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He took the hilt of his ashplant, lunging with it softly, dallying still. Yes, evening will find itself in me, without me. All days make their end. By the way next when is it Tuesday will be the longest day. Of all the glad new year, mother, the rum tum tiddledy tum. Lawn Tennyson, gentleman poet. Già. For the old hag with the yellow teeth. And Monsieur Drumont, gentleman journalist. Già. My teeth are very bad. Why, I wonder. Feel. That one is going too. Shells. Ought I go to a dentist, I wonder, with that money? That one. This. Toothless Kinch, the superman. Why is that, I wonder, or does it mean something perhaps?

Which is from Joyce's book, Ulysses. Maybe it is from his mind, so Joyce does not express it in a grammatical way?

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  • It is one of those situations where, the sentence would be judged incorrect if you had written it, but passes muster at the hands of a wordsmith. Top craftsmen (and women) tend to make their own rules. Sep 2, 2022 at 13:31
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    I’m voting to close this question because the OP here mistranscribed the text being queried, so it makes even less sense than Joyce's original. Besides which, even highly literate native Anglophones often struggle with Joyce's language. It's completely pointless for a learner to tackle such texts. Sep 2, 2022 at 18:46
  • @RonaldSole yes, grammar is made by people and changes many times, i think so. Sep 3, 2022 at 3:22
  • @FumbleFingers no, i can read it, i have understood Hamlet. Sep 3, 2022 at 3:23

1 Answer 1

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Chapter 3 of Ulysses, in which this sentence appears, is famously written in the style called stream of consciousness, which attempts to portray in words "the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind." Joyce was a pioneer of the technique, and many people would argue that he was the most successful at it.

The entire paragraph that contains this sentence (which I quote below) is full of sentences that do not attempt to be grammatical. This one actually comes close to being so. Try reading it like this:

By the way, next — when is it? [i.e., which day of the following week is it?] — Tuesday will be the longest day.

If you delete the interruption, the sentence is perfectly grammatical:

By the way, next Tuesday will be the longest day.

The six "sentences" that follow cannot even be called sentences in the ordinary way.

The entire "paragraph":

He took the hilt of his ashplant, lunging with it softly, dallying still. Yes, evening will find itself in me, without me. All days make their end. By the way next when is it Tuesday will be the longest day. Of all the glad new year, mother, the rum tum tiddledy tum. Lawn Tennyson, gentleman poet. Già. For the old hag with the yellow teeth. And Monsieur Drumont, gentleman journalist. Già. My teeth are very bad. Why, I wonder. Feel. That one is going too. Shells. Ought I go to a dentist, I wonder, with that money? That one. This. Toothless Kinch, the superman. Why is that, I wonder, or does it mean something perhaps?

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  • He was, of course, absolutely right. Stephen is having these thoughts on Thursday, 16th June 1904. So "next Tuesday" would be the 21st and the summer solstice.
    – James K
    Sep 2, 2022 at 18:40
  • >By the way, next — when is it? [i.e., which day of the following week is the longest day?] — Tuesday will be the longest day. thank you, this makes sense to me now. Sep 3, 2022 at 3:14

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