‘Tell Us in Plain Words’: an Introduction to Reading Joyce’s Ulysses
As my title’s playful use of Molly Bloom’s response to Leopold Bloom’s explanation of metempsychosis (the transmigration of souls) indicates, I shall stress — as I do in my recent study Reading Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’1 — that Ulysses is a readable novel rather than an elaborate puzzle or a Rosetta Stone or a hieroglyph (U.64; IV.343).2 Indeed, there is a danger that the study of Ulysses has become like ground that has been farmed for so long that it now only supports exotic crops like persimmons.
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