(U) Episode 18: “Penelope,” ~pp 723-783.

What They Are Saying, Episode 18


…born on Depot Street, reared on Main Street, onetime scholar of two Sunday schools (one Episcopalian, the other Congregationalist), member of a poor but decent profession, I am glad not to be married to this particular embodiment of everything….” Nevertheless,” as dying Ibsen said.

William York Tindall

My text of Tindall’s writing about “Penelope” in A Reader’s Guide to James Joyce has disappeared in a camouflage of highlighting. There is nothing I can add except to say: “Savor those six pages.”

I had planned to ask and affirm: “Is she Circe?” “Is she Martha?” Affirmed. And Mae West, The Little Flower, Helena Bonham of Troy, Dorothys Parker, Day and Gale. Just read Tindall. He said it better.

I planned to ask: “Were they all her lovers? I’d claim there were few, spiced with numerous flirtations, kisses, and amorous touches. Reconsidering, I believe we are, every man and woman, her lovers. 

Instead, I’ll just cobble a Litany of the Mother Most UnVirginal Marion Tweedy Bloom.

  • Grieving Mother, (Response: “Play for us”)
  • Tower of Untouched Isolation
  • Diva Most Demanding
  • Primer of Poets
  • Wounder of Words
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Hat Unspotted
  • Wife of Turkish Bath
  • Patroness Most Practical
  • Protectress of Oysters Dear
  • Peruser of Pulps
  • Sharer of Seedcake
  • Tin of Potted Plums
  • Wearer of Pants
  • Mangler of MetAmpsychosis
  • Ever-ripening Melon
  • Caster of Cards
  • Sibyl Superstitious
  • Virgin of Hodges Figgis’ Window
  • Goddess of Earth, Moon, and Firmament
  • Fleshy Arm of Alms
  • Flailer of Flannelless Bottoms
  • Gainsayer of Glooms
  • Creationist Most Convinced
  • Fiancee of the Regiment
  • Room Unfurnished
  • Scalder of Pots

and YES

  • Affirmer of All
copyright (c) don ward, 2021


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