Tuesday, September 15, 2015


What 'laws of gossip' does Ulysses embody? (it's complicated)

Can we extract a spreadsheet of variables describing who'll gossip how, to whom, about whom?

Malicious vs sympathetic gossip: Purefoy's pregnancy, Dignam's death and family

Does Joyce ever show a character NOT gossiping when they have a chance to? (exercising discretion) ...Yes, Martin Cunningham has kept Bloom's father's suicide quiet, Stephen almost never gossips... Bloom too?

We glimpse others discussing Bloom's ethnicity, his work history, his marriage, his generosity, the lottery scam, his connection to the freemasons. And especially well-documented is the spread of the false rumor about Throwaway.

Similarly we see Breen's UP postcard making the rounds.

We hear Simon badmouthing Mulligan and others.

Mulligan and Lenehan seem especially unguarded.

Mulligan throws gossip about Stephen back in his face

Stephen 'gossips' about Shakespeare.

The newsmen gossip about Gallaher and Dawson.

Molly's thoughts are full of gossip but we never see her talking to anyone but Poldy. (did she gossip to boylan about poldy???)

Conmee is very discreet-- the Church defines who can gossip how.

People have varied absolute inclinations to pass on gossip. Some tell everything they know at every opportunity.  Some exaggerate what they hear.

Maybe a grid of who's heard which gossip about Bloom?

A model of how Throwaway changes as it spreads

each person needs a grid of who-cares-about-who, and how-well-does-each-know-each, so that gossip can be passed mainly to those who care but don't already know

if you don't already know someone you need to sound them out

useful gossip: un/trustworthiness

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