Posts Tagged ‘Agenbite of Inwit’

Telemachus 0043

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Haines suggests that he might publish a collection of Stephen’s sayings, but Stephen impertinently suggests he’ll participate if he stands to make any money by it.  He thinks to himself how Mulligan’s and Haines’ habit of bathing is an attempt to cleanse themselves of more than just dirt.

In the first panel of this page, there’s a kind of exchange between Haines’ dialogue and Stephen’s internal monologue.  Of course, what Stephen is thinking to himself (in the dark boxes) is harder to understand than what Haines is saying out loud.  ”They wash and tub and scrub” refers back to Mulligan’s teasing about Stephen’s infrequent bathing (check the last page), which Stephen also associates with Lady Macbeth’s scrubbing.

“Agenbite of Inwit” is a little more obscure.  It’s a Middle English phrase that means (again according to Professor Gifford) “remorse of conscience.”    When you think about it, it makes wonderful sense.  Your inner wits bite  you.  again.

The kick under the table is Mulligan kicking Stephen, so as to get him to perform his Shakespeare theory and close the deal on Haines’ support. Or at least to get Haines to buy a few round of drinks.  But Stephen does not want to play–apparently he’s in no mood, and since he’s getting paid today he doesn’t need Haines’ help. So he does a decidedly un-English thing and puts his desire to be paid for his work out in plain view.

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Leopold Bloom

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

BloomDram

The everyman hero of Ulysses, Joyce’s reworking of Odysseus.  Bloom is 38 years old, Hungarian Jewish from his father (Rudolf Virag) and Irish Catholic from his mother (Ellen Higgins).  He currently works as an ad canvasser for the newspaper The Freeman’s Journal, but he’s had other odd jobs throughout his life.  He spends the day of June 16 wandering around Dublin:  going to a funeral, checking in at the office, visiting the National Library, walking on the beach.  He’s a deeply human and compassionate character, and carrying around with him two heavy emotional burdens:  grief over the death of his infant son Rudy 11 years before the action of the novel, and anxiety over his impending cuckoldry by his wife Molly, with whom he has not had full sexual relations since their son died.

 

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