Well after the slow plough through chapter eight I expected things could only get more difficult but I fair raced through chapter nine. Why that is I don’t know because I understood less of it than any other chapter! Okay so it finally dawned on me they were in a library and Stephen was giving of his opinions on Shakespeare with particular emphasis on Hamlet. Haines has been and gone apparently. Mulligan shows up late on and appears to be his usual self – lowering the tone with his clever twisting of every ‘serious’ subject into a juvenile gag. The wandering Jew they pass at the end of the chapter must be Bloom. Having missed nearly every allusion going in this chapter I think I at least got the main thrust of it (though I may even be wrong about that) if none of the subtlety. I assume there is some – never having read any Shakespeare. Read more “Scylla and Charybdis – Either or Neither?”
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.