The novel tells of one day of the sixteenth day of June 1904 from the life of a 34-year-old Dublin Jew Leopold Bloom and twenty-two-year-old Stephen Daedalus.
Three parts of a huge book, divided into eighteen episodes, should, according to the author, relate to the Homeric Odyssey (Ulysses – the Latin transcription of the name of its main character). But this connection with the ancient Greek epic is very relative and, rather, from the opposite: in a lengthy novel nothing important, in fact, does not happen.
Location – the capital of Ireland, the city of Dublin – verified by the author literally on the map and directory. Time – on the chronometer, sometimes, however, stopping.
The first part includes three episodes. At eight in the morning, the
Their conversation revolves around the search for the son of his father, constantly touching on the examples of Hamlet, Jesus Christ and Telemacus, the son of Ulysses. The same topic also arises in the lesson of history that Stephen gives two hours later at the school where he works part time, and in his conversation with the headmaster of the school, asking the young man to pass his long-winded note on the foot and mouth disease epidemic to his friends in the newspaper’s editorial office. After the lesson, Stephen mentally strolls along the seashore.
The same morning, the “wanderings” of the small advertising agent Leopold Bloom begin. The central and largest part of the novel, consisting of twelve episodes, begins with his breakfast – a pig’s kidney, which he previously buys in the Dlugach meat shop. There he takes the prospectus of a model
After breakfast, visit the toilet with a magazine in hand. At eleven, Bloom must be at the funeral of his schoolmate, and he leaves the house an hour before to do various small things. In particular, he receives a letter from a certain Marta Clifford at the post office, who responded to the ad for the purely amorous purposes announcing in the newspaper about the search for a secretary. Marta answered his love message and even wrote that she was dreaming about a meeting. In occasion of what at Bloom there are all sorts of loving fantasies. It’s time, however, in the cemetery.
In the funeral carriage, Bloom travels with other sympathizers, among them Stephen’s father, Simon Daedalus. The conversation is about all sorts of things, including about the future tour of Bloom’s wife, and about his father who committed suicide in his time. After the funeral, Bloom goes to the editorial offices of newspapers, for which he as an agent is advertising. There he meets the same company that was in the cemetery, plus Professor McHugh, consumptive lawyer O’Malloy and editor Miles Crawford. Bloom leaves, comes. In his absence, the editorial board is Steven Dedal, who brought a note to the headmaster, and after a whisper invites everyone to a drinking establishment. The editor was delayed, at that time Bloom returned, and all the irritation of Crawford fell on him.
Embarrassed, Bloom leaves the editorial office and wanders around the city, beginning to gradually feel hungry and more and more thinking about food. He will say something to a friend, then he will marvel at the madman and finally go to Davy Bern’s inn, where one of the regulars informs the owner of the inn about Bloom’s Freemasonry.
At the same time at two o’clock in the afternoon Stephen Dedal defends in the library before the cleverest people of Dublin his version of the biography and personality of Shakespeare, for example, what he played, and considered himself the shadow of Hamlet’s father. Despite his originality and desire to be understood, he remains an outcast among the audience: neither his poems are printed in the collection of young poets, nor are they invited for the evening, unlike his friend Mailaha (or Bull) Mulligan, who is also here. Already offended, Stephen gets all the new reasons for his insults. Bloom walks into the library, almost without meeting Stephen.
The middle of the day, and the townspeople are busy with their own affairs. Bloom’s friends discuss the charms of his wife, Leopold Bloom himself sorts out the books of masochistic content by choosing one of them. Buyan Boylan sends to a certain address with a messenger wine and fruit. Stephen meets his sister, who recently left her father.
Bloom knows from the letter that the meeting of his wife Molly with Buyan Boylan is scheduled for four. He suspects of their love affair, which actually exists. After meeting Boylan, Bloom secretly follows him to the restaurant “Ormond” on the embankment, by the way, he dines with his friend there, listens to music, then learns that Boylan is leaving in the stroller. Jealousy, the secret desire to betray his wife with another man, this “Penelope”, satisfying everyone, to his and their pleasure, all this overflows Bloom’s soul against the backdrop of thrilling music.
Imagining what was happening at his home in his absence, he wrote a reply letter to Martha, refusing to immediately meet her and enjoying the game itself, delaying enjoyment. At five o’clock in the courtyard of Barney Kirnan Irish patriots gather, discussing current affairs – their own and their poor, oppressed by the British and Jews of the country. In search of Martin Cunningham about the insurance of the buried Dignam in the morning, Bloom is also looking. While drinking, the patriots debate, touching the Jew Bloom, who does not support their extremism against the British, in particular. The case ends with an anti-Semitic trick addressed to him: when Bloom sits down in the carriage, an empty can is thrown at him.
About eight hours Bloom is on the beach by the sea, where she masturbates, watching one of the three young girlfriends, Gerty McDowell, who, sensing his interest, inadvertently demonstrates his underwear and other secret charms. When she leaves with her friends, Bloom discovers her limp. Then it turns out that his watch stopped at half past four. Is not it then, Bloom thinks, when Boylan “stopped” his wife?
To meet his wife at Bloom has no desire. At ten o’clock in the evening, he finds himself in a shelter for women in childbirth, Dr. Horn, where one of the mothers who have many children for three days can not be solved by another baby. Going there, Bloom discovers a company of drinking and hohmyaschih young men, among whom is Steven Dedalus. Leopold drinks and talks to them. Here it is worth noting that the novel “Ulysses” is not easy to read and retell, for it is written in the genre of the stream of consciousness. In the same chapter, the author also imitates various literary styles, from the oldest to the most modern. Among the young men, Slut Mulligan also makes some kind of talk. Seductive conversations are warmed up by the arrival of the nurse, informing that the lady has finally given birth. The merry company goes to drink and go farther to the tavern, and Steven and his friend Lynch are separated from the others, to go to Bella Cohen’s brothel. For some reason, Bloom, feeling sympathy for Stephen, decides to follow the young people.
At midnight, he finds himself in the heart of Dublin’s nocturnal debauchery. Drunk Bloom hallucinates, seeing his parents, familiar women, met for a day of random people. He is compelled to defend himself against accusations by these ghosts in various secret vileness. Subconsciousness of it, thirst for power and honors, fears, sexual masochism rod outward “in faces and pictures”. Finally he finds himself with a prostitute Zoe in a brothel, where he meets Stephen with his friend. Drunk narco-erotic delirium continues, reality can not be separated from consciousness. Bloom, turned into a woman, is accused of all kinds of perversions, including the pleasure of spying on the adultery of his wife with Boylan. Suddenly, at the height of the orgy, Stephen sees the ghost of his poor mother, who has risen from the grave. He breaks the chandelier with his cane and runs from the brothel to the street, where he enters into a fight with the soldiers. Bloom, after him, somehow settles the scandal, leans over the body of the young man lying in the dust and finds out in him his deceased eleven years ago in the infancy of Rudy’s son.
The third part of the book begins, consisting of the last three episodes. At one o’clock in the morning Bloom and Stephen get to the night tea “Carrier’s Shelter”, where they settle in the corner. Bloom strongly supports the conversation, which periodically comes to a standstill, shows Steven a photograph of his wife and invites you to visit her to introduce her. Having discussed many important questions for drunken people on the way, they get to two nights before the Blom’s house and, barely opening it, sit in the kitchen, drink cocoa and again talk on various topics, then go to the garden, collect urine together, and then safely disagree in different directions.
Lying next to his wife in bed, Bloom, among other things, reflects on the unfaithfulness of his wife with a string of supposed lovers, talks a little with her and finally falls asleep.
The novel ends with forty pages without punctuation by the effusions of Mrs. Molly Bloom about her boyfriends, about her husband, about intimate preferences, in the course of the process, she discovers that she starts menstruating, which, however, does not interfere with all her seductive thoughts, resulting in a huge romance ending with the words: “so that he felt my breasts their scent and his heart was beating madly and yes I said yes I want to Yes.”