You’ve heard that James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) is the greatest novel of the twentieth century. You’ve also heard that Joyce is unreadable. Surely, both can’t be true? In fact, once the small barriers to enjoying Ulysses are broken you’ll find yourself with a pleasure to last a lifetime as you explore Joyce’s Dublin, along with a new confidence that if you can read Joyce you can read anything.
Ulysses is the record of one day in Dublin, Ireland: June 16th, 1904. It’s now celebrated around the world as “Bloomsday” after its protagonist Leopold Bloom, who spends the day walking the streets of Dublin as part of his job. The book’s “difficulty” derives from its encyclopedia of styles, as Joyce uses a different one, and often more than one, for each chapter. An introduction to this city of styles by one who’s known it for years can save a first-time visitor a lot of time.
We’ll read the book at your speed as we combine simply reading for comprehension with access to historical, biographical, and critical sources, as well as the powerful tools of the Web to help us actually navigate Joyce’s Dublin (why not follow our hero Leopold Bloom using Google’s Street View, for example?).
You’ll need internet access, a functioning webcam with a microphone, the Zoom app, a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses to make your own notes in, and a sense of humor. You don’t need to have read any Joyce previously in order to enjoy this unique novel. We’ll read the book together one-on-one, chapter-by-chapter, and we’ll share the adventure of Ulysses until you feel you’ve got a clear sense of the various styles employed by Joyce in each of his eighteen chapters, and you’re ready to continue exploring by yourself.