Reading ‘Ulysses’


This might be a preview of my next Reading Log, provided I can finish the darned book. That would be “Ulysses” by James Joyce, which clocks in at 644 pages and is famously hard to read. It’s about the unheroic lives of a bunch of Dubliners on one day: June 16, 1904. It’s been called the best novel of the 20th century (and a lot of other things).

A friend, and a bunch of his friends, are trying to read it by June 16, which is known to fans as Bloomsday, after protagonist Leopold Bloom, and my friend invited me to join them. He’s planning a dinner party that night — the menu of which had better not feature kidney and liver, two of Bloom’s dietary mainstays. (I think he’s going to make corned beef.)

This was the encouragement I needed: I bought my copy 15 years ago (the receipt is inside, showing that I bought it at Borders in Montclair on July 24, 1998) and never had the nerve to read it.

I’m up to page 220, after nearly a week of dedicated reading (and a couple of weeks of nibbling prior to that). Have you ever read it, either by choice or for a class? Tried to read it? Thought of reading it?

I can see why it’s famous, although I’m admiring it more than loving it.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Alas, never read it… but I did sign up for a month-long class at the University of Redlands back when I was a student there that would have been devoted just to reading the book. I was new into my English Lit major, and the first day of class and the amount of reading we were expected to do was enough to scare the heck out of me… I dropped and took a sign language class instead. I wish I had stuck with it. It would have been the ideal circumstance to read that book. When will I have a time like that in my life again?

  • mojavemike

    I own it, but have yet to muster the courage to start it. I used to work at the Borders in Montclair, and I believe I purchased it there as well, almost 10 years ago (man I miss that employee discount!).