Written over a seven-year period, from 1914 to 1921, this book has survived bowdlerization, legal action and controversy. The novel deals with the events of one day in Dublin, 16th June 1904, now known as "Bloomsday". The principal characters are Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly. Ulysses has been labelled dirty, blasphemous and unreadable. In a famous 1933...more
4 stars because it has so many deep literary and classical references that to say one understood the book, is like saying one is very well educated.
3 stars because the words, strung together in a stream-of-consciousness mellifluous, onomatopoeic way, read just beautifully.
2 stars because it was boring as hell. I just couldn't care less about the characters, I just wanted them to get on with whatever they were doing and have Joyce interfere i...more
Note : if you're after my short course bluffer's guide to ulysses, here it is :
But now... the real thing.
1. Telemachus. Difficulty : 0
General mindblowing brilliance : 8
Beauty of language : 7
Stephen the morose ex-student isn't enjoying life. Lots of brittle dialogue, mainly from motormouth blasphemer Buck Mull...more
Buried within Joyce's verbosity is something similar to a pl...more
well, i may be in the minority when i say i didn't care for this book at all. i get that it's a complex book with innumerable references to greek mythology, heavy allegories, dense poetry wacky structures, and...more
ketchupy burger you're having for dinner. You're not enjoying it.
But then you read the label more closely and realize that although it tastes just like a fine burgund...more
Are you ready for it? Are you sure? Okay, well here it is!!
I finished Ulysses! It took Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay 7 weeks to climb to the top of Mt. Everest. It took me 5 weeks to conquer Mt. Ulysses. After I finished, I threw the book on the table, ran out the door, down Kelly Drive, through the art museum circle, ran up the stairs, started punching at the air and raised my fists in victory!! And the world reJoyced!
Okay, so I didn’t really do...more
This review is my attempt to reclaim Ulysses from the academics. My edition was a simple paperback without notes or glossary but containing a preface which I intend to read after I've written my review. I'll probably look at other reviews too, as frankly, I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms from the world of this novel.
The word 'novel' seems inappropriate to describe Ulysses but at the same time, the word might have been invented specifically to describe it. Everything abou...more
*this review has a lot of swearing in it and for that I apologize. drinking requires apologies*
I have about thirty pages, front and back, of notes on this book, I swear. My intentions for the review were epic in proportion: multiple Ian-Graye style headings, a dissertation level of analysis, and a wealth of puns scattered throughout.
But of course, books leave their impact in complex and frustrating ways and initially, any semblance of a review was far too intimidating....more
So this is the very first time I have read Ulysses to its completion. I tried once as a pockmarked adolescent and quit in the chapter composed almost...more
“Ulysses” is a snapshot of one day’s life, with us watching from our couch as if we were watching the Simpsons.
Its meaning is a creative joint venture between author and reader and, equally likely, other readers.
Bloom sees sex as procreation and a continuation of himself, his journey, his culture, his legacy into the future.
Ultimately, "Ulysses" is Joyce's gift to his wife, Nora, the mother of his son (Ge...more
1. Reading this so late, so long after its lessons have been absorbed and modified and abandoned and resurrected (see Will Self's Umbrella), I can't imagine what it was like for a first-time reader in 1922-23. For those who both loved and hated it, it must have been a hydrogen bomb of a book. The classicists must have been fit for tying. The hubris of rewriting Homer. The classicists must have been apoplectic!
2. In the Hades/Graveyard section (6), Leopold Bloom considers the enormity of de...more
“You should approach Joyce's Ulysses as the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.”
Joyce considered writing a hard work and not just a means of expression. You can compare the complexity of his work to that sought by the architects, in the structures of cathedrals. But an author, some people may say, can not and should not write exclusively for the world of artists, but must base its work solidly in reality. And it's exactly what Joyce wanted to do,...more
And nonetheless, I did read it, and I feel the need to mark that...more
Now, just hold on a moment. Before you jump all ov...more
THE REVIEWER: Now here's a significant quote.
"My methods are new and are causing surprise
To make the blind see I throw dust in their eyes."
STANISLAW LEM: Mogę to rozwinąć.
MICHAEL KANDEL: I can give you more details on that.
(No one pays them any attention)
The rest of this...more
Joyce first tried shopping the colossal Ulysses manuscript around Paris in 1920, but was turned down by nearly everybody. Then 1922 came along and an adventurous young entrepreneur named Sylvia Beach--who owned a little bookshop called Shakespeare and Co., which attracted the likes of young Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald and even our anti-Semitic poet-at-large, Ezra Pound--managed to have it published by taki...more
Is this seat taken? I’ve only just arrived. No, third time, truly. First was in my early twenties. Over there I can see my old plate of good intentions piled high, barely touched. On that other table marked Centennial I spy my second visit. A single bite worth fifty pages missing from the entrée; mossy, ten years gone. This time, I stay.
Lovers of lit orbit like satellites of a dark and inscrutable planet. If we lift our gaze to the borders we can see them peering into this celebration. Intimidat...more
Why I enjoyed this book so much is because I'm a lover of words and of the English language in general, and this book used such a wide variety of words. I don't think I even under...more
1. It wasn't just a bunch of victorian prissy hyperbole, it really is pornographic.
2. It's about an ad man.
3. It was only hard to read for the first 100 pages.
4. It is NOT about a man just walking across Dublin. Why does everyone always tell me that? What a bad description!
Yes, I am a horrible person. This book damaged my self-esteem. Sally Kellerman sat and read Ulysses to me. If anyone tells you how ‘marvelous’, ‘daring’ or ‘revolutionary’ this book is just throttle them with a stick because they’re stupid ponces. Bloody unreadable. Joyce was naturally on the list. What a waste of time and effort. He did not deserve to earn a penny for writing this cryptic, abstruse, impenetrable monstrosity. I found my short interactio...more
If you’re one of those technologically hobbled types who doesn’t yet have a time machine, I highly recommend one. I also suggest spending the extra to get the “place” setting. Then you could do like I did and put yourself in a pub in Dublin in 1904. Last night, after transporting myself in space and time, I sidled up to a loquacious young fellow who seemed, at times, either drunk or crazy, but even as he rambled he was preternaturally well-spoken. He was at his coherent bes...more
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James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of s...more