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Reading and Understanding James Joyce’s Ulysses

Weekend All-Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, January 14, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0241
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Leopold Bloom’s lunchtime stop, Davy Byrne's Pub, Dublin

What makes James Joyce’s classic novel from 1922, Ulysses, one of the best-known yet also—because of its mighty challenges—the least read of perhaps all the world’s most recognizable books? It’s a work that in Joyce’s own words, “contained so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries.”

Join Joseph Luzzi, a professor of comparative literature at Bard College, in a deep dive into this fascinating novel, unpacking its mysteries and exploring its insights on a dizzying array of subjects: from ancient literature and modern fiction to Irish politics, Joyce’s own “exilic” biography, and the vigorous literary avant-garde of the early 20th century.

1011 a.m.  A Tale of Two Characters

Luzzi offers an introduction to Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, key elements of their personalities, and the themes they embody in the book.

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.  A Day in the Life

Consider the city of Dublin’s role as a “character” in Joyce’s novel and work writ large, with a focus on the various and complex urban scenes and encounters in Ulysses’ Episodes 9–13.

12:1512:45 p.m.   Break

12:451:45 p.m.  Pushing the Limits

Focusing on Episodes 14–16, examine how Joyce pushes the limits of literary language, the stream-of-consciousness technique, and literary form—especially through such dramatic instances as his celebrated “Oxen of the Sun” chapter and its recapitulation of multiple strands in Anglophone and Latin literary history.

2–3 p.m.  Molly’s World

Explore Molly Bloom’s place in Joyce’s novelistic world, particularly in regard to her sexuality and issues of feminine identity reflected throughout Ulysses, in a focus on Episodes 17–18.

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