ULYSSES Funmary #7: Aeolus (plus pp. 134-150)

By Brendan

Jaysis, there were a lot of windbags in this episode – windbags talking about windbags. We see again that there’s not enough room for Bloom – after being “tight” in the carriage, he’s bumped into by the Gallant Lenehan. And verbally dissed by Crawford.. And pretty much ignored by everyone else.

Another example of the immediacy of Ulysses: while pondering the ad of Keyes, Bloom thinks ahead to the Horse Show in August. Guess what’s happening in Dublin this month? The Horse Show!

It was good to see Gabriel Conroy mentioned (he of “The Dead,” who passed Daniel O’Connell’s statue, the same statue passed by Bloom in a previous episode and by me last month). Daniel (and Parnell) died before reaching the promised land of an Irish Free State. Joyce, writing about a location near the General Post Office would have known the events that transpired there – the eye of the revolutionary storm that fateful Easter. His book reconstructs the buildings and personalities that only existed before 1916.

I was struck that Gone with the Wind and “Tara” are mentioned on the same line. Coincidence? Perhaps. 

Familiarity with Shakespeare is valuable when reading Ulysses – the thrill of a recognized reference. As someone who would recite Hamlet’s soliloquies when drunk, this aspect of Ulysses is vastly appealing. “Lay on McDuff!”

What did you think of Stephen’s Parable of the Plums? Frankly my dears, I thought it a bit of a stretch. Two spinsters spilling their seed onto Dear Dirty Dublin streets. I get tired of getting jerked around by Joyce. The frigger is taking the mickey, so he is. Poor old Jamesy would get a laugh out of the fact that the powers that be in Dublin put a giant “spire” where Nelson’s Pillar once stood. This most phallic of structures was incomplete for a time and earned the nickname “pointless.” Much like the “Aeolus” episode.


Nah, Jamesy, I’m only slagging.

What I liked about this episode: Bloom’s humanity shining through. From “poor papa” to not telling Nannetti his business to noticing Stephen’s boots, this most human of humans hopes all things, endures all things, never fails, strides on jerkily.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you Brendan, but what does “slagging” mean?

    A minor (probably unnecessary) confession: I’m behind. For many very good reasons. Anticipate a rededication this week. It will melt your face how rededicated I am.

  2. Slagging is taunting/teasing. There was an Irish political satire radio show in my childhood named Only Slaggin’. And welcome back! I can still do the Wandering Rocks episode if you’d like.

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