Plan for Action, Suggested Reading List, Note on Editions



We’ll read the first page of Ulysses on June 16 (to commemorate the date upon which Ulysses takes place…June 16, 1904). I’ll lead the discussion with a post on that day. Then we’ll rotate…alphabetically? age-wise? arm-wrestling contest-wise?…and the next person will decide how much we read and what we’ll discuss next. And we’ll try to do it on a weekly basis.

Before June 16th, do what you can to at least familiarize yourself with Homer’s Odyssey. It’s not essential to reading Ulysses, but it does help. The Odyssey is the framework used by Joyce to give shape to the encyclopedic mass of allusions and plot, and it does add deeper significance to your own reading experience to be familiar with the tradition Joyce set his tale in. Maybe we can do some preliminary postings on the Odyssey before the 16th?

And you are absolutely encouraged to invite anyone you think might be interested in participating. 


Suggested reading before June 16th, in order of importance:

  • The Odyssey, Homer
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce
  • Joyce, Ellman
  • Hamlet, Shakespeare
  • Dubliners, Joyce
  • Divine Comedy, Dante
  • Faust, Goethe (I dare you.)

Suggested Films: Hamlet, Nora (based on Joyce and Joyce’s wife), Michael Collins, Wind That Shakes The Barley (these last 2 films are set more than a decade after 1904, but they give a good depiction of the political tensions in Ireland…and Joyce wrote well after these events took place), and Red Dawn


Finally, for Ulysses, I’ll be reading from the “Complete and Unabridged Text, as Corrected and Reset in 1961” put out by Vintage. There’s also the infamous “Gabler Edition” put out by Knopf Doubleday (with the lame modernist rendering of the title on the cover). I strongly recommend the former, for reasons I’ll give if you really want. Reason 1: Gabler’s a douche.

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