J AY J I N I am writing Ithaca in the form of a mathematical catechism. All events are resolved into their cosmic physical, psychical etc. equivalents . . . so that not only will the reader know everything and know it in the baldest coldest way, but Bloom and Stephen thereby become heavenly bodies, wanderers like the stars at which they gaze. --Joyce, in a letter to Frank Budgen, February 28, 1921 . . . Ithaca--a mathematico-astronomico-physico-mechanicogeometrico-chemico sublimation of Bloom and Stephen (devil take 'em both) --Letter to Claud W. Sykes, Spring 1921 As regards Ithaca the question of printer's errors is not the chief point. The episode should be read by some person who is a physicist, mathematician and astronomer and a number of other things. --Letter to Harriet Weaver, December 6, 1921 Joyce's comments on the penultimate episode of Ulysses during its composition, drafting, and revision are a standard invocation--if not a Homeric one of Joyce as muse, then certainly a rhetorical one of authorial ethos-- when writing about science and ``Ithaca.'' Listed together as epigraphs, they also form a microcosm of critical reactions to and interpretations of the chapter since its publication. For some,
Joyce Studies Annual – Fordham University Press
Published: Dec 12, 2013
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