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You want more information about the films, and Ulysses?

Here is a consolidated Guide to the films, and to the chapters they point to.

Bloomsday in Plaguetime:

A Film Festival in 18 Episodes

Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean for Bloomsday in Melbourne

Introduction to the Films by Frances Devlin-Glass

Welcome to Bloomsday Downunder in the year of Plague, 2020. War was not the only global catastrophe that is part of the background and the rich texture of Ulysses: Joyce was in Zurich and Trieste during the worst of the Spanish Flu pandemic. It is a small footnote to history that Joyce biographers seem not to have noticed.

In his wartime asylum in Zurich in the second half of 1919, he witnessed two waves of cases of influenza, with some 83,211 deaths (16.5% of the 1910 population). An estimated 2m people succumbed to the disease, but reported cases of the disease were greatly under-reported (by an estimated 66%). Zurich was by far the worst afflicted part of Switzerland.

These were the years when Joyce was composing and sending publishable (first draft) copies of (the more elaborately worked and inventive) Aeolus, Lestrygonians, Scylla & Charybdis, Wandering Rocks, Sirens and Cyclops to Ezra Pound, and Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap were publishing them in the Little Review. He and his family were lucky to avoid the virus, but given the volume of work completed, he might have been practising social isolation without knowing it. He was well known to medics in Zurich, and that too may have afforded some protection.

Joyce and his family moved to Trieste briefly in November 1919 before decamping to Paris early in 1920. Both Trieste and Paris had also been hard hit in the second half of 1918 and the first half of 1919 by the virus. By the time he reached Paris, the virus was in retreat, and good first drafts of the remaining chapters were finalised between February/March 1920 and October 1921, starting with Nausicaa which prompted the most notorious pornography case in the history of literature. One could surely argue that surviving the virus was a major achievement in productive isolation.

To return to Bloomsday in Melbourne’s predicament in late February 2020: with a play cast and ready to start rehearsals (watch out for Love’s Bitter Mystery in 2021), we were disappointed to be confined to quarters and socially isolating. Far from assuming there would be no Bloomsday in Melbourne, we’re pleased that our 27-year tradition will undergo the most radical metempsychosis of its history, reincarnating itself not as a theatre event but as a film festival of Ulysses: 18 short films (created under Covid19 disciplines of social distancing), available on Facebook according to Joyce’s timetable for the events of each chapter. If the second wave of Corona virus happens, and let us pray it does not, and assuming we are still self-isolating to some serious extent, please sit (in bed, in the jakes, in your kitchen cooking kidneys, in a deserted restaurant where the diners are at least 1.5 metres apart?) and enjoy this astonishing novel in a medium that is new to us, and a medium that lends itself to playful breaking of its conventions.

The aims of the project were simple: not to let a Bloomsday pass without engaging memorably with the novel (Bloomsday in Melbourne is proud to present strikingly new original plays on the novel annually); to produce a ‘slam’ version of it that does not compromise its variety, its cleverness, its playfulness, and its poetry, and to celebrate each chapter at its appointed hour.

We owe warm thanks to our scripters who turned on a sixpence and produced 18 ‘film scripts’ suitable for 2 actors at a time at an appropriate distance from one another and the camera operator, and to our redoubtable director, Jennifer Sarah Dean, whose bravery is legendary (her first job with Bloomsday was bringing Oxen of the Sun to the stage), and her enthusiastic home-bound actors who are currently locked out of their stages.

On 16 June 2020, 18 films were posted simultaneously on FaceBook and on this blog-site according to Joyce’s timetable (until we reached Nausicaa, when the timetable was speeded up). Facebook provided the opportunity to conduct the most democratic seminar in its history, hosted by Philip Harvey, and Bloomsday in also posted a blog which will tell why those scripting chose the passages they did and provide useful context, and also what else in the chapter may be of interest.


1 - Telemachus. 8am. Sandycove Martello Tower

Martello Tower, Sandy Cove


Guide: Max Gillies

Malachi 'Buck' Mulligan: Kurtis Lowden

Stephen Dedalus: Matthew Connell

Buck, a medic-in-training, teases Stephen (‘Kinch’) by parodying the mass. Stephen grieves his mother, dead for almost a year.

—Isn't the sea a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea.… She is our great

sweet mother…. Our mighty mother! —… The aunt thinks you killed your mother. That's why she won't let me have anything to do with you.

Someone killed her.

Reflections on the relationship between film and book...

by Frances Devlin-Glass

Joyce opens his novel provocatively with Stephen Dedalus’s foil, Buck Mulligan, play-acting a perverse and jocose priest. He begins with the opening lines of Catholicism’s most sacred and quotidian ritual, the mass, ‘Introibo ad altare Dei’ (I will go unto the altar of God). His shaving basin doubles as a chalice (a nod to Cervantes?). Buck mocks and updates this ritual by treating the transformation of bread and wine (into the body and blood of Christ, as catholics understand it) as a problem with an electrical circuit (a reminder that Joyce is a high-priest of modernity and in love with all things new and shiny). We are immediately thrown into a debate about the competing claims of secularism (Buck is a medic-in-training) and the religion both men have grown up with. Buck in this scene is

much more transgressive than Stephen. Joyce’s dialogue is trenchant and Stephen is (apparently) worsted in the debate as to why he couldn’t accede to his mother’s dying wish to do his Easter duty (go to confession and communion – the minimum requirement to remain a catholic). He is made to look rigid in his thinking, deeply conservative and arrogantly heartless by a man who is better equipped to play the fool than be a confessor or mentor but who is not backward in coming forward with unwanted advice.

The debate set up by Joyce reveals Stephen’s ambivalence about the religious thinking that has formed every aspect of him (including his ambition to be a poet) and his need to break that umbilicus, and the pain and guilt of doing that. It agonises Stephen because it is focussed on a mother he loves and who loved him. Part of him is susceptible to the barbs of Mulligan (as he was in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to Cranly’s).

The discipline of the very short film means that we’ve left out much of what Stephen broods on in this chapter, and readers are encouraged to dig deep to find evidence of Stephen’s love for his mother. He remembers difficult details of her dying. The white china bowl holding ‘green sluggish bile she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning and vomiting’ reproaches him, as does her crying over his failure to do what she thinks is necessary to save his soul from damnation. Stephen, in thinking of his mother’s few relics (her fans, dancecards, and the simple pleasures she enjoyed –pantomime and baked apple after her communion fast), and her devotion to him as a child and even as a young adult (she deloused him while at university) is racked by guilt. This is exacerbated by a Buck, a man he considers a friend. His moody brooding also gives us some insight into the kind of poet/writer Stephen might in some distant period become. Thinking of the Yeatsian song he sang to her as she lay dying, he indulges in a favourite pastime: word-smithery, and ‘[w]avewhite wedded words [shimmer] in the dim tide’. Joyce invites you to judge whether he’s simply being narcissistic or has real talent, or both.

Another aspect of this chapter we’ve glossed over in the short film version is its politics. Stephen identifies two forms of political servitude: to the church (epitomised by his mother’s identifications), and to the British empire. Interestingly, Joyce chose to set this episode in a Martello tower at Sandy Cove, built by the English Prime Minister William Pitt to repel the French during the era of Napoleon. Stephen expresses his ‘rage’, the rage of a Caliban not seeing his face in the mirror. He argues that Ireland under British rule gives rise to a distorted literary tradition: it is a ‘cracked looking-glass of a servant’. Haines, an Oxford-educated linguist/anthropologist is in Ireland to collect the quaint sayings of the natives, and Stephen resents being patronised and objectified as an informant. As well, he’s terrified because during the night of the 15 June, he has been disturbed by Haines having a nightmare. It’s interesting to watch the antics of Buck, his blasphemous ‘Ballad of Joking Jesus’, his casual talking over the head of the milkwoman, and how he extracts from Stephen drinking money and the key to the Tower, earning himself in the process the soubriquet, ‘Usurper’. From this point on, Stephen is truly outcast.

Frances Devlin-Glass


Mr Deasy's School, Dalkey

2. Nestor. 10am. Mr Deasy's School, Dalkey

Guide: Max Gillies

Stephen Dedalus: Matthew Connell

Garrett Deasy: Don Bridges

Voice Off: Hunter Perske

Stephen, at his school, is trying to help a dull student with his maths. It’s payday and Deasy, is equally liberal with advice.

Ugly and futile. Yet someone had loved him. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail.

Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Frances Devlin-Glass

In the film, we’ve rendered the first half of this chapter as an interior monologue, and the second half as a dialogue between the headmaster Deasy, a Northern Protestant, and Stephen. In the novel, we see Stephen operating as a very eccentric teacher who asks riddles with no answers, and who is pushing uphill to engage boys who’d rather be eyeing girls on Kingstown pier, or playing hockey.

We’ve narrowed the focus to the lad he keeps back from hockey to help him with his algebra. This allows us to see more of Stephen’s interiority. He is strangely identified with the child who reminds him of a younger self, and this thinking takes him back inevitably to thinking about ‘amor matris’ a mother’s love and love for a mother (in Latin it can mean both). It’s a touching meditation on unloveability and (most) mothers’ unwavering and unconditional commitment to their offspring (more scratching the itch of guilt). It’s also a moment in which Stephen is unusually lacking in arrogance, and seeing himself from another perspective (his mother’s).

Other aspects of the chapter we’ve not covered include the scholars’ love of stories, and their sense that Stephen is a reliable purveyor of interesting ones. They even tolerate a ghost story in the form of Milton’s elegy ‘Lycidas’ for his dead friend, Edward King, drowned in the Irish Sea in the c17.

The chapter gives ample evidence of Stephen’s mind running on two tracks: he is on semi-automatic pilot in moving from a history topic to a literary one in the classroom, while his well-stocked mind moves fluidly between thinking about Haines’s project, Greek and Roman history and the theoretical possibility that events may have turned out differently, a contemporary struggle in Siam (between the French overlords and the colonised and how it was fomented in Paris by a visiting scholar from Siam). His meditation on algebra as a form of dance is delicate and delicious.

Stephen’s historical consciousness prepares the reader for the second confrontation of the filmed version, that with Deasy, the headmaster. He’s the second imperialist we meet in the novel: he values money (and has archaeological treasure – Stuart coins found in a bog) and he too presumes to lecture Stephen on how to spend his hard-earned lucre. Like Haines, he also purveys a distorted form of history – one that is seriously misogynistic, while at the same time trying to impress Stephen that he is a rebel nationalist, but getting his facts wrong.

Deasy’s anti-semitism usefully gives the reader a first glimpse of the world Leopold Bloom occupies (though Joyce delays our meeting him till Ch.4). Stephen is actively resistant to such ideological straight-jacketing, and to being confined to the historical narratives of either ‘side’ of Irish history.


Leahey's Terrace Steps, Sandymount Strand

3. Proteus. 11am Sandymount Strand

Guide: Max Gillies

Stephen Dedalus: Matthew Connell

Stephen, an aspiring poet, takes a long walk along Sandymount strand, becoming aware of sensory input and thinking about theology, history, and seawrack.

My boots tread again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada. Heavy of the past.

Feefawfum. I zmellz de bloodz odz an Iridzman


Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Frances Devlin-Glass

Bloom kills time in Lotus Eaters, just as Stephen does in Proteus before his meeting with Buck at the pub. He chooses Sandymount Strand just south of the Liffey mouth for a meditation on life and death. He meditates in a more organised and poetical way than Bloom, first testing his senses of sight and hearing. He seems to need to do this more self-consciously than Bloom who is more at home in his body.

For the film, we’ve selected what in this chapter gives best evidence of Stephen’s sensuous response to language – the sounds of it, its expressiveness as onomatopoeia, its alliterative appeal, and its capacity to be concatenated into new words like ‘snotgreen’ that feel because of long vowels and assonance (eg., ‘brightwindbridled’, ‘panthersahib’) to feel luxurious in the mouth. He’s also drawn to their symbolic potential and for making them do new and countercultural things.

It’s also an extended meditation on history and how subsequent generations live with the violence of the past – he’s particularly taken by how he literally treads on the dust of ancient Scots, Vikings, sailors of the Armada, and Famine victims, and how Haines in his own genteel way and Mulligan in his (by demanding the key from the man who pays the rent), are continuing the tradition of violence by usurping his place in the tower.

Another body is waiting to surface in the Irish sea, a sailor drowned nine days previously and that takes Stephen back to his mother’s death and to the Shakespearean way of transforming brute fact into poetic fantasy in The Tempest. It is not Stephen’s way.

There’s much more to be found in this chapter that we’ve elided in the film. There’s an extended depiction of Stephen’s time in Paris, haunt of Kevin Egan, modelled on Joseph Casey, one of many rebels (he was involved in a Fenian jail breakout in Clerkenwell, England in 1867) who fled to France, ostensibly to gather support for an renewal of patriotic activities. There’s an encounter with a dead dog and a live one, and a distant encounter with two midwives who ‘lugged [him] squealing into life’ which gives rise to (disgusted) thoughts about his own conception, fatherhood and his sense of alienation from Simon Dedalus, and to a theological rumination on trinitarian theology. It is difficult for Stephen to avoid thoughts of theology and they are generally linked to thinking about church Fathers excommunicated for their take on dogma. Like Bloom, Stephen is an outsider; unlike Bloom who endures and overrides ego, Stephen luxuriates in the role of romantic suffering, even seems to enjoy scratching the itch.


Bloom and Molly live at 7 Eccles St. (closest to lamp-post)

4. Calypso. 8am. Bloom and Molly's house, 7 Eccles St.

Guide: Max Gillies

Leopold Bloom: Alexander Pankhurst

Molly Bloom: Annabelle Tudor

Leopold Bloom is in his kitchen, dreaming of a pork kidney (best on a hot day), for breakfast. Two letters have been delivered, both mildly disturbing, one more than the other. Molly also makes a slovenly appearance.

Pungent smoke shot up in an angry jet. He turned the kidney turtle on its back – only a little burned – tossed it onto a plate and let the scanty brown gravy trickle over it.

Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Sian Cartwright

This chapter is rich in interior monologue as it offers a warm, touching insight into the domestic life and characters of Leopold and Molly Bloom as they eat breakfast. It flags Bloom’s tentative concerns about his cuckoldry and about his 15-year-old daughter, Milly, who is away learning photography at a studio in Mullingar. The language in this chapter is very subtle. In editing it for film, we chose to focus on Leopold and Molly’s interaction – this is the first time we meet Molly in person until the final episode, Penelope, and she’s still alluring to Bloom, who has been preparing her breakfast in bed. Molly is also fascinating to Blazes Boylan (concert manager and presumed lover) who has written, intent to see her that day.

In the novel, and in the film, Bloom’s tastes for a range of carnivorous delicacies are presented as amuses-bouche to his own prepared breakfast of kidney and toast. Drafts of the chapter included the appearance of the Blooms’ cat – implicitly compared with Molly – whose interest is piqued by the cooked breakfast smells. However, owing to constraints of the short film, the cat was excluded.

The collection of the day’s mail exacerbates Bloom’s fears. Bloom has received a letter from Milly, thanking him for the birthday gift she’s received, while mentioning a resident student, Bannon, who, like Blazes Boylan, happens to be a singer. Molly has received a letter and a card, the former from Boylan, the latter from Milly. Rather than the conventional mode of address to Mrs Leopold Bloom, the letter has been addressed directly to Mrs Marion Bloom – bold, as the sender identifies as being on first-name terms with her, and as Bloom becomes aware that Boylan and Molly will meet that afternoon. Indeed, one of the operatic pieces Molly is to sing at an upcoming concert ‘La ci darem la mano’ comes from a Mozart opera about seduction – Don Giovanni. Bloom’s concern is included in the film, as Molly takes her breakfast in bed – Molly asking Bloom to explain a word she’d come across in a novel she’s reading – before Bloom is able to digest his own breakfast and the letter from Milly (which we have abbreviated, as Joyce does, to create the illusion of a quick scanned read). 

This is followed by a trip by Bloom to the outhouse, during which he reads columns in a popular journal (Titbits) and calculates the rate which the author was paid for quite ordinary copy – inspiration for Bloom perhaps to pen a contribution to the journal.

Bloom’s trip to the outhouse is an ordinary daily bodily function, but its depiction in literature was quite extraordinary. Writing about the body so explicitly had not been done before and was ground-breaking and transgressive. So, inasmuch as the events in Calypso might be quotidian, they set the basis for the day’s events, including at a practical level, his attending a friend’s funeral (Bloom’s wearing black on a warm summer day) and at an emotional level, his feelings of helplessness to prevent both: (a) Molly’s affair with Boylan and (b) his daughter, Milly’s awakening adolescent sexuality, out of his control as it is at some distance from home.


Turkish Bathhouse, Lincoln Place, Dublin

Ch.5: Lotus Eaters. 10am, Westland Row and environs

Guide: Max Gillies

Leopold Bloom: Alexander Pankhurst

Priest: Hunter Perske

Bloom heads off to the Post Office to see what his erotic penpal has for him, and then to Church but not for the reason you might suspect.

Dear Henry…Angry tulips with you darling manflower punish your cactus if you don’t please poor forgetmenot

Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Frances Devlin-Glass

In the novel, ‘Lotus Eaters’ has Bloom leaving home for a day spent wandering the streets, possibly to make space for Molly to decide her marital/romantic future. One has to wonder if Bloom is cravenly passive, or is thinking generously, along the lines of ‘what is love if it is constrained?’. It’s a risky all-or-nothing gamble on Bloom’s part.

Bloom, however, does operate some defences. He has a bit on the side, an erotic pen-pal, Martha Clifford. We learn later in the novel that she is one of 44 applicants for the role of ‘smart literary lady typist’. But to retrieve her mail, he has to act furtively and take a very long way round. Only from the air could you see his elaborate circumlocution – a big s-shape meander from Eccles St to Rogerson Quay and then via Lime St to the Post Office and Church on Westland Row. When he meets McCoy, he wonders if he’s pimping for Boylan and checking out his movements! It’s a paranoid thought.

This is the second time in the film when we perambulate at length (Stephen has done something similar on Sandymount Strand in Proteus), as Bloom has a lot of time to kill before Dignam’s funeral at 11am. It’s the first time too as ‘film-makers’ we wish for a real-life set (up to this Joyce has us inhabiting heads and that has sufficed). But the budget does not allow, nor in a time of plague could we fly to Dublin even if we could afford to do so. But what are we missing? There’s the slum-dwelling kids of Lime St, one of whom is languorously stuffing sausage skins with offal (or is he scraping animal skins to sell?). Either way, the air would be pungent, and it’s a sharp glimpse into the mind of a writer who knew how poverty-stricken some parts of Dublin were in 1904 and how often the posh are rubbing shoulders with shoe-less.

Ideally, we need smellorama for a film of Lotus-Eaters to render Bloom’s experience of the tea-merchant, the smell of the taxi-horses’ urine, the cold smell of stone in All Hallows (Westland Row), and the strange herbal and chemical smells of Sweney’s, the chemist. He is very aware of how the heat of an unusually hot June day is releasing odours, and narcotising a whole population – the kids on the street, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers drilling, the churchgoers, and himself.

This is a chapter which revels in interior monologue, and the associative logic, well-motivated, of Bloom’s veering from one topic to the other. This narrative modus operandi gives us access to a mind that observes like an anthropologist, that is continually puzzling things out, sometimes getting it wrong (especially on science which intrigues him but about which he is under-educated), and offering an outsider’s view especially on religion. He approaches the church with the mind of an adman and businessman, looking at what is offered and what withheld, how it operates as a highly successful corporate entity. He’s very intrigued by confession and repentance, and sceptical.

For the film, we’ve focussed on what it is that Martha’s coded love-letter might mean to him. The Language of Flowers (there were many practitioners, including Kate Greenaway) enabled a repressed population a coded way of declaring themselves and their erotic intentions, and also it seems, in Martha’s case attempting to be a dominatrix of sorts.

The film omits a sequence that is very rich: Bloom’s inconvenient encounter with McCoy. It’s worth reading this to see how skilfully and half-attentively Bloom deals with the insinuations of McCoy (‘Who’s getting it up?’) while in his own mind his attention is rivetted by the silk hosiery on the ankle of a lady entering a carriage outside the Grosvenor Hotel, and is frustrated. His uncensored thoughts (emphatically not PC) give us (apparently) unmediated access to Bloom. His final daydreams of a bath reveal the apex of his hubris (echoing the sacred moment of the Mass), ‘This is my body’ and, comically, his generative potential, ‘the limp father of thousands’.


Prospect Cemeetery, Glasnevin

6. Hades. 11am Glasnevin Cemetery

Guide: Max Gillies

Leopold Bloom: Alexander Pankhurst

And now to the funeral. The graveyard is full of memories and Bloom thinks inexpressible thoughts.

'I daresay the soil would be quite fat with corpsemanure, bones, flesh.'

Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Bruce Beswick

In Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses and his men sail to the underworld of Hades to consult the spirit of the dead prophet Teiresias and learn what lies ahead on their journey home to Ithaca. It is a profoundly spiritual experience in which Ulysses meets the soul of his mother and many lost friends, none of whom can embrace him because of their incorporeal existence. In Joyce’s Ulysses, Bloom and his companions take a carriage to Glasnevin Cemetery to bury their friend Paddy Dignam. There Bloom contemplates the loss of his father, who took his own life, and of his son Rudy, who died in infancy. But in keeping with Joyce’s inverted allegory, and true to his crusade to embrace experience in all its physical reality, his treatment of death is very different from Homer’s. His hero Bloom unblinkingly confronts the corporeal realities of death and decay, imagining in lurid detail the decomposing ‘meat’ in the earth beneath him.

The episode begins cheerily enough, as we see Bloom for the first time in his wider social milieu, sharing a carriage with Martin Cunningham, Simon Dedalus and Mr Power. There are glimpses of other key protagonists – Stephen and Boylan. There are also glimpses of an ambivalence towards Bloom in the attitudes of his fellow Dubliners. And there is humour that is genuinely funny without undermining the respect for the dead. As Simon remarks: ‘Poor little Paddy wouldn't grudge us a laugh. Many a good one he told himself.’ This is the Dublin in which the reader will be increasingly immersed as the novel progresses. But when the carriage reaches its destination, Bloom largely withdraws into his own thoughts, treating us to his decidedly materialist views on the cycle of life and death, including snatches of grim humour and doggerel that are no doubt deflating to those who view the significant moments in life’s journey as sacred events. Even the conception of Bloom’s dead son Rudy is recollected without spiritual sentiment. ‘Give us a touch, Poldy. God, I’m dying for it. How life begins.’ Importantly, though, for Bloom as for Joyce, these key moments have an incontestable significance in the lives of individuals (‘in the particular is contained the universal’). Moreover, they are part of a never-ending cycle of life and death that has an immortality of its own. Bloom may present it sacrilegiously, joking about ‘corpsemanure’ and a fat gentleman ‘invaluable for fruit garden,’ but the idea of death as part of a larger concern through which life goes on is clear in his thoughts. As he says, ‘the cells or whatever they are go on living,’ and ‘in the midst of death we are in life.’

For Bloomsday 2020, we have remained true to the spirit (pardon the pun) of Bloom’s contemplations while taking some fairly outrageous liberties with the order in which they are presented. Unable to show all the meanderings in the mind of Joyce’s everyman philosopher, we have arranged some of his thoughts in a way that captures their variety while creating a fairly linear meditative flow. For this sin we are prepared to face the wrath of our literary hero, should we ever confront him in whatever life is to come.


Freeman's Journal banner, 16 June 1904

7. Aeolus. 12 noon. Office of the Freeman's Journal

Guide: Max Gillies

Ned Lambert: Drew Tingwell

Simon Dedalus: Paul Robertson

Professor MacHugh: Tref Gare

Bloom goes to the Freeman's Journal to place an advertisement. The habitues of the office are deep in talk about the merits of some speeches.

Shite and onions! Enough of the inflated windbag!

Reflections on the relationship between film and novel...

by Bruce Beswick

Scholars may argue about the precise moment in the writing of Ulysses when James Joyce decided to adopt a different style for each episode of the novel, but to more casual readers, that point has undeniably arrived when they turn from the musings and snatches of conversation in the Hades episode to the capitalised headlines that punctuate Aeolus. In fact, these are the first and only headings in the book, since the episodes themselves were not named in the published text. And why are they there? As if to ease the reader into a method that becomes an obsession by the time the book is completed, they are the simplest and most accessible expression of Joyce’s determination that form should mirror content. What better way to set the scene in a newspaper office and emphasise the uses of rhetoric that are the episode’s central theme than to adopt this very familiar form of persuasion?

The mock newspaper headlines are also the first examples of Joyce overtly inserting himself into the text as its creator. While the more subtle variations in style that are detectable in earlier episodes might be attributed to the personalities of the characters, in Aeolus there is no doubt who is the source of the stylistic innovation. And so, with this episode, Joyce introduces himself as the playful author of the wild ride that is to follow. From this point on, the reader is not only in the company of Stephen and Bloom and Mulligan and Si Dedalus but of Joyce himself, who turns out to be the most entertaining companion of all. For scholars of rhetoric, Joyce’s presence is even stronger and clearer in this epi