Molly Bloom's soliloquy, the remarkable climactic conclusion to Ulysses, remains, nearly a century after its first publication, one of the most remarkable chapters in world literature. It is night, the end of a long day (16 June 1904) for Leopold Bloom's wife, Molly. She lies in bed, muses on the events of the day, her life with her husband, her affair with Blazes Boylan, and drifts towards sleep. Joyce tried to document a woman's thoughts in an unexpurgated stream of consciousness: subjects, memories, fantasies interweave among the incomplete sentences.
Regarded as scandalous and brilliant in its intimacy, the soliloquy is captivating and engrossing, especially when read so convincingly by the Irish actress Marcella Riordan. For those who have found it difficult to get to the end of Ulysses, here, unabridged, is the soliloquy on its own - and curiously it works almost as an extended poem, with a rhythm and an intimate power that are unforgettable.
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