The Arena: James Joyce’s Ulysses Review – A tribute to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s greatest writers

A novel that never fails to strike fear into the hearts of the average reader, Ulysses was hit in the media earlier this year on the occasion of its 100th birthday. First published in Paris in February 1922 by Sylvia Beach, James Joyce’s book caused a mass of waves before it even appeared, and will continue to do so for decades, to the satisfaction of the author. fake.

His first English edition appeared in the autumn of 1922 and the BBC is showing this feature-length documentary by Adam Low in honor of the occasion. (BBC1, 10.40pm). That 2,000-volume newspaper was funded entirely by Harriet Shaw Weaver, a specialist, magazine editor, and art patron. She certainly supported Joyce’s monstrous finances, giving him a million pounds at most during and after the creation Ulysses.

Joyce, of course, realized he was worthy, and her patronage freed him to focus on creating what he believed would be a work of unparalleled genius.

He’s not modest, but he’s right, and his brilliant, daring novel uses Homer Odyssey as the shaping device for a trip through central Dublin in the early 1900s. A poignant autobiography, Ulysses stars a version of Joyce, the arrogant young poet Stephen Dedalus, who has returned to Ireland from Paris after the death of his mother and is not one bit pleased about it.

His trip through the city Joyce once described as “the center of paralysis” will intersect with that of Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertising salesman who is being pinned by his wife. trap and know it. The book revolves from the graveyard to the bar to the brothel and finally the bedroom of Molly Bloom, who writes lyrically about her eventful sex life.

After that, a lot of censors got annoyed, and they quickly settled their business. The first five hundred prints of Harriet Shaw Weaver’s Egoist Press were burned by the United States Postal Service upon arrival in America. Ulysses has been banned there since 1920, when a magazine published the chapter ‘Nausicaa’ in which Bloom indulged herself while walking on the Sandymount Strand.

It would remain banned in the US until 1929, and although it was never actually banned in Ireland, a customs loophole made it difficult to find here until the 1950s.

The church took a dim view of all of this, especially when it was sold by a missing Catholic who opened his book with a mockery of the transgression. As a child, I was told that reading the last 50 pages was a sin.

Each chapter is written in a different style, rich in language, dense, incessantly creative. But those who really find the courage to read Ulysses often surprised at how funny it is. And all life is within, with Dublin circa 1904 becoming a microcosm of the entire human experience. Joyce made his story famous on June 16 of that year, which was his first day out with Nora Barnacle.

A touching gesture, but Nora may have wished for something more concrete all these years Ulysses‘creative, as she,’ Jimmy, and her two young children move non-stop between Trieste, Zurich and Paris.

This movie takes us to three cities to revisit the places where Joyce lived and worked as an impoverished English teacher.

And contributors including Salman Rushdie, Howard Jacobson, Anne Enright, Paul Muldoon, Eimear McBride and Colm Tóibín attest to the book’s enduring significance.

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Ulysses made Joyce a world literary figure. He was considered a master of his adopted home in Paris, and was found there by emerging literary lions such as Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett. People wonder what he will write next? He disappeared in a rabbit hole of his own making, and almost 20 years later he reappeared with Finnegans Wakea book that confuses most people and makes Ulysses looks like a children’s story.

Never having to worry about debts, or gratitude, he devoted himself to his tireless benefactor Harriet Shaw Weaver for her reticence regarding Finnegans Wakeand was somewhat estranged from her when he passed.

He died in Zurich after a failed operation and was buried at the Fluntern cemetery, near the city zoo, where Nora hoped to be able to please him. But it was Harriet Shaw Weaver who paid for his funeral.

Pat Stacey is on leave The Arena: James Joyce’s Ulysses Review – A tribute to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s greatest writers

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