Ulysses

Ulysses

Book - 1992 | Modern Library edition.
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Serialized first in the Little Review in 1918 and published first in Paris in 1922, although its censorship for obscenity in America and England were not lifted until the mid-1930sIn terms of its story it defies abridgement or explanation except that it all takes place on one day, 16 June 1904, or Bloomsday, which was the anniversary of Joyces first walk with his beloved Nora Barnacle. It (very) loosely follows the episodes of Ulysses from the Odyssey of Homer though in a reordered form, with Stephen Dedalus representing Telemachus, Leopold Bloom Ulysses and Molly Bloom Penelope. The central characters explore various sites and happenings around Dublin such as a newspaper office, a brothel, a funeral, and public houses.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1992.
Edition: Modern Library edition.
ISBN: 9780679600114
0679600116
Branch Call Number: JOYCE
Characteristics: xx, 783 pages ; 21 cm.

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xiaojunbpl12
Jan 23, 2018

I've yet read Odyssey, neither do I know the story. I've yet been to Dubin, only travelled quite a bit in and around Clare County plus mind journey to Ireland's past. My knowledge of history, literature, philosophy are limited, though I'm catching up...
However, my first read of this VOLUME is (to my suprise) rewarding. Immersed in Joyce' Joy, I didn't work hard digging out the obscure treasure and relic to inspect the details carved or eroded, mostly I swam with the flow, reading more larger sections in one sitting, without intermittent referencing that can interrupt my stream of conciousness. One cannot read if try to understand every single detail, one cannot hear if dwell on a sound harmony of one transient.

My take at current stage is limited to what I heard from my vocal interpretation, besides allegory (I must have missed much), humor (pun, rhyme, riddle) and guilty pleasure, esp. empathy felt with Bloom (his brilliance of imagination and dreamscape; his ordinary being of else...any one can relate to). I tried to like Stephen for his talent and some intangible attractivness, but too far-fetched for me to even level myself first (I'll ruminate more when read again).
Molly (as well as a lesser female character Gerty) gave me an added bonus not to question author's arrogance and showing off.
There are many other characters who confused me at the time and some still do, though they seemed to serve certain interests or purposes, I put them off as the background hum or salad base.
The book must have inspired many progenitors in the realm of high art, commercial art, even multi-media today (Bloom is an Ad guy!).

Each chapter varies in style and form, and may be preferred by different reader. To me (pertinent to science-trained or not), a special mention is "Ithaca", not due to its being easier or more difficult to chew, it was my reading experience transformed my attitude towards it from curious, slightly annoyed, addictively detested, to absolutely captivated.

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mrob
Dec 06, 2016

It might help to read "Re-Joyce" by Anthony Burgess.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 08, 2016

This is a book laden with heavy allegory, a myriad of complex references, dense poetry, eccentric structure, and that is all it is. This book feels like one man writing everything he’s ever wanted to write in one book, and that makes it unequivocally unique and fascinating; however, just because there is nothing like this, doesn’t mean this book isn’t just mental masturbation for pseudo-intellectuals. There is a beauty in the stream-of-consciousness writing present throughout the book, and there really is nothing like it, but as a whole, it just isn’t readable for anyone who isn’t a masochist, or heavily invested in literature. - @FalcoLombardi of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Liam39
Oct 07, 2015

On my third try to read Ulysses, I attempted to just open my mind to the "stream of consciousness" writing, but after trying this for a couple of hundred pages, I gave up again.

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mighty_mom
Jun 22, 2015

Quite difficult, not worth the time to read it because it's so boring. One star is generous.

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GerryD
Jun 19, 2013

This novel is #12 on my researched Top Classic Novels. I won't attempt to add to the excellent summaries already provided. This complex, difficult novel was written in 1922 between two other Top 100 novels, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and Finnegans Wake". See my GerryD Lists for more great novels.

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haPPY_FUn_baLL
Dec 05, 2010

Can't honestly give this book a rating as I had to throw in the towel after 20 pages...I really gave it a good try but found it unreadable.

Joyce's "stream of consciousness" style makes for an confusing, jolting, unenjoyable experience. It seems you have to know your latin and turn-of-the-century Irish jargon to have any chance to know what's going on.

It's not the time period that makes this book exclusive - Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby" is written was written within the same decade and is infinitely more accessable...and enjoyable!

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alexy93
Aug 05, 2010

The greatest novel in modern English literature? ...hmm?

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wallyb
Jul 02, 2010

Easily one of the most influential and challenging novels of the 20th Century. It really helps to have a guide to understand what's going on, and to provide access points (for instance, the amount of music theory in this book is enough for a symphony, and look for the repeated mention of various organs of the body). I've heard mixed reviews of audio versions of (parts of) this novel, but listening might help the reader approach it from another angle: as music, and as poetry. Reading Ulysses is a challenge, but it should be remembered that it is supposed to be a fun challenge, and a real adventure for the characters and the reader.

bharding Dec 29, 2008

One of the greatest works of English Literature as well as one of its most difficult. Joyce's experimentation with the novel, with the written word, with language, and with the human mind was monumental and defined the Modernist movement and all that has followed.

If you give the time that this lengthy and complex book asks of you it will likely reward you with one of the greatest experiences in reading you have ever had or, possibly, one of the worst. Take the chance.

For a good introduction to Joyce read "James Joyce" by Richard Ellmann. If you liked Ulysses, try Finnegans Wake. If you didn't, try Dubliners.

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Michael
Dec 29, 2008

The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit

m
Michael
Dec 29, 2008

… and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes

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Michael
Dec 29, 2008

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

m
Michael
Dec 29, 2008

He…saw the dark tangled curls of his bus floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid floating flower

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Michael
Dec 29, 2008

Perfumes of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely he mutely craved to adore.

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Michael
Dec 29, 2008

Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

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