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Chapter 17
What parallel courses did Bloom and Stephen follow returning?
Starting united both at normal walking pace from Beresford place they followed in the
order named Lower and Middle Gardiner streets and Mountjoy square, west: then, at
reduced pace, each bearing left, Gardiner's place by an inadvertence as far as the farther
corner of Temple street: then, at reduced pace with interruptions of halt, bearing right,
Temple street, north, as far as Hardwicke place. Approaching, disparate, at relaxed
walking pace they crossed both the circus before George's church diametrically, the chord
in any circle being less than the arc which it subtends.
Of what did the duumvirate deliberate during their itinerary?
Music, literature, Ireland, Dublin, Paris, friendship, woman, prostitution, diet, the
influence of gaslight or the light of arc and glowlamps on the growth of adjoining
paraheliotropic trees, exposed corporation emergency dustbuckets, the Roman catholic
church, ecclesiastical celibacy, the Irish nation, jesuit education, careers, the study of
medicine, the past day, the maleficent influence of the presabbath, Stephen's collapse.
Did Bloom discover common factors of similarity between their respective like and
unlike reactions to experience?
Both were sensitive to artistic impressions, musical in preference to plastic or pictorial.
Both preferred a continental to an insular manner of life, a cisatlantic to a transatlantic
place of residence. Both indurated by early domestic training and an inherited tenacity of
heterodox resistance professed their disbelief in many orthodox religious, national, social
and ethical doctrines. Both admitted the alternately stimulating and obtunding influence
of heterosexual magnetism.
Were their views on some points divergent?
Stephen dissented openly from Bloom's views on the importance of dietary and civic
selfhelp while Bloom dissented tacitly from Stephen's views on the eternal affirmation of
the spirit of man in literature. Bloom assented covertly to Stephen's rectification of the
anachronism involved in assigning the date of the conversion of the Irish nation to
christianity from druidism by Patrick son of Calpornus, son of Potitus, son of Odyssus,
sent by pope Celestine I in the year 432 in the reign of Leary to the year 260 or
thereabouts in the reign of Cormac MacArt (died 266 A.D.), suffocated by imperfect
deglutition of aliment at Sletty and interred at Rossnaree. The collapse which Bloom
ascribed to gastric inanition and certain chemical compounds of varying degrees of
adulteration and alcoholic strength, accelerated by mental exertion and the velocity of
rapid circular motion in a relaxing atmosphere, Stephen attributed to the reapparition of a
matutinal cloud (perceived by both from two different points of observation Sandycove
and Dublin) at first no bigger than a woman's hand.