Ulysses

Immaculate Erection

With all the irregular movements in Nausicaa Gerty's limping walk, Bloom's masturbation, the jerky flight of a hovering bat , the abrupt and erratic changes of scene and perspective, and finally the seasick movement of the sea (1189; 1162, "Do fish ever get seasick?") - one can't help but accumulate a sensation of "nausea" (1187) over the chapter's course. But if we can swing with the off-kilter events (and morals) in this chapter, we may begin to intuit that they are a portal to epiphany; Joyce's espoused errata as portal has become "erratic erotica" as portal.

At the outset of Nausicaa, we get many signals that the pending scene is of a special, radiant, and (self-consciously) "religiously marked" quality. Its events take place at a "mysterious" (1) hour, and will be presided over by the "pure radiance [of] a beacon... Mary, star of the sea"(7-8). Chants and incantations to Mary fill the beach; the narrative flashes quickly to evening incantations to her or related ecclesiastic ritual just before (289) and throughout the Bloom-Gerty encounter scene. We are given the slight impression that Gerty is the acting Mary in situ, the special avatar and...

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