Leopold Bloom first appears in Episode 4 (Calypso) of Ulysses – as does Odysseus in Homer’s epic. Bloom’s ancestral origin was Hungarian with the surname Virag (meaning flower) and his father emigrated from Szombathely to Dublin. Joyce himself, whilst living in Trieste, would almost certainly have met Hungarian Jews who were mostly engaged in the textile-import business. Bloom in this episode considers his history and his race; it’s an episode that celebrates the domestic, the small daily details of a life. And other east European references are included in the episode, for example the butcher’s shop at which he calls is named Duglacz. Joyce sprinkled Hungarian words through his writing, often in the form of puns. Ireland and Hungary are connected in that the latter is usually considered the territory in which the Celts originated. And Gaelic and Hungarian (with Finnish) are linked languages. Budapest with Hungary’s important connections to Ulysses, is the perfect city to host the Calypso episode.
The narrative shifts abruptly. The time is again 8 a.m., but the action has moved across the city and to the second protagonist of the book, Leopold Bloom, a part-Jewish advertising canvasser. The episode opens with the famous line ‘Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.’ Bloom, after starting to prepare breakfast, decides to walk to a butcher to buy a pork kidney. Returning home, he prepares breakfast and brings it with the mail to his wife Molly as she lounges in bed. One of the letters is from her concert manager Blazes Boylan, with whom Molly is having an affair. Bloom is aware that Molly will welcome Boylan into her bed later that day, and is tormented by the thought. Bloom reads a letter from their daughter Milly Bloom, who tells him about her progress in the photography business in Mullingar. The episode closes with Bloom reading a magazine story titled Matcham’s Masterstroke, by Mr. Philip Beaufoy, while defecating in the outhouse.
Homer Odyssey Chapter
Book 5: All the gods except Poseidon gather again on Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s fate. Athena’s speech in support of the hero prevails on Zeus to intervene. Hermes, messenger of the gods, is sent to Calypso’s island to tell her that Odysseus must at last be allowed to leave so he can return home. In reply, Calypso delivers an impassioned indictment of the male gods and their double standards. She complains that they are allowed to take mortal lovers while the affairs of the female gods must always be frustrated. In the end, she submits to the supreme will of Zeus. By now, Odysseus alone remains of the contingent that he led at Troy; his crew and the other boats in his force were all destroyed during his journeys. Calypso helps him build a new boat and stocks it with provisions from her island. With sadness, she watches as the object of her love sails away.
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