Wandering Rocks: Thoughts and Questions

1) "Wandering Rocks" is the one episode of Ulysses without a direct Homeric parallel. Odysseus is told that he must face one of two dangerous routes--by Scylla and Charybdis or by the Wandering Rocks--and he chooses the first option. So the odd developments in content and technique in the episode don't have Homeric equivalents.

2) The episode begins with a representative of the church (Father John Conmee, S.J.--he is the priest who believed Stephen about breaking his glasses at the end of Chapter 1 of A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man)--and ends with a representative of the state in the Viceregal Cavalcade. The priest and the cavalcade move across large stretches of Dublin, but they never pass or cross each other.

3) One of Joyce's schemas describes the technique of the episode as "labyrinth," and critics have noticed how often the citizens of Dublin feel that they have just missed an opportunity. See, for instance, Tom Kernan at 10:797 or Paddy Dignam's son at 10:1138-39.

4) How would you account for the odd interpolations that turn up in the sections? for example, Denis J. Maginni in the first section (10:56-60) or Father Conmee in the second (10:213-14).

5) Note the full date, which appears for the first time in Ulysses, at 10:376.

6) Molly Bloom makes a brief, partial appearance in this episode at 10:249-53 (confirmed by the address at 10:541-42).

7) Lenehan and M'Coy talk about Bloom at 10:517-83. Note what they say in addition to the usual disdainful remarks about Bloom and the comments about Molly. Then, look at what books Bloom is perusing in the next section, and note what is said about Bloom at 10:973-78.

8) Paralleling this, look at what Mulligan says to Haines about Stephen at 10:1089-93.