A Close, Intensive Study of James Joyce’s Ulysses
We will first explore how Joyce makes us believe that Leopold Bloom, a humble advertisement canvasser in Dublin on June 16, 1904, is simultaneously Homer’s Odysseus. Bloom is not a symbol of Odysseus; he IS Odysseus, just as a Catholic priest might tell us that the bread and wine in the Host aren’t a symbol of Christ; they ARE his body and blood. We will then concentrate on Molly Bloom who is literally (or almost literally) faithful Penelope at the same time that she is waiting for her Odysseus to return to their home in 7 Eccles street. All the while, as this uneducated woman from Galway speaks to herself while drifting off to sleep, she is making the most beautiful prose-poetry in the 20th century. Molly is Woman herself, Joyce believed.
Professor Zimmerman is Professor of English Emeritus at San Francisco State University where he taught for forty years. Before that, he taught at Cal and Columbia (where he received his Ph.D.). He specialized in James Joyce, American Literature, and Literature and Psychology. He is also a graduate of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (where he is on the faculty) and he has a psychoanalytic practice in Berkeley. He has recently published a book on Joyce, Tyrants of the Heart: A Psychoanalytic Study of Mothers and Maternal Images in James Joyce.