A friend of mine and I have been reading Ulysses together over the past year and I had mentioned my impression, I’m sure I read it somewhere, I don’t think I would have come up with it on my own, that Bloom and Stephen and Molly had all had versions of the same dream the night before the day of the action of the book. In our meetings, I was able to recall my impression, but I couldn’t find the evidence. I’ve finally put together the quotes I was thinking of (references are to Gabler). It’s a little less clear than it was in my imagination. I had written 1) a defense of reading Ulysses at all (why do I feel I have to defend that?) and 2) a long interpretation of the passages below that ties them in with a certain aspect of the book’s overall architecture, but I thought better of both. Too much work.
From Stephen’s day:
After he woke me last night same dream or was it? Wait. Open hallway. Street of harlots. Remember. Haroun al Raschid. I am almosting it. That man led me, spoke. I was not afraid. The melon he had he held against my face. Smiled: creamfruit smell. That was the rule, said. In. Come. Red carpet spread. You will see who. (3:365-9).
Last night I flew. Easily flew. Men wondered. street of harlots after. A creamfruit melon he held to me. In. You will see. (9: 1207-8)
Mark me. I dreamt of a watermelon… (Extending his arms.) It was here. Street of harlots. In Serpentine Avenue Beelzebub showed me her, a fubsy widow. Where’s the red carpet spread? (15: 3922, 3930-1)
From Bloom’s day:
Dreamt last night? Wait. Something confused. She had red slippers on. Turkish. Wore the breeches. Suppose she does? Would I like her in pyjamas? Damned hard to answer. (13: 1240-2)
Leop. Bloom there for a languor he had but was now better, he having dreamed tonight a strange fancy of his dame Mrs Moll with red slippers on in pair of Turkey trunks (14: 507-9)
He kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each plump melonous hemisphere, in their mellow yellow furrow, with obscure prolonged provocative melonsmellonous osculation. (17: 2241-3)
From Molly’s day:
he was on the cards this morning when I laid out the deck union with a young stranger neither dark nor fair you met before I thought it meant him but hes no chicken nor a stranger either besides my face was turned the other way what was the 7th card after that the 10 of spaces for a Journey by land then there was a letter on its way and scandals too the 3 queens and the 8 of diamonds for a rise in society yes wait it all came out and 2 red 8s for new garments look at that and didnt I dream something too yes there was something about poetry in it (18: 1314-1321)
Id love to have a long talk with an intelligent well-educated person Id have to get a nice pair of red slippers like those Turks with the fez used to sell (18: 1493-5)