Ulysses is a novel by James Joyce, considered to be its author's masterpiece and one of the great works of twentieth century literature. The events of the novel take place over a single day, and follow Leopold Bloom as he travels around Dublin. The book's title comes from the hero of the Odyssey, on which many of its episodes are based (for example, a visit to a funeral parallels the original Ulysses's visit to Hades). The book is written in an unusual stream-of-consciousness style, which Joyce originated, and also contains many neologisms and words from Irish dialect.
Ulysses has been extremely influential, although few of its imitators match its ambition. Much-loved, it is frequently found in lists of the public's favorite books, and is remembered each year on 16 June (known as Bloomsday), when devotees follow the protagonist's path around Dublin.
At the time of its publication, Ulysses gave rise to a great deal of controversy because certain incidents and language were considered obscene. Despite its great literary merit, parents should exercise caution when recommending it to their children (although the book's prose style renders it impenetrable to most children and many adults, regardless of content).
- Online edition from The Literature Network