The labyrinthine Ulysses of James Joyce, consists of a multi-layered text where facts seem to proceed in time overlaps, although the action takes place in 18 chapters, spaced approximately one hour apart from each other, starting at 8:00am on Thursday 16 June 1904, and ending in the early hours of June 17. Joyce produced a schema for the novel Ulysses to help his friend Carlo Linati understand the structure of the book:
... in view of the enormous bulk and the more than enormous complexity of my damned monster-novel it would be better to send him a sort of summary - key - skeleton - scheme (for home use only)...I have given only "Schlagworte" [catchwords] in my scheme but I think you will understand it all the same. It is the epic of two races (Israel-Ireland) and at the same time the cycle of the human body as well as a little story of a day (life). The character of Ulysses has fascinated me ever since boyhood. …For seven years I have been working at this book - blast it! It is also a kind of encyclopaedia. My intention is not only to render the myth sub specie temporis nostri [in the light of our own times] but also to allow each adventure (that is, every hour, every organ, every art being interconnected and interrelated in the somatic scheme of the whole) to condition and even to create its own technique. Each adventure is so to speak one person although it is composed of persons - as Aquinas relates of the heavenly hosts.
James Joyce, Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann (London: Faber and Faber, 1975), p. 271.
From the Joycean analysis, we signify Penelope’s chapter and its correspondences:
Scene: The bed
Hour: (the infinity symbol as used in the performance)
Organ: Fat ( according to the Linatti schema), Flesh(according to the Gilbert schema)- Én the performance, silicone represents fat
Symbol: Earth (the alchemical symbol of the earth-triangle as used in the performance)
Technic: Monologue (female)
Correspondences: Penelope - Earth; Web – Movement
Penelope-place of the Real (Penelope lies on the bed; In Ulysses, Penelope corresponds to Molly Bloom)
The chapter of Penelope resembles to a text shed all over the page in the way a body reclines on the bed....Joyce calls it the clou of the book:
The clou of the book. The first sentence contains 2500 words. There are eight sentences in the episode. It begins and ends with the female word yes. It turns the huge earth ball slowly surely and evenly round and round spinning, its four cardinal points being the female breasts, arse, womb and cunt expressed by the words because, bottom (in all senses bottom button, bottom of the class, bottom of the sea, bottom of his heart), woman, yes. Though probably more obscene than any preceding episode it seems to me to be perfectly sane full amoral fertilisable untrustworthy engaging shrewd limited prudent indifferent Weib. Ich bin der [sic] Fleisch der stets bejaht (Letter to Frank Budgen, 16.viii.1921, SL, 285)
The female Breasts correspond to the North, the top, also to the word because. Next point is South, corresponding to the word bottom, East which is tied to the womb (through the word woman), ending West, the female vagina through the word yes.
Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City Arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting for that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing all for masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was actually afraid to lay out 4d for her methylated spirit telling me all her ailments she had too much old chat in her about politics and earthquakes and the end of the world let us have a bit of fun first God help the world if all the women were her sort down on bathingsuits and lownecks of course nobody wanted her to wear them I suppose she was pious because no man would look at her twice I hope Ill never be like her a wonder she didnt want us to cover our faces but she was a welleducated woman certainly and her gabby talk about Mr Riordan here and Mr Riordan there I suppose he was glad to get shut of her and her dog smelling my fur and always edging to get up under my petticoats especially then still I like that in him polite to old women like that and waiters and beggars too hes not proud out of nothing but not always if ever he got anything really serious the matter with him its much better for them to go into a hospital where everything is clean but I suppose Id have to dring it into him for a month yes and then wed have a hospital nurse next thing on the carpet have him staying there till they throw him out or a nun maybe like the smutty photo he has shes as much a nun as Im not yes because theyre so weak and puling when theyre sick they want a woman to get well...
Curated by Rhea Thönges-Stringaris
Sound by A. Diktyopoulos, (CMCP-Centre for Music Composition and Performance)
Thanks to: Ì. Aloupi,, Á. X’fotiadis, Megakles Rogakos