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"The links (between Nora Joyce and Molly Bloom) are...

October 02, 1988

"The links (between Nora Joyce and Molly Bloom) are strengthened by Joyce's detailed notes for Ulysses , where he makes many of the connections explicit, often repeating some of the references to Nora he had made in the notes to Exiles: the girlish pinafore, the buttoned boots, the grief over the girlhood friend who went off to America. Joyce, of course, embroidered, expanded, and compressed his raw material, but in Molly much that appears to be Nora remains visible and often little altered.

Molly's monologue forms the 'Penelope' episode that ends Ulysses. Even in its appearance on the printed page, it mimics Nora's writing style, consisting, as it does, of eight very long, rambling, unpunctuated sentences. In this episode, Molly lies in bed, reclining on one elbow, thinking silently to herself at two o'clock in the morning of June 17, 1904, about the events of the preceding day. . . . During her ruminations her menstrual period starts, and she sits on the chamber pot. She ends with a memory of lying with Bloom among the rhododendrons on the Hill of Howth overlooking Dublin Bay. Her final words are the best known lines of Ulysses, the set piece of Bloomsday broadcasts everywhere: '. . . and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.' "

From Brenda Maddox, "Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom"

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