Ulysses: The famous breakfast

And now we meet Leopold Bloom, a Jew in Dublin, the star of the show, about to begin his Homeric odyssey … which is why this whole thing is called “Bloomsday” in the first place. It is 8 a.m. Molly Bloom cooks him breakfast. Leopold eats.

Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod’s roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were in the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him feel a bit peckish.

The coals were reddening.

This is from what is known to be the “Calypso” episode – following the Odyssey through and through. And as is obvious – the style of writing in each section is radically different. I found it very important to just go with it, to succumb, to let Joyce be the leader – as opposed to resisting it, to thinking: “Wait … where’s Stephen Dedalus now? Wait … the last section was in first person … so what’s this??”

This entry was posted in James Joyce and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ulysses: The famous breakfast

  1. michael says:

    Don’t know if you’ll be amused or enraged, but the BBC has the Cliff Notes version of the Cliff Notes version of Ulysses up. I got it from Jessica at bookslut. The comments are priceless.

  2. red says:

    No, I didn’t see it! I’m actually working on a summary myself at this moment … I’ll hold off looking at theirs until I’m done with mine.

  3. michael says:

    Can’t wait to read it. Do you work this hard at work?

  4. red says:

    No. I only work this hard on stuff I love. Everyone else just needs to deal with me giving 50 %. :)