And finally, my journey ends. Proving that if you’re stubborn, anything is possible.
Helped that the last few chapters were the easiest to get through.
So Chapter 17 (Ithaca): Joyce said he enjoyed writing this the most and I can see why. The entire chapter is in a Q & A format which is really very amusing. An example: What reflection concerning the irregular sequence of dates 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1892, 1893, 1904 did Bloom make before their arrival at their destination? And then answer is whatever pontificatory thing he said. It’s quite funny, although it doesn’t seem like it. There’s even a bit on them urinating. Yup, Joyce loves scatology.
And finally, Chapter 18 (Penelope): This one would be the hardest to read because it’s essentially a few extremely long (pages long) sentences without punctuation. But it was really like a breath of fresh air.
Finally, we are plunged into Molly’s mind. And it brought home in a rush how male the writing in this book has been thus far. It’s been all pubs and sex and crap (by which I mean, literally, shit) and trudging around being macho and thinking the odd lofty thought.
And finally, we are given the perspective of someone who is at home, trivial, gossipy and chatty. It was like listening to my mum – one starts a thought and then suddenly thinks of something else and all these exclamations intrude relating to husband, the maid, daughter etc.
Except Joyce cannot sustain it very long. Quite quickly he gets into sexual fantasy so that it becomes like a male fantasy of what the female mind is like. Which according to him is thinking every couple of minutes about how big someone’s cock is and what it’s like to have anal sex. Oh James, you wish!
Really makes me give more credence to the whole ecritude feminin idea – clearly there most men cannot really imitate the mind of the women. Oh well, most early 20th century men.
Anyway, I’m done la la la! Free at last… Back to Twilight then.