they dare not wear (GREEN) and to reinstate it and raise old Erins isle once more from the tyrannism of the English yoke, which has kept it in poverty and starvation and caused them to wear the enemy’s coat (RED/WHITE)?


[Radio broadcast] Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.


Melodrama by design.


Smacks of panic.


Mummery even.


[Cut to television] We have eliminated much of the confrontation and bitterness that was tearing Australia apart just 20 months ago.


He is presiding over the death of the trade union movement.126


Kelty is selling-out historic worker’s rights.


Hawke was their creation.


Frankenstein’s monster.


Enough of his calumny. I’m going to the loo.

[Bloom follows her expectantly. He is transformed into a female]


[Seated on a three-legged stool] Deformitisation. Spina bifida births. Heracles’ brood as beastly murk. Ophelia face-down in swampaste. Desdemona’s moist pillowspit. Young Edward betrothed to a foetus. Rough wooing.


Prince William Duke of Gloucester.127


How does he fair on Hakim’s triad?


Poorly. We must pierce the head and draw off fluid.

M.D. Costello

An acute case of Hydrocephalus.

[A helicopter passes overhead]




[Excitedly] Incoming!


Must be a dust-off up.


[A buzzer reverberates in his white medical coat. He speaks earnestly] Emergency ward.


Another crashpara?


[Completing forms] North-west of Quang Ngai. Half an hour into flight. A loud bang rocked the fuselage. The helicopter started auto-rotating. We hit the ground hard. It was a dry paddy about the size of a football field. There was a village surrounded by tall bamboo about 500 metres off. We knew it was a Viet Minh stronghold. Shots snapped over our heads. Two columns of troops rushed towards us. I had a pistol but I was still out of range. Choc ripped a machine gun out of its socket on the Huey and let rip. The first burst took out the grass roof of the temple. I held it down with my body while Choc directed fire on the enemy. Hot grease spattered our skin. The noise was deafening.


Did you kill men?


Probably eight or ten that day alone.


[Taking hold of his palms] But they seem so harmless.


[Laughing] What did you expect? Claws?


[Stroking them] Harsher skin. A chill touch. [She looks at him] And later?


I fought in Troy for ten years. You couldn’t help but kill men. We did it at close range and long range. We directed artillery right on top of us. Called in air support. Laid mines. It was war.


I’ve put enough booby traps in Ulysses to keep academics busy for 3,000 years.


By what faculty am I able to transmit these facts and figures?129


Strange power of prophecy.


Narrative invention.


Enigma machine.


Cut transmission.


There must be a guy in Beijing who hears the words “unrest in China” and pulls a great big bloody plug out of the wall.



[Suddenly] I’m sick of this shit. I’m off. [To Hallem] You coming?


What about Alison?


She can find her own way home.


I’ve got an exhibition opening later tonight.




Seven o’clock.


Plenty of time. Do you want that fix for your girlfriend or not? Come on. We’ll have some fun on the way. Don’t worry. It’s all on my tab.

[Leer and Hallem depart the Shakespeare Hotel. Dinnertime carcrawl. Unctuous art deco signage of the Marlborough Hotel. Beta House ahead like a squat brick pillbox. Hallem dimly perceives an old couple huddled against the breeze down a dunny cart lane. A stooped male comes to a halt. A female figure shuffles beside him. Shanghai Dog and Xiao Fang leave Time Passage Bar. They enter Xing Guo Lu. The trees have been pruned bare. Everything is grey. They proceed alongside the high brick wall of the Radisson Hotel. Shanghai Dog pulls Xiao FANG under his arm. A passing pedestrian hisses softly]


Did you hear that?




What did she say?


It doesn’t matter.


Does it bother you?

[They approach the compound. Two guards are talking to local residents at the gate. Xiao
Fang lets go of Billy’s arm. The guards greet him. Her gaze remains fixed on the ground. They proceed onto the grounds]


It would be better to arrive in the car park in a taxi.




They hate me. I’m a xiaojie.


Forget them. Let’s get inside.


You don’t understand.


[Leer scampers across King Street between stubborn vehicles. He lunges into a shop. Hallem leans against a light pole. He looks into Beta House. His former apartment space is dim. Light leaks from the upmost floors. The garage door has buckled. A temporary barricade has been erected over an exposed section. Leer returns with fresh cigarettes. Missus Brennan appears at the door and waves. They proceed between horizontal bars of a steel-piping fence. Hallem steps aside a headless bird crunched flat against laneway asphalt. Its grey feathers are scattered in a bloody plume. A lone cat is huddled against a telegraph pole in a soft round lump. Its head rears sleepily and drops back into fine warm fur. Leer pushes a swollen wooden gate. They enter a backyard. Both sides of its broken concrete path are smattered with debris. A cement staircase leads to a red door illuminated by a single red light. They rise. Leer knocks. It opens. They pass along a corridor lit by spirit lamps. The back of a female wearing veils evaporates before them. Their bodies cast discordant rainbows on the plush velvet wallpaper.]


Mabbot Street is the entrance to Nighttown. Stephen and Lynch stagger in drunk.130 They are mocked by locals. Bloom follows obediescently. Events and characters stimulate his guilt.131 The text becomes the scene of visions. Bloom speaks with a street worker, Zoe Higgins, who knows Stephen’s location. She stimulates scenes of an imaginary legal triumph.132 Bloom becomes an exemplar of the “new womanly man,” gives birth, and is denounced as a charlatan and whore in this episode. He finds Stephen in the music room of the bordello carousing. He thinks about past lovers. In a discussion on theology, Stephen metamorphoses into a Cardinal. Bella Cohen appears. She and Bloom reverse gender. Ritual sado-masochistic humiliations ensue. Stephen, in his drunkenness, tries to settle the bill. Bloom ensures he isn’t cheated. The ghost of Stephen’s mother appears. He breaks a chandelier, and they end up thrown onto the street. A fight with some English soldiers leaves Stephen prone on the pavement. The police appear. Corny Kelleher and Bloom smooth things over. Bloom persists in trying to take Stephen home. He gazes at the unconscious Stephen and experiences a vision of his dead son Rudy.133 END


[A spotlight smashes the floor. A human form enters. Its identity is concealed by two enormous Japanese fans. Brilliant sequins tap sensual flecks of Morse on the hem of an evening gown]


Say the password and you shall see our treasures, Aladdin.134


[Aggressively] I must find out what’s behind the veil.


[Withdrawing] Not yet – soon – but no – wait. Patience, dear.


[Pulling the fans open] You!




My word! I’m all of a mucksweat.

[Her eyes rest on Leer]



[He discloses a wad of bank notes. Coins cascade to the floor]


[Flirting] Married, I see.


No. Not Yet. Yes. No longer. Partly …


[Cowed] Exuberant female. Enormously I desire your services. I am exhausted, abandoned, no more young, mashing syntax and grammar,135 inserting blandishments, also making insipid pig metaphors and blunt references to my hat and umbrella as phallic icons, which is all hubris, I am consumed with insecurities, lastly remembering my father and sons.


One hundred for an hour. Extra fifty for Greek.


We’ll have the works!

[Leer extracts three hundred dollars and hands it to the brothel manager]


You had some luck today.


Miracle in Melbourne, they call it. A Black Knight tupped your white Chagemar.136


What did it pay?


Enough, Psychopomps. Enough.


[Reaching for the cash] Let me count it out for you. I will save it. Let me store it here in my pocket with a cake of lemon-scented soap for Molly.137


After you, gentleman. [Taking Hallem by the elbow] I’ve got new girls and boys.138

[Bella and Tom proceed along the passage together. Leer wanders behind them. He peels a silver strip of gum and commences chewing. Shanghai Dog and Xiao Fang proceed into his apartment. A bank of LEDs illuminates his lounge room madly. Xiao Fang kisses him aggressively]


Have you forgotten me yet?



[He looks at their bodies in a mirror. She pulls back a fan from her face to reveal Judy]


Make love with me.


[Withdrawing] Not like this.


Yes, like this.


I can’t.


Then you don’t really want me anymore.139


[Leer and Hallem are escorted to the dock. Three prostitutes are slumped across a dirty velvet sofa. An incense burner on the mantelpiece produces the scent of heliotrope and citron. They rise on black stilettos adjusting loose lingerie]


Good evening ladies.


Do you remember Baron de Charlus, girls?


Yes. Greetings, my Lord!


This is my cousin Keith, ladies. Keith, this is Miss Candy. Mistress Clap. And Miss Solange.

[They pull Tom Hallem onto the settee]


I’ll get some drinks.

[She draws Leer aside]


[To Tom Hallem] Did you see his eye? He looked upon you to lust after you.


O, Kinch, thou art in peril.


Get thee a breechpad.

[Cut to Bella and Leer]



What’s your pleasure?




For yourself?


No. One girl, me and the lad.


No boys?


Not tonight. I’ve got him.140


Suit yourself. Price is the same. [She raises her voice] Excuse me, gentlemen. Ladies, a word.

[She draws the women together and opens her fans]


Who’s up for a three-way?


Not I, said Solange. She exits. Biddy indicates weariness.



[She runs her fingers through peroxide hair. Some brittle ends snap adhering to her fingers. She shakes them to the floor awkwardly]


[Gesturing at Leer] Well, we both know he’s tiny.


But what about his mate?


Doesn’t look like a monster.


I’ll do it for a ton.


Thanks love.

[Bella grasps Peroxide Girl’s forearm. She feels a trail of old scars and scabs. They return. Bella whispers to Leer. He nods. All rise.]


[They walk down a long hall. Bella opens the door to Room Seven. They enter]141


[To Tom] Your turn. Hop up on the operating table.



Lie down on your back. [To Candy] You ride.

[Candy takes a blast of amyl nitrate from a hazel vial then straddles Tom Hallem. Leer gets up on the bench. He penetrates as well]


Slow down.

[She gasps. Leer ignores her]142


[Looking straight down on Tom Hallem’s face] Can you feel me?


[Gulping] Yes.143



[Grunting] Together.

[Leer presses Candy harder. She squeezes Tom’s nipples. Leer ejaculates loudly. Tom makes no sound. Leer withdraws rapidly. He rips off the condom. A long ribbon of sperm laces Tom’s thigh. Cunty dismounts. Tom Hallem rolls into a foetal position]


Missy lay on her side burning and murmuring with pride.

[Cut to a car passing under the gateway to the Westside Motel in Ashfield. It parks in front of the rooms. A woman emerges. She walks towards a ground floor door which is slightly ajar]


Sorry I’m late.


[Propped against the bedhead. Naked. Legs splayed] No problem.


I’ve been playing catch-up at work all day after I took my son home.


How is he?


Useless as ever.


What chance did I have?


How was the function?


I got a couple of fresh leads.


A coward is always eager to sleep in a brave man’s bed.


The goods of my father’s house were being consumed by the suitors. Our palace was full of enemies. The farmlands ruined.


It was said that Penelope copulated with all one-hundred-and-eight suitors then gave birth to the great God Pan.


In Time Regained, the participants in Charlus’ orgy conduct a casual, good-natured post-mortem. This prolongs the sexual fantasies of the victims. It also enables the boys to earn extra fees.




I’m cold.


Put this on.

[Bella gives him the bloodstained gown of Hydra. It tightens over his shoulders, tearing his skin away and exposing bare bones]


Time to leave.


[Romantically] It doesn’t have to end like this.


How do you want it to end?






Yes. Both!


The hero can’t control the myth.


That is the logic of all Classical tropes.


[Drunkenly. Hugging Bella] Let’s part as friends.

[Tom Hallem rolls onto his back and stares at a pallid light bulb dangling from the ceiling. Leer staggers towards the door. A child skips gaily down the hallway of a stark Modernist apartment. She vaults over the prone form of HH-1970. Sandals click on polished concrete as she regains her lope. Tom Hallem reaches towards the aquarium wall. He presses his mouth against the glass to yell a single two-syllable word. The girl approaches the tank inquisitively, presses her own lips against the glass then withdraws, turns and runs away]


[Bringing his mouth near an unmoving face] Rudy!






Father! [Despairing] A name you call.


My father was an original fellow with a grand wit and voice who gifted to me an ineffable quality which is really the source of what talent I have.144


I was always perplexed by Jim’s loyalty.


[In Joyce’s hand-writing] “I feel that a poor heart which was true and faithful to me is no more.”

[T.S. Eliot lays down the paper on his desk, removes his spectacles, wipes his eyes and winces]


Justice towards the characters of his own creation became an artistic principle of my brother.


Wore out his wife, now sings.


He made a vague attempt to strangle our mother.


Her grave is over there, Jack.


Mary Dedalus fixes her son with bluecircircled eyesockettes and opens a toothless mouth to utter a silent word.145


I am dead.


Pappie has been drunk the last three days. I am sick of it, sick of it.


Give it up, father.


Circe ends in a parody of knightly combat.146


The quarrel with the British soldiers, Carr and Compton, is the low point of Circe. Stephen’s erudition seems utterly pretentious in this exchange.



[A flash of smoke. They are gone. Tom Hallem has been deposited on King Street. Leer is kneeling on his haunches]


[To Tom Hallem] Your mate there looks a little skew-whiff.


He had a big win on the Cup, officer. He’s had a few too many ales. Doesn’t know what he’s saying. Complete wanker when he’s drunk, actually. I’ll take him home. I know his family. Very well-respected around town. 148


I don’t give a fuck who he is.


Stick one in his knackers, Jemmy.


Can’t be assed. [To Tom] You pick him up and get him home.


I will, sir. Come on, Ernie. [Raising Leer]


[To Stephen] Come home with me, lad. You’ll get into trouble out here on your own.149

[Leer and Hallem hurry along King Street]


The use of dramatic form in the “Circe” episode can be explained in part by Joyce’s humanism. He always wanted to render HUMAN BEINGS sympathetically through proximity to speech as a material record. This gave average lives power. Drama is the best mode for this task. It creates a reality TV show. But there are some things you can’t depict in a play such as Molly’s physicality in Ithaca, which would have reduced any script to slapstick. It appears that Joyce had already written parts of Circe separate to the rest of Ulysses by 1916. He wrote Exiles just before commencing the novel. He continued trying to become a popular dramatist up to the time when Ulysses made him famous. The entrance to Nighttown evokes the slice-of-life sets of Dubliners. Its fantastic style owes much to Joyce’s exposure to Dadaism in Zurich and his Agon with Freud. Bloom is made to lie down on Joyce’s couch and dream. Joyce always fancied himself as an actor. He could have played the part of his own hero or the psychoanalyst or both. The stage enthralled him. I am the same with radio-plays. He was always a popular partner in charades at the Sheehy household where he excelled at dumbshow. He played Captain Hawtree in Margaret Sheehy’s production of Caste. Then there was Ibsen. Henrik Ibsen was Joyce’s first and most sustained literary passion. He read the plays in text form initially, beginning with the Master Builder in William Archer’s translation for Heinemann in 1898. Stanislaus refers to it as a slim yellow volume that his brother stayed-up all night re-reading. His first prominent review was “Ibsen’s New Drama.” He was only eighteen years old when he wrote it. It was published in the prestigious Fortnightly Review. He began a correspondence with the famous playwright, who was then aged seventy. His brother notes that Joyce found in Ibsen what he subsequently cultivated in his own work: WONDERFUL CALM, STAYING ABOVE THE FRAY, NO CONFLICTING VOICES, FINE PITY FOR MEN and DEEP SYMPATHY WITH LIFE’S CROSS-PURPOSES. Of course, Joyce was particularly influenced by Ibsen’s replacement of epic heroes with ‘average lives.’150 His brother wrote that “no writer in English since Sterne has exploited the minute, unpromising material of his immediate experience so thoroughly” (52). Joyce also liked the way that action in Ibsen’s dramas remained subdued, with the plot slowly disclosing ‘some great ideal conflict’ as the Nolan said. [INSERT FOOTNOTE]. These factors were crystallised in his lecture, “Drama and Life,” at University College Dublin in 1900. Like most of his generation, Joyce was a theatre addict. He travelled to London to watch Duse in D’Annunzio’s La Gioconda and La Citee Morta. INSERT MORE in FOOTNOTE. He loved the flow of movement and voice on the stage, uninterrupted by footnotes and qualifications. He could never be bothered ‘drawing’ characters like most novelists. They were immediately defined visually when put on stage. The appearance of a play could be changed in every new production, giving the director and players the kind of sweeping creative freedom of interpretation that fiction denied. It is therefore ironic that Joyce’s fiction resisted this liberty for its readers by virtue of its intense and obscure Gaelicism, intellectual inserts and parochial settings. It would be impossible for any of Joyce’s works to be transferred to, say, a nameless totalitarian state in Eastern Europe as with Shakespeare’s historical dramas. Ulysses can only exist in one place. Inversely, Joyce was able to imbue fiction with features that he was never able to bring to DRAMA. Exiles is his major dramatic legacy. Like Swinburne’s aborted novel, Lesbia Brandon,151 it accelerates and expands Joyce’s principle interests and style152 until it produces a distortion of the true machine.153 Exiles is set in Dublin in 1912. It is based on “The Dead” in Dubliners. This lodges it firmly in the mainstream of Joyce’s oeuvre. Joyce described the play as “three cat and mouse acts.” It is less than that. John MacNicholas wrote, “it is generally agreed, perhaps especially among Joyceans, that Exiles is a bad play, opaque to both reader and viewer.” It is really the turgid public confession of Joyce’s mania for sexual jealousy. This mood overflowed in letters to his wife. Some critics think that Exiles is the failure that Joyce had to write in order to commit himself to fiction once and for all. The language is stilted. The characters contrived. He learned what didn’t work in dramatic writing which he then corrected in Circe.154 Critics list the following reasons for the let-down of Exiles: Joyce just couldn’t write in any received form; he didn’t create enough distance from Ibsen;155 he was too autobiographical; the script was stiffly reasoned and lacked spark; it was a hiatus between PAYM and Ulysses where Joyce let his hair down.156 The plot revolves around the ordeals of Richard Rowan, an emerging author. He has moved back to Dublin from Rome with his common law wife Bertha. They pretty much represent Joyce and Nora. In this regard, Joyce probably wanted the play to act as a direct message to his wife as she sat bored in the audience.157 They are joined on stage by Robert Hand and Beatrice Justice.158 Both men are former lovers of Beatrice. Plot development revolves around the renewed intimacy of Hand and Bertha. This stimulates Richard’s desire for pain and degradation.159 He actively seeks to be betrayed. He refuses to provide counsel or opinions when his wife confesses to Robert’s advances. He wants a liaison to happen “secretly, meanly and craftily.” He encourages Bertha to keep an assignation. This is an active version of Bloom’s passive delight in contemplating Molly’s adultery with Boylan. Robert also tells Bertha that her husband wants to be betrayed as it will ‘liberate’ him into a state of perpetual doubt once and for all160 and disqualify him from false adherence to social conventions forever.161 Joyce’s character naming is not subtle. The men’s first names are virtually interchangeable, like some satirical Wildevice. Beatrice was Dante’s great romantic obsession. Bertha is a plod. Her name was associated with abnormally large weaponry in Joyce’s time. Unlike Hedda Gabler, she has no skill in intrigue. There is no vital force within.162 She is “like a sea mist.” She becomes a predictable female romance figure bifurcated by dominant men.163 Beatrice’s surname, Justice, was the same as Joyce’s cherished cousin, Elizabeth, who died in 1912. In Celtic mythology, the Rowan tree is known as the Tree of Life and symbolises courage, wisdom and protection.164 Robert Hand is a prototype for Mulligan. Joyce draws on both Oliver St. John Gogarty and Vincent Cosgrave for characterisation.165 Power, influence and argument are used to try to extract sexual favours. But the outcome is left unclear.166 The play is static. It has a dianoetic structure. Richard’s dilemma is whether to accept an appointment as a university lecturer in languages and stay in Ireland … or return to an unknown future on the Continent. It is not resolved at closure. He and his wife are left stranded and immobilised by events.167 Exiles is less emphatic than any of Joyce’s fiction. What it does do is draw attention to Joyce’s own life-choice, which had been to escape from Ireland in 1904. In this regard, the play is an act of self-justification. Joyce was not a famous writer at the time of writing Exiles.168 He could have ended-up as a middle-ranked author of the Edwardian era. Exiles dramatises his insecurity.169 In fact, it contains far more self-serving epic afflatus than any play by Ibsen or any other work by Joyce. He may have been enduring retrospective doubts about spurning a solid career in Dublin at this time, given the hardship of life in Trieste during wartime.170 Exiles was rejected by numerous companies in England, Ireland and America including The Abbey Theatre.171 This forced publication. It got bad reviews as a script. It was finally produced at Munich in 1919.172 A brief second production was mounted in London in 1926. The first significant staging was directed by Harold Pinter at the Mermaid Theatre, London in 1970. The best that can be said for Exiles is that its plot craved to live life in some kind of awkward freedom like the chorus of a Leonard Cohen song.


How is Circe better than Exiles?


Circe is successful because it inverts the style and structure of Exiles.


How do they differ?


One is all reason, overtly autobiographical and tight. Yet it ends in abeyance. The other is loose, free and associative. Yet it ends with hope. One contains blunt, ponderous symbols. The other is informed by symbolism from psychoanalytical readings. One is confined. The other freewheeling. They both challenge moral customs. Exiles does it in a bourgeois setting where there is individual choice about sexuality.173 Circe resides in a slum where sexual usufruction represents the only option. Edna O’Brien has listed relevant images from Joyce’s notes about Nora, sexuality and women which found their place in Exiles. The same kind of fragments were not collected for Molly Bloom.174


Explain the function of the Circe episode in Ulysses.


Bloom and Stephen share this episode. It is their point of convergence in the novel like Telemachus and Odysseus at the swineherd’s farm. Joyce acts as Circe. The text is his bestiary. The past comes forward. Use of Hallucination as a theatricalising device. There have been many excellent expositions of Bloom’s hallucinations,175 madness, Fall, guilt and redemption in Circe.176 However, they are generally too pious. They miss the fact that Bloom’s ‘falls’ are generally petty and trivial. They are the average falls of an average person, which should elicit low levels of guilt and restitution. The principle narrative objective in Circe is to show that Bloom suffers an exaggerated sense of blame177 as well as to mock the Catholic Church’s hyperbolic judgments about sin and the Fall. To be clear, Joyce was an atheist and church-hater. He did not suffer any residual pangs of self-reproach as a result of his religious upbringing.178 He was committed to freedom of thought and action. He lived this creed himself. He was a true Libertarian. It makes no sense for him to simply transfer Catholic notions of guilt to his leading character without any critique or alternative vision that mocks and even cancels religion. It is pretty clear that Joyce deliberately over-dramatised Bloom’s angst in Circe as part of an extended parody. The long sequence of symbolic citations of his Fall are inconsequential and strained. Joyce uses numerology bluntly. The mathematical speed of a falling object is 32 feet per second. The number 32 recurs five times in Circe. Bloom falls upstairs and is saved by Zoe. This flip in religious spatial projection is a comic reference to the prospect of Bloom’s accidental entry into heaven-as-whorehouse. Indeed, Bloom trips harmlessly throughout the novel in a physical parallel to his ethical lapses. He also carries a scar on his wrist close to Christ’s stigmata. This is such a ponderous analogy that it could only be seen as sardonic narratorial judgment by Joyce on his character’s crucifixion complex. Finally, the supposed moral deprivation and salvation of Stephen in Nighttown is really just another bourgeois affectation. All Bloom really does is stop Stephen losing the rest of his salary in a brothel then getting beaten up by the filth.179 This does not mean that Bloom’s redemption at the end of Circe is not authentic. Joyce creates really HIGH VALUE moral and emotional power via a sequence of blood images. Bloom’s true sense of personal responsibility doesn’t come from obviating everyday sins relating to sexuality. It comes from an opening-out and transcendence of repressed duties. This bursts forth at the end of Circe in the image of his dead son Rudy, memories of his father and a renewed need for tenderness with his wife. This is a HEROIC denouement at the end of a long sequence of trivialities. Joyce is saying that all Bloom’s foibles are irrelevant. It is his spiritual tone that is ESSENTIAL. In evaluating Circe as a vehicle for Bloom’s fall and redemption, critics often point to Joyce’s statement in PAYM that the artist needed to drop into sin to develop the necessary skills for true creativity. This is clichéd drivel that self-justifies bad behaviour. Anyway, Bloom is NOT AN ARTIST. He is an average guy feeling bad on this day about the past, probably because he went to a funeral, had a lot on his plate and feels exhausted at midnight. Other critics argue that Bloom has ALREADY fallen.180 This is a bit rich. It’s not as if Bloom killed anyone. He didn’t have a REAL FALL. He isn’t POST-LAPSARIAN. He doesn’t resemble a tragic hero.181 This misreading of Circe is exacerbated by the presumption that Stephen Dedalus becomes a substitute son for Bloom, acting as the agent for cosmic harmonisation between Bloom and Rudy. As noted, an alternative interpretation of the exit of Stephen Dedalus from the novel is based on the premise that he returns to the home of his biological father that night. This is MUCH MORE CONGRUOUS with Bloom’s reconciliation with Rudy at the end of Circe than Stephen becoming a surrogate son. The telepathy and fusion between Bloom and Stephen in Circe is all based on ALIGNMENT. NOT CONFLUENCE. Bloom as father WANTS Stephen as son to be reconciled with his TRUE father, no matter how flawed. Bloom wants to be reconciled with his REAL SON, not find a substitute in Stephen Dedalus. Other people’s kids never smell right. This ethical consistency creates the potential for true closure of Ulysses, which is Bloom being able to emotionally reconnect with his wife. He can only do this by REALLY OWNING THE FATE OF RUDY. Rudy Bloom is the grandson of Rudolf Virag. They share the same chosen name. Likewise, SD is the son of SD. They share initials and family name. Sticking SD into Rudy would only make a blasphemy of reconciliation, especially as Bloom has already conjured an adulterous vision of Stephen with his wife. Continuing this trope suggests that the ultimate blasphemy for Bloom-as-Severin is creating fertile ground for incest. That is definitely not Joyce’s intention. He has used Circe to purge Bloom of this type of BDSM fantasy. Bloom is purified at the end of Circe. Human values displace aesthetic purposes at last. The omniscient narrator entwines the sub-conscious realms of Bloom/Stephen. No new content is provided. There is hyperbolic reprise. Pivotal events get blurred by a seer’s tongue. Metafecundity of style is offered. Unwinding reality. A clock starts going backwards towards Jung. Now Joyce must come out from behind the harlequin masks of his myriad characters to make a full disclosure of his own presence. Extreme metaphors mirror the exigencies of this extreme technical quest. Bloom suddenly displays knowledge of Stephen’s reading (Nebrakada!). There are Circean transformations. Their min(e)d data becomes interchangeable.182 It is made clear to the reader that all characters have sprung from the imagination of James Augustine Aloysius Joyce. Bloom and Stephen share the same vision of Shakespeare by narratorial telepathy. Stephen said Mr WS saw his birth star just after he had finished fucking Anne Hathaway in a field. Don on Helen. Hamlet’s father wafts over battlements. Silhouette of Bob Capri taking out the garbage as seen from a child’s bed. Severin/Bloom. Gerty clomping onto the stage in a leg brace. A bawd offers a virgin for sex. Stephen/Lynch fade into black. But they are not far. Bloom wanders behind them. Billy Capri is surrounded by peers yet he cannot make spiritual contact. This is an emblem of his isolation. It is time for him to depart Australia like Joyce in 1904. Kickstart his own Telemachiad. He tries to visualise his birth-father. Bloom encounters his deceased father and mother in a dream. My father is dead to all intents and purposes. My mother comes back as Bella the brothel keeper. Costume change. Soap symbol of Molly. She is whore and angel. Standard dichotomy. Insert list of past female conquests. Bloom’s first trial. Dublin Don Juan in the Dock! S&M fancies. Kingpin Leop. Policy platform of mild prosperity. Attack on sexual abnormalities from the pullypit. Hidden rind. Bloom transforms into a woman who gives birth to eight babies like a bloated sow. Mister WS as a commercial traveller. Bloom and Stephen are flipsides of the same coin. The spinner launches his kip. Stephen sees Shakespeare-as-person in all his characters. Metempsychosis. Stephen’s artistic father is not Leobard Ploom. Bloom’s trinity is thus: father’s suicide; son’s death; wife’s adultery. Haines’ Black Panther equals God. Barry Kiernan wearing Rudy’s unseeing eyes like some cauterised Yeats. Fergus lives in a painless palace. Bring him back across Lethe. Bella Cohen waits on the bank vault. Invert gender. Become Bello the sex tyrant acting tough like Jupiter. Bloom watches over the whorehouse. His masochism relieved. As a sex slave he is auctioned. Taunted as Molly’s cuck. Signs his own death warrant. Mourned by passing Jews. You’ve got to die to get resurrected. This fulfils his Jesus trope. Enter Nymph. Poulahouca waterfall. Wanking in a forest. Molly needed sex after watching dogs fuck. Don is not spraying his seed efficiently. Bloom breaks the spell with a potato. Circe/Bella charm. An Irish vegement. Blowback on Zoe’s thigh like hot Hephaestus. Athena’s airish ligament. Prostitutes and lovers dance to their favourite songs. Poor pretty girls just out to make money for their families back home in Anhui. Shanghai Dog talking to a girl from Heilongjiang in a Qing theme-room. Debased Shakespearean references. Green eyes. Pigging out on the Bard. ALISOUN: “Oh not another porcine reference!” Bloom almost watched Boylan fuck once. Second-best bed. Strawberry pillcase. Propensity for the word DOG. Adulterated Shakespeare wearing reindeer horns. E-I-E-I-a-gogo. Beardless youth and cuckolded man both see the Bard in their own way. Holding a mirror up to Nature is weird. Barry Capri watched Don Cane and Helen McFadden go at it like beasts in the back paddock at Campsie. Don in the form of a steer mounted a milky white box. Watch yourself in a ceiling mirror. Salome in gold bikini standing in the fish tank on Huaihai Lu. Dances of death. Full of quick steps. Stephen’s mother beastly dead. Countess Cathleen. A whore fucked in Kelp. Stephen smashing a chandelier. Glass everywhere. Beta House nocturne. Samson’s Darkness. Failing masonic tools. Time’s last fling. Precursor of renewal. Bloom’s wallet. Couple of British Privates. Call them Tennyson and Ed. Bloom sort of saves Stephen. Hound chasing a fox. Lame pet. Explosive stick. Tortoise and hare trope. Joyce’s Jew was called Hunter in real life. Irony piled on irony. Joyce needed saving himself in Dublin, Trieste, France and Switzerland. Stephen in the shape of a foetus passed out in muck. Suddenly stretching stiff like a waking baby. His exposed spine leaked lymph-flecked blood. Tom Hallem stirs. His eyelids part. A whitewashed ceiling looms over his groggy gaze announcing entrance into the awakened realm. Rats scurry below. The last dramatic cue in Circe is the father seeing dead Rudy Bloom as an adult dandy with a slight Jesus slant. My father had a living child but chose to not inspire that vision. Onec upno tiem (n)ever (n)ever.

1 SCRIBBLER (AKA Shem the Penman): Make C7 like a Borromean knot (Lacan). Replicate the recollection of dreams in WAKING HOURS (as staccato, fragmentary, flipping like Proust/Proteus). Split stuff between script and footnotes. Make no distinction in authority of each. Try to make them both work as individual scripts – footnoted text will probably read more disconnected like Ulysses. One is THE REAL; the OTHER subconscious. Note that this chapter can also be read directly as presented on the page by shifting constantly between script and footnotes. This creates a third type of reading. Insert critical input to footnotes. Keep core script tight to plot. Do not simply replicate the dramatic form used by Joyce. Break up his script in Circe. Destroy continuity of dramatic form. No chronology. Itemise process as per Epigraph 3. Joyce often descends into low-life farce in Circe. Replicate. Circe vs. Exiles – explain why the latter failed. Invest with aleatory elements.

GYSIN: Print chapter, collect scissors, slice lines/segments, pull words at random from a hat, glue them together into a scroll (yes, like a tongue). Reference Tzara. Let Burroughs use your idea. Get expelled by Breton. Develop conspiracy theories about the art world. Live to see them ALL come true.

SCRIBBLER: The trope of C7–8 is REVELATION OF THE FALSE FATHER. That is Leer’s function in the text. Use Bloom’s guilt/redemption to explore my own feelings. Do not reach a positive resolution like some Restoration fluff-piece.

2 IBID: Tick. Mix real/fantasy characters. Amend naming to avoid litigation.

3 IBID: Tick. There is always a sense of foreboding in the comic interplays in C7.

4 IBID: Tick. Everybody is performing in this chapter. There is no true interaction. This mimics the Bard. See Harold Bloom, Footnote 74.

5 Meillon: The Shakespeare Hotel rose out of the pavement like a giant maw.

MELVILLE: Like a whale?

POLONIUS: Aye. Very like a whale.

BURTON: The silhouette of its liver brick peak protruded like a hatchet above King Street.

Meillon: Its windows glowed like Medusa’s jaundiced buzz-eyes.

MELVILLE: Ahab watched from the cockpit as it inhaled.

[Jangling of bells]

MILKMAID/ELIJAH: See mist. See dark figures. Hear prophecies of death. [His final words gurgle out of blood-loosened lips] Fedallah!

SCRIBBLER: Joyce opens Circe with the voices of Dublin prostitutes yielding to a Guignol’s band of idiots and urchins.

Meillon: Insert quotidian scene setting.

BURTON: Note symbolism.

Meillon: A vagrant wrapped tight like Athena in a filthy butcher’s apron enters Brennan Automotive Services.

BURTON: A deafmuteimbecile w/goggleyes saintvituspasming.

MRS BRENNAN: If you don’t want petrol, a drink, sweets or smokes then fuck off.

KIERNAN: [Leaning forwards] Cigarette?

BELLA: I gave ’em up for Jesus.

LEER: He warns awe kinder sack orifices, doughknee?

SCRIBBLER: The use of Strine predicts The Citizen in C10.

BELLA: It’s conceptual.

LEER: Like sin?

BELLA: Like lots of things.

YOUNG MASTER SHEM: I offered them all the prize of a crab apple for answering my riddle.

OLDER SHEM: Old fruit in a can is best.

YOUNG MASTER SHEM: “When is a fox digging in a holly bush, not a man,” I asked?

SCRIBBLER: They would have known the answer if they’d just read Ulysses. Just ask Kelly from the Blooms & Barnacles blog. Neither JJ, SD or HCM wrote it. It was a nonsense riddle, common in Britain at the time. Foxes actually dig up their dead. They don’t bury them. The cock is associated with guilt. Eleven is a death number. The students were just reading Milton’s “Lycidas,” an elegy with 11 stanzas. The only change that SD made was to change the solution from MOTHER to grandmother. This was a deflecting device. He reburied his ma. But she kept coming back, like when Stephen perceives maternal love in Sargent’s hair soon after. This was a typical gadget of Joyce.

YOUNG MASTER SHEM: All THIRTEEN respondents offered deft logic. Some even wrote out formulae. But still I rendered unto myself the prize. What can I say? I was hungering!

6 SCRIBBLER: Keep writers and academics separated. Proust believed that the artist must also be a critic. But he didn’t go far enough in laying bare the hermeneutics and symbology infesting his text.

7 BURTON: C7 is aligned to the inverted moral values, cynicism and intrigue of Restoration audiences. Also, Volume 7 of Proust. Thus, it is a link with VAULT in the future.

8 SCRIBBLER: Note contents as symbols. Intellectual vessels. Some overturned.

9 IBID: Nightshift = Holles Street = also Nighttown.

10 IBID: This is the first of a sequence of historical inserts in C7. Chronological facet.

ANNOUNCER: This event precipitated a historic shift from Britain to the United States.

SCRIBBLER: List Australia’s modern political struggles in a cultural and economic context in this chapter. This was Joyce’s basic social formula for Ireland in Ulysses.

11 ANNOUNCER: Australia was the most advanced social democracy in the world at Federation. It was already a nation. British leaders feared this influence back home. The Gallipoli myth was a reactionary backlash to recast Australia as a societal LACK needing definition through Britain and war.

EXAMINATION PAPER: Examine this statement in the context of modern Australian history since 1939.

SCRIBBLER: Link to Gallipoli as Iliad > MacArthur as Odysseus > Australia as a member of Odysseus’ crew (the US alliance). Ithaca was a small state in the larger corpus of Attica like Australia in the context of Empire. Disclose Britain as a false parent.

12 Meillon: The man later revered as The Don scored 18 and 1. He was demoted to 12th man for the Second Test.

13 ANNOUNCER: The WACA in Perth.

SCRIBBLER: This is a motif for maladministration. LINK bowling with bombing. Also, invasion threats. Parody (reductive).

14 ANNOUNCER: Holding, Garner, Marshall and Walsh came together for the first time in Perth.

15 IBID: Australia vs. West Indies, 1984–85. It precipitated a dominance that was to last 10 years.

BURTON: Like Troy.

ODYSSEUS: Like my voyage.

16 SCRIBBLER: Note: inappropriate analogies between war and sport is a feature of Australian culture.

17 ANNOUNCER: The New South Wales Rugby League Grand Final. Final result. Easts 38, St George 0. The Roosters will hold the J.J. Giltinan Shield for the next year.

18 IBID: Insert allusion to Dick’s bloody big prick (needle) and Davy’s bucket of gravy (sperm). Joyce cites this ballad in Circe. Composer: Oliver St John Gogarty, c.1903. Also, link to Willy.

19 A fabricated reminiscence. Search ‘feeding carp’ elsewhere in TMAC for the source of this image.

20 [TV Comedian 1 enters grocer’s shop wearing a tweed jacket and pork pie hat. He approaches the counter. TV Comedian 2 is dressed in women’s clothing]

TV COMEDIAN 2 (SHOPKEEPER): Hello, Mister Beckett. Who are you today?

TV COMEDIAN 1: Skeezy Sammy, Ma’am.

SHOPKEEPER: Who give you that name, son?

BECKETT: [Wistfully] Old Shamrock.

SHOPKEEPER: Well at least it’s an advance on Scoffynosey.

BECKETT: I’m not so sure of that. I’ll get him back one day by renaming him Hamm, Pozzo the Blind and Krapp. [Brighter] I’m going on holidays, Mrs Brennan.

SHOPKEEPER: Very nice, dear. What would you like?

BECKETT: [Extracting a prescription from his coat] Two balloons of warm porridge, a pound of tripe and a yoga mat please.

SHOPKEEPER: So where would you be taking those comestibles, Mister B?

BECKETT: On my honeymoon. [Modest canned laughter] My travel agents told me to pack for an interminable journey made up of hiatuses.

SHOPKEEPER: And who would they be?

BECKETT: Messrs. Berkeley, Descartes and Langlands upon Trinity Square. They said I would need all these ingredients because I can only make love to my wife by analogue.

SHOPKEEPER: And where are you taking your bonny new bride?

BECKETT: [Extracting itinerary] We’re going to Casa del Solipsism. [Canned groans, laughter and scattered applause] They say you can perceive the sand, but never actually feel it.

SHOPKEEPER: At least your soles won’t get burnt, love.

[Cut to famous philosophers in front row of set. They groan, smile and applaud. Ionesco laughs outright. Breton remains po-faced taking notes with chalk on a stone tablet.]

BURTON: Samuel Beckett took dictation from Joyce on a number of occasions during the drafting of F(W)ake. He inadvertently contributed the phrase, “come in,” on page 208 (“queemswellth of coocome in their combs”) when he literally transcribed Joyce’s command to a visitor who knocked on the door to enter. This is a famous anecdote, perhaps apocryphal, cited in Richard Ellmann’s biography of Joyce on page 649. He also contributed the essay, “Dantay [paws] … Burno. Veeco [parse] Joyz” to the collection of marketing puff-pieces known as A Symposium – Xagmination Round His Incamination of Work in Progress (1929).

21 SCRIBBLER: Joyce consistently makes this type of artificial transition in the novel. A comment on a given subject (in this case, the 1975 Grand Final) will be succeeded by an apparently arbitrary, chance corollary (footage of the game being seen on the television screen).

22 IBID: Personification is a key device in Circe. It can be linked to the work of Freud on dreams.

ANNOUNCER: Langlands’ calamitous performance in the 1975 Grand Final has become infamous in rugby league circles. Rumours abound as to its cause. White football boots, which he was wearing for the first time as part of a new sponsorship deal instead of the traditional black galoshes, were held accountable by both fans and media. Later, it was revealed that a misplaced painkilling injection in his leg had nobbled the champion FB.

SCRIBBLER: Note correspondences with 1969 Melbourne Cup favourite, Big Philou (see later in C7). Also, heroin use by Willy and Tom.

23 IBID: The weakness of the top order meant runs from the tail-enders were imperative if Australia was to remain competitive in the forthcoming series. This passage is symbolic of Australia’s economic condition in 1984.

24 IBID: Always connect apparently irrelevant, coincidental narrative comments to the largest symbolic issues in the novel. See next line for template.

25 IBID: In Circe, characters from Bloom’s memory suddenly appear in Bella’s brothel.

26 S.DOG: I am stuck on a tarmac in Shenzhen waiting for clearance crammed into economy class. I can hardly even read my laptop screen on the fold-down table let alone type freely. I just watched the Johnny Cash biopic while I ate jufan. I wish Tom had seen this movie. It contained five useful messages: there’s a lot of time to waste over the course of a single life; sometimes the most creative periods are the most uninspiring personal ones; there are OK times even as you go down; the mundane details in life can carry you along for decades; and you can bail out for a while and still make a big comeback (see Lacan “F”).

27 A/P ROGERS: This line can be translated as “Very elegantly strewn with sweet-smelling herbs.”

28 SCRIBBLER: C7 should disclose new information or facts insinuated in earlier chapters. Also, reposition emotional meaning and deepen characterisation through reveries and dreams. In this instance, we perceive Penelope Hallem as a lonely, vulnerable figure.

29 SCRIBBLER: See Joyce and Nora for analogue.

30 IBID: Reference “White Light, White Heat” (1968). Read the full lyric to attain the significance of this quote. Note – Don Cane could NEVER have known this song due to cultural, temporal and spatial disconnects. Thus, it is imposed from the writer’s cosmos onto characterisation like something in Proust.

31 NARRATOR: A sequence of male orgasm images and metaphors follows.

STEPHEN: Professor Swift says that one man ‘d’amour’ will beat ten men in armour.

32 TV COMEDIAN 1: [Irish accent. Dressed as a priest] As the priest said to the nun. Uga-uga-ugh [Canned laughter]

TV COMEDIAN 2: (Fat balding male in a full nun’s habit) Our milkman came every evening at the back door. Always left a fresh dab of cream on the top of mum’s pail.

ULAN: Link to Don and Helen.

TV COMEDIAN 1: Sometimes he drove ‘round the block so he could come twice.

TV COMEDIAN 2: Did he always enter via the rear driveway?

TV COMEDIAN 1: (Nudging her ribs) Ah-ah-ah!

33 SCRIBBLER: Stephen Dedalus makes this drunken toast to “the goddess who gladdens my youth.” It is adapted from the Latin Tridentine Mass. There are multiple links here with Telemachus.

34 MILKMAID: See Troy, a temple, Cassandra, her extraction, a rape, her apparently perverse grin when she learns her fate as Agamemnon’s concubine, Athena’s rage against this desecration.

35 SCRIBBLER: More dead kids. More false gestures. More limps.

36 IBID: A calculation of sons.

37 IBID: Insert list of hat-tricks. Restate Joyce on numerology. See later for further threesomes.

38 IBID: Note pun on surnames.

39 IBID: James McAuley.

40 EXAMINATION PAPER: The poem’s title links the death of Christ to the subject of infant mortality. Compare and contrast.

41 DON (YOUNG ERIC): My bounty stretched like a skinned-rabbit on the spina bifida slab.

42 SCRIBBLER: Slang term for Agent Orange.

43 IBID: Quote from the 1960s soul ballad, “Dark End of the Street,” by James Carr. It is the musical emblem for Don and Helen. The use of songs to explain relationships and advance plotlines was a key Joycean device.

44 NARRATOR: See Matthew 6:28. Also, Homer Smith in the movie with this name.

45 SCRIBBLER: This was a key slogan for nineteenth-century aesthetics.

46 IBID: Circe traces Bloom’s psychic journey through Nighttown to emotional resolution. Joyce sequenced his hallucinations and dreams to achieve closure. This purged Bloom so he could take on the role of father figure for SD.

47 ULAN: First, Bloom appears as an Irish peasant, leading a pig, begging to be allowed to return home. This pig-imagery continues with Zoe telling Bloom she is from “Hog’s Norton, where the pigs plays the organs” (15.1983). Zoe then seduces Bloom, who is turned into a pig-like brute. He follows her with a “lifted head, sniffing” (15.2039–40).


48 IBID: This naming is a pun on Mother Grogan in Chapter I of Ulysses. Later, he transforms into Mím. Short form and acronymical naming was prominent in F(W)ake. In Norse mythology, Mím is renowned for knowledge and wisdom. He was beheaded during the Æsir-Vanir War. Odin subsequently carried Mím’s head in a bag, extracting it for data, secrets and counsel as required. Both Milkmaid and Capri are outsiders in Faculty. Professor Milkmaid symbolises another of Billy’s various substitute fathers, who help him avoid the fate of TH.

49 IBID: This is a jape. The actual reason was Melbourne Cup celebrations.

50 IBID: It was hard to find the right word here.

51 IBID: See previous footnote.

52 IBID: Note self-reference.

NARRATOR: Proust appeared like a salonnard to acquaintances in Paris but all the time he was working in secret on his epic novel, which charts social change across all classes in the Belle Époque period in France up to the aftermath of the Great War.

53 SPRUIKER: Last Card Louie says, “THIS IS THE BIGGEST SHOW IN KINGS CROSS! Fourteen Lovely Girls. One Big Continuous Show. Roll up, roll up!”

54 SCRIBBLER: ASAL conducted a literary parody competition at each annual conference dinner.

55 IBID: This title inverts the title of Joseph Furphy’s great novel, which were allegedly Ned Kelly’s last words. See C8 for further details.

56 EXAMINATION PAPER: Ulysses and TMAC both use drastic economic conditions and social breakdown as the background for their plots. Joyce’s deconstruction of style and form mimics this subject matter. Explore.

57 SCRIBBLER: Leer is suddenly introduced into the novel at this point as a character. Describe his physical appearance.

58 SHANGHAI DOG: [In Chinese] Pint of Heineken please. What do you want?

XIAO FANG: Bu yao yingliao.

SHANGHAI DOG: Not even Perrier?

XIAO FANG: [Blowing out her cheeks] Rang wo tai pang.

SHANGHAI DOG: [Incredulous] Fat?

WAITRESS: She is correct. The bubbles make you fat.

STAGE DIRECTION: [Puts palms on belly. Pushes out cheeks as if bloated]

XIAO FANG: Like frog.

WAITRESS: Yes. We don’t want to look like Western women.

XIAO FANG: Dui. Kan qi lai li.

STAGE DIRECTION: [She makes the shape of a pear around her rump]

WAITRESS: Yes. Especially after childbirth.

STAGE DIRECTION: [The bartender slams a pint of beer on the bar]

BARTENDER: Thirty-eight Renminbi, Mister Billy.

SCRIBBLER: Search numerology.

BLOOM: I’ll pay for his drink. Also, that handbag. Let me slip a few hundred kuai into your wallet as well. That should help pay the hostess at the KTV later.

59 STAGE DIRECTION: [The great author leans on the northern railing of Rathausbrucke watching the swift spring tide of alpine waters flow south towards Zurichsee. The corpse of a bloated dog passes beneath him.]

60 SCRIBBLER: See C1. Arbitrary location. Substitute Trieste. Any of Joyce’s nine homes there will suffice. They were all within a five-minute walk of Via San Nicolo. This image portrays Joyce as a metonymy of Sir Lancelot. The walking stick is a polearm. Hat as helmet. No horse. Link to Cervantes.

61 IBID: The Citizen’s dog is named after a champion Irish Red Setter, which was a household name in Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century. Simon Dedalus, John Joyce and their cronies would have all smoked Spillane’s Garryowen Flake, a pipe tobacco named after James Giltrap’s famed canine.

62 IBID: Note allusions to Henry Lawson’s sketch, “The Loaded Dog.”

63 IBID: Choice of slaves, hobbits, dwarves, comedians, council workers.

64 IBID: He consumes the poison vial. Leopold Bloom is the son of an immigrant Jewish father from Szombathely, Hungary, who committed suicide in the Queen’s Hotel, Central Ennis. See Chapter 10 for more details.

65 SHANGHAI DOG: Xia zha nong.

TRANSLATOR: This means “thank you” in Shanghai dialect.

STAGE DIRECTIONS: [He gives RMB100 to the bartender]

WAITRESS: You speak Shanghainese?

SHANGHAI DOG: Yi dian dian.

TRANSLATOR: This means, “a little,” in Mandarin.

WAITRESS: [Disdainful] I don’t speak it. I come from Jiangsu province. I hate Shanghai people.

XIAO FANG: [Nodding] They are all arrogant.

WAITRESS: They talk too fast. And hiss.

XIAO FANG: Like snakes.

WAITRESS: Three years now I am living in Shanghai. Still, I don’t understand Shanghai people.

XIAO FANG: Dui. Tamen gang xi huan wei guo ren bi Zhong guo ren.

TRANSLATOR: This means, “Correct. They prefer foreign people to Chinese people.”

WAITRESS: When all the Shanghai people have relocated to Pudong, they are going to cut it off the mainland and float across the sea so they can join Taiwan.

XIAO FANG: [Shocked laughter] Don’t say that! It is very bad thinking!

STAGE DIRECTIONS: [Another customer arrives. The waitress exits. Xiao FANG takes out her iPhone and begins texting intently]

66 SCRIBBLER: This is a reference to the Manly Warringah rugby league team.

67 IBID: This pun references both the spine of a book jacket and key positions in rugby league. Numbers 1, 6, 7 and 9 are known as the spine. Langlands wore number 1.

68 NARRATOR: In Viking cultures, he is known as Asgard. In others, “Hag” or “Mím.”

69 ULAN: The Victorian scientific impulse has gone horribly wrong in this passage.

70 SCRIBBLER: This is all relevant to the Circe episode of the Odyssey.

71 IBID: There have been many references to Billy Capri as goat-like since C4. The word ‘Capra’ means goat in Latin. Joyce used a similar sequence of porcine terms in Circe.

72 IBID: Link to Bloom and Molly in bed.

73 IBID: Compare with Gloucester, K. Lear.

74 SCRIBBLER: [In Blank Verse] By rights, Julius Caesar should have been the tragedy of Brutus. Up to the assassination of Caesar, Brutus is the principal character. His cogitations resemble Hamlet’s angst. Antony’s eulogy in Act 3, Scene 2 steals the play. From that point, it becomes a basic revenge drama. It is as if Shakespeare was diverted by the power of his own monologue and changed the entire focus of the plot. Brutus is reduced to a mere target. His language drops a key. He even becomes aphonic at some points like Caius Martius Coriolanus. Shakespeare could be playing with convention with this flip in plotline. Or he might have just failed to sustain tragic structuration.

ILKS: Shakespeare is said to have produced a play of action – not reflection – in Coriolanus. It is often called a ‘busy play.’ Yet Coriolanus is, in fact, the most stagnant of plays. There is no moral or intellectual progression. No movement towards amelioration. It ends where it began. Nothing has been clarified. It is a circuit. The principal change is that Coriolanus has died. Only the operations of language itself seem to have been exemplified by this drama. It is Rome as the site of linguistic flux which is paramount.

HAROLD BLOOM: No character in Shakespeare listens. Not even the minor ones. They are all too busy giving soliloquys.

ILKS: Like Tom Hallem, death has already claimed Martius by the time he is forced to step forward in the Forum and make the confession of what he is. No stable definition of him is possible. He must remain forever an enigma. He is a Protean character of temporary masks and poses: a man of action who performs no acts during play-time; highly sophisticated yet credulous; sensitive yet not to flattery; a gull of love. He is ineffectual even in death.

O: Dialectic is Coriolanus’ natural mode. He has the will to alter the natural world but only with language. He claims to have ‘fled from words’ yet he relentlessly updates, revises and examines his own monologues until they produce grotesque parodies of their original sentiments. Metaphor is piled upon metamorphosis until no thing is left untransfered, untransformed. First, animals. Lions become hares; foxes, geese. Then natural phenomena are inverted: “coal of fire” is seen on ice; hailstones in the sun. Human metaphors of illness and depravity follow. He goes beneath the ocean to conjure oxymoronic “fins of lead” then flies into the sky to flap against an oak tree like an ineffectual bird. The will to utterance is paramount. Its cause, secondary. Content is always subservient to style.

MILDLING: He was the first Spasmodic poet!

Goldstein: A Byronic hero.

Barbour: Like Pechorin, his acts of bravery always seem TOO desperate … as if he was motivated by a subliminal craving for self-destruction.

BILLY CAPRI: Tom was always looking for the wild crowd.

PENELOPE HALLEM: Right from an early age. The first thing he did was pull himself upright on the fence to squash a bug. He was always covered in bruises from his early efforts to walk. People used to look at me as if I’d beaten him.

75 SCRIBBLER: Link Brutus on naming to illegitimacy. See naming in C6.

76 NARRATOR: Sharing heroin from a dirty needle was common practice up to 1985. Many participants were infected with Hepatitis and/or HIV/AIDS as a result. The first recorded case of HIV/AIDS in Australia was in Sydney in October 1982. The first Australian death from AIDS occurred in Melbourne in July 1983. The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation was founded in 1984. It was named in honour of one of Australia’s early AIDS victims, who was a successful Gay Olympian. The Foundation had its origins in a network of friends who cared for Bobby Goldsmith, allowing him to live independently until his death in June 1984. In 1985, Eve van Grafhorst was ostracised at school on the NSW Central Coast after contracting HIV/AIDS from infected blood during a transfusion. Her family moved to New Zealand where she died at the age of 11. NSW didn’t have an AIDS Council until 1985.

77 ILKS: Coriolanus is another parody of Tragedy. Its climax is rushed. Aufidius is no Fortinbras, no Malcolm, not even an Antony. The play ends with him mouthing inappropriate platitudes in a parody of denouement.

78 A BANNER: [Rolling text across base of TV screen] Superstar filly Samantha Miss wins the VRC Oaks to end Melbourne Cup week.

79 LYNCH: A powerful laxative. Note syringe link. Also, crime and corruption.

Meillon: Premier Askin’s nickname amongst SP bookies in the 1960s was ‘crime’ because crime doesn’t pay. He was notorious for welching on lost bets.

BURTON: This term was a derogatory reference to Welshmen.

80 ANNOUNCER: The Caulfield Cup over 2,400 metres and the Melbourne Cup over 3,200 metres.

81 RICHARD ELLMANN: This is a clever pun on Joyce’s five-quid debt to the writer George William Russell, who wrote under the pseudonym AE.

82 SCRIBBLER: See Chaucer, The Miller’s Tale (l.3206–7).

83 IBID: Pun on cuckold and paper size. Link to F(W)ake.

84 IBID: Phallic naming. In C7 of F(W)ake, the dominant brother, Shaun, mocks the weaker sibling, Shem, with a list of traits from Joyce’s own life and personality such as blindness, fear of thunderstorms and exile from Ireland. Shem’s defence invokes the power of literature to express the human condition.

85 IBID: This is a self-deprecating, polysemous pun on Bloom’s buttock worship. Also, his Masoch-like tendency to erotic servitude.

86 IBID: In ‘An Encounter,’ Joyce’s subject desired “real adventures.” However, he is waylaid by Chidley on his mini-quest towards the Pigeon House by a masturbating stranger. This causes paralysis because the seed is not used for procreation. Chidley was, in many regards, a refracted Methodist preacher.

87 ANNOUNCER: The title refers to the Eureka Flag flown at the Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat, Victoria in 1854.

88 NARRATOR: Lawson’s overt racism in the poem is often glossed over.

89 SCRIBBLER: This is a reference to the shirt of Nessus, which was given to Deianira by the dying centaur. It had been doused in the venom of the Lernaean Hydra, which Heracles used on his arrow tips to kill Nessus. Deianira gave it to Heracles to wear in the mistaken belief it would ensure his faithfulness. He was consumed by burning poison. To extinguish the pain, he built his own funeral pyre and threw himself onto it. In this instance, it is used as a symbol of Tom Hallem poisoning Ana Lafei with a speedball made out of a combination of Willy’s heroin and Elizabeth’s cocaine, which both possess excessive purity. The lair of the Hydra was the Lake of Lerna in the Argolid, which was a subterranean entrance to the Underworld. It is a direct correspondence with the abandoned St James rail tunnel where Ana will die. After the fix kicks in, she is left thrashing on the ground like Proteus. References to her musical performance create a link with Tom’s mother. Insert reference to various Nick Cave victims. He sings “Box for Black Paul” as his encore. This appropriation clearly refers to the future of Tom Hallem (whose death also comes after the ‘main show’ of the novel).

90 ILKS: Examples in Classical literature include Niobe, Jocasta, Clytemnestra, Althaea, Medea and Agave who inadvertently tore her own son to pieces.

91 SCRIBBLER: In his reverie, he sees a pair of bronzed twins with golden locks like Greg Wheaton rushing towards him.

92 IBID: Incursion of the false father shifts narrative back towards the plot. Note juxtaposition with Don Cane.

93 LEER: My father was a deeply religious man. Especially when he was out of luck at the pokies.

SHAUN: Bit of a gambler then?

LEER: [Incredulous] Bit of a gambler?! Bit of a gambler?! They’d bet on the intervals between the trucks passing in my family. Bet on the length of your toes.

STAGE DIRECTION: [Cut to Stratosphere Casino, Las Vegas]

TEXAS MILIONAIRE: [Staring across the roulette table] I’m worth 60 million bucks.

THE BIG FELLA: [Extracting a silver dollar from his pocket. Laconically] Toss you for it.

MAX PRESNELL: Packer’s most famous attack on bookmakers came during the Autumn Carnival in 1987. He punted $8 million on young speedster Christmas Tree to win the Golden Slipper. It finished fourth. Next, he backed boom three-year-old Myocard for $7 million to win the Sydney Cup at odds of 4/7 ON. It came second; ironically, to a Packer-owned gelding, Major Drive. He was known to remark ruefully that anyone who suggested Sydney races were fixed need only look at that result.

94 SCRIBBLER: This is another allusion to Joyce’s obsession with numerology.

95 THE BULLETIN: (A breeze flicks pages until a cartoon is reached) The Auburn Plute.

96 SCRIBBLER: A memory of Rudy, of what he might have become, infests our hero.

97 IBID: Also Fort Denison, the last Martello Tower.

98 HUANGPU PARK SIGN: Chinese and Dogs Not Admitted.

ANNOUNCER: In addition to the derogatory meanings of being called a dog across all cultures, this association had extra potency for Chinese. Han Chinese used the ‘dog’ radical when describing minorities.


ANNOUNCER: Now, the tables were turned. Associates of ‘foreign devils’—

TRANSLATOR: —Wei guo er mo—

ANNOUNCER: —Were referred to as ‘running dogs.’

99 LUKE GARDINER: Nelson’s Pillar marked the end of an era – of a civilisation – and the culmination of the great period of eighteenth-century Dublin. It was all downhill to Belfast from there.

100 TRANSLATOR: Nongmin means peasant in Mandarin.

101 SCRIBBLER: Peasants brew their own spirits from rice. Many Shanghainese drink brown wine, which is the same strength as sherry but sour.


SCRIBbLER: Beer is considered a luxury.

102 IBID: See B. Smith (sugar, bowl et cetera).

103 IBID: Symbol of writing as scat (acts). Penelope at her (B)loom. Dropping Bloomers.

104 IBID: A riddle cited by Joyce in which an Irish criminal covers a turd on the pavement with his hat and tricks a policeman into watching it while he escapes. At a metaphorical level, Ireland represents the turd for Joyce. Generally, a ‘hat trick’ refers to the achievement of a feat three times in succession in sport. Also, the Blessed Trinity. Cited by Stephen in his exchange with Old Gummy Granny.

105 IBID: This is a pun on Bloom’s size and intellectual prowess.

106 IBID: In C10, Tom Hallem does not cut down the smack due to his awkward circumstances in the bathroom at Frenchs. This carelessness precipitates Ana’s overdose. Therefore, he bears moral responsibility for her death in terms of tragic emplotment, which necessitates his own death in turn to resolve the plot.

107 IBID: See Chaucer, “The Miller’s Tale.” Joyce got full marks for an essay on “The Good Parson” in Padua (1912). He considered Chaucer’s writing to be “as precise and as slick as a Frenchman.”

108 IBID: Chaucer parodies the medieval blazon in “The Miller’s Tale.” This literary device compares a woman’s body parts to other objects, such as eyes that glisten like stars. By contrast, Chaucer’s analogies for Alisoun are all quite base. Her body is presented as a weasel. She is also depicted as a helpless mouse, a colt and a young chicken. Alisoun is the only character in Chaucer’s tale who remains unpunished. She is destined to commit adultery against her older husband. She is thus a prototype for Molly Bloom.

109 IBID: Die.

110 NEWSCASTER: Business Review Weekly has released the first list of Australia’s richest people. The BRW Top 200 has Rupert Murdoch tied in first place with the Fairfax family.

ALISON: The Herald advertising section is called a river of gold.

NEWSCASTER: Kerry Packer is in third place with 250 million dollars followed by the Ingham brothers. The Chicken Kings have a combined fortune in excess of 200 million dollars.

BELLA: He’s a regular.

111 JACK LANG: I will introduce a widow’s pension and a worker’s compensation act.

112 CHRIS MASTERS: When Allan Bond purchased QTQ-9 in Brisbane, he immediately settled an outstanding defamation case with Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, for $400,000.

ALAN BOND: Sir Joh left no doubt in my mind that he expected the matter to be resolved in his favour if we were going to continue doing business in Queensland.

113 SCRIBBLER: This is Absolon’s revenge against Alisoun.

114 NEWSCASTER: The cut-off for inclusion was $10 million, which is equal to the total amount of wealth of 357 ordinary Australians.

JOHN CURTIN: (To the assembled press after emerging from a private meeting with General McArthur in August 1942) After this war is finished, we will ensure the Capitalist wolf will not be able to feed on the lambs in the factories and workshops as it has done for the last fifty years in this country.

115 SCRIBBLER: Hamlet in this trope.

116 MENZIES: I did but see her, stirrups high.

CITIZEN: English lickspittle.

SCRIBBLER: The ballad quoted by Menzies was composed by Thomas Ford in 1608.

ALBERT THE GOOD: The squawking infant was plucked from his mother’s sky-turned womb.

TRANSLATOR: Mutters Himmel verwandelte Gebärmutter.

117 IBID: I would like a glass of milk, Mother Grogan.

118 GRAN[DP]ATER: Téigh trasna ort féin. Cross over yourself.

CITIZEN: Díul mó bhad. Suck my boat.

GRAN[DP]ATER: Feisigh do thoin fein! Fuck your own arse.

GEOFFREY BLAINEY: Australia’s religious tolerance is epitomised by its Prime Ministers. There have been four Anglicans, six Presbyterians, four Catholics, two Methodists, one Baptist, a Unitarian, one Spiritualist and four who professed no religion at all.

CITIZEN: [Disgustedly] Not a Fenian amongst them.

[He throws a Molotov cocktail then runs from the scene]

119 SCRIBBLER: Hungarian, Yiddish. There are more than two hundred references to Judaism in Ulysses. Jewish tropes are arguably more important than Classical ones in the novel.

120 TRANSLATOR (Morton P Levitt): “This idiosyncratic combination—of letters of the alphabet, religious holidays and practices, fraternal orders, dietary customs and cultural groupings, pejorative slang, misspellings and mispronunciations—seems all of the Yiddishkeit that Bloom has managed to retain in his life among the Gentiles. It is, in his own word, just a bit crazy (meshuggah).”

121 SCRIBBLER: Integrate Irish and Australian-Irish historical figures. Revitalise Irish links with Australian culture. Reject all British tropes. Destroy masonry.

122 IBID: A working knowledge of Irish politics is essential to understanding Ulysses.

123 MAX BROWN: This letter was drafted some time before the Kelly Gang’s raid on Jerilderie in February 1879.

124 SCRIBBLER: Insert self-reference. I had a good story, I knew it, but I had to take risks to try to get to the next level.

125 CITIZEN: John Curtin was a jailbird, a drunk, a coward and a lapsed Catholic. But, for all that, he was still a loyal Irishman.

126 JIM MIDDLETON: In 2008, union membership dropped beneath 20% of the workforce. Back in the 1980s, it was over 40 per cent.

127 NARRATOR: Edward the Seventh appears in an archway holding a slops bucket, according to Joyce. A roar of acclamation greets him.

128 SCRIBBLER: Seven times like Rachel.

129 IBID: When Dante went to the Underworld, he took Virgil on a leash to explain its mysteries.

130 IBID: Circle back to the maw image at start of chapter.

131 EDGAR: Keep thy foot out of brothels.

132 SCRIBBLER: In his fantasy, Bloom is arrested for public nuisance. He stands trial in a Surrealist court that resembles the high farce of “Toad of Toad Hall.” His identity constantly changes as characters from his past and personifications of his perverse desires appear to give evidence against him.

133 IBID: Reciprocal feelings of paternity from Stephen Dedalus to Bloom are NEVER made clear.

134 IBID: An hour is not just an hour, according to Proust. It is a lamp or vase filled with perfumes, sounds, designs and climates. The sections of this chapter have been drafted and timed to consume exactly one hour each of real time. When Marcel comments to Jupien in DTP that he feels like he has just witnessed a scene from the Arabian Nights, Jupien replies that he cannot furnish a full set of forty thieves for Marcel’s pleasure but he can collect ten vagabonds almost immediately. Marcel just needs to check that the light in Jupien’s window is illuminated. That is his signal; a kind of ‘open sesame.’

135 IBID: Links TMAC with Joyce’s Circe. This is the literary equivalent of the subsequent sexual act of Leer and Tom.

136 IBID: Both horses were geldings.

137 IBID: In Ulysses, Bloom intervenes to protect Stephen’s salary.

138 IBID: The evil nature of Mabbott Street is reinforced by the repeated offer of sex with a virgin to passing males by Last Card Louie.

139 NARRATOR: She says, turning towards the door.

140 NARRATOR: He gestures with his thumb.

SCRIBBLER: Marcel noted that all the young men selected by Charlus looked like Morel.

141 NARRATOR: The room contains rudimentary furniture and fittings indicating that it is meant to represent a doctor’s surgery. They all undress. The prostitute handles the men. She performs oral sex. Leer makes eye-contact with Tom. She is instructed to lie down on the examination table. Leer engages in perfunctory intercourse. Tom Hallem stands alongside the bench. She handles his erection harshly. It induces an involuntary memory of having his penis jerked unevenly by XXXXX behind the garage at Burwood. This makes him hard. He licks at the roof of his mouth. His throat feels dry suddenly.

142 IBID: Both men are highly aroused.

143 SCRIBBLER: Joyce blurs content in Circe. This was one of his rare concessions to the risk of censorship. This passage contains a sequence of analogies with Bloom. Bella leads Tom to a stockade. Three Nubians appear. They shackle him roughly. Bella slowly turns the handle of a winch. Hallem rises on birthing stirrups. His torso is split. He is prone. She straps an enormous black dildo over a black latex body suit and approaches Tom.

BELLA: No gag.

COMPTON: Make a bleeding butcher’s shop of the bugger’s arsehole.

NARRATOR: Tom turns his head away. In another part of the dungeon, a young Moroccan is standing in front of the so-called ‘man in chains’ revolving a nail-studded whip with increasing velocity. The proprietor whispers salaciously to the supplicant.

JUPIEN: He’s a milkman but he’s also one of the most dangerous thugs in Belleville. He had several convictions for theft and burglary. He’s been in a punishment battalion Africa. He murdered an African on the beach. He even killed his own parade sergeant.

MAJOR TWEEDY: [Gruffly] Up and anatem! Mahar shalal hashbaz.

[Bella thrusts the bienfaiteur into Tom’s mouth. Bile pours out of his nostrils. An attendant flays his thighs. Another attaches jump cables to his nipples. The third applies a vice to his scrotum. Suddenly, he recognises them as the Attic youths at the start of C2]

NARRATOR: “Look at me,” Bella demands softly. Tom does. With terror in his eyes, he sees Leer. He presses into Tom and lowers his head towards Tom’s mouth.

PRIVATE CARR: [Advances at Stephen] How would it be, governor, if I was to bash in your jawbone?

BLOOM: [Plucking Stephen’s sleeve vigorously] Come now. That carman is waiting. Let’s scarpaflow.

STEPHEN: [Turns] Eh? [He disembogues himself] Why should I not speak to any human being who walks upright upon this stage?

BELLA: [Unzipping the suit to reveal a thick body] Do you like what you see?


BELLA: Gaze on my gut.

BOOT: Your tongue, slave.

OTHER BOOT (WHITE): Lick it clean, Pig.

BELLA: Taste.

[She transforms into Elizabeth Archer. He is dressed as Severin]

HALLEM: I am your servant.

JOYCE: [Composing a letter in a café while he drinks a glass of wine] I wish you would smack me or flog me even, Nora. Not in play, dear, in earnest and on my naked flesh. I wish you were strong, strong, dear, and had a big full proud bosom and big fat thighs. I would love to be whipped by you, Nora love. This is a transcription from ACTUAL correspondence.

144 SCRIBBLER: See C6 & C10 for further analysis of father-son relations re-Joyce.

145 NARRATOR: We are never told the identity of this word. It was probably “son” or “pray.” Her maiden name was May Goulding. Everyone knelt around her deathbed reciting the Liliata except Stephen. Go back to Meillon, C2. In PAYM, she was an active agent. She died in the gap between novels. By Ulysses, she is a moth decomposing into dry fibres against religion’s stark electric globe. Stephen refers to her melodramatically as “lemur,” which means ‘spirit of the dead.’ He asks who promulgated this ‘trick’? There is a clear reference with gender inversion to Hamlet in this apparition.

146 IBID: Loop back to ballad competition earlier in C7.

147 STAGE DIRECTION: [Ken Leer hobbles down King Street on an artificial leg. Don Cane’s skull appears in the window of the Milton Hotel. It sits neatly inside the reflection of Tom Hallem’s distorted head. The bar is populated by sailors. Leer slumps to the pavement]

TV COMEDIAN 2: [Popular Irish host of BBC comedy series. He is dressed as a barmaid. A cigarette dangles from the corner of his mouth. A plaster bust of Shakespeare is fastened to the shoulder of his Elizabethan cloak, which reaches down to his gyrdlestead. He starts giggling a he speaks] It’s so nice to have the Old Watering Hole full of seamen again.

TV COMEDIAN 1: [Dropping out of character] Who wrote this rubbish?

TV COMEDIAN 2: [Also dropping out of character] You did. In fact, you said it was a comic masterpiece.

TV COMEDIAN 1: Well, it looked good as text. Was it cleared by the Vatican?

[Canned laughter]


TV COMEDIAN 1: How long does this scene go on?

TV COMEDIAN 2: Oh, about 8 inches … [Canned laughter] as the priest said to the nun! [Delirious canned laughter with scattered applause at this trademark punchline. He drops out of character again. Male voice] I got you that time. [Spontaneous audience laughter. Both actors break up. Hiatus. They resume role. Affecting a female voice] Oh Father O’Fartagan! You’re a live one to be sure.

TV COMEDIAN 1: [Breaking wind] Ooops! [Canned laughter. He breaks wind again]

TV COMEDIAN 2: Father! Manners!

TV COMEDIAN 1: Well, you know the story, Sister Cuntworthy. Fartagan by name. Fart again by nature! [Canned groans. Some laughter. Mild applause]

148 Goldstein: This is another example of Joyce’s use of misunderstanding or mishearing as a plot device. The British soldiers believe that Stephen has threatened to assassinate King Edward the Seventh. This technique has already been used in the famous Throwaway scene between Lyons and Bloom.

149 ULAN: We have now reached the climactic point in Ulysses when Leopold Bloom offers to take Stephen Dedalus back to his home. It takes place in the midst of a wide-ranging hallucinatory narrative involving BIDDY THE CLAP, VIRAGO, THE BAWD, A ROUGH, THE CITIZEN, CROPPY BOY, RUMBOLD (DEMON BARBER) & EDWARD THE EIGHTH. This is a typical example of Joyce hiding a climax in irrelevant content.

MCCREEDY: He sucks you in with the first episodes. It’s fairly mediocre story-telling up to Chapter 6. After that, it’s almost unreadable.

O: It is still a work of art.

Barbour: Much of it highly polished.

MILDLING: Yet it feels like a first draft.


JOHN B. YEATS: I think every work of art should survive after all the labour bestowed on it and survive as a sketch. To the last it must be something struck off at a first heat.

ILKS: You can see the writer constantly processing his critical knowledge throughout the work.

JESS: [Typing at a keyboard] Now that the corrected text is locked into In-Design you must delete one word for every word you add.

O: [Older] With Proust and Joyce, it is more satisfying to read about their books than to read the books themselves.

BARD-UN: Once a work-in-progress is finished, it becomes a true FORM. Then you think about it differently. You no longer fret over individual sentences. You talk about it in TOTAL terms.

EMILIO FERRER: This book was inevitable. It was inevitable that one day someone would show that the true point of interest in the Odyssey is not the actions of the father but the trauma of the abandoned son. And it was inevitable you would be the one to write it.

O: It reflects the switch in postmodern psychiatry to examining the impact of the absent father.

JAMES HERZOG: Call it ‘Father-hunger.’

JUNG: Senex and puer aeternus.

BARD-UN: The son must transcend the journey of the father.

FREUD: In the case of Schreber, the Rat-Man, we find ourselves once again on the familiar ground of the father-complex.

LACAN: Le nom du père, le non du père, les non-dupes errant.

O: Lacan parodies the Trinity. The name of the father represents GOD. The ‘NO’ of the father is our damnation for sin, which was countervailed by Jesus.

Barbour: The Odyssey is one of the rare occasions in literary history when minor characters get to step forward.

Ranajit GUHA: We can only reconstruct subaltern consciousness from the administrative records of the colonial master class.

Barbour: The Iliad represented the last stand of masculine group ‘heroics.’ The Odyssey shows the repercussions of war on the last hero.

O: The Odyssey was the first psychological drama. Telemachus is its subject. Odysseus is a simpleton in comparison.

Barbour: Penelope shows him up using the tool of dream interpretation. This was Freud’s template. He has become a monomaniac.

MILKMAID: Hamlet is a paralysed version of Telemachus.

Barbour: Because his father did not fully return. Only an apparition. He had no certainty.

ULAN: The other difference in Shakespeare is his mother married one of the suitors. That really fucked with his head.

BARD-UN: This must all be handled inside footnotes. It cannot be allowed to penetrate the pages of the REAL.

150 Barbour: Nineteenth century writers hid their sources well. They veiled energeia inside entelechy. Look at the way Pater appropriated Ruskin. Not so much as a single reference. Later, Wilde did the same thing to Pater. The “golden book” of Marius became Dorian Gray’s sickly “yellow book.”

Goldstein: Wilde’s genius here was degraded colouration. Gold is reduced to yellow with all its symbolic associations with jaundice, adultery, jealousy, melancholy, degradation, death and decay.

ULAN: Wilde debased Pater. Joyce removed the aesthetic element.

Mím/MILKMAID: [See disembodied head] When Cain ate Abel, SHAUN consumed his share.

Barbour: [Plucking at her heart and lifting her right forearm] To dream of Abel is a favourable omen. It indicates you are rising in the world not falling.

ILKS: Wilde leaves me cold. His texts are too mechanical.

MILDLING: They often seem to be just a pretext for a sequence of set-pieces highlighting his epigrammatic wit.

Goldstein: They always approach perfection of form.

O: Yes. There is very little dilation in Wilde’s texts. Certainly, less than you find in Pater, Joyce, Proust or even Beckett. And just look at the variety of his forms. Only a genius could be successful in such diverse genres: a novel, short stories, plays, melodramas, essays, farces, children’s fairy tales, Poe-like fables, lectures and finally the great prison ballad. His trademark is the seamless execution of familiar, sometimes hackneyed forms. And then there are his Poe-like twists. Just look at the way Dorian Gray turns from an aesthetic novel into a gruesome thriller that ends up as a morality tale.

Goldstein: Wilde was a master of forms. Joyce was a master of forms within one text.

151 Barbour: Swinburne did not apply himself to fiction. The fragments of what is known as Lesbia Brandon were written in the first phase of his literary career in the 1860s around the time of Blake, Atalanta in Calydon and Poems and Ballads – First Series. Although his correspondence in the mid to late 1870s indicates that Swinburne was very interested in completing Lesbia Brandon (and frustrated by Watts-Dunton’s failure to return missing portions of the manuscript), the novel remained incomplete. Its fragments were never definitively ordered by Swinburne. Indeed, it was never even titled by Swinburne, being given its title by either Wise or Gosse.

152 O: Swinburne was searching for a way to infuse prose with poetics in Lesbia Brandon and Love’s Cross-Currents. His style, however, was confined by its direct transference of poetic devices. He made no attempt to master the mechanics of prose. In Ulysses, Joyce found the right formula.

153 SCRIBBLER: See C4. In an inadvertent correspondence (and irony), Swinburne also attempted to introduce elements of flagellation and incest like Joyce. It was left to Proust to incontrovertibly depict this element in Baron de Charlus.

154 Mím/MILKMAID: The lessons of Exiles resonate throughout the dialogue in Ulysses.

155 Barbour: Joyce does differ from Ibsen in a key theme. Core Ibsen themes include dishonest actions, guilt, secrets and torture by conscience. Any image of lightness is a prospective symbol; craving freedom from these drags. Joyce begins Exiles where Ibsen stopped. Richard Rowan is determined to avoid any action which may cause him to feel liability in the future. As such, he tries to OPEN THE SCRIPT to candour. He acts like a libertarian. But his real agenda is to use his knowledge of events to torture himself in a different way like Severin, Swann or Marcel.

156 Goldstein: This is contradicted by its tone, which is tendentious.

157 Barbour: There was no certainty that Nora would even attend a production of the play given her contempt for Joyce’s profession.

158 MILDLING: It is not known if the romantic union of Hand and Justice was a conscious comic allusion to masturbation by Joyce.

159 GOLDERG: Likewise, Joyce subsequently encouraged Presiozo to flatter Nora in Trieste. This became one of the spurs for the plot of Exiles.

160 O: Joyce did not endure the same Promethean angst as his main character. He visited his last true friend, John F. Byrne, at Seven Eccles Street before he left Dublin. Byrne reassured him that it was a “blasted plot” by Cosgrove to break him. He trusted Byrne so much that he gave Bloom his house to live in.

161 Goldstein: Joyce exchanged violent notes with Nora in Trieste after he became convinced of her betrayal with Cosgrove.

162 ULAN: Rowan feels like he has turned his wife into a literary character. There is no humanity left in her – or between them. She is a cold statue that he observes. Joyce did not make the same mistake in Ulysses. He made an autonomous female character out of Molly Bloom, one who has the last word.

163 O: Richard and Robert are considered halves of a whole (Joyce) by some critics.

164 ILKS: It is hard to believe that a writer as acute as Joyce would select this family name without interrogating its origin and meaning.

165 Barbour: Both men bore Joyce malice. They had read his crude characterisation of them in Stephen Hero. Joyce saw “Gogarty’s fat back” spying on him when he got off the boat in Kingstown. They hunted him down. They offered him drugs. Joyce resisted. Finally, Cosgrave claimed that he had been seeing Nora in Ringsend and down along the banks of the Dodder during her courtship with Joyce.

166 ILKS: It is left unclear whether coitus occurred with Robert and Bertha in the gap between Acts 2 and 3. This trailing anxiety is in fact the perfect emotional state for Richard. It also suited Joyce. Nora never confirmed or denied liaisons with Cosgrave. This excited Joyce’s passion and triggered his latent masochist tendencies which received full characterisation in Leopold Bloom.

167 Barbour: Or ‘non-events.’

168 Goldstein: Publication of Ulysses was still 7 years away.

169 MILDLING: A letter from Stanislaus confirmed Cosgrave’s treachery. This spurred intense guilt in Joyce.

170 ULAN: Rowan’s proposed appointment was a realistic outcome for Joyce had he remained in Ireland.

171 O: Joyce wanted to cast his future patron, Edith Rockefeller McCormick, in the part of Bertha. Her quali­fications seem to have been her wardrobe, jewellery and the financial benefit that might have accrued to Joyce.

172 MILDLING: The only review caused the production to be closed. Joyce made a famous retort: “did they want a steeplechase?” This was better than any line in Exiles.

173 Goldstein: Some critics even discern homosexual desire.

174 Barbour: Joyce is already working through the significance of a dead mother in Exiles. Richard Rowan contrasts the dead body of his mother with the live body of his wife in Act One. He also raises the same religious defiance that tortured Stephen Dedalus: “Do you think I do not pity her cold blighted love for me? I fought against her spirit while she lived to the bitter end. It fights against me still.”

175 O: Hugh Kenner’s ratio is 10 per cent real events and 90 per cent hallucinations.

176 SCRIBBLER: See Eunice Rojas, “Madness as Redemption in ‘Circe’” (2010).

177 ULAN: Maybe this is due to his exposure to Christianity, although Bloom is not even a real Catholic.

178 Goldstein: This is made very clear by his brother in My Brother’s Keeper.

179 Barbour: A brothel visit is a fairly mundane literary device in Victorian literature, as Wilde showed in Dorian Gray.

180 SCRIBBLER: See Tolomeo (301).

181 IBID: Telemachus contains two figures who could qualify for this status – Tom Hallem and Ana Lafei. However, the narrative technique resists/repels this mode of emplotment. There is ZERO EXPOSITION of narrative events which could induce a structure or tone of TRAGEDY. This is no place for sentiment.

182 IBID: This occurs periodically in C7; for example, the spoken allusion to White Boots is followed by television coverage of the GF. INSERT OTHER EXAMPLES.

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