so James Joyce is a genius and here’s why. In his novel, Ulysses, Joyce’s main
character’s: Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus represent the Goidels and the Tuatha
De Danann. Bloom is associated with the Goidels because they were the Irish
invaders who could have Jewish ancestry. Bloom in Ulysses has Jewish background
through his father. However, like the Goidels, Bloom doesn’t identify as a Jew.
Bloom’s mixed identity mirrors the Goidel in The Book of Invasions. In Ulysses
we see Bloom absorbed in Egyptian and Turkish things. Stephen Dedalus in
Ulysses is mirrored as the Tuatha De Danann. The Tuatha De Danann are known for
skill in magical arts and Druidry. Like the Tuatha De Danann, Dedalus is
learned in the Western culture and secret mysteries. Just like the Tautha De
Danann are seen to be gods, Dedalus is seen to be himself arrogant and to have
divinity. The Tuatha De Danann also ally themselves with Athenians and Daedalus
is seen in some versions of classical myth to be Athenian. Stephen is skilled
in many arts; he is a teacher, bard, singer and journalist. The replacement of
Stephen Dedalus with Bloom and Molly corresponds to the wave of possession and
dispossession of Ireland in the myth. Just as the Tuatha De Danann retreat
underground, Stephen Dedalus exists suddenly from Ulysses. We also
interestingly have the role of the ‘Citizen’ in Ulysses, which I believe was
Joyce’s attempt to showcase the Fir Bolg and Fomorians. The Citizen is a crude
person and chaotic as are the Fomorians. In the character Balor the one-eyed
figure we have the one-eyed Fomorian. Essentially, Joyce uses myth of The Book
of Invasions to explain why the central characters in Ulysses are ‘outsiders,’
because to be an immigrant essentially means to be Irish according to the myth.
Just as the Odyssey, Hamlet and the Divine Comedy contribute to the making of
Ulysses we should add a fourth book, The Book of Invasions to that list. Man, I
love Joyce.


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