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Rereading “Calypso” in Ulysses — Leopold Bloom’s Hedonistic Breakfast and Deviation

Lee Joori 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the aspects of Leopold Bloom’s eating that are represented in “Calypso,” the fourth episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). In epitomizing the ethos of modern metropolitan flâneur, Bloom, with his prosaic wandering, tastes and digests a broad range of cuisines throughout the entire text. As a Hungarian Jew in Dublin and a cultural transgressor, Bloom, for all his desire for pleasure, savors forbidden foods, including the pork kidney not included in the category of Jewish kosher. Representing a resistance to the culture of exclusion, Bloom’s eating creates his individual pleasure and the pleasure of Ulysses — recognizable for its inclusiveness and heterogeneousness. However, while profiting pleasures from the transgressive eating, Bloom becomes preoccupied with a sense of guilt and anxiety, although such feelings are often repressed in his mind. In keeping with this idea, my discussion of “Calypso” examines how the text presents the combination of pleasure and anxiety, by focusing on Bloom’s transgression from kosher. To speculate about the reasons for Bloom’s anxiety, this article tries to unravel a sequence of images inscribed in “Calypso,” which, in fact, betray Bloom’s anxiety of consumption.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.