|Narrated By:||John Lee|
|Date:||09 May 2010|
Joyce's experimental masterpiece set a new standard for modernist fiction, pushing the English language past all previous thresholds in its quest to capture a day in the life of an Everyman in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Obliquely borrowing characters and situations from Homer's Odyssey, Joyce takes us on an internal odyssey along the current of thoughts, impressions, and experiences that make up the adventure of living an average day. As his characters stroll, eat, ruminate, and argue through the streets of Dublin, Joyce's stream-of-consciousness narrative artfully weaves events, emotions, and memories in a free flow of imagery and associations. Full of literary references, parody, and uncensored vulgarity, Ulysses has been considered controversial and challenging, but always brilliant and rewarding.
Ulysses will immortalize its author with the same certainty that Gargantua immortalized Rabelais and The Brothers Karamazov immortalized Dostoevsky....It comes nearer to being the perfect revelation of a personality than any book in existence.—New York Times
Joyce was born in 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin, into a middle-class family on the way down. A brilliant student, he briefly attended the Christian Brothers-run O'Connell School before excelling at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father's alcoholism and unpredictable finances. He went on to attend University College Dublin.
In 1904, in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Alhough most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe centres on Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses, he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."