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Annotation author: HCE
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Some ingenious critics have shown how the first sentence begins with the state and ends with a cross, highlighting the tension between nationality and religion Stephen has trying to escape since A Portrait... Also, the first and last letters here are inverted in the last word of the book (don't worry, no spoilers!). Also, in the Random House edition of the book, the first letters of each of the three parts of the book were printed in huge font, drawing speculation that they stood for the most important person in the life of the main character in that section ('S' here is for narcissistic Stephen, M (in 'Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish...') for Bloom's love of Molly, and, P (in 'Preparatory to anything else...') for Molly's pet name for husband, Poldy).