YES BECAUSE HE NEVER DID A THING LIKE THAT BEFORE AS ASK TO get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting to that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing all for masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was actually afraid to lay out 4d for her methylated spirit telling me all her ailments she had too much old chat in her about politics and earthquakes and the end of the world let us have a bit of fun first God help the world if all the women were her sort down on bathing-suits and lownecks of course nobody wanted her to wear…
Ulysses’ Homecoming by Honore Daumier, 1842.
Above is a scene from the 2004 film adaptation of Ulysses entitled Bloom. It’s part one of Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy, wonderfully delivered by actress Angeline Ball.
You can find part two here.
And don’t forget Kate Bush’s “The Sensual World,” which is lyrically inspired by Molly Bloom (Bush wanted to use the soliloquy itself but was refused permission by the Joyce estate, so she altered it).
And the full text of Chapter 18 of Ulysses, “Penelope,” can be found here.
“I wish, for my own sake, that I had not read it… Joyce has single-handedly killed the 19th century.”
-T.S. Eliot, on reading Ulysses.
The sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know…
“I was on the platform, my heart going like the locomotive, as the train from Dijon came slowly to a standstill and I saw the conductor getting off, holding a parcel and looking around for someone — me. In a few minutes, I was ringing the doorbell at the Joyces’ and handing them Copy No. 1 of Ulysses. It was February 2, 1922.”
–Sylvia Beach, pictured up above with Joyce, standing in the doorway of her bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, in Paris. She was the publisher of Ulysses. (taken from this amazing site.)
That is Nora Barnacle up above, who was, and I love the way that Wikipedia words this, “the lover, companion, inspiration – and eventually – wife of author James Joyce.” An episode from her real life would inspire the epiphanic moment from “The Dead” and the date of her first romantic liason with Joyce – June 16, 1904 – would be forever immortalized in Ulysses as Bloomsday.
I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
Also from Wikipedia: “Joyce noted in a 1921 letter to Frank Budgen that ‘[t]he last word (human, all too human) is left to Penelope.’ The episode both begins and ends with ‘yes,’ a word that Joyce described as ‘the female word’ and that he said indicated ‘acquiescence and the end of all resistance.’