Friday, September 03, 2004

On Kid Knees

While driving home tonight, I remembered that a pack of lamb kidneys had been stuck in the back of the freezer for a long time. So I figured I should eat them. But when I looked for them, they were gone. (Maybe Bloom was here.) You generally think of kidneys when on the PA Turnpike, and more so when thinking of Ulysses also. Anyway, after being disappointed by the non-kidney freezer, I looked in Ulysses Annotated and saw this (which maybe was already mentioned in class today; I can't remember) on p. 70: "In ancient Jewish rites (as in 'the sacrifice and ceremonies of consecrating the priest,' Exodus 29: 1-28), kidneys were regarded as 'the special parts to be burned upon the altar as a gift to Yahweh.'" Also, as discussed in class, the beginning of chapter 4 in Ulysses tells us that Bloom likes that kidneys give his "palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine"; later he burns the kidney on the stove and gives the burnt part to the cat; and the chapter ends with his visit to the outhouse. Kidneys, God, biblical gifts, and toilet high jinks therefore seem to be kind of connected somehow.

I don't know what all of this means, if anything.


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