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Ulysses: Episode 7: Aeolus: J. Jonah Jameson: 04/11/09
In the seventh episode of ?Ulysses called "Aeolus", Bloom spends a long and frustrating time at the local paper trying to get an ad published. Aeolus in The Odyssey gives the crew a bag of winds to help guide the ship home. A bag of winds becomes a wind bag in Ulysses in the form of a very busy but substance lacking daily newspaper.
Wind bags and newspapers brings immediately to mind J. Jonah Jameson, editor of the Daily Bugle and Peter Parker's bombastic employer. Now of course Parker isn't a writer, he's a photographer but Jameson still has headlines to worry about and they are often as sill as the section headers in Episode 7.
?The Aeolus section is so far my favorite part of Ulysses (with Episode 1 coming in a close second). I like it for its lambasting of publishing, news reporting and marketing. Every short scene is given its own title, things like: K.M.A (kiss my ass), and SOME COLUMN THAT'S WHAT WADDLER SAID. (pages 146, 147).
In between the silly titles are scenes, often not more than a couple paragraphs and some lines of dialogue, that show the chaos of the newspaper. People are busy taking orders, shouting over headlines, and scrambling to get the paper ready for printing. There is even a fantastic scene describing the noise and action of the printing press in the HOW A GREAT DAILY ORGAN IS TURNED OUT section.
As with most of the episodes so far in Ulysses, the newspaper is a loud, crude place filled with loud, crude people. The machinery of the paper is compared to organs and the resulting papers as excrement. The papers are only meaningful on the day they are printed (and sometimes not even then). They are quickly relegated to being bum wipers, fish wrappers and lining for bird cages. And yet each and every edition is a frantic affair brought to life with shouting, sweat, cursing and long hours.
Next Saturday I'll discuss Episode Eight: The Laestrygonians in which Bloom continues his walk and thinks of a number of health issues including stds. If you want to read along, Ulysses is available online at Read Print
Comment #1: Sunday, April, 12, 2009 at 23:52:48
J Jonah Jameson is the best. You truly can't have a great hero without fantastic, over-the-top villains and ridiculous characters like an angry publisher in chief.
<"comment2">Comment #2: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:02:24
Thanks for your comment. Jameson is such a great and ridiculous character. He's one of my favorites. I hope you come back and read more of my Ulysses posts. Who knows what I'll be talking about next from this book?!