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The House of Ulysses (Spanish Literature Series) Paperback – November 9, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this novel–cum–book report, translator Caistor captures the smooth prose and wordplay of Spain's foremost postmodernist, Ríos, who takes to heart James Joyce's assertion that the enigmas of Ulysses would "keep the professors busy for centuries." Here, five characters--a mature reader, "A"; a young female reader, "B"; an old critic, "C"; "the man with the Macintosh"; and rotund professor Jones--follow a cicerone through a living museum of Joyce's great modern novel's pages, summarizing its scenes, debating its meaning, and harkening to the author's biography. Just as Joyce built his narrative on the scaffolding of Homer's epic, Ríos builds around Joyce's, illuminating the difficult text in a way that will delight those familiar with the classic as well as the neophytes tunneling their way through it. Though the novel's own plot and characters are lacking, the careful rendering of and commentary on Leopold Bloom's odyssey make this book a creative (and possibly even fun) companion to a moving work that is too often smothered in dry academic analysis. (Nov.) (c)
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“Julián Ríos’s texts are very important . . . they are an assimilation of the most radical traditions.” (Octavio Paz)

“A festive, creative, and highly original manipulation of a famous text; highly rewarding for those who appreciate participatory readings and intertextual relationships.” (Library Journal)

“This is a bold endeavour and it could go badly wrong, but the exuberance of the language and the delight Rios clearly finds in Ulysses carry it.” (The Times Literary Supplement)

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Product Details

  • Series: Spanish Literature Series
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; Translated by Nick Caistor edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564785971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564785978
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,495,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
A leading Spanish postmodernist novelist paraphrases, summarizes, and cites James Joyce's modernist "mistresspiece," most-loved of all that Irishman's works. Ríos imagines a trio who meet to converse about Ulysses. The first is a mature reader, A; he is joined by a younger woman, B; third is an elderly critic, C. They gather in "The Ulysses Museum" and enter eighteen rooms as if in an academic library. Chaperoned by Professor Ludwig Jones, they wander through the book's eighteen dense chapters. They study under the tutelage of a silent guide, the `'man with the Mackintosh" whose computer projects overviews of the schemata used by Joyce in integrating Homeric correspondences into his tale of one day and night in the lives of three Dubliners and those whom they meet, dream of, contend with, and wonder about.

It offers an easy pace and conveys information with an affectionate tone. Nick Caistor's smooth translation reveals few quotable lines from Ríos in what for English-speakers becomes a tertiary source, but the structure of first a summation of each chapter's contents and then "passageways" that list a few observations made by the four (or one silent, five) observers in the Museum allows, in relatively few pages, a quick guided tour through its contents.

Especially for those fearful of more scholarly treatments of Ulysses, Ríos provides a neat compression of much academic insights, crammed into a small, portable, and accessible companion. Not only beginners may benefit with Ríos as a guide. Study of this novel, as I was warned in college, can happily consume one's spare time over a lifetime. In House, I learned a dozen fresh insights about the novel.

This book failed to rise or fall to parody.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nothing is original but the twists and turns on the classics. "The House of Ulysses" is an intriguing postmodernist take from Spanish author Julian Rios, as he takes James Joyce's famed novel Ulysses and offers a new view point and twists into these beloved characters, much like Joyce's own work was inspired by the classics of Homer. Thoughtful, humorous, and intriguing reading expertly translated by Nick Caistor, "The House of Ulysses" is a core pick for any world literature collection.
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