James Joyce’s Ulysses is widely celebrated as one of the great masterpieces of Twentieth Century literature. Its indelible characters, epic themes, intimate realism, imaginative style, poetic prose, and unparalleled literary connections present a unique reading experience. The book, at 730 pages, is, however, a daunting read, unguided. Though the entire novel covers one day –June 16, 1904—in the Dublin life of its three protagonists, we will take a leisurely guided tour in two semesters through the emotional, cultural, spiritual, and psychological struggles of Leopold and Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus on the most “ordinariniest” of days.
This course is Part 1, covering the first half of this complex book. Part 2 will be offered in the spring, and will complete our tour.
The format will be primarily a guided discussion of each chapter. Students can anticipate approximately 2-3 hours of outside reading each week.