Stranger Fruit

From Telemachus to Penelope

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:


Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:

–Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

So began a work published today in 1922 in Paris on the fortieth birthday of its author. The work is, of course, Ulysses, and the author, James Joyce. The book ends with a eight-sentence, unpunctuated chapter which Molly Bloom draws to an end with

I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

There you have it. Now all you have to do is read the stuff in the middle!


  1. #1 JonnM
    February 3, 2008

    Have seen the movie twice 40 years ago, but never been able to get through the whole book. Something about consentration span or what?
    Of those who clain they have read it, how many are lying?
    Those who banned it, did they act on hear-say, or did they read it?
    But the movie was outstanding!

  2. #2 386sx
    February 3, 2008

    Wow that was quite a sentence. Maybe not though. It’s like taking a poem and melting it all together into one long sentence.

  3. #3 386sx
    February 3, 2008

    Maybe not though.

    I think I read somewhere once that nobody knows whether James Joyce is a genius or not. We dunno!! Nobody knows. Shrug.

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