University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The James Joyce Scholars' Collection

Page View

Budgen, Frank / James Joyce and the making of 'Ulysses', and other writings

Chapter three,   pp. 39-59 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 39

I SAT up reading the first three episodes of Ulysses in the Little Review.
Joyce wanted them to pass on to someone else. These three episodes form an
introduction to the main theme equivalent to the first books of the Odyssey
wherein the situation in the household of Ulysses is described and young
Telemachus sets forth to gain news of his father. The Telemachus of Joyce's
book is Stephen Dedalus, whose childhood, boyhood and adolescence are narrated
in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. From the date of the last entry
in Stephen's diary at the end of A Portrait of the Artist to the beginning
of Ulysses there is a gap of about six months. Stephen has been in Paris.
A telegram called him back to the bedside of his dying mother. She died,
and now he is living in the Martello tower at Sandycove with his friend,
Buck Mulligan, a medical student. They pay twelve pounds a year rent for
the tower to the Secretary' of State for War. Every reader of Ulysses is
captivated from the start with the wit and high spirits of Buck Mulligan,
but there is an atmosphere of hostility between him and Stephen. He reproaches
Stephen with failing to humour his mother's last wish and pray at her bedside,
and criticises generally "the cursed Jesuit strain" in him. Stephen resents
the native and habitual mockery of the Buck. He instances the overheard remark
of Mulligan to his aunt: "0, it's only Dedalus whose mother is beastly dead."
In reality, however, it is not one remark or another 

Go up to Top of Page