THEODORE FEDER One of the recurrent questions implicit in Joyce's Ulysses is how Leopold Bloom can serve as a counterpart to the Ulysses of Homeric epic. To what degree does he respond to the Ulysses prototype or merit this distinction? Ulysses is a warrior and King of Ithaca, while Bloom is a middle class Jew with the rather mundane job of advertising salesman. Ulysses wanders the Mediterranean world for ten long years. Bloom wanders about Dublin for one day. Bloom may be a type of ``wandering Jew,'' though it appears that he has lived and been settled in Dublin for a long time, probably since his birth. He is not, therefore, a Jew who has been pulled and pushed from country to country, which weakens but does not negate his status as ``wandering Jew.'' Indeed, Bloom remarks to Stephen in Latin, ``Ubi patria . . . vita bene,'' which can be loosely translated as, ``Wherever I am well . . . there is my country'' (16.113839). Bloom's traits of generosity, compassion, and forgiveness differ from the ruthless and unsparing vengeance that mark the homecoming of Ulysses, whose Greek name Odysseus can fittingly be translated as ``Wrathful.'' What then,
Joyce Studies Annual – Fordham University Press
Published: Dec 12, 2013
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