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works in Crawford’s office.


An ad canvasser, Bloom does not

belong to the traditional intelligentsia, yet his alienation and

nonconformity lend him the qualities of an intellectual.

Incessantly pursuing originality and endlessly interrogating the

world around him, the “cultured allroundman” who has “a

touch of the artist” about him (Joyce, 1986: 193) may be

counted as a semi-intellectual: equipped with ideals but

simultaneously down to earth, he exhibits both idealistic and

materialistic aspects. Throughout the day, indeed, Bloom



lives: however luxuriant his mental world, and

however nonconforming, Bloom participates in Dublin life. It

is through his active participation in everyday life that the

intellectual temperament is manifest in Bloom. He does not

merely work diligently in “Aeolus,” but he points out the

changeability of the pressmen, the deterioration of O’Molloy,

and the obsequiousness of Lenehan. Instead of indulging in

alcoholism and empty talks, he acts: he busies himself with the

Keyes advertisement

an ad with nationalistic implications.

Aside from the semi-intellectual Bloom, we observe an

anti-intellectual, as is commonly assumed, in Joyce’s portrayal

of the female protagonist of his modern Irish epic, who

mistakes “metempsychosis” for “met him pike hoses,” and asks

her husband to explain things “in plain words” (52). When she

first appears in “Calypso,” Molly epitomizes an unquestionably

materialistic existence: she grunts sleepily, and later, fully

awake, breakfasts in bed. In fact, physical needs occupy her

day: she eats and drinks, relieves herself, copulates,

menstruates, and sleeps. Her interior monologue in “Penelope”

centers on food, sex, men, women, her life in Gibraltar and


on the materialistic aspects of life, in a word.

Materialistic she may be, yet her monologue reveals her acute


The diligent yet profit-seeking Nannetti also works hard in this episode,

though he toils in his reading closet, not in Crawford’s office.