Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Description of Chapters in “Ulysses” by James Joyce

by Clif Hostetler

I have learned that when Joyce first wrote “Ulysses” no chapter numbers were included.  Editors since have added chapter numbers, however some published versions still do not include chapter numbers. The 1992 Modern Library Edition which I checked out of the library contains no chapter numbers.  In order to help those who have books with no chapters marked I have prepared the following information regarding the chapters.

You may notice that Chapter 6 ends on page 116 which is 15 percent of the total number of 783 pages. Chapter 7 through Chapter 12 is 29 percent, and Chapter 13 through Chapter 18 is 56 percent of the total. I still think that discussing 6 chapters per meeting is still the way to go, but it might be advisable to read ahead if you don’t have a lot of reading time available in August.

The page numbers shown below are from the 1992 Modern Library Edition. I have given a short description of the chapter contents, and I have also shown the first words or first sentence that appear at the beginning of the each chapter to help identify the chapter beginning.

Chapter 1, pages 2 to 23.
Telemachus at the Martello Tower
Stephen Dedalus eats breakfast and leaves for work.
First words: “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a ...”

Chapter 2, pages 24 to 36.
Nestor at School
Stephen teaches his class at Dalkey School; receives pay and advice from Mr. Deasy.
First words: “You, Cochrane, what city sent for Him? ...”

Chapter 3, pages 37 to 53.
Proteus on Sandymount Strand
Stephen walks along Sandymount Strand and thinks many thoughts to himself.
First words: “Ineluctable Modality of the Visible: At least that if no more, thought ...”

Chapter 4, pages 54 to 70.
Breakfast with Calypso
Leopold Bloom with Molly; He leaves to buy a pork kidney and returns.
First words: “Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beast and ...”

Chapter 5, pages 71 to 86.
Leopold Bloom and the Lotus Eaters
Bloom collects letter with flower, orders lotions for at drugstore, thinks of taking bath.
First words: “By lorries along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay Mr Bloom walked soberly ...”

Chapter 6, pages 87 to 115.
Bloom attends the funeral of Paddy Dignam.
First words: “Martin Cunningham, First, poked his silkhatted head into the creaking ...”

Chapter 7, pages 116 to 150.
A Bag of Winds
Bloom and Stephen appear at a newspaper office, but don’t quite meet.

Chapter 8, pages 151 to 183.
Lestrygonians at Lunchtime
Bloom eats lunch at a pub, looks at statues of goddesses in the National Museum.
First words: “Pineapple Rock, Lemon Platt, Butter Scotch.”

Chapter 9, pages 184 to 218.
Scylia and Charybdis
Stephen explains his theory of Hamlet in National Library, where Bloom appears briefly. 
First words: “Urbane, To Comfort Them, the Quaker Librarian Purred: --And we have ...”

Chapter 10, pages 219 to 255.
Wandering Rocks
Bloom and Stephen wander through Dublin among many others but still do not meet. 
First words: “The Superior, the Very Reverend John Commee S. J., reset his ...”

Chapter 11, pages 256 to 291.
The Sirens of the Ormond Hotel
Bloom dines at the Ormond Hotel restaurant and hears singing by the barmaids and various patrons, including Simon Dedalus (Stephen’s father).
First words: “Bronze by gold heard the hoofirons, steelyrining imperthnthn thnthnthn.”

Chapter 12, pages 292 to 345.
Citizen Cyclops
Bloom confronts the drunken citizen in a pub.
First words: “I was just passing the time of day with old Troy of the D.M.P. at the ...”

Chapter 13, pages 346 to 382.
Nausicaa at the Beach
Bloom ogles Gerty McDowell on Sandymount Strand and masturbates.”
First words: “The summer evening had begun to fold the world in its mysterious ...”

Chapter 14, pages 383 to 428.
Oxen of the Sun
Bloom visit the National Maternity Hospital, where Mina Purefoy gives birth to a boy. Bloom and Stephen talk a little amid a boisterous crowd of drunken young men.
First words: “Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus, Deshil Holles Eamus.”

Chapter 15, pages 429 to 611.
Circe of Nighttown
Bloom follows Stephen to Highttown, Dublin’s redlight district, where Stephen spends most of his money, gets into a scuffle with two soldiers, and is rescued by Bloom.
First words: “The Mabbot street entrance of nighttown, before which stretches an ...”

Chapter 16, pages 612 to 665.
Stephen and Bloom talk in the cabman’s shelter.
First words: “Preparatory to anything else Mr. Bloom brushed off the greater bulk ...”

Chapter 17, pages 666 to 737.
Return to Ithaca
Bloom and Stephen go to Bloom’s house. Stephen declines Bloom’s invitation to spend the night. Bloom gets into bed with Molly and finds evidence of her adultery, which he accepts at last “with equanimity.”
First words: “What parallel courses did Bloom and Stephen follow returning?”

Chapter 18, pages 738 to 783.
Molly Bloom Speaks
In bed, Molly reviews her life and loves, concluding with her memory of Bloom’s proposal and her answer: yes.
First words: “Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to ...”

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