Wine in James Joyce's "Ulysses".

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Wine in James Joyce's "Ulysses".

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:42 pm

Joyce -- Ulysses

June 16 marks the 102nd anniversary of Bloomsday, the date on which the event in James Joyce's "Ulysses" take place. Just in case you plan to join the celebrations around the world -- readings, festivals, symposia, whatever, here's a little wine based sampler from the novel.

My personal favorite line in this collection: "He smellsipped the cordial juice and, bidding his throat strongly to speed it, set his wineglass delicately down."

Enjoy your journey. Regards, Bob

Episode 5 - Lotus Eaters

The priest was rinsing out the chalice: then he tossed off the dregs smartly. Wine. Makes it more aristocratic than for example if he drank what they are used to Guinness's porter or some temperance beverage Wheatley's Dublin hop bitters or Cantrell and Cochrane's ginger ale (aromatic). Doesn't give them any of it: shew wine: only the other. Cold comfort. Pious fraud but quite right: otherwise they'd have one old booser worse than another coming along, cadging for a drink. Queer the whole atmosphere of the. Quite right. Perfectly right that is.

Episode 8 - Lestrygonians

A warm shock of air heat of mustard hauched on Mr Bloom's heart. He raised his eyes and met the stare of a bilious clock. Two. Pub clock five minutes fast. Time going on. Hands moving. Two. Not yet.

His midriff yearned then upward, sank within him, yearned more longly, longingly.


He smellsipped the cordial juice and, bidding his throat strongly to speed it, set his wineglass delicately down.

Episode 10 - Wandering Rocks

A card Unfurnished Apartments reappeared on the windowsash of number 7 Eccles street.

He checked his tale a moment but broke out in a wheezy laugh.

-- But wait till I tell you, he said. Delahunt of Camden street had the catering and yours truly was chief bottlewasher. Bloom and the wife were there. Lashings of stuff we put up: port wine and sherry and curaçao to which we did ample justice. Fast and furious it was. After liquids came solids. Cold joints galore and mince pies.

-- I know, M'Coy said. The year the missus was there...

Episode 14 - Oxen Of The Sun

BLOOM (Squire of dames, in dinner jacket, with watered-silk facings, blue masonic badge in his buttonhole, black bow and mother-of-pearl studs, a prismatic champagne glass tilted in his hand.) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ireland, home and beauty.

MRS BREEN The dear dead days beyond recall. Love's old sweet song.

Episode 15 - Circe

LYNCH Pornosophical philotheology. Metaphysics in Mecklenburg street!

STEPHEN We have shrewridden Shakespeare and henpecked Socrates. Even the allwisest stagyrite was bitted, bridled and mounted by a light of love.


STEPHEN Anyway, who wants two gestures to illustrate a loaf and a jug? This movement illustrates the loaf and jug of bread and wine in Omar. Hold my stick.

LYNCH Damn your yellow stick. Where are we going?

Episode 16 - Eumaeus

You frittered away your time, he very sensibly maintained, and health and also character besides which the squandermania of the thing, fast women of the demimonde ran away with a lot of #. s. d. into the bargain and the greatest danger of all was who you got drunk with though, touching the much vexed question of stimulants, he relished a glass of choice old wine in season as both nourishing and blood-making and possessing aperient virtues (notably a good burgundy which he was a staunch believer in) still never beyond a certain point where he invariably drew the line as it simply led to trouble all round to say nothing of your being at the tender mercy of others practically. Most of all he commented adversely on the desertion of Stephen by all his pubhunting confrères but one, a most glaring piece of ratting on the part of his brother medicos under all the circs.

Episode 17 - Ithaca

What acrostic upon the abbreviation of his first name had he (kinetic poet) sent to Miss Marion Tweedy on the 14 February 1888?

Poets oft have sung in rhyme
Of music sweet their praise divine.
Let them hymn it nine times nine.
Bearer far than song or wine,
You are mine. The world is mine.

Episode 18 - Penelope

... the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where 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 Jo 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.
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Re: Wine in James Joyce's "Ulysses".

Postby Otto » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:23 pm

Thanks Bob! I loved the book when I read it - it's good to get a reminder of how stylistically inventive Joyce's prose is. It's a tough book, but it has so much humour and such great style that I return to read passages of it quite often. It's a pity I can't really get into fiction anymore :(
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Wine in James Joyce's "Ulysses".

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:29 pm

I've been avoiding fiction recently as well -- some of the non-fiction stuff is even more fascinating than the best fiction. But I was surprised at how much of this novel came back to me as I searched for the wine references. I've read about a good guide to the various Joycean allusions in the novel, and might give it another try this summer.
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Re: Wine in James Joyce's "Ulysses".

Postby Covert » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:29 pm


Like Otto, I had given up fiction. But recently, after missing a couple of Word Power words in consecutive Reader's Digest Magazines in the doctor's office, I started to read some classics again just to refresh my vocabulary.

A couple of weeks ago I read Wells' "Invisible Man." Learned a couple of good words and points of writing style. Do you know what a costermonger and a hobbledehoy are? The last time I dealt with the former, I was the latter. I was also amazed at how such a stupid story stuck with me for days. Even read some of it to my wife to help her fall asleep. I guess there are reasons why classics are classics.

I've walked by "Ulysses" in my bookcase several times recently and almost pulled it out. It's daunting. But I guess I'll give it a go, since you mentioned it. I just plucked it. Paid $2.95 for it whenever the heck I bought it.

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