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Few novels published in the 20th century have been as influential, ground-breaking, and controversial as has James Joyce’s Ulysses. It was first published in serialised instalments from 1918 to 1920 in an American journal, and was then published as a book in Paris, by Sylvia Beach of the Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop.
It caused an obscenity trial in the United States, it has been heralded as the best novel of the century and yet is also considered one of the hardest books in the world to read. In Ireland a whole tourist industry exists around the novel, there are museums in Joyce’s name, and the 16th June, the day on which the events of the novel take place, is internationally celebrated as Bloomsday. Joyce himself said that were the city of Dublin to be obliterated, it could be reconstructed from the pages of his book.
It has been said there are two sorts of people in this world – those who have read Ulysses, and those who haven’t. Have you? If not, can you rise to the challenge? Join me in exploring this extraordinary novel.
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