Saturday, 9 February 2013

Who was the man in the macintosh?

A while ago, I posted a quiz based on Joyce's Ulysses. I thought it was perhaps time I produced the answers!

If you want to read the questions before you see the answers, click here, quickly, before you read any more...

1. What three things should an Irishman be wary of?
 "Horn of a bull, hoof of a horse, smile of a Saxon." (An Irish saying).

2. What did Mr Deasy think Stephen would find very handy?
 A savingsbox.

3. What is the live dog called?

4. What did Milly buy her father for his birthday?
 A  moustache cup of imitation Crown Derby.

5. What did the soap smell of?
 Lemon. "Mr Bloom raised a cake to his nostrils. Sweet lemony wax."

6. Who darns Mr Bloom's socks?
 Mrs Fleming. "Glad I took that bath. Feel my feet quite clean. But I wish Mrs Fleming had darned these socks better."

7. What opera is like a railway line?
 "Lenehan announced gladly: - The Rose of Castile. See the wheeze? Rows of cast steel. Gee!"

8. What sort of cheese does Bloom have in his sandwich?
 Gorgonzola. In Davy Byrne's pub, "Mr Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread, with relish of disgust pungent mustard, the feety savour of green cheese."

9. What did Stephen drink with Dan Deasy's ducats?
  "Three drams of usquebaugh" (whiskey).

10. What was not on the slab?
 Wolfe Tone's statue.

11. "From the saloon a call came, long in dying." Who had forgotten what?
 The piano tuner his tuning fork.

12. Who won the Gold Cup?

13. Who kissed Molly under the Moorish Wall beside the gardens?
 Lieutenant Mulvey.

14. Who is the "remarkablest progenitor barring none in this chaffering allincluding most farraginous chronicle"?
 Theodore Purefoy.

15. Bloom's real name is Higgins - according to whom?
 The man in the mackintosh (see below). Higgins was Bloom's mother's maiden name.

16. What flashed "through his (Bloom's) busy brain"?
 "All kinds of Utopian plans."

17. What is home without Plumtree's Potted Meat?

18. What year did the Blooms marry?

I was going to ask the question, who was the man in the macintosh? However, I don't think we ever find out.

The caretaker put the papers in his pocket. The barrow had ceased to trundle. The mourners split and moved to each side of the hole, stepping with care round the graves. The gravediggers bore the coffin and set its nose on the brink, looping the bands round it.

Burying him. We come to bury Caesar. His ides of March or June. He doesn't know who is here nor care. Now who is that lankylooking galoot over there in the macintosh? Now who is he I'd like to know? Now I'd give a trifle to know who he is. Always someone turns up you never dreamt of. A fellow could live on his lonesome all his life. Yes, he could. Still he'd have to get someone to sod him after he died though he could dig his own grave. We all do. Only man buries. No, ants too. First thing strikes anybody. Bury the dead. Say Robinson Crusoe was true to life. Well then Friday buried him. Every Friday buries a Thursday if you come to look at it.
Oh Poor Robinson Crusoe!
How could you possibly do so?
Poor Dignam! His last lie on the earth in his box. When you think of them all it does seem a waste of wood. All gnawed through. They could invent a handsome bier with a kind of panel sliding, let it down that way. Ay but they might object to be buried out of another fellow's. They're so particular. Lay me in my native earth. Bit of clay from the holy land. Only a mother and deadborn child ever buried in the one coffin. I see what it means. I see. To protect him as long as possible even in the earth. The Irishman's house is his coffin. Embalming in catacombs, mummies the same idea.
Mr Bloom stood far back, his hat in his hand, counting the bared heads. Twelve. I'm thirteen. No. The chap in the macintosh is thirteen. Death's number. Where the deuce did he pop out of? He wasn't in the chapel, that I'll swear. Silly superstition that about thirteen.                                                                   James Joyce, Ulysses: Episode 6: Hades

I like the theory that perhaps he's Mr Duffy (from the Dubliners story, A Painful Case):

He had neither companions nor friends, church nor creed. He lived his spiritual life without any communion with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died. He performed these two social duties for old dignity's sake but conceded nothing further to the conventions which regulate the civic life.


The Weaver of Grass said...

If you are trying to cajole me into reading Joyce, don't bother - the first three sentences and I have given up.
Thanks for the 'hare' site - they look amazing. I think the exh. is over now but have sent her an e mail asking if she has a studio locally.

George said...

One of the most succinct summaries of "Ulysses" I have ever read, Dominic. I always applaud a person who has a fine eye for detail, for as they teach in poetry, it is in detail that we find the universal.

Gerry Snape said...

aye...those ruffiany saxons!!...married a rochdale ruffian!! mother was distraught...

Totalfeckineejit said...

I thought the answer to number one was 2 politicians and a banker.

Alan Burnett said...

If you had concentrated all your questions on the first chapter and a half of the book I might have stood a chance. However, it is my turn to set the pub quiz this week so I might risk being set upon and borrow one or two of your questions.

Gwil W said...

I don't know but I'm enjoying the Father Ted videos on YouTube. Joyce would have enjoyed them too.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everyone.

WG: I'm not exactly, although if this post and the one it links to encourage one person to read Joyce who has never got round to it, it would be good. I hope it gives people a flavour of just how humane a book it is. People often make too much of the "difficulty" of Modernism.

George: Thank you for saying that. As I'd begun to say above, Ulysses has a lot more in common with other "big books" than sensationalisers lead one to expect.

GS: :-)!

TFE: Quite. Seeing someone in the photo I posted standing outside Davy Byrne's with a mobile phone made we wonder that Ulysses would be like if Joyce wrote it now.

AB: What about 17? If you don't know it, you can make an educated guess ("meat/incomplete").

GwilW: Pope? Sure how hard could that be Ted?

A Cuban In London said...

I read Ulysses two years ago (Hooray!) and found it compelling. I will read it again for sure. I'd heard and read all about it before I opened the first page. I found it a very sensorial novel. I can hear the sounds of dublin, I can smell Bloom's breakfast. Molly Bloom's monologue is my favourite part. It's also a very humourous novel with a very peculiar and unique witty facetiousness.

By the way the book contains what I think it's the first time someone used the word "simples". So, forget abotu the meerkat from the ad, Joyce got there first. In fact, he also wrote a poem called "Simples". Whether it came before or after Ulysses, I don't know.

Many thanks for both posts.

Greetings from London.

tony said...

I have this fantasy where I plonk Joyce & Jane Austin in the same room.....then step back & observe......

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

ACIL: It is compelling, isn't it? I'm not sure if I have a favourite part. Possibly the fourth chapter, where Bloom is making breakfast. It begins with one of the best openings for a novel ("Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls..."), only being chapter four it's not the opening!

tony: For some reason you remind me of an anecdote told, I think, by Muriel Spark. She said she went to a party in Paris. A man she didn't know came up to her and asked her did she realize her dress was unzipped at the back? No, she said, and thanked him. Hang on a moment, said the man. Nora, he said, turning to another woman, would you mind doing up this zip for the young lady?

Zoe said...

I followed the man in the mac all the way through the book last year - he crops up again and again, contributing to themes of mistaken identity and identity in general which are important for Bloom. I had the opportunity to put one question to a Joyce scholar, so I asked exactly your question. I didn't get a satisfactory answer! Recordings of our discussions of Ulysses are still available here:

Dominic Rivron said...

Zoe: I am convinced by the Mr Duffy hypothesis. Against it, some characters in Ulysses gossip about how he'd been rich and fallen on hard times - hardly Mr Duffy. However, it would be in keeping for those characters to make up and repeat idle chat - and to assume that a man's downfall would be a materialistic one. Given what really happens to Mr Duffy, their exotic speculations are pretty ironic.

Gwil W said...

Inspired by your rereading of Joyce's masterpiece I have courageously made a start on Robert Musil's "The Man Without Qualities" in preference to rereading "Ulysses". Afterwards there's another book to be read to complete the reading of the three masterpieces or the trinity of the 20th Cent. and it is The Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, according to the Wall Street Journal. I may be gone some time. Musil is 1130 pp.

Dominic Rivron said...

Gwil: Proust has defeated me so far - I ground to a halt.

Re a reading of the masterpieces, there's always The Wake...

Gwil W said...

Oh no not the Wake again . . . well, not yet awhile anyway!

Gwil W said...

Re the Proust - that's the first that has defeated you to my limited knowledge. Grinding to a halt is understandable. But you could try Musil. I think you'd enjoy it.

Dominic Rivron said...

GwilW(1): Not yet? It might be that time already... Wakey wakey! :)

GwilW (2): I have to admit I've not come across him before. Proust was by no means the first. Many books have stumped me. All Dickens, for a start and I've yet to make it through a big Russian novel.