The Way of All Language
By the time Joyce reaches “Eumaeus,” the reader is prepared for outrageous experiments in Ulysses; after “Cyclops,” “Oxen of the Sun,” and “Circe,” he no longer expects the relative tameness of the initial style. The first sentence of the chapter informs him of the book's return to narrative after the expressionistic drama of “Circe.” In this first sentence, one can easily recognize the sound of other chapter openings in Ulysses, such as “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead” and “By lorries along sir John Rogerson's quay Mr Bloom walked soberly,” where the physical action is described in faintly pompous, inaugural tones. But in “Eumaeus,” precision is exaggerated into punctiliousness; the literate diction cedes to faded elegance and cliché.
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