James Joyce Describes Sardines in “Ulysses” — and Condoms!

I am a big fan of sardines (as you can see for yourself in this entry I penned for a previous blog), so I was happy to find this description of a tin of them in “Ulysses.”  It’s from the “Oxen of the Sun” chapter where Joyce moves through the history of English literature in his language and style.  So he goes through Beowulf, the King James Bible, and so on.  He’s describing some pretty mundane things, though, hence the humor.

I think the language here is supposed to be like Malory (though I’m not sure, still not using notes!).

And there was a vat of silver that was moved by craft to open in the which lay strange fishes withouten heads though misbelieving men nie that this be possible thing without they see it natheless they are so. And these fishes lie in an oily water brought there from Portugal land because of the fatness that therein is like to the juices of the olive press.


I have to add this other quote, which I think is a description of a condom in the style of Bunyan.

… for that foul plague Allpox and the monsters they cared not for them for Preservative had given them a stout shield of oxengut and, third, that they might take no hurt neither from Offspring that was that wicked devil by virtue of this same shield which was named Killchild.

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