Blooming Bloomsday

This is something I wrote for Bloomsday. Dove suggested I put it online so here you go. Joyce in the style of Joyce.

Episode 1, Telemachus

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan doesn’t really play much of a role in this story, so you don’t have to worry about this chapter too much.

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, said Stephen Dedalus.

Latin! Sweettoned Latin. Stifling prose : stiffening probes.

Episode 2, Nestor

– You, Cochrane, have you ever read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

– That I have, sir.

– Then you don’t need to read this chapter, said Stephen. Although it’s actually rather enjoyable. Best of the Stephen Dedalus chapters, I think. There’s barely even any Latin.

Episode 3, Proteus

Ineluctable modality of the visible : at least no more Stephen Dedalus chapters for a while after this one. Not nearly as fun to read as Leopold Bloom. Why? Probably because Bloom doesn’t just sit on the snotgreen playa with his Gedanken topsyturvy in a dozen linguae simultaneously. Oh look, a dog.

Episode 4, Calypso

Mr Leopold Bloom took the starring role in Ulysses with relish. Most of all, he liked the opportunity to indulge in a little urinescented scatology. His wife Molly slept upstairs. Unfaithful, but so’s Leopold. So’s everyone in this story.

Episode 5, Lotus Eaters

Through a rich depiction of 1904 Dublin, Bloom walked soberly. Filthy letter he had received from his mistress, though nowhere near as smutful as those Joyce wrote to his wife. Jesus on his cross. Things are getting Catholic. Letters on his back I. N. R. I.? It’s Not Really Insane (yet).

Episode 6, Hades

All waited. Nothing was said.

Episode 7, Aeolus

Suddenly, Metafiction

Bloom pushed in the glass swingdoor and entered.

The Scene In The Newspaper Office

– It’s very interesting to see how arguments for Irish Home Rule were framed, Bloom said.

Oh No Its This Guy Again

– Hello, I’m here to talk about Greek philosophers, Stephen said.

Episode 8, Lestrygonians

Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. Lots of sweet things are mentioned in this chapter, but the only thing you’ll probably remember is Bloom’s obsession with finding out whether Greek goddesses had anuses.

Episode 9, Scylla and Charybdis

– Let me tell you my theory about Hamlet, Stephen said.

– I’m going to interrupt constantly and make an already rather dense chapter almost impossible to follow, interrupted Buck Mulligan.

Stephen

My theory about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is that the bits where Stephen rambled on about art were definitely the least essential parts. Joyceness is the whatness of alljoyce.

Buck Mulligan

Hold on, when did we start speaking in script format?

Episode 10, Wandering Rocks

The author, the very joycean James Joyce, had an interesting idea. Let the narrative drift freely from one character’s thoughts to another. Yes. This is fun.

***

Virginia Woolf read Ulysses. So filthy. Not something for a wellbred lady like her. But the concept of a story that takes place in the minds of a crowd of city dwellers…

***

Stephen Dedalus watched the… oh shit it’s him again.

Episode 11, Sirens

Crash! Bang! Wallop! Jinglejangle.

Thisp art is ritten ina mostuneful way

But Bloom manages to block all the noise and sex out and write a letter, just how Odysseus managed to ignore the Sirens’ call. See the symbolism?

Sonnez la cloche!

Episode 12, Cyclops

I (get it, “I”, like “eye”, like a cyclops) am the Citizen. I hate Bloom with his Jewish ways and ambivalence towards Irish independence. A rampaging metaphor bursts out of me and tramples Dublin beneath its feet. Thousands die, civilization collapses, I shout antisemitic abuse at Bloom and he leaves the pub.

Episode 13, Nausicaa

The summer evening had begun to fold the world in its mysterious embrace. Night time is, as all girls know, when the strange men come out. This one is Leopold Bloom, and he was having a wank while watching beautiful innocent Gerty sit on the beach. The fireworks ejaculated from the castle, and Gerty stood up and… she had a limp! What a shocking development!

Episode 14, Oxen of the Sun

Stylism is ycumen in, lewdly sing James Joyce.

To pastiche, or not to pastiche, that is the question.

Mr James Joyce (Uni. Coll. Dubl.) has in his treatise suggested the development of the English language as an analogy for the growth of the embryo.

It wasn’t the best of chapters, it wasn’t the worst of chapters.

Episode 15, Circe

Bloom

It’s another script scene! Looks like Stephen Dedalus is going to the brothel…

Door

Creak creak

Bella the Dominatrix

Can I help you?

(Bella transforms into a man)

Bello

*fart*

Bloom

Oh dear, now I’m on trial by a horde of hallucinatory women for sending ladies pervy and threatening letters.

Stephen

That’s nothing, I just saw my zombie mother.

Reader

What on earth.

Episode 16, Eumaeus

Preparatory to anything else Joyce clearly read immense quantities of that stultifyingly overwritten bumf that did pass for literature in those dark bleak Victorian days in which authors were paid by the word and though it cannot be denied that his style does indeed capture that circumlocutionary verbosity so beloved of Dickens’ inferiors, it must, it is true, also be admitted and affirmed with equal vigour that this episode is by virtue of its long rambling nature something approaching that which a modern day writer, without wishing to offend, might possibly call rather a slog.

Episode 17, Ithaca

Are we close to the end of the book?

Yes, because Bloom has gone back home to his house.

What does he do there?

He gets Stephen a drink, and then leads him out to the garden to have a piss.

Does Joyce describe the trajectory of the piss in great detail?

Yes. Bloom’s is “longer, less irrurent”, Stephen’s is “higher, more sibilant.”

How does Joyce describe Molly Bloom’s backside?

She has “plump mellow yellow smellow melons” which Bloom kisses “with obscure prolonged, provocative melonsmellonous osculation.”

Was this Joyce’s favourite chapter?

Apparently, yes.

Episode 18, Penelope

Yes because he never wrote a thing like that and by the way Im Molly Bloom and Im an affectionate depiction of Joyces wife Nora Barnacle although I come across as a bit thick because I dont use any punctuation Yes and I remember giving Poldy a handjob and its not a coincidence or whatever the word is that Nora gave James a handjob on sixteenth june nineteen-oh-six which is the very day this story is set a lot of the quotes from this chapter are taken straight from those loveletters that Nora and Joyce exchanged so theres lots of talk about arses and farting and would I recommend Ulysses in spite of all the mean jokes I made about it yes I said yes I will Yes.

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