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Ithaca
Episode 17

Synopsis by Gerry O'Flaherty

Railings at 7 Eccles Street
It is about 2 am when Stephen and Bloom set out for Eccles Street. They discuss many subjects but have little appear to have little in common. On arrival at his home Bloom has to climb over the railings and get in through the area door because he has forgotten his key. He brings Stephen down to the kitchen. He makes Epp's cocoa in identical cups but gives the cream to Stephen.

Bloom brings up various subjects for discussion in the hope of finding something of mutual interest. Stephen turns down an offer to stay for the night. They go into the garden at the back of the house and look at the stars and urinate before Stephen departs.

Back in the house, Bloom finds that all of the furniture in the parlour has been moved during the day. He lights a cone of incense, does his accounts and adds the letter he got that day to the other three he already has from Martha Clifford.
Drinking Choclate

In bed with Molly he feels the imprint of Boylan and the crumbs of potted meat. He kisses her rump and gives her an edited version of his day. He does not mention the letter from Martha, the row at Barney Kiernan's or his encounter with Gerty MacDowell. Then he goes asleep.

In Homer, Odysseus/Bloom and Telemacus/Stephen destroy the suitors who have plagued Penelope for so long. In the novel the victory achieved is a mental one.

 
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The song "Little Harry Hughes", sung by Stephen, is a version of an ancient ballad called "Sir Hugh, or, the Jew's Daughter". In the recently unveiled 'Paris-Pola commonplace book' at the National Library of Ireland, there is evidence that Joyce took his version from Sir Thomas Percy's (1729-1811) Reliques of Ancient Enlgish Poetry, Vol 1. Percy's ballad begins "The rain runs down".