- Paperback: 694 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 2 Rev Enl edition (January 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520253973
- ISBN-13: 978-0520253971
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses 2 Rev Enl Edition
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"["Ulysses Annotated] teaches more than how to read a particular novel; it teaches us more profoundly "how to read anything. This, I think, is the book's main virtue. It teaches us readers how to transform the brute fact of our world."--Robert N. Ross, "Western Humanities Review
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Top Customer Reviews
I was stunned by the size and careful detail of this annotation, since it rivals the size of Ulysses itself. For the first 60 pages or so of Ulysses, I religiously read every annotation for every allusion. And then I realized that I was missing out on the beauty of the book as a work of art. So I set the annotation down and continued reading Ulysses without help. Yes, there were many parts I failed to understand, but I loved the book nonetheless, and appreciated it as one of the 20th century's greatest pieces of art.
The annotation should serve not as a companion during a first reading of Ulysses, but rather as a reference for future, more detailed readings. As I have read parts of Ulysses again, I have turned to the annotation to guide me and help me understand the intricate details of the book. It is a scholarly endeavor, and one must always remember that Joyce meant to be enigmatic - to enjoy his genius does not necessarily mean to understand every enigma and allusion.
Savor the words of James Joyce, then savor his intellectual cavortings through this marvelous annotation. Do not use the annotation as a crutch to read Ulysses, the greatest novel of the 20th century, but trust your mind to learn his language.
Introduction, prefaces and notes explain how to use this book, and how it was compiled. Each episode is preceeded by a map of where the action takes place helping the reader to visualize the movements of Bloom and Stephen. Each entry is preceeded by the Chapter Number and Line Number according to the Gabler edition of "Ulysses". In addition, a fairly comprehensive index cross-references all entries. If the reader wants to find all allusions pertaining, for example, to the Book of Luke, these can be easily found. I found this Index quite useful.
Personally, I found the following method best for using the book. First, to skim through the allusions, marking those of particular interest, and then laying the book side by side with the Novel and reading the Episode.
As for realiability, I took Gifford and Seidman up on their offered Short Title List, and was able to find almost every reference, including "Thom's Official Directory of the United Kingdom and Great Britain and Ireland for the Year 1904", and have found them to be reliable in their entries.
This Book should suffice for reading, and understanding Ulysses, though many a reader may get caught up by Joyce, as I did, so that the following may be useful: Weldon Thornton: "Allusions in Ulysses", Richard Ellman: "James Joyce", Harry Blamires: "The New Bloomsday Book", Stuart Gilbert: "James Joyce's Ulysses", and of course "The Riverside Shakespeare", "The Oddyssey", and the Bible.
Of course, if you've never read Ulysses you don't need to know every obscure reference. Just pick up REJOYCE or THE NEW BLOOMSDAY BOOK, which have generalized overviews of the novel. This is for the deep scholars. But as Joyce said, all he expects of his readers is that they study his works for the rest of their lives.
This will keep you busy.
He helps with backstory, referring you to characters appearing in The Dubliners, to events from Portrait. He is comprehensive in music lyrics with cast, playbill, and venue. He provides enough political history, Greek and Latin, Roman Catholic and Jewish explications. With Gifford in hand, puns and characterizations pop. If to Gifford's notes you add the Univ of Montana's excellent photo illustrated site, Ulysses will become very alive and make you happy in appreciation of each and every page.
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