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Personal Challenges > Tomás's "Oddysey to Ulysses" Challenge

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message 1: by Tomás (new) - added it

Tomás | 8 comments Hi! This is my first reading challenge dedicated specifically to 'enhance' my experience with a particular book... I'd really like to just grab Ulysses , James Joyce's masterpiece and a really famous one.

So, I've been gathering some information on this one, to find out that Joyce loves to quote/mock/play with other famous works (hence the title); some people suggested to me that I must read the following ones first, if I want to experience Ulysses as much as I can.

I guess it's a mini challenge, but a challenge nonetheless, so here's the full list (so far):
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Dubliners
The Divine Comedy
Hamlet
The Odyssey

Just to tackle the final boss:
Ulysses

What do you think? Am I missing any important book referenced in Ulysses? Is anyone of the listed above not really relevant?


message 2: by Antonomasia (last edited Oct 15, 2020 05:08AM) (new) - added it

Antonomasia | 67 comments Hi, I've been mulling over whether to read The Canterbury Tales first but looking at your list (I've now finished all of them bar Dubliners, even if some of them were 15-20 years later than I once thought I would read them) I think I should just get on with it as soon as the time is right.

But beyond the Odyssey and the two shorter Joyce works, having recently looked at Weldon Thornton's work on Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated List, there's really so much referenced that if you're going to be reading stuff specifically in preparation for Ulysses, and you really want to read Ulysses, you would be at it for years.

That stuff is available as papers on Jstor, not just in a book e.g.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25486416
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25486427
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25486440
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25486455

https://www.jstor.org/stable/25487193

You will see that there are plenty of other Shakespeare plays mentioned besides Hamlet.

If you are young, I would say get on and read Ulysses after those three (Odyssey, Portrait, Dubliners) if you are raring to read it, on the assumption you can re-read it later anyway. It will be good to have Ulysses under your belt; you will probably feel like you can read just about anything in English after that. You can then go back to it years later when you have read more.

(I was going to do that when I was a teenager but I gave up in the section about the newspaper office because I had lost track of who some characters were, which wasn't an experience I'd had with any other book before. This was pre-internet so there wasn't all the background info available there is now.)


message 3: by Philina (new)

Philina | 1562 comments Sounds like a great challenge, Tomás!


message 4: by Tomás (new) - added it

Tomás | 8 comments Philina wrote: "Sounds like a great challenge, Tomás!"

Thanks! Hope it's worth it :P

Antonomasia wrote: "Hi, I've been mulling over whether to read The Canterbury Tales first but looking at your list (I've now finished all of them bar Dubliners, even if some of them were 15-20 years later than I once ..."

Thanks a lot! Those links are really helpful; I'll check them out and update on future progress, hopefully soon!


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