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The House of Ulysses

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3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Julián Ríos's latest comic extravaganza is at once a serious literary excavation and a lecture as delivered by Groucho Marx on the subject of that great (and often imposing) cornerstone of world literature: James Joyce's Ulysses. Every book is born out of an earlier book (or books), and much as Joyce's novel unraveled Homer scene by scene, Ríos's The House of Ulysses retur ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 2003)
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MJ Nicholls
Aug 26, 2014 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
Ríos’s soi-distant novel reads as if Harry Blamires’s indispensable Bloomsday Book had mated with a trendy Spanish pomowerk. A professor and three students (A, B, and C) discuss Ulysses in chapter-by-chapter college-course breakdown form, punning along the way with merriment and imitating each of the stylistic quirks that makes Joyce’s novel such a pleasure to disappear into. Ríos seems more interested in trivia and scholarship than the fiction-making mischief as incorrectly described on the blu ...more
James Murphy
Aug 08, 2014 James Murphy rated it really liked it
Is it a novel? The House of Ulysses is labeled a novel on the cover and title page of my edition. I'm not sure it is, though. There's little story except that of the Joyce novel itself. The only narrative movement is that which follows the course of the novel famously paralleling the Odyssey. There are characters: a professor named Ludwig Jones, a mysterious Macintosh man who seems to correspond to the mystery man of Dublin on that first Bloomsday, except this one carries a Macintosh computer, a ...more
Jonfaith
Dec 18, 2012 Jonfaith rated it liked it
Sr. Rios provides good work, but the consumer should ask about specifics before the Spaniard takes to task. In fact, get it in writing. House of Ulysses isn't novel at all. There is a single flourish where Rios upends the Nausicaa episode and conveys the images from a reverse angle. Otherwise the tome is an analysis of Joyce's novel, overflowing with puns and free associations. While amusing, House of Ulysses isn't really an object of focus.
Mike
Mar 27, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
In the back cover copy, The House of Ulysses claims to provide "a playful, punning, ideal companion for the experienced Joycean and cautious procrastinator alike." I have to respectfully disagree with the copyeditor at Dalkey Archive Press and suggest that you really won't get anything out of this book without having read Joyce's masterpiece first—even if you only really picked up 38% of it the first time through like I probably did. I expected Ríos's book to be more of its own unique novel, but ...more
Jim
May 16, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland
In "The House of Ulysses," translated by Nick Caistor (Dalkey Archive: 280 pp., $14.95 paper), Spanish novelist Julián Ríos offers a guide that endeavors to entertain rather than educate. In an interview published in the literary magazine Context, he describes "The House of Ulysses" as "a fiction-essay or kind of meta-novel."

Ríos' main character, referred to as the Cicerone, a guide, leads a group of visitors through the book's 18 chambers, one for each chapter of "Ulysses." Dressed "in rigorous
...more
Heather
I like how this book starts, the way the first sentence takes you immediately into a place of questions or uncertainty or play: "Step inside and take a look, or perhaps he said a book, sweeping his magic wand in a semicircle in front of him" (3). The story is structured as a walk through a museum about James Joyce, or maybe it's a whole museum just about Joyce's Ulysses. We move through the museum—and Joyce's work—along with our narrator and the tour group he's part of: the bow-tied museum guide ...more
Victoria
Mar 13, 2012 Victoria rated it really liked it
Is it a novel? It doesn't matter: it's a lot of fun for Joyce readers -- familiarity with, at least a reading of, his Ulysses necessary. In case that occurred some time ago, The Man with the Mac(intosh computer) is on hand, nerdishly silent but pulling up the schemata of the book as we enter each room/chapter.

But it's not an analysis of Ulysses and those who consider themselves deeply into that magnificent work of Joyce's shouldn't expect to get new ideas for or against any views they may hold -
...more
Jacob
Jan 01, 2011 Jacob rated it liked it
I'd like to think that there's more to Ulysses than insufferable puns and self-contained correspondences, but I suppose I could be wrong.
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Julián Ríos (born Vigo, Galicia, 1941) is a Spanish writer, most frequently classified as a postmodernist, whom Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes has called "the most inventive and creative" of Spanish-language writers. His first two books were written à deux with Octavio Paz.

His best known work, experimental and heavily influenced by the verbal inventiveness of James Joyce, was published in 1983 un
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