Book - 1992
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A modernist novel of supreme stylistic innovation, James Joyce's Ulysses is the towering achievement of twentieth century literature. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Declan Kiberd.

For Joyce, literature 'is the eternal affirmation of the spirit of man'. Written between 1914 and 1921, Ulysses has survived bowdlerization, legal action and bitter controversy. Capturing a single day in the life of Dubliner Leopold Bloom, his friends Buck Mulligan and Stephen Dedalus, his wife Molly, and a scintillating cast of supporting characters, Joyce pushes Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. An undisputed modernist classic, its ceaseless verbal inventiveness and astonishingly wide-ranging allusions confirm its standing as an imperishable monument to the human condition. Declan Kilberd says in his introduction that Ulysses is 'an endlessly open book of utopian epiphanies. It holds a mirror up to the colonial capital that was Dublin on 16 June 1904, but it also offers redemptive glimpses of a future world which might be made over in terms of those utopian moments.'

This edition is the standard Random House/Bodley Head text that first appeared in 1960.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed Ulysses, you might enjoy Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Everybody knows now that Ulysses is the greatest novel of the twentieth century'
Anthony Burgess, Observer

Publisher: New York : Modern Library, c1992
ISBN: 9780141182803
Branch Call Number: JOYCE
Characteristics: 1 v


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Dec 06, 2016

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

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

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.

Jun 22, 2015

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

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.

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!

Aug 05, 2010

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

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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Dec 29, 2008

The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit

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

Dec 29, 2008

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

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

Dec 29, 2008

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

Dec 29, 2008

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

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