is a novel
by James Joyce
, first serialized in
parts in the American journal The
from March 1918 to December 1920, then
published in its entirety by Sylvia
on February 2, 1922, in Paris. One of the most important
works of Modernist literature
it has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire
Ulysses chronicles the passage of
Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an
ordinary day, June 16, 1904.
The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus
), the hero of Homer
(e.g., the correspondences
between Leopold Bloom
, and Stephen
). Joyce fans
worldwide now celebrate June 16 as Bloomsday
totals about 265,000 words from a vocabulary of
30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb
tenses), divided into 18 "episodes". Since publication, the book
attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from early obscenity
trials to protracted textual "Joyce Wars." Ulysses'
technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of
, as well as its rich characterisations
and broad humour, made
the book a highly regarded novel in the Modernist
pantheon. In 1999, the Modern Library
on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th
Joyce first encountered Odysseus in Charles Lamb
's Adventures of
- an adaptation of the Odyssey for children, which
seemed to establish the Roman name in Joyce's mind. At school he
wrote an essay on Ulysses as his 'favourite hero'. Joyce told
that he considered Ulysses
the only all-round character in literature. He thought about
by the name
Ulysses in Dublin
, but the idea grew from a story in
in 1906, to a 'short book' in 1907, to the vast
novel which he began writing in 1914.
Joyce divided Ulysses
into eighteen chapters or
"episodes". At first glance much of the book may appear
unstructured and chaotic; Joyce once said that he had "put in so
many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for
centuries arguing over what I meant", which would earn the novel
"immortality". The two schemata which Stuart Gilbert
and Herbert Gorman released
after publication to defend Joyce from the obscenity accusations
made the links to the Odyssey
clear, and also explained the work's internal structure.
Every episode of Ulysses
has a theme, technique, and
correspondences between its characters and those of the
. The original text did not include these episode
titles and the correspondences; instead, they originate from the
schema. Joyce referred to
the episodes by their Homeric titles in his letters. He took the
titles from Victor Bérard
two-volume Les Phéniciens et l’Odyssée
which he consulted
in 1918 in the Zentralbibliothek of
. Bérard's book served as the source of Joyce's
idiosyncratic rendering of some of the Homeric titles: 'Nausikaa',
Part I: The Telemachiad
It is 8 a.m. on the morning of 16 June 1904 (the day Joyce first
formally started courting Nora
). Buck Mulligan (a
callous, verbally aggressive and boisterous medical student) calls
Stephen Dedalus (a young writer
first encountered in A Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man) up to the roof of the Martello tower, Sandycove, overlooking Dublin bay.
Stephen does not respond to Mulligan's aggressive and intrusive
jokes. Stephen is focused on, and initially
disdainful toward Haines (a nondescript, anti-Semitic Englishman
from Oxford), whom
Buck Mulligan invited around.
Stephen's annoyance stems from the intrusion, as he was disturbed
the previous night by Haines ranting in his sleep.
Mulligan and Dedalus proceed to look out over the sea, and Stephen
is reminded of his deceased mother, for whom he is visibly still in
mourning. This, and Stephen's refusal to pray at his mother's
deathbed, remains an issue of some contention between the two.
Stephen reveals that he once overheard Buck referring to his mother
as "beastly dead." When faced with this, Buck makes a brief attempt
to defend himself, but gives up shortly. He shaves and prepares
breakfast, then all three eat. Buck then departs, and sings to
himself, unknowingly, the song that Stephen once sang to his dying
Later, Haines and Stephen walk down to the water, where Buck and
his companions are swimming. We here learn that Buck has an absent friend
from Westmeath who has a yet-unnamed girlfriend.
declares his intention to depart, and Buck demands the house key
and to be lent money. Departing, Stephen declares that he will not
return to the tower tonight, citing Buck as a "Usurper
Stephen is teaching a history class on the victories of Pyrrhus of Epirus
. The class is visibly
bored, unconcerned with the subject and not disciplined. Before
seeing the boys out of the classroom, Stephen tells the students a
cryptic and impenetrable riddle about a fox burying his grandmother
under a bush, which falls flat. One student, Sargent, stays behind
so that Stephen can show him how to do a set of arithmetic
exercises. Stephen indulges him, but looks at the aesthetically
unappealing Sargent and tries to imagine Sargent's mother's love
for him. Afterwards, Stephen visits the anti-Semitic school
headmaster, Mr. Deasy
, from whom he collects
his pay and a letter to take to a newspaper office for printing.
lectures Stephen on the satisfaction of
money earned and the importance of efficient money management. This
scene is the source of some of the novel's most famous lines, such
as Dedalus's claim that "history is a nightmare from which I am
trying to awake" and that God
is "a shout in the
street." He rejects Deasy's biased recollection of past events,
which he uses to justify his prejudices. At the end of this
makes another incendiary remark
against the Jews
, stating that Ireland has
never extensively persecuted the Jews
they were never let in to the country.
In this chapter, characterized by its stream of
narrative style, the action is presented to the
reader through the prism of Stephen's interior monologue.
his way to Sandymount
Strand and mopes around for some time, mulling various
philosophical concepts, his family, his life as a student in Paris,
and again, his mother's death.
As Stephen reminisces and
ponders, he lies down among some rocks, watches a couple and a dog,
writes some poetry ideas, picks his nose, and urinates behind a
Part II: The Odyssey
The narrative shifts abruptly. The time is again 8 a.m., but the
action has moved across the city to Eccles
and to the second protagonist of the book, Leopold Bloom
, a part-Jewish
advertising canvasser. Bloom lives at No. 7
Eccles Street and is preparing breakfast at the same time as
Mulligan in the tower. He walks to a butcher to purchase a pork
kidney for his breakfast and returns to finish his cooking. He
brings breakfast and the mail to his wife Molly
, whose given name is Marion. He reads his
own letter from their daughter, Milly
The chapter closes with his plodding to the outhouse and defecating
Bloom now begins his day proper, furtively making his way to a post
office (by an intentionally indirect route), where he receives a
love letter from one 'Martha Clifford' addressed to his pseudonym,
'Henry Flower'. He buys a newspaper and meets an acquaintance, C.
P. M'Coy; while they chat, Bloom attempts to ogle a woman wearing
stockings, but is prevented by a passing tram. Next, he reads the
letter and tears up the envelope in an alley. He makes his exit via
a Catholic church service and thinks about what is going on inside
it. He goes to a chemist, then meets another acquaintance, Bantam
Lyons, to whom he unintentionally gives a racing tip for the horse
Throwaway. Finally, Bloom visits the baths to wash for the rest of
Episode 6, Hades
The episode begins with Bloom entering a funeral carriage with
three others, including Stephen's father Simon Dedalus
. They make their way to Paddy Dignam
's funeral, passing Stephen and
making small talk on the way. Bloom scans his newspaper. There is
discussion of various deaths, forms of death, and the tram-line
before arriving and getting out. They enter the chapel into the
service and subsequently leave with the coffin cart. Bloom sees a
mysterious man wearing a mackintosh
during the burial and reflects upon various subjects. Leaving, he
points out a dent in a friend's hat.
At the newspaper office, Bloom attempts to place an ad, while
Stephen arrives bringing Deasy's letter about 'foot and mouth'
disease. The two do not meet. Bloom notices a worker typesetting an
article in backwards print, and this reminds him of his father
reading the Haggadah of Pesach
(written in Hebrew, read from right to left). The episode is broken
up into short sections by newspaper-style headlines, and is
characterized by a deliberate abundance of rhetorical figures and
appears in this
Most of this episode is Bloom's stream-of-consciousness as walks
down the street, hungry, his thoughts peppered with allusions to
food. During his walk, Bloom meets a former girlfriend, Josie
Breen. Her husband, Mr. Breen, received an anonymous postcard in
the morning, with "u.p.: up" written on it. Mr. Breen is
subsequently attempting to respond with legal action.
Bloom then enters Burton's restaurant. Repulsed by the sight of
people eating like animals, he makes a hasty exit heading instead
to Davy Byrne's. Inside, Bloom is greeted by Nosey Flynn. Bloom
consumes a gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of burgundy. When
Bloom leaves the restaurant, Nosey Flynn talks to other patrons
about Bloom's character.
Bloom goes to the National Museum
look at the statue of Venus, and, in particular, her bottom. Bloom
suddenly spots Boylan across the street. Panicked, he sharply turns
into the gates of the National
At the National Library, Stephen explains to various scholars his
biographical theory of the works of Shakespeare
, especially Hamlet
, which he claims are based largely on the
posited adultery of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway
enters the National Library
up the Keyes ad. He only encounters Stephen briefly and unknowingly
at the end of the episode. Buck Mulligan does see Bloom, however,
and jokingly warns Stephen of Bloom's possible homosexuality.
In this episode, nineteen short vignettes depict the wanderings of
various characters, major and minor, through the streets of Dublin.
The chapter ends with an account of the cavalcade of the Lord
Humble, Earl of Dudley
, through the streets, where it is
encountered by the various characters we have met in the episode.
Neither Stephen nor Bloom sees the Viceroy's procession.
This chapter is unique in that it draws Homeric parallels to an
incident that is described third-hand in the Odyssey.
is to say, the Wandering Rocks are spoken about in the
but never experienced by its protagonist,
Odysseus. This is perhaps why Joyce disembodies the narrative from
the three main characters.
Episode 11, The Sirens
In this episode, dominated by motifs of music, Bloom has dinner
with Stephen's uncle Richie Goulding
at the Ormond Hotel
Molly's lover, Blazes Boylan
to his rendezvous with her. While dining, Bloom watches the
seductive barmaids Lydia Douce
and listens to the singing
of Simon Dedalus and others.
Episode 12, The Cyclops
This chapter is narrated largely by an unnamed denizen of Dublin,
although his style of speech is heavily modelled on John Joyce
, Joyce's father. He runs into Hynes
and they enter a pub for a drink. At the pub,
they meet Alf Bergan
and a character
referred to only as the 'Citizen', who is largely modeled on
, founder of the
. Eventually, Leopold Bloom enters waiting to meet
Martin Cunningham. The citizen is discovered to be a fierce
and begins berating Bloom. The
atmosphere quickly becomes anti-Semitic and Bloom escapes upon
Cunningham's arrival. The chapter is marked by extended digressions
made outside the voice of the unnamed narrator: hyperboles of legal
jargon, Biblical passages, Irish mythology, etc., with lists of
names often extending half a page. The episode title
refers both to the narrator, who is often quoted
with 'says I', and to the Citizen, who fails to see the folly of
his narrow-minded thinking.
Three young women, Cissy Caffrey, Edy Boardman, and Gerty
MacDowell, have come to the strand to watch a display of fireworks.
The chapter opens by following Gerty's stream of consciousness as
she daydreams of finding someone to love her. Eventually, Bloom
appears and they begin to flirt from a distance. The girls are
about to leave when the fireworks start. Cissy and Edy leave to get
a better view, but Gerty remains. Bloom has made his way to the
rocks of Sandymount Strand where he encounters the young beauty.
Bloom becomes the romantic stranger to Gerty by watching her from a
distance. She sees Bloom's troubled face and ponders over what
terrible thing may have cast him out upon this rocky shore. It is
here that Gerty becomes like the Virgin Mary, the beacon "to the
storm-tossed heart of man" (346). Her romantic notions of marriage
and passion become more abundant as she views Bloom.
Gerty becomes anxious for her friends to leave and inquires of the
time as a subtle hint that they should be getting on their way. One
of the girls approaches Bloom, asking for the time. Bloom discovers
that his watch has stopped at half past four. Later the reader
discovers that this is probably the time at which Bloom's wife,
Molly, was committing adultery with Blazes Boylan. Bloom does not
strike up a conversation with the girl but rather keeps his focus
on Gerty who is now fully aware of her admirer. The girls decide
that it is late and begin to leave. As they are packing up the
children's things, Gerty begins to entice the stranger through the
exploitation of her body.
At about this time the benediction at the church has drawn to a
close and fireworks are set off. Everyone runs to see the fireworks
except for Gerty and Bloom. Gerty, filled with passion, is enticed
by the fireworks as she tilts her body backwards to see. As she
moves back on the rocks she deliberately exposes herself fully to
Bloom. At this moment a long Roman candle is shot off into the air.
Gerty sees the long rocket as it goes "higher and higher" (Joyce
366) and leans back even further, exposing even more to Bloom.
Gerty's sexual excitement grows as she is "trembling in every limb"
(Joyce 366). The imagery of the long rocket corresponds with
Bloom's manhood as he is masturbating to Gerty's display in time
with the rocket. Finally the two reach their climax as the Roman
candle explodes in the air and from it gushes out "a stream of rain
gold hair threads" (Joyce 367).
Gerty then leaves, revealing herself to be lame, and leaving Bloom
meditating on the beach. Gerty's display of her body is inset with
allusions to the Benediction of the Blessed
taking place across the street from the strand in a
Catholic church. This is usually read as Joyce's playful punning on
the ceremonial display of the 'Body of Christ' in the form of the
Host coupled with Gerty's displaying her own body to Bloom (who is
clearly acting out his own version of an Adoration
). Gerty's final
revelation of being 'lame' is also read as Joyce's opinion of the
state of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Ireland. The
first half of the episode is marked by an excessively sentimental
style, and it is unclear how much of Gerty's monologue is actually
imagined by Bloom.
Bloom visits the maternity hospital where Mina Purefoy
is giving birth, and finally meets
Stephen, who is drinking with Buck Mulligan and his medical student
friends. They continue on to a pub to continue drinking, following
the successful birth of the baby. This chapter is remarkable for
Joyce's wordplay, which seems to recapitulate the entire history of
the English language to describe a scene in an obstetrics
hospital, from the Carmen Arvale
- Deshil Holles Eamus. Deshil Holles Eamus.
Deshil Holles Eamus.
to something resembling alliterative Anglo-Saxon
- In ward wary the watcher hearing come that man mildhearted
eft rising with swire ywimpled to him her gate wide undid.
Lo, levin leaping lightens in eyeblink Ireland's westward
welkin. Full she dread that God the Wreaker all mankind
would fordo with water for his evil sins. Christ's rood
made she on breastbone and him drew that he would rathe infare
under her thatch. That man her will wotting worthful went
in Horne's house.
and on through skillful parodies of, among others, Malory
, the King
, before concluding in a
haze of nearly incomprehensible slang, bringing to mind American
English employed in advertising. Indeed, Joyce organized this
chapter as three sections divided into nine total subsections,
representing the trimesters and months of gestation.
This extremely complex chapter can be further broken down
structurally. It consists of sixty paragraphs. The first ten
paragraphs are parodies of Latin
and Anglo-Saxon language
, the two major
predecessors to the English language, and can be seen as
intercourse and conception. The next forty paragraphs, representing
the 40 weeks of gestation in human embryonic development, begin
with Middle English
move chronologically forward through the various styles mentioned
above. At the end of the fiftieth paragraph, the baby in the
maternity hospital is born, and the final ten paragraphs are the
child, combining all the different forms of slang and street
English that were spoken in Dublin in the early part of the 20th
Episode 15, Circe
Episode Fifteen takes the form of a play script with stage
directions and descriptions, with characters’ names appearing above
their dialogue. The majority of the action of Episode Fifteen
occurs only as drunken hallucinations.
episode opens at Nighttown, which acts as Dublin's red-light
Stephen and Lynch walk toward a brothel. Bloom
attempts to follow Stephen and Lynch to Nighttown, but soon loses
them. Here, the episode's first hallucination begins, in which
Bloom is confronted by family members, such as Molly Bloom
and his parents, and also by
, in regards to
Awakening from this hallucination, Bloom feeds a dog. This act
leads onto another hallucination in which Bloom is questioned by a
pair of Night-Wardens. From here, Bloom then imagines facing trial,
accused of a variety of outlandish crimes, including forgery and
bigamy, possibly alluding to a subconscious guilt over his marital
duplicity. Bloom is accused and testified against by recognisable
figures like Myles Crawford
. Mary Driscoll
states that Bloom made
inappropriate advances towards her when she was under his
employment. Shaking off this fantasy, Bloom is approached by
, a local prostitute
. Zoe tells him Stephen is currently in
the brothel that she works in. Another fantasy ensues, in which
Bloom gives a campaign speech. Attracting the attention and
subsequent admiration of both the Irish
, and is subsequently hailed as
the leader of "Bloomusalem." The hallucination turns more surreal
and unpredictable when Bloom is accused of yet more outlandish
offenses and for having rumoured sexual abnormalities. Bloom is
then declared a woman, and spontaneously gives birth to eight
children. Zoe then reappears, signalling the end of the
hallucination, with only a second having actually passed since she
After Bloom is led inside the brothel and sees Stephen, another
hallucination begins with the arrival of Lipoti Virag
, who lectures Bloom about sexual
attitudes and conduct. Then, the owner of the brothel, Bella Cohen,
appears and soon turns into a male version of herself "Bello," who
proceeds to dominate and humiliate Bloom, who is conversely
referred to in the feminine. In this hallucination, Bloom proceeds
to "die". After his "death" he converses with the nymph
from the picture in the Blooms’ bedroom, who
berates Bloom for his fallibility. Bloom, regaining a degree of
triumphant confidence, stands up to the nymph, questioning her own
Bloom then returns to reality, finding Bella Cohen before him.
Bloom takes his lucky potato from Zoe and Stephen pays for the
services received, in his drunken state, paying far more than
necessary. Seeing this, Bloom confiscates the rest of Stephen's
money. Another hallucination starts, involving Bloom watching
Boylan and Molly fornicate. Returning to consciousness, Bloom finds
Stephen dancing to the pianola. Another hallucination then starts,
this time Stephen's, in which the rotting cadaver of his mother
rises up from the floor to confront him, a manifestation of his own
guilt and lingering uncertainty over his role in his mother's
death. Terrified, Stephen uses his walking stick to smash a
. Bloom quickly repays Bella,
who demands more than is fair for the damage, then runs after
Stephen, worried for his safety.
Bloom quickly finds Stephen engaged in a heated argument, and
Dedalus gets punched and knocked out. The police arrive and the
crowd disperses. Bloom tends on and checks Stephen, as an
apparition of Rudy, Bloom's deceased child, appears, underlining
the parental feelings Leopold has built up toward the younger
In short, this episode is the longest in the novel yet occurs
within a rather short time-frame. Molly's letter from Boylan and
Bloom's from Martha are reworked into a series of seductive letters
ending in a trial. Bloom's sexual infidelities, beginning with
and ending with Gerty
McDowell, are relived and reconciled.
Part III: The Nostos
Bloom and Stephen go to the cabman's shelter to eat. There they
encounter a drunken sailor, as well as Lord John Corley
Bloom returns home with Stephen, who refuses Bloom's offer of a
place to stay for the night. The two men urinate in the backyard
beside the sleeping dog, Stephen departs and wanders off into the
night, and Bloom goes to bed. The episode is written in the form of
a rigidly organized catechism
, and was
reportedly Joyce's favourite episode in the novel.
The final episode, which also uses the stream of consciousness
technique seen in Episode 3, consists of Molly Bloom's Soliloquy:
eight enormous sentences (without punctuation) written from the
viewpoint of Bloom's wife.
The first sentence begins with Molly expressing annoyance and
surprise that Bloom has asked her to serve him breakfast in bed, as
it is he that usually does this for her, (such as in the fourth
episode, Calypso). She then guesses that Bloom has had an orgasm
today, and is reminded of his past possible infidelity with other
women. In turn, she thinks of her afternoon spent with Boylan,
whose conventional and masculine lovemaking technique provided a
welcome change after a decade of celibacy and Bloom's strange
lovemaking techniques. Yet, Molly feels Bloom is more virile than
Boylan and remembers how handsome Bloom was when they were
courting. Reminded of Josie's and the mentally unstable Denis
Breen's marriage, Molly feels that she and Bloom are lucky, despite
the current marital difficulties.
In Molly's second sentence, she reflects upon her previous and
current admirers: Boylan; the tenor Bartell D’Arcy, whom she was
kissed by in a church; Lt. Gardner, who died during the Boer War.
Molly then thinks about her husband's underwear fetish. She then
thinks about seeing Boylan on Monday and their upcoming trip to
Belfast alone. She then thinks of her career: concert singing, and
Bloom's help. Thinking about her future meetings with Boylan, Molly
decides that she must lose weight. She thinks about how Bloom
should quit his advertising job at Freeman and get better paid work
elsewhere, like in an office. But then remembers having to plead
with Mr. Cuffe, a previous employer for Bloom's job back after he
was fired, which was refused.
Moving on to the third sentence, Marion thinks of the time Bloom
suggested she pose naked in exchange for money, and of pornographic
imagery, which she associates with the nymph painting that Bloom
used to explain the concept of metempsychosis earlier this morning.
Her thoughts once again turn to Boylan and of her orgasm
Molly's fourth sentence begins with a train whistle and her
Gibraltar childhood, her companions there, and recollections of how
she had resorted to writing herself letters after they left, out of
boredom and loneliness. Molly then thinks about how Milly sent her
a card this morning, whereas her husband received a whole letter.
She imagines that she may receive another love letter from Boylan,
as she did earlier.
This line of thought leads to the next sentence, in which she
recalls her first love letter, from Lieutenant Mulvey, whom she
kissed under the bridge in Gibraltar. She later lost contact with
him and wonders what he would be like now. Her thoughts turn again
to her career, and she remains dismissive of silly girl singers.
Molly wonders what path her career could have taken had she not
In her sixth sentence, Molly thinks again about Milly and how it
was Bloom's idea to send Milly to Mullingar to learn photography,
because he sensed Molly's and Boylan's impending affair. She feels
that Milly has become as Molly used to be. Molly senses the start
of her period, confirmation that her tryst with Boylan has not
caused a pregnancy. Events of the day spent with Boylan run through
In her seventh sentence, Molly climbs quietly back into bed and
thinks of the times she and Bloom have had to relocate. Their
financial situation makes Molly worry that Leopold may have wasted
money on another woman, or on the Dignam family out of pity. Her
mind then turns to Stephen, whom she met during his childhood. She
predicts that Stephen is probably not stuck-up, and is most likely
clean. Furthermore, she fantasizes about future sexual encounters
with him, including fellatio. Molly resolves to study before
meeting him so he will not look down upon her.
In her eighth sentence, Molly thinks of her husband's strange
habits, how he never embraces her, instead kissing her bottom, as
he did earlier. Molly speculates that the world would be much
improved if it consisted of Matriarchal Societies, run exclusively
by women. She thinks again of Stephen, and of his mother's death,
and that of Rudy's death, she then ends this line of thought as it
is making her depressed. Molly thinks about arousing Bloom in the
morning, then revealing the details of her affair with Boylan to
make him realize his culpability. Molly then decides to procure
some flowers, in case Stephen Dedalus decides to come around.
Thinking of flowers, Molly thinks of the day she and Bloom spent at
Howth, his marriage proposal, and her response, reaffirming her
love for Leopold, even during a period of turbulence within the
The concluding period following the final words of her reverie is
one of only three punctuation marks in the chapter, the others
being after the fourth and eighth "sentences." When written this
episode contained the longest "sentence" in English literature,
4,391 words expressed by Molly Bloom.
Written over a seven-year period from 1914 to 1921, the novel was
in the American
journal The Little Review
from 1918 until the publication of the Nausicaä episode
to a prosecution for obscenity
. In 1919,
sections of the novel also appeared in the London literary journal
, but the
novel itself was banned in the United Kingdom until the 1930s. In
1920 after the US magazine The Little Review
passage of the book dealing with the main character masturbating, a
group called the New York Society
for the Suppression of Vice
, who objected to the book's
content, took action to attempt to keep the book out of the United
States. At a trial in 1921 the magazine was declared obscene and as
a result Ulysses
was banned in the United States. In 1933,
the publisher Random House
import the French edition and have a copy seized by customs when
the ship was unloaded, which it then contested. In United States
v. One Book Called
, U.S. District Judge John M. Woolsey
ruled on December 6, 1933 that the
book was not pornographic and therefore could not be obscene, a
decision that has been called "epoch-making" by Stuart Gilbert
. The Second
Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed the ruling in 1934.
The publication history of Ulysses
is disputed and
obscure. There have been at least eighteen editions, and variations
in different impressions of each edition. Notable editions
include the first edition published in Paris on 2 February 1922 by
Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and
Company (only 1000 copies printed), the pirated Roth
edition, published in New
York in 1929, the Odyssey
Press edition of 1932 (including some revisions generally
attributed to Stuart Gilbert, and therefore sometimes considered
the most accurate edition); the 1934 Random House US edition, the
first English edition of the Bodley Head in 1936, the revised
Bodley Head Edition of 1960, the revised
Random House edition of 1961 (reset from the Bodley Head 1960
edition), and the Gabler critical and synoptic edition of
According to Joyce scholar Jack Dalton
the first edition of Ulysses
contained over two thousand
errors but was still the most accurate edition published. As each
subsequent edition attempted to correct these mistakes, it
incorporated more of its own. Hans
's 1984 edition was the most sustained attempt to
produce a corrected text, but it received much criticism, most
notably from John Kidd
Kidd's main theoretical criticism is of Gabler's choice of a
patchwork of manuscripts as his copy-text
(the base edition with which
the editor compares each variant), but this fault stems from an
assumption of the Anglo-American tradition of scholarly editing
rather than the blend of French and German editorial theories that
actually lay behind Gabler's reasoning. The choice of a multiple
copy-text is seen to be problematic in the eyes of some American
editors, who generally favor the first edition of any particular
work as copy-text. Less subject to differing national editorial
theories, however, is the claim that for hundreds of pages––about
half the episodes of Ulysses
––the extant manuscript is
purported to be a 'fair copy' which Joyce made for sale to a
potential patron. (As it turned out, John Quinn
, the Irish-American
lawyer and collector, purchased the manuscript.) Diluting this
charge somewhat, is the fact that the theory of (now lost) final
working drafts is Gabler's own. For the suspect episodes, the
existing typescript is the last witness. Gabler attempted to
reconstruct what he called 'the continuous manuscript text', which
had never physically existed, by adding together all of Joyce's
accretions from the various sources. This allowed Gabler to produce
a 'synoptic text' indicating the stage at which each addition was
inserted. Kidd and even some of Gabler's own advisers believe this
method meant losing Joyce's final changes in about two thousand
places . Far from being 'continuous', the manuscripts seem to be
opposite. Jerome McGann
detail the editorial principles of Gabler in his article for the
issue 27, 1985. In the wake of the
controversy, still other commentators charged that Gabler's changes
were motivated by a desire to secure a fresh copyright and another
seventy-five years of royalties beyond a looming expiration
In June 1988 John Kidd published 'The Scandal of Ulysses'
in the New York Review of
, charging that not only did Gabler's changes
overturn Joyce's last revisions, but in another four hundred places
Gabler failed to follow any manuscript whatever, making nonsense of
his own premises. Kidd accused Gabler of unnecessarily changing
Joyce's spelling, punctuation, use of accents, and all the small
details he claimed to have been restoring. Instead, Gabler was
actually following printed editions such as that of 1932, not the
manuscripts. More sensationally, Gabler was found to have made
genuine blunders, the most famous being his changing the name of
Dubliner Harry Thrift to 'Shrift' and cricketer Captain Buller to
'Culler' on the basis of handwriting irregularities in the extant
manuscript. (These 'corrections' were undone by Gabler in
In December 1988, Charles Rossman's 'The New Ulysses:
Hidden Controversy' for the New York Review
Gabler's own advisers felt too many changes were being made, but
that the publishers were pushing for as many alterations as
possible. Then Kidd produced a 174-page critique that filled an
entire issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of
, dated the same month. This 'Inquiry into Ulysses: The
Corrected Text' was the next year published in book format and on
floppy disk by Kidd's James Joyce
Research Center at Boston University.
Gabler and others rejected Kidd's critique,
and the scholarly community remains divided. To this day, many
European critics teach the Gabler edition while their counterparts
in the U. S. tend to shy away from it.
In 1990 Gabler's American publisher Random House quietly replaced
the Gabler edition with its 1961 version, and in the United Kingdom
the Bodley Head press revived its 1960 version. In both the UK and
USA, Everyman's Library
republished the 1960 Ulysses
. In 1992 Penguin
dropped Gabler and reprinted the 1960
text. The Gabler version is at present available from Vintage
International. Reprints of the imperfect 1922 first edition are now
widely available, largely due to a temporary (but since revived)
While much ink has been split over the faults and theoretical
underpinnings of the Gabler edition, the much vaunted Kidd edition
has yet to materialize. In 1992 W.W. Norton announced that a Kidd
edition of Ulysses
was about to be published as part of a
series called "The Dublin Edition of the Works of James Joyce."
This book had to be withdrawn, however, when the Joyce estate
objected. The estate has chosen to refuse to authorize any further
editions of Joyce's work for the present but has recently signed a
deal with Wordsworth Editions to bring out a bargain version of the
novel in January 2010, ahead of copyright expiration in 2012.
In 1958, a stage adaptation of the novel, named Ulysses in Nighttown
produced, starring Zero Mostel
. The play
incorporated many of the dialogue-heavy parts of the novel, and
much like it began at the tower in Sandycove and ended with Molly's
soliloquy. It was revived in the 1970s.
In 1967, a film version
of the book
was directed by Joseph Strick
, and was
nominated for an Academy Award
Best Adapted Screenplay.
In 1974, chapter 15 was staged in the Polish Teatr Ateneum
under the name of New
. It was staged again in 1999 in Teatr Narodowy
(National Theater). Both plays
were directed by Jerzy
Bloomsday 1980, The Abbey
Theatre launched a celebrated one-man show
Joycemen by Irish actor Eamon
The show consisted of extracts from Ulysses
ranging from Bloom's breakfast to Molly's soliloquy, and included
as a tour de force
a celebrated version of the rowdy pub
scene in Cyclops
where he played all the characters. The
show opened to acclaim at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin and was
repeated, including global tours, until the late 1980's.
Bloomsday 1982, the Irish National Broadcaster RTÉ aired a full-cast dramatised radio production of
Ulysses, that ran uninterruptedly for 29 hours and 45
minutes, being perhaps the longest radio programme ever
It has been commercially released on CD and mp3.
broadcast a dramatisation of
read by Sinéad
, James Greene, Stephen Rea
, and others in 1993.
This performance had a running time of 5 hours and 50
In 2003, a movie version Bloom
was released starring Stephen Rea
The unabridged text of Ulysses
has been performed by
, with Marcella Riordan
. This recording was
released by Naxos Records
on 22 audio
CDs in 2004. It follows an earlier abridged recording with the same
Space in New York City performs as a staged reading, over
the entire day, many passages from the book.
with a guest star reading the final chapter, ending roughly at
In 2006, playwright Sheila
's "Dead City," a contemporary stage adaptation of the
book set in New York City, and featuring the male figures Bloom and
Dedalus re-imagined as female characters Samantha Blossom and Jewel
Jupiter, was produced in Manhattan by New Georges.
Allusions and references to other works
See also: Musical
Allusions In Ulysses
Aside from the obvious footprint of Homer
, Joyce used hundreds of other
writers and their works during the composition of
, in his book
Naked is the Best
, noted similarities between the section in which
Bloom tracks Dedalus and a section in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
's A Study in Scarlet
. Rosenberg also
notes other references to Doyle's writings.
Notes and references
- Blamires, Harry. The Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through
Joyce's Ulysses, Methuen (1966).
- Borach, Georges. Conversations with James Joyce,
translated by Joseph Prescott, College English, 15 (March
- Burgess, Anthony. Here Comes
Everybody: An Introduction to James Joyce for the Ordinary
Reader (1965); also published as Re Joyce.
- Burgess, Anthony. Joysprick: An Introduction to the Language of James
- Budgen, Frank. James Joyce and
the Making of Ulysses. Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
- Campbell, Joseph. Mythic
Worlds, Modern Words. Canada: New World Library, 2004.
- Dalton, Jack. The Text of Ulysses in Fritz Senn, ed.
New Light on Joyce from the Dublin Symposium. Indiana
University Press (1972).
- Derrida, Jacques (1992)
‘Ulysses’ Gramophone: Hear Say Yes In Joyce. in Acts of Literature. Ed. Derek Attridge.
New York: Routledge, 1992. pp. 253-309.
- Ellmann, Richard. James
Joyce. Oxford University Press, revised edition (1983).
- Ellmann, Richard, ed.
Selected Letters of James Joyce. The Viking Press
- Gifford, Don with Seidman, Robert J. Ulysses Annotated:
Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses, Revised and Expanded Edition,
University of California Press (1988).
- Gilbert, Stuart. James
Joyce's Ulysses: A study, Faber and Faber (1930).
- Gorman, Herbert. James Joyce: A Definitive Biography
- Heffernan, James A. W. Joyce's Ulysses, The Teaching
Company LP (2001).
- Kain, Richard M. Fabulous Voyager: A Study of James Joyce's
Ulysses, University of Chicago Press (1947).
- Kenner, Hugh. Ulysses, Unwin Critical Library
- Mood, John. Joyce's "Ulysses" for Everyone, Or How to Skip
Reading It the First Time. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House,
2004. ISBN 1-4184-5104-5.
- Schwaber, Paul. The Cast of Characters, Yale
University Press (1999).
- Weldon, Thornton. Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated
List. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968
and 1973. ISBN 978-0-8078-4089-4.
- Arnold, Bruce. The Scandal of Ulysses: The Life and
Afterlife of a Twentieth Century Masterpiece. Rev. ed. Dublin:
Liffey Press, 2004. ISBN 190-4148-45X.
- Attridge, Derek, ed. James Joyce's Ulysses: A
Casebook. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2004. ISBN
- Benstock, Bernard. Critical Essays on James Joyce's
Ulysses. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989. ISBN
- Duffy, Enda, The Subaltern Ulysses. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8166-2329-5.
- Ellmann, Richard. Ulysses on the Liffey. New York:
Oxford UP, 1972. ISBN 978-0-1951-9665-8.
- French, Marilyn. The Book as World: James Joyce's
Ulysses. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1976. ISBN
- Gillespie, Michael Patrick and A. Nicholas Fargnoli, eds.
Ulysses in Critical Perspective. Gainesville: University
Press of Florida, 2006 . ISBN 978-0-8130-2932-0.
- Goldberg, Samuel Louis. The Classical Temper: A Study of
James Joyce's Ulysses. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1961 and
- Henke, Suzette. Joyce's Moraculous Sindbook: A Study of
Ulysses. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1978. ISBN
- Killeen, Terence. Ulysses Unbound: A Reader's Companion to
James Joyce's Ulysses. Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland:
Wordwell, 2004. ISBN 978-1-8698-5772-1.
- McKenna, Bernard. James Joyce's Ulysses: A Reference
Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. ISBN
- Murphy, Niall. A Bloomsday Postcard. Dublin: Lilliput
Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-8435-1050-5.
- Norris, Margot. A Companion to James Joyce's Ulysses:
Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays
From Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Boston: Bedford
Books, 1998. ISBN 978-0-3122-1067-0.
- Schutte, William M. James Index of Recurrent Elements in
James Joyce's Ulysses. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1982.
- Vanderham, Paul. James Joyce and Censorship: The Trials of
Ulysses. New York: New York UP, 1997. ISBN
- Weldon, Thornton. Allusions in Ulysses: An Annotated
List. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968
and 1973. ISBN 978-0-8078-4089-4.
Editions in print
Facsimile texts of the manuscript
- Ulysses, A three volume, hardcover, with slip-case,
facsimile copy of the only complete, handwritten manuscript of
James Joyce's Ulysses. Three volumes. Quarto. Critical
introduction by Harry Levin. Bibliographical preface by Clive
Driver. The first two volumes comprise the facsimile manuscript,
while the third contains a comparison of the manuscript and the
first printings, annotated by Clive Driver. These volumes were
published in association with the Philip H. &. A.S.W.
Foundation (now known as the Rosenbach
Museum & Library), Philadelphia. New York: Octagon Books
Facsimile texts of the 1922 first
- Ulysses, The 1922 Text, with an introduction and notes
by Jeri Johnson, Oxford University Press (1993). A World Classics
paperback edition with full critical apparatus. ISBN
- Ulysses: A Reproduction of the 1922 First Edition,
Dover Publications (2002). Paperback. ISBN 978-0486424446
- Ulysses: A Facsimile of the First Edition Published in
Paris in 1922, Orchises Press (1998). This hardback edition
closely mimics the first edition in binding and cover design. ISBN
Based on the 1960 Bodley Head/1961 Random House editions
- Ulysses, Vintage International (paperback, 1990)
- Ulysses: Annotated Student's Edition, with an
introduction and notes by Declan
Kiberd, Penguin Twentieth Century Classics (paperback,
- Ulysses: The 1934 Text, As Corrected and Reset in
1961, Modern Library (hardback, 1992). With a foreword by
Morris L. Ernst.
- Ulysses, Everyman's Library, (hardback, 1997)
- Ulysses, Penguin Modern Classics (paperback, 2000),
with an introduction by Declan Kiberd.
- Ulysses, Random House (hardback, 2002). With a
foreword by Morris L. Ernst.
Based on the 1984 Gabler edition
- Ulysses: The corrected text, Edited by Hans Walter
Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior, and a new preface
by Richard Ellmann, Vintage
International (1986) - This follows the disputed Garland