Episode 9

The librarian trying to facilitate literary debate is called away by an attendant. John Eglington ribs Stephen about his plans to transform Paradise Lost into the Sorrows of Satan and suggests he needs the mystical seven rather than six voices. Stephen knows that Mulligan will have got his telegram while he waited for him at the Ship. Stephen decides it is folly to argue but goes ahead anyway and John Eglington asks for something to rival Hamlet. Russell known in the literary world as A.E joins in with ideas about eternal wisdom as developed by Plato and asserts that all else is just the speculation of school boys. Stephen bolstered by J.J. Molloy’s news that Russell told an American journalist about him, politely interjects, that Aristotle was once Plato’s schoolboy. John Eglington remarks that he will always by Plato’s schoolboy. Stephen knows he is being set up and runs through some wild ideas in his head. The entrance of Mr Best a naïve young man helps prompt a comment about a model schoolboy finding both Hamlet and Plato equally shallow.

The comparison between Plato and Aristotle riles Eglington. Stephen quickly reviews ideas about space and time that he mulled over in the classroom earlier in the day. He is sarcastic about those groveling after Blake into eternity and commits to the present as the threshold between the future and the past. Mr Best has been helping Haines from Oxford with his research into Irish love songs. A.E. espouses his theory on the creative forces of visions, in a peasant’s heart, versus the rarified world of the academy. Mr Best asserts his admiration for Mallarme and his poems about Hamlet. Stephen thinks the drama is based on an excess of murder and that, in the interest of a single soul, nine people are killed - indeed slaughtered - in act five. Stephen analysis Hamlet as a ghost story. He discusses the real circumstances at the time of the first performance and establishes the possibility that Shakespeare might be speaking the words to his own son whose name was Hammet. A.E. makes an impassioned speech for the creators of works of art like the author of King Lear who are immortal and exempt from anyone prying into their personal life. Stephen through a drunken haze remembers he owes the literary A.E. money that he spent on a prostitute Georgina Johnson. He plays with the idea that, as it was five months ago, he is no longer the same person who owes the money but a whole new set of molecules. A.E.I.O.U.

John Eglington says Ann Hathaway died for literature before she was born. Stephen gives her a biographical reality. She lived for sixty seven years, she was the first woman Shakespeare mated with, she bore his children and closed his eyes on his deathbed. The death of Stephen’s own mother still absorbs his consciousness and he is disturbed by images of her deathbed. John Eglington says Shakespeare made a mistake with Ann Hathaway and then moved on but Stephen immediately interjects that these experiences are deliberate and a vital part of discovery in the life of a genius. Stephen challenges Eglington further on the wisdom Socrates gained from his mother and his wife Myrto, a source of knowledge that can never be known by men except through a woman. Mr Best suggests everyone, like Shakespeare himself, have forgotten about Ann Hathaway. Stephen says there was no fault with Shakespeare’s memory in matters that pertained to his wallet. Shakespeare, he asserts was chosen by Ann Hathaway in a cornfield and out of his depth, he never moved beyond that experience, but went forth to create women whose speech had been appropriated from men. Mr Best is delighted that he can quote a rhyme in correcting the fact that Shakespeare was tumbled in a rye field not a cornfield.

A.E. stands up to leave and tells Eglington he may see him at Moore’s that night but he has another meeting earlier. Stephen rather facetiously imagines astral planes and Buddha like postures. The librarian announces that A.E. is gathering the verse of young poets. Stephen alert to whether his name might be mentioned holds focus on his ashplant and hat and listens to their conversation. He gives A.E. Deasy’s letter for publication and is quite ingratiating towards him as he requests for it to go in the next issue of his literary journal. A.E. rather pompously tells him that if it is deemed important it will go to print and he then leaves.
The librarian turns to Stephen and continues the conversation by asking if Ann Hathaway was faithful to Shakespeare? Stephen reflects on the endless possibilities in all that might have been and he views the shelves of books as vaults of dead words when he wants the vigor of live thought and language. John Eglington extends the gauntlet yet again for Stephen to prove that Hamlet is other than Shakespeare. Stephen talks of molecules and weaving and unweaving bodies to make a link between father and unliving son. He refers to Shelly’s concept of ‘the intense instant’ when there is a synergy of past, present and future.
John Eglington unfolds a further challenge presented by Shakespeare’s later plays. Stephen has to rally as he finds himself repeating arguments and tries to create a labyrinth of references. The librarian mentions the link between the dark lady of the sonnets and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Stephen suggests that as Shakespeare never recovered from his first experience in the cornfield (ryefield) then all other affairs were merely assumed rather than elemental. Stephen has got their attention and ploughs on with an argument that all of Shakespeare’s creation is to hide from himself his inadequacy which he is doomed forever to return to and that after his first sexual encounter with Ann Hathaway he was forever a shadow of his former self. Buck Mulligan has arrived for this last rally and salutes with ‘amen’ from the doorway. Stephen knows Mulligan will have read his telegram and wonders if he is now his enemy. Mulligan is masked behind his clever mocking and the discussion extends to the Holy Ghost. Mr Best gives Mulligan a message from Haines that he will meet him later. John Eglington identifies Haines as a fellow countryman of Shakespeare and jokes that now Hamlet is being played by a woman that someone will surely prove that he was also an Irishman. Mr Best contributes a little theory about the sonnets being written by Willie Hughes with poetic references to hue and colour. Stephen thinks that is rather a tame version of Oscar Wilde. He knows that the whiskey bought with Deasy’s paycheck has freed him up for this rave and a serious discussion about mocking continues with the librarian.

Mulligan approaches him with the telegram ‘a papal bull’. The telegram challenges responsibility beyond mere sentiment. Mulligan asks where he dispatched the telegram from and wonders if Stephen has spent the whole four quid and barrages him in a strong brogue about the terrible drought he and Haines incurred while waiting for him. An attendant arrives with Bloom’s card saying he wants access to the Kilkenny People and the Librarian immediately goes to attend to his request. Mulligan seizes Bloom’s card and immediately makes the Jewish connection. He has just spied Bloom at the Museum closely inspecting the rectums of Greek statues. John Eglington leads the conversation back to Mrs Shakespeare. Stephen talks of affluent London and the extravagant lifestyle enjoyed for twenty years by Shakespeare and his contemporaries Sir Walter Raleigh and Eliza Tudor, as a debauched and happy time, and perhaps Shakespeare may be the spurned lover of the sonnets. Stephen imagines Ann as hot blooded and unless Shakespeare has incorporated her into Act Five in Hamlet then there is no mention of her for thirty four years until the day she buries him. The resilience of women is apparent, according to Stephen, in that they all bury their men folk. The only mention there is about Ann Hathaway gives details of her needing to borrow money while Shakespeare lived the rich life in London. Even worse, when he died he only bequeathed her his ‘second best’ bed. Mulligan introduces Dowdon’s accusation of pederasty against Shakespeare. Stephen outlines details to substantiate the Shylock characteristics of Shakespeare and that the Scottish witch-hunt influenced Macbeth. He flits through a kaleidoscope of philology and theology to stupefy all present. John Eglington wants proof that Shakespeare was a Roman and Mulligan groans as Stephen starts to quote from Thomas Aquinas. Concepts of intermarriage and incest and the differences between Christian and Jewish must be left to be sorted out on Doomsday. A man holding ownership over property and wife may not covet his servant’s wife or his neighbour’s ass. They speculate about Ann Hathaway being laid out in her ‘second best’ bed and whether she took up with gospellers in her old age or if, the spiritual benefits of snuff, was a symptom of a life spent as a whore. Our worst enemies are often within families and we cannot expect great poets to have ordinary family lives. Shakespeare’s great inspiration followed his father’s death. Stephen endeavors to establish that the relationship between father and son can only be a mystical association. He argues that it is the basis of the Roman Catholic Church and not the Madonna which was created as something tangible to placate the rabble. There are virtually no recorded incidents of sexual violation between fathers and sons. Stephen plays with the fact that a son can be a son without a father and therefore it logically follows the same applies to being a father. Indeed Hamlet being no more a son may have been liberated to become father of all his race. Mulligan enjoying the hypothesis, mimes being big with child. Stephen says, as well as Hammet, Shakespeare’s son, his three brothers also got subsumed into his plays. King Lear has both an Edmund and Richard the names of his brothers. He hides his own name everywhere in plays and sonnets. Shakespeare found his star on the horizon one summer evening as he crossed the fields from his dalliance with Ann Hathaway. Stephen can see he is winning them over with this ‘gobshite’ and wonders which woman will woo him and perhaps the sky will tell him if he can identify the configuration. The librarian asks if this star on the horizon might be a celestial phenomenon and Stephen equates a star at night with the clouds during the day. Stephen is still wearing Mulligan’s boots and vows to buy his own. John Eglington suggests a fantastical humour is to be expected from someone named Dedalus. When Stephen went to Paris he traveled as a steerage passenger not on wings like the flight from the labyrinth by Dedalus and his son Icarus. He is however aware that he is managing to fly like a Lapwing leading his listeners astray with flights of intellect here in the library. Mr Best earnestly relates stories about brothers from Irish myth and Grimms fairytales. The librarian wants Stephen to elaborate on the misconduct of one of the brothers but is called away to help Father Dineen. Stephen jokes about how easy it is to forget about brothers as he plays for time to work out the next twist in the argument about Richard and Edmund. He is tired of his own voice and wants a drink but manages to continue with the idea that even if all the names were already in the chronicles why did Shakespeare select these particular ones. He goes on to prove that he portrayed them only in derogatory roles. He says that rather than creating something original Shakespeare lifted stories from Arcadia and blended them with Celtic legend. He argues that all his themes are about falsehood, usurpation and adultery. Stephen quotes from the words of the bishops in Maynooth that all goes back to original sin and in Shakespeare’s case his original sin was with Ann Hathaway. After this experience he was doomed to be the lover of an ideal or a perversion. Ultimately he returns to Stratford to die and to be buried with his son because we cannot escape from ourselves. Stephen’s conclusion that if we take Hamlet literally then in heaven man will be an androgynous angel as he becomes his own wife and this gets a rousing cheer from Mulligan. John Edlington knows Stephen has led them a merry chase and asks him if he believes his own theory. Mr Best encourages Stephen to write it in the manner of a Platonic discourse. John Eglington outlines the other theories about mystery in Hamlet. John Eglington chides Stephen for being the only person who wants to be paid for his contribution to the literary journal Dana. Stephen offers for a fee of one guinea his discussion on Shakespeare for publication. Mulligan satirizes Stephen as the Irish bard found in the company of Nelly and Rosalie who have gonorrhea..

Mulligan addresses Stephen as an ancient Druid, wandering Aengus, and as they leave John Eglington reminds Mulligan about Moore’s gathering tonight. Stephen, as he
follows Mulligan out through the library, firms his resolve to no longer be trapped in the role of follower. He notices that Mulligan now walks like Haines. Cashel Boyle O’ Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell is in the reading room. The librarian is still talking with the priest. Mulligan tells Stephen he and Haines went over to the Abbey Theatre and chants a ditty about marriage and masturbation. He is aware that Stephen is still dressed in mourning and says even Synge has stopped wearing black. Stephen has upset the theatre fraternity by what he wrote about their patron Lady Gregory. Mulligan then outlines a play he has conceived which is inspired by Stephen’s creative conversation in the library. Stephen’s thought process once again provides fodder for Mulligan’s cleverness. He mocks the Irish bard for being dead drunk and all the girls climbing over him and his vomit. A man, Bloom, walks between them as he leaves the library and Mulligan salutes him. Stephen looks for an omen like in ancient times from the flight of the birds. Mulligan jokes that Bloom gave Stephen a lustful look and Stephen again notices he is trying to carry off an Oxford manner influenced by Haines. Stephen welcomes any offence as it helps him in his resolve to break away from Mulligan. There are no birds but there are two plumes of smoke and Stephen relaxes and remembers words from the Druids and their blessed altars. He will remain an Irishman.

Ulysses comprises 18 EPISODES June 16th 1904 Dublin