Eumaeus: Thoughts and Questions

1) A question: You're a junior editor at a publishing firm, and you're responsible for Joyce's work-in-progress Ulysses because no one else at your conservative company wants to handle it. You're wildly enthusiastic about Ulysses, but your boss, who prefers adventure novels that celebrate the British Empire in India and Africa, can't believe that anyone would be interested in this incomprehensible book. You've just received the 16th episode, "Eumaeus," and your boss wants to know what it's like. How do you describe it to him?

2) Some kind of incident happened at Westland Row Station between "Oxen of the Sun" and "Circe," when Mulligan and someone else whom Bloom here in "Eumaeus" describes as "that English tourist friend of his" (16:264-65) - Haines? Bannon? - deserted Stephen and Lynch. Bloom says something about this in "Circe" (15:636), and he mentions it in somewhat more detail to Stephen in this episode (16:249-51 and 262-67).

3) Note the number of different ways that Bloom and Stephen fail to connect, despite Bloom's efforts. Examples are the conversation they hear in Italian (16:314-19) or their attempt to discuss music (16:1733-69; but see Bloom's response to Stephen's voice when Stephen starts to sing: 16:1820 etc.). See the summary of their attempts to communicate at 16:774-76.
--Late in the episode, though, Bloom is explicitly described as "like his father" (16:1567-69), and a different explanation is given for this apparent inability to communicate (16:1579-81).
--Finally, almost at the end, Stephen asks a direct question, and Bloom is able to answer it (16:1708-13).
--And their topics of conversation at the end include "sirens" and "usurpers" (16:1889-91).

4) Note Bloom's direct offer to Stephen at 16:1621-23 and the plans that start to run through his head (16:1652-61). And note Stephen's impression as he links arms with Bloom (16:1721-24).

5) Bloom and Stephen encounter D.B. Murphy (who arrived in Dublin on the ship Stephen saw at the end of Proteus; 3:502-5). He is a sailor full of boasts and lies, including knowing Simon Dedalus in the circus (16:411-12)--a false returner to Dublin / Ithaca.

6) Bloom tells Stephen about the incident with the Citizen in "Cyclops" and says that he knows he isn't technically Jewish (16:1081-87). Note Bloom's increasingly passionate statements and Stephen's reactions (16:1081-1171).

7) Bloom sees the late edition of the Evening Telegraph, which includes the newspaper report of Paddy Dignam's funeral (16:1248-61; see 6:880-906). Note the people who are named who weren't there (M'Coy, even Stephen) and that the mysterious mourner now has a name: M'Intosh. And look at what has happened to Bloom's name in the article.

8) The paper also includes the details of the Gold Cup horse race, with Throwaway's surprise victory (16:1274-94).

9) Appropriate to the Odyssey episode about Odysseus's return to Ithaca, Bloom thinks about a return after twenty years (the length of time of Odysseus's absence) (16:1307 etc.). Earlier, he thought about D.B. Murphy's return after seven years (16:422-40).

10) Somewhat indirectly, Bloom confronts his own marital situation at 16:1379-86. He goes on, though (contradiction?), to show Stephen a photo of Molly (16:1425-39). He also thinks about adultery at 16:1529-52.