A Jew Or Not A Jew

October 15, 2013

A Jew Or Not A Jew: That Is Not The Question

About 25 members of the Weinberg family assembled recently for Thanksgiving, gathered from the farthest reaches of the New York Metropolitan Area around a succulent and lovingly-prepared turkey. My Grandmother, exhibiting her trademark curiosity regarding my academic pursuits, inquired about “that class you got up at five in the morning to register for.” Recognizing this as a golden opportunity to discuss one of the only aspects of my liberal arts education that would interest a crowd of 20 very Orthodox Jews (who politely tolerate my immediate family of five, a dangerous flock of secular heretics), I announced to the captive audience that I was in the midst of a paper on Judaism in Ulysses.

The excitement in the atmosphere seemed as tangible as gravy as I informed the hushed crowd that the greatest novel of the 20th century has a Jewish protagonist -- but their eyes slowly set to what could only be described as “crestfallen” as I briefed them on the secondary criticism of Erwin Steinberg. Steinberg, one of the few Joyceans to offer a definitive statement on Bloom’s Jewishness (most critics seem to wallow in the murky ambivalence of the theme), argues based on textual evidence drawn mainly from Hades, Nausicaa, Aelous, and Cylcops that “Joyce and the critics notwithstanding”[1] Bloom is not Jewish. Bloom has not been circumcised or Bar Mitzvah’d, he has been baptized as a Protestant and later converted to Catholicism, he does not plan to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, he seems thoroughly perplexed by the language and traditions of Judaism, his mother Ellen Higgins is a Christian (maybe a Protestant, likely a Catholic[2]) and Judaism is derived maternally, and, finally, Bloom’s enthusiasm for Zionism is quite underwhelming, even for 1904 (he could at least know the words to Hatikva).[3] Bloom even defies categorization as a “Secular Jew,” according to Steinberg’s three criteria.[4] My grandfather flapped his hand at me, feeling no imperative for further JSTOR research, and said, “Well, too bad for Mr. Bloom then. He’s not a Jew.” 

Steinberg and Weinberg notwithstanding, this paper will explore how Judaism colors the relationship between Leopold Bloom and his deceased father, Rudolf (or Rudolph) Virag, in hopes of shedding some light on how this ancient religion functions within the modernist masterpiece of Ulysses. As Neil Davison has noted in passing, this topic, specifically “how the material history of anti-Semitism and the impact of [Bloom’s] father’s Judaism on his own psyche also figure into Bloom’s position” has been left largely unexamined by Joyceans.[5]

This paper will argue that Judaism serves as one of the only concrete links between a father and son separated by time and circumstance, and that through this connection persistent feelings of guilt are heaped upon Bloom’s psyche, which in turn often leads to contradictory behavior, as he tries to reconcile his Jewish responsibilities with his assimilated identity. After summarizing how the secondary criticism relates to this topic, special attention will be directed towards textual incidents where father, son, and Judaism collide, especially the recollection of the “Feast of Passover” in Aeolus.

 

The Foundation Laid By Secondary Criticism:

 

Ira Nadel in “Joyce and the Jews” has extensively catalogued Joyce’s interactions with Judaism both through his friends Svevo, Weiss, and Léon, and through his immersion in Semitic and anti-Semitic literature.[6] This has spawned a Grail-quest of sorts for Joyceans, who have now set out to determine exactly which piece of early 20th century literature best explains Judaism in the novel. Though none of this scholarship is focused directly on Judaism’s role in shaping the relationship between Bloom and Virag, much of it can be adapted to comment on this topic. 

Robert Byrnes traces the influence of Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character in Ulysses, hypothesizing that the racial theories of degeneracy directed towards women and Jews (who were grouped together to the detriment of both) can explain the psychological states of Bloom and Virag. Byrnes deduces that Bloom’s psychosexual perversity derives from Rudolf, writing, “Bloom’s family line shows symptoms of hereditary nervous and sexual degeneracy. Lipoti Virag, for all his sexual sophistication, had only one son, Rudolph. Rudolph in turn left only the womanly man Leopold before he committed suicide, the usual end, besides insanity, of exacerbated neurasthenia [a common symptom of degeneracy]. Bloom, as the hereditary degeneracy increased, fathered no son strong enough to live…”[7] This process is neatly exemplified by the name Bloom, which Leopold takes from Rudolf’s surname Virag -- flower in Hungarian.[8] The name “flower” is a convincing indication that Bloom’s sexual degeneracy is a paternal legacy, since flowers are hermaphroditic, with both a stamen (male organ) and a pistil (female organ). The implications of the common surname are multifold: on the most fundamental level, Rudolf influences Leopold everyday by giving him this psychologically-loaded name, and it serves as a concrete bond between father and son. This name links right back to Judaism, since the “womanly man” schema comes from anti-Semitic literature, and since Rudolf’s name change to “Bloom” also reflects his effort at assimilation with the foreign Irish population -- an effort Leopold continues, with no great success. The consequences of the name inheritance can be felt in the death of Leopold’s son, nicknamed Rudy, short for Rudolph, whose “degeneracy” was so severe that he died shortly after birth. 

But Byrnes does not have the final word, as Davison delivers a stunning punch right to the core of his analysis: “Even if Bloom, as Byrnes suggests, is a racial representation best understood as a Joycean version of the liberal-cosmopolitan, anti-Semitic casual humor of the pre-Holocaust period, like all profound comics, Joyce’s dirty jokes are simultaneously bitter social commentary.”[9] Davison has a noteworthy point here, especially since the death of Rudy and the death of Rudolph are perhaps two of the only incidents in Ulysses that seem to transcend any humorous treatment. The facts about Rudolf’s death are always presented in a poignant, shocking, or tragic fashion.  In Hades for instance, Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Power lament the disgracefulness and cowardice of suicide, and in response Bloom “about to speak, closed his lips again.” (6.343). The reader, like Martin Cunningham, begins to empathize with Bloom –- Virag’s death seems too gloomy to even discuss, exemplified by Bloom’s silence here.

Daniel Fogel traces the influence not of Weininger, but of Maurice Fishberg’s The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment. Fishberg’s book, a testament to the prevalence of pseudo-science at the time, generated theories about the suicide rate among Eastern European Jews, concluding that Western assimilation caused a loss of identity that led to self-destruction. Fogel naturally connects this theory to the suicide of Rudolf Virag, a Hungarian Jew who converted to Protestantism, changed his name, married a Christian wife, and committed suicide via aconite.[10] This seems to shed light on the role of Judaism in the Leopold-Rudolf dynamic: perhaps Bloom has inherited a responsibility to cling to his Jewish identity, even if only in name, in the interests of self-preservation --- if he forfeits his Jewish roots, he may also forfeit his life. Nadel’s work confirms Joyce’s familiarity with Fishberg’s ideas, as he quotes a letter in which Joyce, responding to the death of Svevo, writes, “Somehow in the case of Jews I always suspect suicide, though there was no reason in this case...” Nadel adds that “This view echoes Fishberg’s notion that assimilated Jews faced with reversals were susceptible to self-destruction.”[11] As additional verification that this model served as the basis for Rudolf Virag, Fogel reminds us that Svevo also had a Christian wife.[12]

For Jackson Cope, the literature that guides Judaism’s impact on the father and son relationship is not the anti-Semitic works of Fishberg and Weininger, but instead the mystic works of Jewish Kaballah, which explore ontological themes. Though Cope’s analysis in “’Ulysses’: Joyce’s Kabbalah” is often significantly harder to follow than either Ulysses or the Kabbalah (even if the two were arbitrarily pasted together), one quotation does seems relevant: “Ulysses is a book of gradual revelation, a reading of the world of enigmatic symbols passed on from father to son…”[13] These symbols, which for Cope includes themes as broad as “the sea,” and could also be extended to the Haggadah in Aeolus, or the trotter in Circe, have inherited meaning from Rudolf, who himself absorbed this meaning from his Jewish faith. Jewish symbols are part of the concrete connection between father and son, and these symbols, which to an un-Jewish eye might seem rather ordinary, often affect Bloom’s behavior, as will be illustrated later in this paper.

As a testament to the dizzying complexity of this theme in Ulysses, other scholars have highlighted even more influences on the track Judaism follows in the novel. Davison, for instance, points to the writings of the Irish nationalist Griffith, and argues that Judaism is used to critique the anti-Semitism of the Sinn Féin movement. Griffith said that anti-Semitism “has nothing to do with religion” and instead has to do with the parasitic influence of the Jews,[14] statements echoed of course by the citizen and Mr. Deasy. Bloom acts as a representation of a nonreligious Jew who, like his father, has no obvious parasitic influence on the Irish.

 

The Far-Reaching Impact of “The Feast of Passover” In Aelous

 

It might well seem impossible in any book other than Ulysses, but it does not sound outrageous to claim that just nine lines in this 644-page novel provide the goldmine from which we can extract countless answers not only to how Judaism affects the relationship between Bloom and Virag, but also to how Judaism functions within the novel as a whole. Yet most criticism, with the notable exception of Fogel’s “Joyce’s ‘Bowl of Bitter Waters’ and Passover,” has been negligent in the scant amount of intellectual energy it invests in this passage.

A synopsis almost belittles the paragraph’s potential significance: a typist simply reads the print of Dignam’s death announcement backwards, which triggers Bloom’s recollection of his father’s reading the Haggadah at Passover: 

Reads it backwards first. Quickly he does it. Must require some practice that. mangId kcirtaP. Poor papa with his hagadah book, reading backwards with his finger to me. Pessach. Next year in Jerusalem. Dear, O dear! All that long business about that brought us out of the land of Egypt and into the house of bondage alleluia. Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu. Then the twelve brothers, Jacob’s sons. And then the lamb and the cat and the dog and the stick and the water and the butcher. And then the angel of death kills the butcher and he kills the ox and the dog kills the cat. Sounds a bit silly till you come to look into it well. Justice it means but it’s everybody eating everyone else. That’s what life is after all. (7.205-214)

First, it is critical to reflect on the meaning of Passover, the Jewish holiday that receives the most mentions in Ulysses.[15] Joyce’s utilization of the Passover Seder, the ceremony at which a Jewish family reads the Haggadah, is an exceptionably apt choice for three reasons. First, as Fogel has pointed out, Passover is an entirely symbol-oriented holiday (each item on the Seder plate symbolizes an aspect of the story of Exodus – the burnt lamb shank represents the outstretched arm of God, the bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery, and so on). Reading Ulysses also requires utmost attention to symbolism, from the subtle flower in Lotus Eaters to the explicit fireworks in Nausicaa. The Seder resembles a Platonic Symposium, in that “the philosophical discourse supersedes the meal itself in importance.”[16] Second, as Fogel fails to mention, the primary objective of the Passover Seder is educating one’s children about Judaism and Jewish history. This is a carefully choreographed classroom in which the youngest-born is asked (or in my case, forced) to sing the “Mah nishtanah,” which muses on the unique significance of the Seder itself, which reach beyond the surface themes of enslavement and liberation to the essences of life and learning. No holiday so directly integrates into family life, especially as the Seder takes place not in formal house of worship, but right in the home.  Finally, as Fogel has noted, the Haggaddah is a “Hebraic equivalent of the Hellenic Odyssey.”[17]

After appreciating why it might make sense for the narrative of the Haggadah to embody Judaism’s impact on the Bloom-Virag relationship in Ulysses, we can then begin to speculate how this particularSeder in Aeolus shapes that dynamic. These nine lines show both Virag and Bloom to be “backwards” Jews, and can also perhaps be perceived as the genesis of Bloom’s recurrent feelings of guilt regarding his Jewish identity, Zionism, and Kosher-ness. This guilt sometimes spurs Bloom to action and sometimes leads him to inaction – or a contradictory blend of the two.

The idea of backwardness, given heavy emphasis in this excerpt (the backwards typing of Patrick Dignam even forces the reader to pause and proceed slowly), has several implications. On the most basic level, the use of the word “backwards” and, in fact, the entire excerpt, affirms Steinberg’s thesis that Bloom is not really Jewish. First of all, calling the reading of Hebrew “backwards,” besides the unavoidable affiliation with words like “archaic” or even “wrong” teaches the reader about Bloom’s perspective – in order for Hebrew to be backwards, English must be forwards, though a more devout Jew could safely claim visa-versa. Bloom’s irreverence for Jewish traditions comes off clearly when he summarizes the story of Exodus as “all that long business.” He also mistakenly asserts that Jews were delivered “into the house of bondage” when in fact they were freed from Egypt and ultimately arrived in Israel, and he even redundantly adds the word “book” after Haggadah.[18] Furthermore, as Davison has noted, Bloom adds his own secular interpretation to Chad Gadya (the psalm about the dog, the cat, the stick, etc), presenting it “not as a hymn to divine justice but as the…eye-for-an-eye reality of the political world.”[19] Bloom claims his own interpretation as less “silly” and thus more valid because he has looked “into it well.” It is worth noting that this in and of itself shows that Bloom has thought deeply about the Judaic teachings of his father. Though there is no indication that Virag himself imparted this interpretation to Bloom, it seems possible, and if he did, then Bloom perhaps also owes his whimsical cynicism to his father. Finally, Steinberg throws his hands up at Bloom’s egregious error in his recitation of the “Shema,” --- Bloom leaves out the last word “Echad” which paired with “Adonai” translates to “God is One.” Steinberg writes, “Now that is not a simple mistake. In his prayers, the observant Jew repeats the Shema several times a day. For over two thousand years...Jewish martyrs have gone to their death reciting that prayer because it attests to their belief in the oneness of God. That affirmation is precisely what Bloom leaves out when he ‘remembers’ the prayer.”[20] Steinberg sort of misses the joke here by taking the slip-up out of context –- Bloom’s mistake makes perfect sense in Aeolus, which is really an elaborate meditation on empty windy rhetoric (Aeolus gave the bag of wind to Odysseus) and how meaningful language can often get lost in translation by its interpreters (in this episode, journalists).

Certainly this reading of the flashback in Aeolus has sound textual evidence, but it also seems incomplete. This passage does show, perhaps more than any other in the novel, that Leopold is a completely “backwards” Jew, but, given the pedagogical nature of Passover, it also shows Virag to be a backwards Jew as well, since responsibility fell on Rudolf to explain the coherent meaning of all these traditions, both the Shema and Chad Gadya. In fact, in Exodus 13:8, God states that a father must read the Haggadah to his son on Passover: "And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.” Virag has not obeyed this commandment; his conversion to Christianity ultimately led to Bloom having an incomplete and incorrect understanding of Jewish traditions. F.K. Stanzel has even gone so far as to argue, based on genealogical research of just one line in Ithaca (17.868), that Virag is not ancestrally Jewish.[21] Critics often note that others, like the citizen in Cyclops, define Bloom’s Judaism for him, but they neglect to mention that Virag, too, is an “other” controlling Bloom’s religious status.

In a way, this all serves as a microcosm for Jewishness in the book: it represents not necessarily a shared system of theistic beliefs, since Rudolf Virag, as a Protestant convert, was hardly a model Jew, but instead it forms a link that helps explain the psychological state and the behavior of Bloom. Even if the Judaism that the two share is “backwards,” that still fails to negate its purpose as a medium through which father influences son. And even if this Jewishness is “backwards,” it is still Jewish, despite Steinberg’s judgment --- the Passover Seder is undoubtedly a uniquely Judaic experience and backwardness is really just the mirrored reflection of forwardness, fundamentally of the same composition, though distorted. When God Himself makes an appearance in the novel, in Circe, he shouts his own name backwards: “Doooooooooog!” (15.4711) and then forwards: “Goooooooood!” (15.4717). This seems to be divine affirmation that “backwardness” can still be holy or at least right.

The feelings of guilt that act as one of the major psychological influences inherited by Bloom from Virag has roots in this passage and can be traced in particular to Circe, the episode that retells in nightmarish form every event in Ulysses.

Davison touches on this succinctly: “Bloom most often links many of the un-Irish traits and behaviors…to his father’s influence on both his social and psychological selves – an influence that came directly from what we can assume was the orthodox Judaism he and his family once practiced in Szombathely, Hungary…Bloom considers himself…connected to a Jewishness beyond the discourse of race through his paternal intellectual heritage.”[22] The manifestations of this “paternal intellectual heritage” are manifold, and different for every Joycean (for Byrnes, for example, it seems to be sexual deviancy).

Returning to the passage, the diction of “poor papa” and “Dear, O dear!’ suggests an overwhelming surge of emotion; Bloom feels pity for Virag which quickly metamorphoses into self-pity. These two phrases give the reader the distinct impression that this memory is painful for Bloom, and the question naturally becomes “Why?”

Virag’s “reading backwards with his finger to me” can quite possibly be interpreted as the origin of Bloom’s feelings of guilt that repeatedly influence his behavior. The timing of this finger-pointing, right while reading the prayer for the future, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” symbolically embodies Virag’s hope that Bloom will keep alive the dream of a Jewish homeland, a dream that comes from Exodus. Since Bloom does not truly appreciate the story of Exodus, exemplified by his summary, “all that long business,” he cannot really appreciate Zionism, as illustrated bluntly when he refers to Israel as “the grey sunken cunt of the world.” (4.227-228). Bloom recognizes that he has a responsibility to lobby on behalf of Zionism, as he does in Cylcops, declaring it “the land that belongs to us by right” (12.1470), but he does not fully grasp why, which in part explains this contradictory conviction that has long troubled Joyceans.

The fact that Virag (who should presumably be using his finger to follow along in the Haggadah) points at Bloom has further significance in that it associates Bloom with “Pessach” and in turn associates Bloom with Moses. Roderick Davis explores this theme thoroughly in “The Fourfold Moses” showing that the figures of Moses, Bloom, and the leader Charles Parnell (the Irish Moses who demanded the British let his people go) are all frequently compared,[23] particularly in Circe, when Bloom is called “Ikey Moses” and “as bad as Parnell was” (15.1761), and all three figures certainly lacked eloquence.[24] Cope picks up on this as well, writing, “At the close of Ulysses, Bloom the patriarch, like Moses the patriarch, cannot enter the last gate of wisdom, possession of a full union of consciousness with Stephen, of consciousness or carnality with Molly.”[25] The Kabbalah posits that Moses did not enter the Promised Land because he failed to understand the meaning behind symbols, and Bloom’s inability to analyze symbols, which inhibits him from entering the Promised Land, can be blamed on Virag, who failed to raise him as a proper symbol-reading Jew. Virag is more obviously responsible for the Bloom-Moses comparison because he made the decision to ultimately settle in Ireland, where Bloom would forever be an outcast, “an Irishman particularly conscious of his own doubly marginalized status as a Jew within his country’s marginalized status as a victim of English imperialism.”[26] Bloom flirts with Zionism because he remembers distinctly his father heaping upon him a responsibility to do so -- his father promised him the Promised Land in the Seder. Zionism allows Bloom to stay connected to Virag.

This duality, Bloom’s desire to both live up to the expectations of Virag and simultaneously assimilate with the Irish intertwines fully with the theme of Kosher-ness.  Bloom probably could not be less Kosher, in fact, when he is first introduced to us in Calypso, he voraciously devours a pork kidney. But when his father appears as a hallucination in Circe, Bloom feels awkwardly guilty about his shortcomings. His father appears “garbed in the long caftan of an elder of Zion” and chastises his only son: “I told you not go with drunken goy ever.” (15.251-252). Clearly, James Joyce ran with the fable of “Jewish Guilt” --- it appears to be much more than just a recurrent Woody Allen joke in Ulysses. To circle back for a moment, Virag immediately, visually, reminds Bloom of his Zionist obligation, and also criticizes his attempts at assimilation. In terms of Kosher-ness, when the spectre of Virag appears, Bloom promptly “(hides the crubeen and trotter behind his back).” (15.257-258). Bloom does not want his father to behold his un-Kosher-ness. As Fogel has pointed out, keeping Kosher is by far the most segregating aspect of Judaism, one that makes assimilation nearly impossible.[27] By eating un-Kosher foods, Bloom essentially chooses assimilation over the memory of his father, which perhaps explains his guilty feelings, which here manifests itself externally. It seems critical to note, however, that this guilt is not overwhelming enough to make Bloom choose a different lifestyle. But the apparition of Virag stays undeterred, lathering on more guilt:  “Have you no soul...Are you not my dear son Leopold who left the house of his father and left the god of his fathers Abraham and Jacob?” (15.259-262). Even though technically the God of his father is a Christian God, since Virag converted, Bloom still thinks of his father as Jewish, just as he thinks of himself as Jewish, even though in Eumaeus he admits otherwise: “I mean, Christ was a jew too and all his family like me though in reality I’m not”(16.1084-85). Virag speaks “(severely)” (15.267) and “(with contempt)” (15.279) while Bloom speaks “(weakly)” (15.278) and “(with precaution)” (line 266). This portrays the influence of Virag as domineering, and his influence is exerted through Jewishness, by criticizing Bloom for his assimilation and disregard for his religious heritage. All aspects of Bloom’s backwards Jewishness that are depicted in the Aeolus Seder recur in exaggerated form in Circe, particularly Bloom’s comically pitiful attempt at speaking Hebrew (much worse than omitting “Echad”) which leads his subjects to refer to him as, “His Most Catholic Majesty” (15.1628-1629). Feelings of guilt surface again in Ithaca; Bloom recalls his father and experiences “a sentiment of remorse” (l7.1895). When asked why, the speaker divulges the answer: “Because in immature impatience he had treated with disrespect certain beliefs and practices...the Prohibition of the use of fleshmeat...the circumcision of male infants: the supernatural character of Judaic scripture.” (17.1893-1901). The guilt has a faint murmur in Aeolus, but it evolves as the novel progresses, becoming more intense and explicit. In Ithaca we ultimately learn why Bloom has disregarded his heritage, and the answers seems fitting but rather anti-climactic: these traditions strike Bloom as irrational (17.1903).

The guilt imposed by the memory of Virag does not always take the inactive form that it does in Circe; in Cyclops Bloom actively stands up to the brutish citizen and defends his heritage: “I belong to a race too, says Bloom, that is hated and persecuted. Also now. This very moment. This very instant...Robbed, says he. Plundered. Insulted. Persecuted.” (12.1466-1470). As Davison has wisely reminded us, Bloom could very easily assimilate if he wanted to: “Bloom merely has to dispel the rumor of his racial Jewishness, stand some drinks, praise political violence, and perhaps talk about his sexual conquests, and he will become as acceptable a Kiernan’s patron as the next inebriated jingoist.”[28] But Bloom chooses the more perilous path, to act as a “light to the gentiles” (17.348). This allows him to be a “hero” in Joyce’s modernist reinvention of the term, and Virag made this possible by passing on his Judaism to his son, symbolized touchingly by Virag’s final act: leaving behind, right alongside his suicide letter, “an ancient hagadah book” (17.1878). And we can assume that Bloom would have passed on this “paternal intellectual heritage” to his dead son --- when Rudy appears in Circe, he “reads from right to left inaudibly, smiling, kissing the page.” (15.2959-2960).

The other side effects of this Jewish guilt could be listed ad infinitum – for example, Bloom’s abstention from drinking in excess seems to be related to his father, since alcohol is depicted as a “narcotic toxin” (17.1919) and Virag drank poison to end his life. This could then be connected to the memory in Aeolus, since the Seder demands moderate drinking --- the participants imbibe carefully timed small cups of wine at eight different intervals in the retelling of the narrative.

Harrison verbalizes the contradictory nature of Bloom’s Judaism quite nicely, though she ultimately attributes it to Vampirism and the influence of Bram Stoker (another Irishman, who is alluded to in Finnegan’s Wake) instead of guilt, “Bloom simultaneously wants to renounce  (through his three baptisms, for instance) and retain his Jewishness (through symbolic acts like the preservation of his father’s Hagadah)...”[29] The influence of his father, who led a similarly contradictory religious existence, explains much of the baffling behavior of Bloom, who, on June 16th, 1904, finds himself pulled in different directions by the person he wants to be, and the person his father wanted him to be.

 

Final Thoughts

 

As a Jew living happily in Dublin 104 years after Bloom, it seems that assimilation has become a great deal easier.

 I rarely reflect on my own Jewishness, perhaps because it feels rather unremarkable in New York City, and perhaps because I, like Bloom, tend to regard religion as arbitrary and superstitious. But, in truth, I will probably one day read the Haggadah to my children, because Judaism is my paternal, and maternal, intellectual heritage. My father chants his way through the Haggadah every year at the Seder, spouting out the Hebrew in a completely incoherent mumble, not because he accepts the story of Exodus as truth, but because it connects him, and me, to his father, who retold the same exact story every year of his life. Entire generations of my family were murdered because of their attachment to these traditions, and even if they are “silly,” it is my obligation to ensure that that they are carried on into the future, as a symbolic act of both compliance and defiance.



[1] Erwin R. Steinberg, ‘James Joyce and the Critics Notwithstanding, Leopold Bloom is Not Jewish’, Journal of Modern Literature 9.1 (1981), p. 27.

[2] Shari Benstock, ‘Is He a Jew or a Gentile or a Holy Roman?’ James Joyce Quarterly 16.4 (1979).

[3] Erwin R. Steinberg, ‘Bloom is Not Jewish’, Journal of Modern Literature 9.1 (1981), p. 28-32.

[4] Erwin R. Steinberg, ‘Bloom is Not Jewish’, Journal of Modern Literature 9.1 (1981), p. 32.

[5] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum", or Jewishness and Postcolonialism in "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 692.

[6] Ira B. Nadel, ‘Joyce and the Jews’, Modern Judiasm 6.3 (1986).

[7] Robert Byrnes, ‘Bloom's Sexual Tropes: Stigmata of the "Degenerate" Jew’, James Joyce Quarterly 27.2 (1990), p. 317.

[8] Robert Byrnes, ‘Bloom's Sexual Tropes’, James Joyce Quarterly 27.2 (1990), p. 313.

[9] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 683.

[10] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘James Joyce, the Jews, and "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 16.4 (1979), p. 499.

[11] Ira B. Nadel, ‘Joyce and the Jews’, Modern Judiasm 6.3 (1986), p. 305.

[12] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘James Joyce, the Jews, and "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 16.4 (1979), p. 499.

[13] Jackson I. Cope, ‘"Ulysses": Joyce's Kabbalah’, James Joyce Quarterly 7.2 (1970), p. 96.

[14] Neil R Davison, ‘"Cyclops," Sinn Fein, and "The Jew": An Historical Reconsideration’, Journal of Modern Literature 19.2 (1995), p. 250.

[15] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘Symbol and Context in Ulysses: Joyce's "Bowl of Bitter Waters" and Passover’, ELH 46.4 (1979), p. 712.

[16] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘Symbol and Context in Ulysses: Joyce's "Bowl of Bitter Waters" and Passover’, ELH 46.4 (1979), p. 714.

[17] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘Joyce's "Bowl of Bitter Waters" and Passover’, ELH 46.4 (1979), p. 713.

[18] Erwin R. Steinberg, ‘Bloom is Not Jewish’, Journal of Modern Literature 9.1 (1981), p. 30.

[19] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 692.

[20] Erwin R. Steinberg, ‘Bloom is Not Jewish’, Journal of Modern Literature 9.1 (1981), p. 31.

[21] F.K Stanzel, ‘All Europe Contributed to the Making of Bloom: New Light on Leopold Bloom's Ancestors’, James Joyce Quarterly 32.3/4 (1995). 

[22] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 696.

[23] Roderick Davis, ‘The Fourfold Moses in "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 7.2 (1970), p. 124.

[24] Roderick Davis, ‘The Fourfold Moses in "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 7.2 (1970), p. 125.

[25] Jackson I. Cope, ‘"Ulysses": Joyce's Kabbalah’, James Joyce Quarterly 7.2 (1970), p. 101.

[26] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 682. This is Davison quoting Vincent Cheng.

[27] Daniel M. Fogel, ‘James Joyce, the Jews, and "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 16.4 (1979), p. 499.

[28] Neil R. Davison, ‘Why Bloom Is Not "Frum"’, James Joyce Quarterly 39.4 (2002), p. 696.

[29] Lori B. Harrison, ‘Bloodsucking Bloom: Vapirism as a Representation of Jewishness in "Ulysses"’, James Joyce Quarterly 36.4 (1999), p. 787.

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