Molly’s suitors

If he had smiled why would he have smiled?

To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.

What preceding series?

Assuming Mulvey to be the first term of his series, Penrose, Bartell d’Arcy, professor Goodwin, Julius Mastiansky, John Henry Menton, Father Bernard Corrigan, a farmer at the Royal Dublin Society’s Horse Show, Maggot O’Reilly, Matthew Dillon, Valentine Blake Dillon (Lord Mayor of Dublin), Christopher Callinan, Lenehan, an Italian organgrinder, an unknown gentleman in the Gaiety Theatre, Benjamin Dollard, Simon Dedalus, Andrew (Pisser) Burke, Joseph Cuffe, Wisdom Hely, Alderman John Hooper, Dr Francis Brady, Father Sebastian of Mount Argus, a bootblack at the General Post Office, Hugh E. (Blazes) Boylan and so each and so on to no last term.

A passage from the penultimate episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses.


3 thoughts on “Molly’s suitors”

  1. Molly’s Suitors and a rear end view of the Universe Here is a wonderful strange loop: Martin Bojowald, the physicist, concludes his essay on the ‘momentous arrow of time’ with the same quotation and a speculation about the ‘thoughts of Leopold Bloom after a long eventful day’. Bojowald asks if we will be ‘led to similar thoughts, after a long eventful journey in quantum gravity’. He ends his speculation a half page later: ‘The bloomy scenario of loop quantum cosmology may well be this: a universe whose time-reversed pre-history we cannot access but which we grasp in the form of initial conditions it provides for our accessible part; a pseudo-beginning; an orphan universe, shown the rear end by whatever preceded (and possibly) created it.’

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  2. When I was a teenager I decided that the Wikipedia entry needed some more revealing contents. For some reason I believed, and still do, the tenets of open knowledge of freedom, discussion, etal. So, I included the sections and titles exactly like “The Odyssey” in order to try and more widely provoke the discussion of the book, make others curious and inform those who might seem estranged to some of the revelations of the book. No one disagreed w/ this probable change over the course of a weekend. W/ some hesitation I pushed the changes. They’ve never gone away. I’ve always been pleased w/ that. That is my very minor contribution to Joycean thought, haha. Somewhere in the deep archives of the “Ulysses” Wikipedia discussions, I’m in there making changes long ago. Also, if you haven’t read this wonderful (and highly postmodern, it would seem, very Pynchonean) article, I highly recommend it:

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