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Ulysses
     

Ulysses

3.9 163
by James Joyce
 

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Ulysses is a novel by the Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. Considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature, it has been called "a demonstration and summation of the

Overview

Ulysses is a novel by the Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. Considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature, it has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement. Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking."

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 (the day of Joyce's first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). Ulysses is the Latin name for Odysseus, the hero of Homer's poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between its characters and events and those of the poem (e.g., the correspondence of Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, Molly Bloom to Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus).

Ulysses is approximately 265,000 words in length, uses a lexicon of 30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb tenses), and is divided into eighteen episodes. Since publication, the book has attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual "Joyce Wars." Ulysses' stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose�full of puns, parodies, and allusions, as well as its rich characterizations and broad humor, made the book a highly regarded novel in the Modernist pantheon. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.

Joyce first encountered Odysseus in Charles Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses�an adaptation of the Odyssey for children, which seemed to establish the Roman name in Joyce's mind. At school he wrote an essay on Ulysses entitled "My Favourite Hero". Joyce told Frank Budgen that he considered Ulysses the only all-round character in literature. He thought about calling Dubliners by the name Ulysses in Dublin, but the idea grew from a story in Dubliners in 1906, to a "short book" in 1907, to the vast novel that he began in 1914.

Joyce divided Ulysses into 18 chapters or "episodes". At first glance much of the book may appear unstructured and chaotic; Joyce once said that he had "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant," which would earn the novel "immortality". The two schemata which Stuart Gilbert and Herbert Gorman released after publication to defend Joyce from the obscenity accusations made the links to the Odyssey clear, and also explained the work's internal structure.

Every episode of Ulysses has a theme, technique, and correspondence between its characters and those of the Odyssey. The original text did not include these episode titles and the correspondences; instead, they originate from the Linati and Gilbert schema. Joyce referred to the episodes by their Homeric titles in his letters. He took the idiosyncratic rendering of some of the titles��'Nausikaa', the 'Telemachia'��from Victor B�rard's two-volume Les Ph�niciens et l�Odyss�e which he consulted in 1918 in the Zentralbibliothek Z�rich.

Written over a seven-year period from 1914 to 1921, the novel was serialized in the American journal The Little Review from 1918 until 1920, when the publication of the Nausica� episode led to a prosecution for obscenity. In 1919, sections of the novel also appeared in the London literary journal, The Egoist, but the novel itself was banned in the United Kingdom until the 1930s. The novel was first published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris.

The 1920 prosecution in the US was brought after The Little Review serialized a passage of the book dealing with the main character masturbating. Legal historian Edward de Grazia has argued that few readers would have been fully aware of the orgasmic experience in the text, given the metaphoric language. Irene Gammel extends this argument to suggest that the obscenity allegations brought against The Little Review were influenced by the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's more explicit poetry, which had appeared alongside the serialization of Ulysses. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, which objected to the book's content, took action to attempt to keep the book out of the United States. At a trial in 1921 the magazine was declared obscene and, as a result, Ulysses was effectively banned in the United States. Throughout the 1920s, the United States Postal Service burned copies of the novel. In United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, U.S. District Judge John M. Woolsey ruled on 6 December 1933 that the book was not pornographic and therefore could not be obscene.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016441146
Publisher:
Balefire Publishing
Publication date:
05/19/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
736
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 � 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominently the stream of consciousness technique he perfected. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His complete oeuvre includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters.

Joyce was born to a middle class family in Dublin, where he excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, then at University College Dublin. In his early twenties he emigrated permanently to continental Europe, living in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."

Joyce's work has been subject to intense scrutiny by scholars of all types. He has also been an important influence on writers and scholars as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Se�n � R�ord�in, Jorge Luis Borges, Flann O'Brien, Salman Rushdie, Robert Anton Wilson, John Updike, David Lodge and Joseph Campbell. Ulysses has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire [Modernist] movement".[69] French literary theorist Julia Krist�va characterized Joyce's novel writing as "polyphonic" and a hallmark of post-modernity alongside poets Mallarm� and Rimbaud.

Some scholars, most notably Vladimir Nabokov, have mixed feelings on his work, often championing some of his fiction while condemning other works. In Nabokov's opinion, Ulysses was brilliant, Finnegans Wake horrible[72]�an attitude Jorge Luis Borges shared.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 2, 1882
Date of Death:
January 13, 1941
Place of Birth:
Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:
Zurich, Switzerland
Education:
B.A., University College, Dublin, 1902
Website:
http://www.jamesjoyce.ie

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Ulysses 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 163 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What people don't understand when reading Joyce's Ulysses- is that it is not so much the plot of the book that is important but way the book is written; people claim that it's boring. It is complicated but that is what makes the book the third most researched piece of literature...right behind Shakespeare's work and the bible. That alone says a lot about the work. The complicatedness was intentional. Joyce is a genius and this proves it. How many authors can claim they've parodied the greatest figures in literature--Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, and the bible? Does anyone realize that each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, each chapter is written in a different style, each chapter's is written to follow Homer's Oddyssey?

Ulysses is not made for people who want to sit back and just read and not think. It is not made to entertain people. It is written for people who APPRECIATE LITERATURE.
Speedball More than 1 year ago
A first reading of Ulysses can be daunting, if not downright frustrating. Take it in bite-sized chunks and keep an excellent description (such as The New Bloomsday Book by Blamires) by your side and you'll be on your way. A previous reading of The Odyssey, though useful, is by no means required, as Joyce draws on myriad sources in addition to Homer. Subsequent readings will come much more easily and reveal a mastery of the language that cannot be compared to any other book or author. Once you get the hang of it, you'll realize it isn't nearly as opaque (or pretentious) as it's made out to be. It's actually laugh out loud funny in many places. Even better, find an audio version of the book or read it aloud (especially the Penelope chapter -- the last in the book). It's a book to be heard as well as read. Also, there are DVDs of a walking tour of Joyce's Dublin that I found enormously useful in adding context to the book -- the city is itself a character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This IS the greatest and best book ever written, but casual readers beware, it is also the most difficult to read book ever written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This IS a great novel--probably the high-water mark of the art form. Brilliant by any measure, it caries so many layers of meaning that one feels like Krishna's mother, when she saw all the universe in her son's open mouth.... Tenzing--I strongly suggest you consult one of the excellent works that break down some of the stickier themes in Ulysses. My favorites are Joseph Campbell's Mythic Worlds Modern Words (which has an amazing section on that very weird word, CONTRASMAGNIFICANJEWELBANGTANTIABILITY, along with much else); and Blamire's wonderful Bloomsday Book, which I think came out in a revised edition a few years back.
K-Star More than 1 year ago
It is not formatted at all, just blocks of text and dialogue with no spacing between. It's already a tough read without trying to figure what is being narrated and what the characters are saying. Do not buy the New Century Books edition. This was my first e-book purchase and I am totally disappointed. I am obviously going to have to spend more time previewing copies if just anyone can publish an e-book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most readers probably won't be able to approach this famous novel without some outside aid, but don't let that deter you. I've read parts of it many times and still haven't any idea what the central theme is supposed to be, yet it remains a fascinating work. The book is less about plot and character as it is about the creative use of language - stream-of-consciousness, changing narrators, parodies and other rhetorical devices are some of the techniques Joyce uses to the fullest. This is one of those rare books that can be read over and over and something new understood each time. For that alone, I recommend this to curious readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While skimming this book a few minutes after buying it, I found two errors in the text: a misspelled word on one page and a paragraph accidentally repeated on another. A line-by-line comparison would probably find many more. This kind of sloppiness might be acceptable in some cheap digital reprints, but not in a book like Ulysses, whose precise wording is an important part of its meaning. Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble offers multiple versions of Ulysses for the Nook but tells you nothing about how they were prepared, so the other versions might be just as bad. But definitely don't buy this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is the best novel but also the most demanding one. In order to properly read it it took me four months and a course in Columbia University but every single minute I´ve spend with it couldnt be more intense and fruitfull. It takes a lot of work but the reward is inmense. Now I'm reading finnegans wake and each page is so full with connections, references, etc.. that it will take me at least 4 or 5 months, I can wait!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ulysees can be a bit inaccessible at times but well worth the initial confusion. Perhaps the finest work of modernist literature I have read, Joyce's stream of consciousness technique is often imitated but has never been equaled. I WOULD however, suggest reading Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man BEFORE tackling this difficult work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to confess to being torn concerning this book labeled by many as the best of the 20th Century. I can appreciate the achievement: paralleling Homer with each chapter while employing just about every literary device available is to be commended. Bloom is truly a creation fit for modern literature. On the other hand, I get the feeling Joyce is toying with me as I read, flaunting his genius. Perhaps he has licence to do so. When a book is able to generate such potent responses, it is great. Several readings are needed to appreciate this book. My professor in Joyce seminar poured over this book for years and found new insights each time. The Cliff's Notes to Ulysses are not very good. For a better reading aid, opt for the Bloomsday Book instead (yes, you will need an aid of some sort).
BoysRGreat More than 1 year ago
My son and I are reading Joyces' Ulysses.  Superb experience!  Oct 15, 2008 review is spot-on.
Seghetto More than 1 year ago
I read this book twice, and it still stands out in my mind as the most creative use of English in the history of the language. Taking the plot of a classic work is not unique, the way it was executed in this book was. Ulysses doesn't explore any of the great secrets of life. It doesn't seek to take on some great social issue. It is just a great work of art. It is difficult to understand, but with such an ambitious work this is no surprise. Any fan of English literature needs to read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've tried, but I have not been able to finish this. It's not easy reading, so it may just be that it requires longer spans of reading time than I am willing to give.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carl Jung 'diagnosed' this book as 'schizoid,' and it's a fact that Joyce's daughter Lucia had the disease schizophrenia. I studied this disordered work fifteen years ago as a senior in college, and two years later I had my initial episode of the dreaded mental illness schizophrenia. I believe that my illness would have happened anyway - but, just in case, I would strongly caution those who are already diagnosed away from not only _Ulysses_ but also _Finnegan_ and anything by Ezra Pound (especially _The Cantos_). I love the fact that Joyce rips anti-Semitism to shreds in _Ulysses_, but the schizoid language in places is just too much for me and I suppose others like me to handle. If you do get an overdose of Joyce, a pretty down-to-earth antidote is Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This e-edition claims to have helpful annotations. There were none that I could see. Caveat emptor.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sits in his throne.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a place for personal chats and solicitations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok. I think we'll be back. Bye Dad! Guys, say bye to your parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye dad. And remember.... my name is payton:)
venjuemagi More than 1 year ago
A challenge for most (myself included), but the trick is not to expect a plot driven story (something we're all too expectant of these days). Just read it for the insights and the interesting use of words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, and goodbye.