Awfully good

After Martin Cunningham makes Bloom feel like an outsider by qualifying the remark that "We have all been" victimized by moneylenders like Reuben J. Dodd––"Well, nearly all of us"––Bloom jumps in to "speak with sudden eagerness to his companions' faces": "That's an awfully good one that's going the rounds about Reuben J and the son." There is nothing even slightly funny about this "awfully good" story. Bloom is humiliated both by volunteering so eagerly to tell it and by being prevented from doing so. The events were actual but they happened in 1911, so Joyce altered chronology just as he altered Dodd's ethnicity.

John Hunt 2023

Front page of the 2 December 1911 Irish Worker. Source: