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Scylla and Charybdis
Episode 9
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Synopsis by Gerry O'Flaherty

The National Library
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It is two o'clock in the National Library. In episode seven we left Stephen on his way to Mooney's public house with his friends from the newspaper office. He sent a telegram to Mulligan cancelling his 12.30pm appointment at The Ship.

Now he is in the National Library and is about to recount his theory of Hamlet to a few literary acquaintances - Lyster, the Librarian, Best and Magee (aka John Eglinton), Assistant Librarians, and George Russell (aka AE). The theory is that, in writing the play, Shakespeare identified himself not with Hamlet but with the dead king, whose life was analogous to his own in so far as it is alleged that Shakespeare's wife, Ann Hathaway, had committed adultery with his brothers.

Reading Room
While Stephen is expounding his theory Mulligan arrives and makes fun of it and of Stephen. Meantime, Bloom arrives to copy the advertisement from the Kilkenny People and as Mulligan and Stephen leave the Library, Bloom goes out between them. This is the first meeting that day of Bloom and Stephen.

In Homer, Odysseus must steer safely between the multi-headed monster, Scylla, and the whirlpool, Charybdis. Just as Stephen, when expounding his theory, must steer between Platonic metaphysics and Aristotelian logic, and Bloom, on his way out of the Library, must pass between Stephen and Mulligan.

   Episode 9 Scylla and Charybdis    Listen to the show >>

The Images here are of a young AE, John Eglinton and Willian Lyster at his desk.

AE (George Russell)
John Eglington
William Lyster