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Ulysses – James Joyce

Ulysses – Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety in Paris by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, Joyce’s 40th birthday. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature[1] and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”.[2] According to Declan Kiberd, “Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking”.[3]

Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904.[4][5] Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s epic poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between the poem and the novel, with structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early 20th century context of modernism, Dublin, and Ireland’s relationship to Britain. The novel is highly allusive and also imitates the styles of different periods of English literature.

Since publication, the book has attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from the 1921 obscenity trial in America 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 characterisation and broad humour, have led it to be regarded as one of the greatest literary works. Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.

Editorial Reviews

James Joyce [1882-1941] is best known for his experimental use of language and his exploration of new literary methods. His subtle yet frank portrayal of human nature, coupled with his mastery of language, made him one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century.Joyce s use of stream-of-consciousness reveals the flow of impressions, half thoughts, associations, hesitations, impulses, as well as the rational thoughts of his characters. The main strength of his masterpiece novel, Ulysses” (1922) lies in the depth of character portrayed using this technique. Joyce s other major works include Dubliners”, a collection of short stories that portray his native city, a semi-autobiographical novel called A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man” (1916), and Finnegan s Wake” (1939).

About the Author

James Joyce [1882-1941] is best known for his experimental use of language and his exploration of new literary methods. His subtle yet frank portrayal of human nature, coupled with his mastery of language, made him one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century.Joyce s use of stream-of-consciousness reveals the flow of impressions, half thoughts, associations, hesitations, impulses, as well as the rational thoughts of his characters. The main strength of his masterpiece novel, Ulysses” (1922) lies in the depth of character portrayed using this technique. Joyce s other major works include Dubliners”, a collection of short stories that portray his native city, a semi-autobiographical novel called A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man” (1916), and Finnegan s Wake” (1939).

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