Scrappy Recollections: Music in Ulysses

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10. Mai. 2009, 19:21

If any of you have read Joyce's Ulysses, you'll know it is very musical. This is especially apparent in the Sirens chapter which uses words to convey musical phrases and repetitions.

Here, I will detail music that I relate to Ulysses; recalled when reading, chapter by chapter.

Sirens

Though I have not read this chapter yet, the fact Crystal Castles sample a reading of 'Sirens' in Air War is one of the many contemporary allusions made to the book I stumbled on, inspiring me to read it.


Aeolus

The media 'vampires' of the Newspaper office in the Aeolus chapter suck away at the inspiration of the resourceful Bloom and imaginative Dedalus:

On swift sail flaming
From storm and south
He comes, pale vampire,
Mouth to my mouth


This reminds me of Radiohead's We Suck Young Blood.

As the Professor of the newspaper office says:

We were always loyal to lost causes... Success for us is the death of the intellect and of the imagination.

This decline is represented by paralleling Homer's epic The Odyssey in which the wind-god Aeolus bags the winds that could prevent Ulysses progressing on his sea-journey.



However, his men open the bag out of greed and the boat, so close to returning home, is sent wildly off course.

These men parallel the 'windbags' of the newspaper office in the Aeolus chapter, preventing Ireland's progress by dwelling in the past.

It is implied there is no 'room' for Bloom in the paper office when one of the men open the door on him, the doorknob prodding the 'small of his back'. Just these words reminded me of Morrissey's Hated For Loving in which he sings:

I am hated for loving
I am hated for loving
Anonymous call, a poison pen
A brick in the small of the back again
I still dont belong
To anyone - I am mine


Aptly summarizing Bloom's character. The others do not realise that the 'messiah' they are in need of is represented by the man they ignore: socially crucified Bloom.

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