Ulysses: eighteen incorrect chapter précis

Telemachus. Stephen is annoyed by Buck Mulligan, who is repeatedly calling and trying to sell him a new long-distance phone service.

Nestor. At Deasy’s school, Stephen is required to perform humiliating duties such as removing pigeons from the eaves.

Proteus. Stephen walks along the beach and admires the flowers.

Calypso. Mr Bloom attempts to speak to his cat using Ancient Greek or “onomatopoeia”.

Lotus eaters. Mr Bloom imagines that he owns an expensive car which he compares with a languid floating flower.

Hades. Mr Bloom and some gentleman visit a funeral and respectfully remove and replace their hats.

Aeolus. An editor is very rude to Mr Bloom. The title of this section is thought to be the origin of the expression “A-hole”.

Lestrygonians. Mr Bloom ponders where to eat, and decides on Gonian’s.

Scylla and Charybdis. Stephen argues in the library. Because it is a library in Ireland, arguments are encouraged rather than shushed.

Wandering Rocks. This is a chapter about how great it is to wander around Dublin, where you may come upon the statue of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.

Sirens. In Ancient Greece, sirens were often used to alert protagonists that dangerous birds were near. These ‘birds’ are represented by two sexy barmaids.

Cyclops. The first really weird chapter, in which the narrative “cycles” between a number of different voices, many of them silly.

Nausicaa. The behaviour of Mr Bloom in this chapter, as its title suggests, is quite revolting.

Oxen of the Sun. It was for this chapter that Oliver St John Gogarty, the model for Buck Mulligan, was unable to forgive Joyce, as the initial letters of the central sixteen sentences spell the message “GOGARTY IS A NUMPTY”.

Circe. The action in this infamous chapter are indeed, as its title suggests, “saucy” beyond belief, and may be safely skipped

Eumaeus. Mr Bloom and Stephen discuss events of the preceding chapter with a series of “euphemisms”.

Ithaca. A question-and-answer episode which is based on an ancient call and response: “Duck season!” “Rabbit season!” “Duck season!” “Rabbit season!”

Penelope. Bloom’s wife Molly thinks about which man, or “pene”, she will choose to marry (“elope”). She finally decides on Mr Bloom, which is convenient, as she is already married to him.


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