Nausicaa: Thoughts and Questions

1) In The Odyssey Odysseus lands on a seashore, naked, and is seen by Nausicaa, King Alcinous's daughter, who with her handmaidens is washing her linen. The handmaidens run away, but after Odysseus modestly covers himself, Nausicaa determines that he is a king and takes him to her father. (It is to Alcinous that Odysseus narrates the story of many of his adventures.) Note how these details of The Odyssey's story find equivalents in "Nausicaa," including the mention of Gerty's underwear: "As for undies they were Gerty's chief care" (13:171).

2) Except for a few brief appearances elsewhere in Ulysses, Gerty MacDowell exists only in this episode. What do we end up knowing about her? How is her character constructed? How does the style of the episode's first half relate to the character Gerty?

3) Compared to the barmaids and men in the Ormond Bar in "Sirens" and the men in Barney Kiernan's pub in "Cyclops," note how Gerty reacts to Bloom in this episode. See, for example, 13:367-70, 13:411-35, and 13:539-43.
--And note Bloom's recollection of why, according to Molly, she married him (13:1209-10).

4) How do you reconcile the picture of "grandpapa Giltrap's lovely dog Garryowen that almost talked it was so human" (13:232-33) with the picture presented in "Cyclops" (12:119-20 and 12:704-55)?

5) The style of the first half of "Nausicaa" is generally considered to be a parody of 19th-century romance novels, particularly the American novel The Lamplighter by Maria Cummins, whose heroine is named Gerty. See 13:633.

6) Bloom's watch has stopped, and Bloom wonders about the possible coincidence regarding the precise time it stopped: 13:846-48 and 13:983.

7) Look at Bloom's review of his day, and his reaction to the events in "Cyclops" (13:1214-20).

8) At the end of the episode, Bloom starts to write something in the sand but then stops. He writes "I. / AM. A." (13:1256-65). What do you think he is writing?