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The Wandering Rocks
Episode 10
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Synopsis by Gerry O'Flaherty

Fr. Conmee
Book Cart
Earl of Dudley
In the first nine episodes, the first half of the novel, we are shown the problems that beset the lives of Stephen and Bloom. In the second part we will see how they find solutions to these difficulties. By now it is between 3 and 4 o'clock and this episode gives a picture, in nineteen vignettes, of Dublin and its inhabitants. It is an entr'acte between the two halves of the novel.

The nineteen parts are framed by the first and the last, which represent the Church and the State. The episode opens with Father Conmee setting out from the presbytery of Gardiner Street Jesuit church for Artane to have Paddy Dignam's son accepted into the Christian Brothers' orphanage there. In the final part, the Viceroy, William Humble, Earl of Dudley, drives from the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park to Ballsbridge to open the Mirus Bazaar.

Fr Conmee moves across the north of the city while the Viceroy travels across the south. The other seventeen parts show various characters, most of whom we have met in previous episodes of the novel, going about their various business routines.

Here the Homeric element is very slight and corresponds to Circe telling Odysseus to avoid the wandering rocks which might sink his ship.

 
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The Viceregal Cavalcade did not pass through Dublin on June 16th 1904. As reported in the Irish Independant on the 17th June 1904, the Viceroy was actually on a tour of Co. Clare accompanied by Liertenant Col. Hesseltine.

Among those mentioned in 'Wandering Rocks', who accompanied the Viceroy in Dublin were Miss deCourcy and Miss Paget who are most likey fictional character. In fact the Mirus Bazaar in aid of funds for Mercer's Hospital took place on May 31st 1904.

The Bloom is on the Rye (My Pretty Jane)
Words by Edward Fitzball Music by Sir Henry Bishop
This song is the main motif associated with Bloom in the Sirens episode of Ulysses. It is first alluded to in the Wandering Rocks episode when Bloom is near the Ormond Hotel where Sirens takes place. It was a favourite of Joyce himself and he remembered his father John singing it to his wife May's accompaniment.
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