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James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study

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Book Overview

With the passing of each year, Ulysses receives wider recognition and greater acclaim as a modern literary classic. To comprehend Joyce's masterpiece fully, to gain insight into its significance and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A way in to Ulysses

Gilbert provides insight into Ulysses which it is extremely doubt the reader can get alone. He provides the overall plan of the work, the diagram of each sentence and how it coordinates with all the categories which Joyce combined in constructing his encyclopediac work. Stuart was at one point close to Joyce and has much of his information from the master himself. I do not know if there is a better guide, but this as the first is a very good one. It helped me understand at least the outline of the work and its basic structure.

A must-have

James Joyce has more books written about him and his works than possibly anyone else in the english language - barring Shakespeare. There are countless guides through the labyrinth that is Ulysses, and all do their job well, some better than others. This one, by Stuart Gilbert, was the first and is still the best. Originally written in the thirties, it remains the definitive guide to Joyce's masterpiece of modernism. Gilbert was a close friend of Joyce's, and it was written under the scrutiny and supervision of Joyce himself, making this the closest thing to a guide written by the author himself (which would probably be unintelligible in itself!). This small, helpful book guided me through one of the most difficult but most rewarding reading experiences of my life - and saw me through safely to the other side, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is taking the plunge for the first time.

Essential reading

Gilbert has written a classic analysis of Ulysses . This book provides both the initiate and the fanatic with a broad basis for comprehension of Joyce. It include historical documentation of the settlement of Ireland, connections of Troy and Ireland, an interesting view of Viking/ Greek parallels, aspects of occult knowledge. Failure to read this and you will not get 1/3 of the intricacy of Joyces works.

Joyce rued this collaboration.

According to Richard Ellman's Joyce biography Joyce felt that the book by Gilbert was an "advertisement for Ulysses," and he rued the collaboration. Perhaps this shows how clear the book renders Ulysses, but it also shows that Ulysses is better read without consulting second texts so that it echoes in the unconscious as oppossed to being deciphered and merely understood.

Best reference

Joseph Campbell, an early Joycean scholar (see his A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: Unlocking James Joyce's Masterwork) considered this the best reference for James Joyce's Ulysses: A Facsimile of the First Edition Published in Paris in 1922. My study of other exegetical references for Ulysses have confirmed Campbell's view. Author Stuart Gilbert was a close friend of Joyce, and in this book he unravels the numerous symbolic layers of Ulysses. A definite must-have reference for reading Ulysses. Hugh Kenner also is a helpful Joycean resource.
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