Ulysses, “Scylla and Charybdis,” Episode 9~ pp.182-215.

copyright (c) don ward 2020

Episode References from Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses

  • Title: Scylla and Charybdis
  • Scene: The Library
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Organ: Brain
  • Art: Literature
  • Colour: (none)
  • Symbol: Stratford, London
  • Technic: Dialectic

Favorite Quotes among Many

“No, no, put all your backs into it, row on;/ invoke Blind Force, that bore this scourge of men,/ to keep her from a second strike against you./”

Kirkê's advice to accept his inevitable losses to Scylla rather than to fight and lose all (Homer Book XII 94-96).

  —The world believes that Shakespeare made a mistake, he said, and got out of it as quickly and as best he could. (Eglinton) —Bosh! Stephen said rudely. A man of genius makes no mistakes.

Eglinton and Stephen disagree over Shakespeare's 
"mistake" in wedding Ann.

  “If others have their will Ann hath a way.”

This quote appeared at least as far back as Charles 
Dibdin, 1792 (Gifford with Seidman n 189:4-5).

“A quarter of an hour before his death he was alive.”

Soldiers of Maréchal de la Palisse excusing their 
slain superior from blame for the French defeat at Pavia

—O, Father Dineen! Directly. Swiftly rectly creaking rectly rectly he was rectly gone.

Lyster, rector and successor to Jonathon Swift, with these nine 
words, four being "rectly," also sweep up "rector," "directly"
and the antithesis of directly with painful delay (Gifford and
Seidman). The Quaker librarian might also be a rectum.

“A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.”

Stannie Joyce might agree and add that a debt to a 
brother might be forgotten even easier.

  —You are a delusion, said roundly John Eglinton to Stephen. You have brought us all this way to show us a French triangle. Do you believe your own theory? —No, Stephen said promptly.

Stephen, preBloomed

What’s Important?



The attached WordCloud created courtesy of WordCloud.com shows the incidence of important words appearing in the post about this episode. Frequency may signify importance.  

copyright@ don ward, 2020

One thought on “Ulysses, “Scylla and Charybdis,” Episode 9~ pp.182-215.

  1. The Dog who didn’t bark.
    If Anne Hathaway did in fact have relations with Shakespeare’s brothers (Richard and Edmund who he cast in the role of villains throughout the plays (payback of sorts) then Stephen’s theory of Hamlet invokes the alleged infidelity when Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, marries the murderous Claudius shortly after the funeral of Old King Hamlet, his brother (‘before the funeral meats had gone cold’) which is to say that Joyce is deploying the Shakespeare biography inter alia to invoke Molly’s infidelity (as he echoes the death of Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son with Rudy). | What isn’t voiced is the possibility that Shakespeare’s concern with paternity emanates from his uncertainty that he in fact was the father of his and Anne’s first child, the birth of whom put Shakespeare on the matrimonial hook, but also forced his relocation to London, as critical a moment in literary history as when a young Charles Dickens found himself putting labels on bottles in the blacking factory (Great Expectations ‘pip’, Oliver etc.) or his father (a third John) spending time in the Marshalsea Prison (Little Dorrit). -So, what’s going on?
    Knowing that Joyce regarded his own life and biography as a place that he could plunder to supply or augment his books, ‘the portals of discovery’, Episode nine at the National Library is inconclusive in so many respects, real-life characters fictionalised, real places re-appropriated, incomplete and rather unconvincing theories half enunciated, I think Joyce is offering us a workshop or at least a glimpse into the manner in which a writer can or must use real events from one’s formative experiences and, perhaps in an effort to come to terms with them, re-work them in fiction. It’s often said that Joyce’s works are primarily the concern of academics and while this is true, I think every would-be writer studies Joyce with a cold eye to try to work out how he managed it all. I believe this episode, so otherwise confusing, opens a window on his writing process.

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