chapbook: on biscuit tins

My joy is other joy. Both are joys.

‘…those cunning brothers, lords of the vat,’ run a ‘respectable licensed premises’ and keep I-man, the Fenian &co well lubricated. Bloom, however, is a teetotaler, a wet blanket and a ‘jew’. He refrains from drink, spoils their lark by paraphrasing their ideas in fustian language, and partakes without offering up his (mistakenly suspected) new-found wealth. Hi-jinx  and biscuit tins ensue.

Who made the allegations? I am the alligator.

I anticipated that this chapter would be difficult to read because of the overt antisemitism, but it was one of the funniest chapters in Ulysses. No one is spared the bitter brunt of Celtic wit. Of England:

On which the sun never rises… They believe in rod, the scourger almighty, creator of hell on earth and in Jacky Tar, the son of a gun… conceived of holy boast… rose again from the bed. p.315


auricular spectacular

The Sirens chapter begins with an aural montage, a snappy prelude of chatter and music recurring later in the chapter, reminding me of an Edgar Wright film, but for ears. And even though I am sometimes at a loss as to what Joyce is on about, I am aware of that “flow endearing flow over skin lips human heart and spine.”

The sound should seem an echo of the sense. Alexander Pope, 1711

How fitting to have Boylan on the horn. Cheeky.

the dirt on dublin

Joyce’s Dublin is dire. The stink of refuse and discarded lives proliferates the streets, all soaked in the oppressive drink.  The old wrappers, spit, piss,  the ‘frowzy whore with a face like dip’, Paddy Dignam’s children left to perish -Pa, come home!-,  the ubiquitous betting slip, all tell of decay… while the provost does his waving smiling rounds.

Like Stephen, I look on with ‘agenbite of inwit‘. It is unpleasant and familiar.