Sunday, June 15, 2014

[Martha Clifford spoilers]

"He passed the Irish Times. There might be other answers lying there. Like to answer them all.... O, leave them there to simmer. Enough bother wading through fortyfour of them. Wanted, smart lady typist to aid gentleman in literary work." (8.131)

Most replies to such an innocent-sounding query would have used their real names.

"What did the first drawer unlocked contain? ...3 typewritten letters, addressee, Henry Flower, c/o P.O. Westland Row, addresser, Martha Clifford, c/o P.O. Dolphin's Barn: the transliterated name and address of the addresser of the 3 letters in reversed alphabetic boustrophedontic punctated quadrilinear cryptogram (vowels suppressed) N. IGS./WI. UU. OX/W. OKS. MH/Y. IM... What object did Bloom add to this collection of objects? A 4th typewritten letter received by Henry Flower (let H.F. be L.B.) from Martha Clifford (find M.C.). " (17.592)

If MC is a pseudonym, would she too have bothered to choose a misleading po box location in Dolphin's Barn P.O., convenient enough in her normal travels?

"Bloom mur: best references. But Henry wrote: it will excite me. You know how. In haste. Henry. Greek ee. Better add postscript. What is he playing now? Improvising intermezzo. P.S. The rum tum tum. How will you pun? You punish me? Crooked skirt swinging, whack by. Tell me I want to. Know. O. Course if I didn't I wouldn't ask. La la la ree. Trails off there sad in minor. Why minor sad? Sign H. They like sad tail at end. P.P.S. La la la ree. I feel so sad today. La ree. So lonely. Dee. He blotted quick on pad of Pat. Envel. Address. Just copy out of paper. Murmured: Messrs Callan, Coleman and Co, limited. Henry wrote: Miss Martha Clifford c/o P.O. Dolphin's Barn Lane Dublin" (11.)


Patrick Hogan (JJ Lit Supp, Fall 1992): Nurse Callan is unmarried, unused to typing, but has access to a typewriter. She makes the
patience/patients typo because she says patients-are more than
patience-is, and the other-world slip because she might often use this euphemism for death. And Joyce may tip his hand in Sirens by having Bloom seize the name Callan at random out of the obits, when pretending to Richie Goulding that he's answering an ad.

JJQ (reg req) Ignatius Gallaher???

Miss Dunne "Miss Dunne clicked on the keyboard"
(One is tempted to surmise that Miss Dunne is none other than "Martha Clifford," the typist with whom Bloom, or, rather, "Henry Flower," is carrying on a poste restante flirtation. The allusions to "mystery business" and "Marion," give color to this theory; but these are, perhaps, some of the many false clues scattered through this episode, which, like wrecker's beacons, are intended-for reasons which will be given later-to take the reader off his course.)


a real 1901 Martha Clifford

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