A Century of Ulysses

 

When I woke up this morning the radio reminded me that today, 2nd February 2022, is the centenary of the first complete publication of  Ulysses by James Joyce. It had been published in installments before that, but it took a publisher in Paris to bite the bullet and publish the whole thing. The publication date also happened to be the 40th birthday of the author.

I have toyed with the idea of going into Dublin on Bloomsday (16th June, the day on which Ulysses is set) and wandering about some of the locations described in, but what with work and lockdowns I haven’t got round to it.  Maybe this year will be the time!

Or perhaps instead I’ll prepare dinner this evening in a style that Leopold Bloom would enjoy:

He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with breadcrumbs, fried hen cod’s roe. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Or perhaps not.

If you haven’t read Ulysses yet then you definitely should. It’s one of the great works of modern literature. And don’t let people put you off by telling you that it’s a difficult read. It really isn’t. It’s a long read that’s for sure -it’s over 900 pages – but the writing is full of colour and energy and it has a  real sense of place. It’s a wonderful book.

(There’s also quite a lot of sex in it….)

I’ve read Ulysses twice, once when I was a teenager and again when I was in my thirties. I then lent my copy to someone and never got it back. The copy shown above is a new one I bought last year with the intention of reading the novel again now that I live in Ireland but I sadly have not had the time yet. I will, though.

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