First published OTD in 1922, James Joyce’s Ulysses. Since its publication, the book has attracted controversy & scrutiny, ranging from an obscenity trial in the United States in 1921, to protracted textual “Joyce Wars”. The novel’s stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, & experimental prose—replete with puns, parodies, & allusions—as well as its rich characterisation & broad humour, have led it to be regarded as one of the greatest literary works in history; Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.

Ulysses

Ulysses is divided into the three books (marked I, II, and III), and 18 episodes. The episodes do not have chapter headings or titles, and are numbered only in Gabler’s edition. In the various editions the breaks between episodes are indicated in different ways; e.g. in the Modern Language edition a new episode begins at the very top of a new page.

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.

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