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Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses (1922)

by James Joyce

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,387268132 (4.04)4 / 1357
Presents a recording of the novel which describes the adventures and exploits of Leopold Bloom as he wanders through Dublin on a single day, June 16, 1904. Set within the context of Homer's Odyssey, Joyce uses stream of consciousness as a literary device to illuminate the internal thoughts of Bloom, his wife, Molly, and other assorted characters.… (more)
  1. 281
    The Odyssey by Homer (_eskarina, chrisharpe)
    _eskarina: Joyce himself recommended Homer's epos to get better insight and understanding of Ulysses.
  2. 190
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (ZenMaintenance)
  3. 91
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (browner56)
    browner56: You will either love them both or hate them both, but you will probably need a reader's guide to get through either one--I know I did.
  4. 70
    The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil (roby72)
  5. 105
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (ateolf)
  6. 40
    The Bloomsday Book by Harry Blamires (bokai)
    bokai: The Bloomsday Book is a book length summary of James Joyce's Ulysses. It informs the reader of the general plot, of particular references in Ulysses to events in other books (most usually Dubliners)and includes a minimum of commentary, usually focusing on the religious aspects of the novel. For someone reading Ulysses with a limited knowledge of Joyce, Ireland, or Catholicism, this book may be the deciding factor in their enjoyment of the novel itself.… (more)
  7. 51
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (roby72)
  8. 41
    Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin (rrmmff2000)
    rrmmff2000: Both books of a man in a city, celebrating human life in all its variety, and revelling in language.
  9. 52
    The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  10. 31
    To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (ateolf)
  11. 31
    Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach (andejons)
    andejons: For those who want to read about how the book was published (and other details about Joyce's life in Paris)
  12. 10
    J R by William Gaddis (chrisharpe)
  13. 10
    Omeros by Derek Walcott (TheLittlePhrase)
  14. 10
    The most dangerous book: the battle for James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: The (Non-fiction) story behind the novel's publication and its struggles with censorship.
  15. 10
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Othemts)
  16. 10
    James Joyce: Portrait of a Dubliner by Alfonso Zapico (drasvola)
    drasvola: This book is a graphic narration of Joyce's life. It's in Spanish. Very well done and informative about Joyce's troubled relation with society, his work and family relationships.
  17. 10
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
  18. 00
    La Medusa by Vanessa Place (fuguette)
    fuguette: Place's work is a free-form experiment tracking the depraved, obsessive, unfiltered thoughts of her characters.
  19. 11
    Modernism: The Lure of Heresy by Peter Gay (charlie68, charlie68)
    charlie68: Book has section on Modernism in literature that includes a section on Ulysses.
    charlie68: A section deals in criticism of James Joyce and specifically Ulysses.
  20. 11
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (chwiggy)

(see all 30 recommendations)

1920s (12)
Europe (145)
Books (59)

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English (242)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (4)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
“Grant me, Lord, the courage and the joy / I need to scale the summit of this day”, wrote Jorge Luis Borges of Ulysses.[1] Both are needed, courage and joy, since the most challenging works of literature should be enjoyable in their difficulty. When it comes to Joyce’s great work, a colossus among the colossi, it’s quite impossible to write about the reading experience succinctly, to the point, and well. I’m trying, though.

In the words of Jeri Johnson in her excellent Introduction to the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Ulysses, “Joyce’s Book has so colonized twentieth-century Anglophone culture that we can never now enter it for the first time,” [2] also that “Jennifer Levine suggests imagining that this book is called Hamlet to ‘regain a sense of it as a text brought into deliberate collision with a powerful predecessor’.” [3]

Indeed, it’s rather impossible to just rush into the work headlong without the foreboding sensation that one is about to embark on a journey that’s difficult and full of so many intertextual riddles that there are several volumes that simply trace all the references. But this is not how I’ve enjoyed reading Joyce. I think the need to find out specific meanings and references will come later, but for me the best way to exprience the work has been to discard all theories, annotations and commentaries. Their turn will come later, if at all. At some points I wholly forgot the Greek Ulysses aspect of it altogether, not a bad thing at the slightest. Because, truth be told, this is a massively entertaining book. Funny and witty. Yes, at times quite challenging, but isn’t all of literature? It’s our investment that makes things the way they are, most of the time.

So, without delving too deeply into the abyss of literary criticism, I can only say that reading Joyce without any commentary than one’s own is extremely gratifying. I have the beautiful Orchises edition – it’s a facsimile edition of the first edition, and it’s among the most beautiful books I own. It’s nice to read, and unobtrusive.

Is it a difficult novel, then? I think we will all be better off when we realize that such questions, ultimately, serve no great purpose. If the answer is “yes”, does it really dilute one’s yearning to read it? Does it strengthen it? And should it? If the answer is “no”, what difference does it make? For me, parts of it are more demanding than others, yet when I eventually revisit it, they might not be. “See for yourself” is my friendly advice, and, above all, decide for yourself. But if there is anything I’m more certain of saying in terms of Joyce’s work, it is to echo the wonderful and oft-quoted sentiment by Jorge Luis Borges that it is “rereading, not reading” what counts. Let’s forget for a moment the hype and the fixation on difficulty, and instead try to read books like they were great friends: not only worthy of attention but so close to us that they know us better than we might think.

I like reading Ulysses, but equally I love listening to it. There is something about Joyce’s language and his way of expressing things that lends beautifully to oral performance. His words float, soar and swerve, and I think we are incredibly lucky to have an audiobook of the work that is without equal. The version I refer to is the one released by Naxos in 2008. Narrated by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, it is an unabridged recording (27 hours and 21 minutes) that has not only been expertly read, it’s actually recorded and mixed wonderfully, and it’s amongst the best audiobooks I’ve ever encountered.

Also, the [b:Complete Poems and Selected Letters|75493|Complete Poems and Selected Letters|Hart Crane|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1309200646l/75493._SY75_.jpg|24498213] of Hart Crane's complete poetry and selected letters has, in his correspondence with a friend, a fascinating contemporary perspective on the Ulysses ban in the United States, and how the book was ultimately successfully smuggled from Paris.


[1] Jorge Luis Borges, James Joyce in In Praise of Darkness (1969), collected in The Sonnets (Penguin Books, 2010), p. 125.

[2] Jeri Johnson, Introduction, in James Joyce: Ulysses (Oxford University Press, 1993), p. x.

[3] ibid., xi. Johnson quotes from Levine’s essay Ulysses, in Derek Attridge, ed., The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce (Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 131–32.

23 February,
2o14 ( )
  Thay1234 | May 27, 2020 |
823.912 JOY
  alessandragg | Apr 16, 2020 |
Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction...

"An international team of scholars....corrects almost 5,000 omissions, transpositions and other errors included in previous editions of the seminal 20th-century novel....James Joyce estate, took seven years to complete the new edition - the same length of time it took Joyce to write his...manuscript...Their project was aided by a grant of about $300,000..." -NYT

As of 2019 the back story discrepancy and many others haven't been addressed...most of those upon earth, will mislead you: http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/ 🕐🕑🕒🕓🕔🕕🕖🕗🕘🕙🕚🕛
  AAAO | Nov 15, 2019 |
Never again ( )
  alexrichman | Oct 16, 2019 |
6stars? 100? My favorite book? Kinda. The book I've read the most? Definitely. This is a book you can read 10, 20 times and get something new out of it each time. There are dozens of books written about this book, and they add something too, but the thing itself is (really) thoroughly enjoyable. Still shocking in form after all these years, this is as good as a novel can be. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
For readers to whom books are an important means of learning about life, it stands preeminent above modern rivals as one of the most monumental works of the human intelligence.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jan 29, 1934)
During the one exciting day in Dublin, Joyce turns the mind of Bloom inside out. The history of Ireland comes to us in refracted rays. Through Stephen Dedalus we are introduced to Joyce's own profound spiritual uneasiness, his sense of loss, his hatred of the pragmatic commercial ethic, his need for the moorings and soundings of the medieval Catholic synthesis, his mental honesty that won't permit him to accept a religion, no matter what its appeal, so long as his intelligence tells him it is a figment of dream.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, John Chamberlain (pay site) (Jan 25, 1934)

» Add other authors (227 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joyce, Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Erns, Morris L.Forewordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andersson, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berkel, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bindervoet, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandt, MatthiasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buhlert, KlausDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claes, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clever, EdithNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Angelis, GiulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutschmann, HeikkoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dewey, Kenneth FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellmann, RichardPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, Morris L.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabler, Hans WalterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hülsmann, IngoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henkes, Robbert-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, JeriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kenner, HughIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klaußner, BurghartNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, WolframNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kogge, ImogenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehto, LeeviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mallafrè, JoaquimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matic, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthes, UlrichNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melchior, ClausEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milberg, AxelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noethen, UlrichNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nys, MonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rois, SophieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikoski, PenttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Samel, UdoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schüttauf, JörgNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steppe, WolfhardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tellegen, ToonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thalbach, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, CedricIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wollschläger, HansÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolsey, John M.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zischler, HannsNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
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Haiku summary
Grad student door stop.
Tree that I would never see
One hand clapping ‘yes’.

Legacy Library: James Joyce

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182806, 0141197412


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