professor MacHugh pats Myles on the back

He took a reel of dental floss from his waistcoat pocket and, breaking off a piece, twanged it smartly between two and two of his resonant unwashed teeth.

—Bingbang, bangbang.

Mr Bloom, seeing the coast clear, made for the inner door.

—Just a moment, Mr Crawford, he said. I just want to phone about an ad.

He went in.

—What about that leader this evening? professor MacHugh asked, coming to the editor and laying a firm hand on his shoulder.

—That’ll be all right, Myles Crawford said more calmly. Never you fret. Hello, Jack. That’s all right.

—Good day, Myles, J. J. O’Molloy said, letting the pages he held slip limply back on the file. Is that Canada swindle case on today?

The telephone whirred inside.

—Twentyeight… No, twenty… Double four… Yes.


The title here is a reference to a Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem called The Eolian Harp. The poem is a celebration of man’s commune with nature. I’ve noticed that since entering the newspaper office there has been a lot of talk from the occupants about grandiose writing. The Cliff notes points out that they are doing this while simultaneously rejecting “the modern man” Bloom. Joyce is criticizing the intellectual Irish archetype.