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Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses 2 Rev Enl Edition
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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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a must for anyone planning to read Joyce's "Ulysses." It clearing explains, practically from paragraph to paragraph, what Joyce was referencing while writing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tim 74
Joyce was 40 yrs old when Ulysses was published, it is a day in the life of a husband and father of Joyce's age (at publication). Read morePublished 9 months ago by James C Brandon
Great companion piece to the novel, especially for those just beginning to approach Joyce's work.Published 10 months ago by Joshua Wade
This is my favorite of the <i>Ulysses</i> guides because it comes as close as one can to being comprehensive. There is a note for every line. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Christin M. Mulligan
You can't read Ulysses once. And a simple story of a day in Dublin becomes a book for the ages to be reread and Hamlet Homers hero and Dante's descent into the depth of hell are... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Frank Belliotti
The internet is not enough. Use this book. Gifford is a trustable guide. These notes will help you avoid fantasy dead-ends not intended by Joyce. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kathryn Pon
When I was in grad school this was the standard reading guide for Ulysses, and I'll bet it still is. It's easy to read and helps enormously, especially your first time through. Read morePublished 13 months ago by MayMay