This talk, the fourth in Volume 1,“The Mythic Novels of James Joyce” is entitled “Ulysses, pt. 2.” It was recorded at the Esalen Institute on November 26, 1983.
Joseph Campbell continues the reading of Ulysses and offers explanations of the many dimensions and symbolic layers of the text. Equipped with the necessary background and knowledge, he makes sense of this incredible masterpiece. This is a great journey through Dublin on June 16, 1904. The enlightening comments on Joyce’s rhetoric help explain, among other things, the comic genius of his work. Mythology can be fun when guided by the wit and wisdom of Joseph Campbell.
“Campbell: And so forth and so on…. Well, what happens is, Bloom walks in. And during the course of the occasion, the news comes to these people that the horse that won the race was, Throwaway. Bloom meanwhile has said that he has to leave to see Martin Cunningham about something. So he goes out. When he comes back they think what happened was he went out to pick up his money, 20 to 1. Nothing of the kind, he went out to talk to Martin Cunningham about the insurance for Mrs. Digham. But while he was out, Martin Cunningham came in, Martin Cunningham wasn’t where he went, so he’s come back and now everybody thinks he has collected 20 to 1 for his bet on the horse and standing treats to the house. So the big Irishman begins to taunt him for not giving a treat, and accuses him of being a Jew. And Bloom says, ”Well, yes I am a Jew and your God is a Jew.” Your God, well, that is too much for the guy and he just starts roaring after Bloom and Bloom knows well enough to run for it. The guy picks up a tin and throws it after Bloom down the street. And I just want to read the situation with Bloom’s departure.”