“An indispensable volume for the Joyce novice and veteran alike, Terence Milleen’s Ulysses Unbound is that rare work of scholarship which makes a text more lucid without diminishing its difficulty. . . . An outstanding entry in guides to Joyce and a genuine pleasure to read.”—James Joyce Literary Supplement
“Easily the best companion to Ulysses for first-time readers and seasoned scholars alike. Killeen brings in multiple levels of expertise: he has a fantastic knowledge of Joyce, of Ulysses, of Dublin, and of Joyce criticism. He writes with clarity, expertise, and affection.”—Sam Slote, coeditor of Renascent Joyce
Ideal for readers new to Ulysses and written with a depth of knowledge invaluable to scholars, “Ulysses” Unbound is a clear and comprehensive guide to James Joyce’s masterpiece from one of the foremost Dublin-based Joyce experts.
Terence Killeen discusses the novel’s eighteen episodes individually. For each episode, Killeen provides a brief narrative summary along with an account of the parallels from Homer’s Odyssey. Next, he devotes attention to the episode’s unique style, in recognition of the novel’s remarkable stylistic diversity. He also includes a commentary section that surveys the episode’s principal themes and function within the broader context of the development of the work as a whole. These sections are followed by notes that help explain some of the main characters and historical events in the text, illuminating the real people who provided so much of the book’s material. Glossaries define many of the foreign language terms that pepper the text.
Mindful of the needs of readers tackling Ulysses for the first time, Killeen begins his treatment of the episodes simply and expands his discussions as the novel’s text expands. He concludes with an overall reading of Ulysses that considers possible approaches to interpreting the book in its entirety. The guide also features a brief account of Joyce’s life and a description of the novel’s eventful textual and publishing history. Accessible and authoritative, “Ulysses” Unbound is an indispensable companion for both students and specialists.
Terence Killeen is research scholar at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin. He is also a journalist with the Irish Times. A volume in the Florida James Joyce Series, edited by Sebastian D. G. Knowles
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