James Joyce
Modern Library, New York, 1992; originally published 1922, English
ISBN: 9780679600114

Serialized first in the Little Review in 1918 and published first in Paris in 1922, although its censorship for obscenity in America and England were not lifted until the mid-1930s. In terms of its story it defies abridgement or explanation except that it all takes place on one day, June 16, 1904, or Bloomsday, which was the anniversary of Joyce’s first walk with his beloved Nora Barnacle. It (very) loosely follows the episodes of Ulysses from The Odyssey of Homer though in a reordered form, with Stephen Dedalus representing Telemachus, Leopold Bloom Ulysses and Molly Bloom Penelope. The central characters explore various sites and happenings around Dublin such as a newspaper office, a brothel, a funeral, and public houses.

On 11 book lists
Maira Kalman

Every sentence. Every single sentence.

Daniel Libeskind

You can’t do urban planning without this book because it is a labyrinth that you can never leave.

Peter Mendelsund

Ulysses is a novel that is intensely unified despite its being comprised of every stylistic and rhetorical literary and narrative device known to man. Lesson(s) learned: An artist can be a shape-shifter while retaining a strong identity and sense of integrity.

Debbie Millman

This is one of the most impactful and inspiring books of my life. A seminal quote from the book, “The longest way round is the shortest way home,” has become the mantra of my life.

Ian Ritchie

I just wanted to discover an utterly different way of writing. Years later, Dublin became a very significant city in my life, and I still derive huge pleasure from its writers and from Dubliners’ wit.

Michael Sorkin

The most sustained act of literary invention of all time, one of those works after which things are simply not the same.

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