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Ulysses (Abridged) (Modern Fiction)

By James Joyce, Jim Norton (Narrator) & Marcella Riordan (Narrator)
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Item description for Ulysses (Abridged) (Modern Fiction) by James Joyce, Jim Norton & Marcella Riordan...

Ulysses is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century. It was not easy to find a publisher in America willing to take it on, and when Jane Jeap and Margaret Anderson started printing extracts from the book in their literary magazine The Little Review in 1918, they were arrested and charged with publishing obscenity. They were fined $100, and even The New York Times expressed satisfaction with their conviction. Ulysses was not published in book form until 1922, when another American woman, Sylvia Beach, published it in Paris her Shakespeare & Company. Ulysses was not available legally in any English-speaking country until 1934, when Random House successfully defended Joyce against obscenity charges and published it in the Modern Library. This edition follows the complete and unabridged text as corrected and reset in 1961. Judge John Woolsey's decision lifting the ban against Ulysses is reprinted, along with a letter from Joyce to Bennett Cerf, the publisher of Random House, and the original foreword to the book by Morris L. Ernst, who defended Ulysses during the trial.

From the eBook edition.

Ulysses has been labeled dirty, blasphemous, and unreadable. In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book--although he found it sufficiently unobscene to allow its importation into the United States--and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's "cloacal obsession." None of these adjectives, however, do the slightest justice to the novel. To this day it remains the modernist masterpiece, in which the author takes both Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. It is funny, sorrowful, and even (in a close-focus sort of way) suspenseful. And despite the exegetical industry that has sprung up in the last 75 years, Ulysses is also a compulsively readable book. Even the verbal vaudeville of the final chapters can be navigated with relative ease, as long as you're willing to be buffeted, tickled, challenged, and (occasionally) vexed by Joyce's sheer command of the English language.

Among other things, a novel is simply a long story, and the first question about any story is: What happens?. In the case of Ulysses, the answer might be Everything. William Blake, one of literature's sublime myopics, saw the universe in a grain of sand. Joyce saw it in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904, a day distinguished by its utter normality. Two characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of indelible Dubliners. We watch them teach, eat, stroll the streets, argue, and (in Bloom's case) masturbate. And thanks to the book's stream-of-consciousness technique--which suggests no mere stream but an impossibly deep, swift-running river--we're privy to their thoughts, emotions, and memories. The result? Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordian folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism.

Both characters add their glorious intonations to the music of Joyce's prose. Dedalus's accent--that of a freelance aesthetician, who dabbles here and there in what we might call Early Yeats Lite--will be familiar to readers of Portrait of an Artist As a Young Man. But Bloom's wistful sensualism (and naive curiosity) is something else entirely. Seen through his eyes, a rundown corner of a Dublin graveyard is a figure for hope and hopelessness, mortality and dogged survival: "Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland's hearts and hands. More sensible to spend the money on some charity for the living. Pray for the repose of the soul of. Does anybody really?" --James Marcus

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook,   Classical
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 5.5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN  9626340118  
ISBN13  9789626340110  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Joyce, Jim Norton & Marcella Riordan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Joyce (1882-1941), an Irish poet and novelist, was one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century. His works include Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

James Joyce was born in 1882 and died in 1941.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Ulysses (Abridged) (Modern Fiction)?

I am not qualified to review this book  Jun 20, 2008
I have a BS in English from Ga Tech in the USA. Reading Ulysses was required reading for my degree. Joyce is a great author. Don't read this book unless you must. It's an unfriendly letter written to the world at large: a bravely pounded out and published skull upon a pike at the city gates of Joyce's own mind. Joyce wrote this one work for jerks. He wrote this work for people who cared more for style over substance. Don't read this book. Leave this dark epistle where it is in the store and read Joyce's other works. Let this tome be the tomb of his hatred. Walk away.

Ulysses is still one of the greatest stories I have ever read. However, who in the hell ever reads this book for what it should be: a well written story?

Walk away, turn 30 or 40 or 50, leave college, have a wife and kids or don't, and then come back and read this. And approach Joyce w/o the damn annotations and maps and horse feathers that can only destroy your appreciation of Joyce as an author. If you're reading this review, don't read this book. Read other books and someday . . . read this book only because you want to read this book.
Uses the reader as an active part of the story  Jun 6, 2008
Ulysses takes place the 16th of June 1904 in Dublin, the day where James Joyce had his first date with his wife to come and in a sense you can argue that Ulysses is Joyce's attemt to write That Great Love-novel. But, how to acomplish yhis ambition, when Romeo and Juliet and Anna Karenina is allready written? Joyce's solution is to redefine what the concept of a Great Love novel is all about. Instead of regarding the reader as someone to ammuse and seduce - someone that has the passive role of observing the story, Joyce combats the reader and makes the readers experience of reading the book as a crusial part of his story.

Even the 16th of May 1904 was a long time ago and happend far away as Joyce wrote Ulysses in Trieste, Zurich and Paris from 1914 to 1921, Joyce describes virtually every detail that happened in Dublin that special day, long ago, far away. Even the fact that James Joyce wasn't much of a husband, drinking heavily when he had money, often was out of work and in conflict with his family because of his drinking, spending and unemployment, working on Ulysses - against his doctors strict orders as it would make him blind - when he was in a state of working, his wife hanged on to him all this time. In the same way the book appears difficult to read, and goes on "forever" in the sense of pages, places and number and level of hidden meanings you can dedicate a
life to, Ulysses simply gets too much for many of its readers, making them give in, regarding it to complicated, difficult to understand, simply not worth the effort. In the same manner, the most obvious conclusion to draw from a marriage with James Joyce, might be that it was not worth the effort. As soon as I understood that this probably was exactly the point Joice was trying to make though, it was like I would not and could not let him prove that he was right and unlike my previous attemts to finnish the novel, I succeded. Blessing or curse - I guess this feeling of denying to give in, is excactly what can make a relatationship like this go on.

As far as I know, Joyce is the first writer to introduce this projective way of writing - integrate the readers feelings and reactions to what he reads as a vital part of the story. After though, this projective writing is used by several writers - for instance when Bret Easton Ellis writes in a manner that makes the reader of American Psycho feel as bored as his main character Patrick Bateman feels - illustrating that he has more in common with you and me than we care about, or when Jerome David Sallinger in A Perfect day for Bananafish at the last line of the shortstory makes you realize that he has wrapped you arond his little finger all the time, manipulated you to think what he wants you to think, feel what he wants you to feel, leaving you with the predjustises that he wanted you to have , in order not to make you see the fatal conclution.

It is obviously other ways to read Ulysses. You find a lot of them in the other customers review. It can be a good advice to put a copy of the so called Ulysses schema in the book when you try to read it, to make it easier to orient in time, space and theme. Make an internet search and you will find it.

I hope you will finnish Ulysses with a sense of having read something that made it worth-while:)
Daylife  May 23, 2008
"Ulysses" by James Joyce (1934) is a novel about the interaction of social responsibility and personal desires. It focuses primarily on three characters: Stephen Dedalus a self-absorbed scholar attempting to find his artistic voice, Leopold Bloom who tries to meet his social responsibilities in a culture that is not completely accepting of him, and Molly Bloom (Poldy's wife) who struggles with her feminine destiny.

The novel parallels the structure of Homer's "Odyssey" that chronicles the 10 year struggle of Odysseus to return from war in Troy to his home in Ithaca. Ulysses, the Latin translation of the Greek name Odysseus, is Leopold (Poldy) Bloom who travels the streets of Dublin one Thursday on June 16, 1904. His goal is to accomplish his daily task of meeting his family's economic needs, forming social alliances with Dubliners (including Stephen), and satisfying his own drives for understanding and fulfillment. Odysseus sought to reunite with his wife and assess her fidelity in his absence, and Bloom looks forward to the end of the day when he returns to his home at 7 Eccles Street, concerned about his wife's unfaithfulness.

"Ulysses" is remarkable in its descriptive detail of the physical and psychological environments of Dublin and its characters. The feelings related to immersion in the living Irish city are so strong that there may be some irrational fear of being unable to return to current life. The entrance into the reality of the lives of Stephen, Molly, and Poldy is uncanny as readers become physically and psychically connected to characters. It is a matter of proximity. You lose your own personality as you accompany these people when they converse, walk the streets, visit stores, drink and philosophize, reveal themselves in stream of consciousness monologues, argue, pursue bacchanalian extremes, and have private battles with loss and melancholy.

The reader `sees' everything that day, the external locations and the inner worlds of the characters, with the "ineluctable modality of the visible." This is the direct and complete experience of Joyce's art without the restriction of our own frame of reference, history, obligations, and wants. It is intimidating to realize that your own life is changing, that part of your personal history now contains a new day of your own existence - you have extended your life for a day. Many people throughout the world celebrate a second birthday on June 16 (Bloomsday).

After publication of "Ulysses," I believe that James Joyce (like a few other artists) spent the rest of his life amazed at his creation. As he lay dying in hospital waiting for his wife to return to his bedside, he had to wonder where his inspiration originated, where he summoned the ability to give the gift of another day of life to us all.

The reader can benefit most from "Ulysses" by preparing to read it. Read (re-read) Homers "Odyssey." Pay close attention to the structure, the symbolic content, and the psychology of Odysseus. Odysseus was a flawed hero, externally brave but also self-serving and blind to parts of his own personality (like Bloom). Use "Ulysses Annotated" by Don Gifford to help guide you through the detail of theology, philosophy, psychology, history, rhetoric, and the physical layout of Dublin. This reference work is very good because it allows readers to have their own experiences by providing only supplementary content (facts) that help to understand the myriad allusions presented in the text. I suggest that you enjoy the many beautiful styles of prose presented in the 18 episodes pausing to quickly glance at the definitions in your opened copy of "Ulysses Annotated." Then before reading the next episode, go back and read the complete explanatory entries in this reference book. Give yourself a couple of months to enjoy the novel and add this new day to your life.
An absolute masterpiece  May 1, 2008
I'm not sure if I would have been able to get into this book so much if I hadn't been taught by an amazing Joyce scholar in a Ulysses seminar, but please, buy a couple of Ulysses supplements if you are unable to take an accompanying class. It is well worth it. This book has marked my life indelibly.
Not a novel and not not a novel  Apr 18, 2008
I don't think its helpful to read Ulysses as a novel. If you expect a plot, or a tale or character arcs, or realism, or accessible prose, you will be frustrated. Would you read the Bible with those expectations? Or the Odyssey? And those books along with Hamlet are touchstones for Ulysses but also the caliber of the company Joyce's great book keeps. So how is Ulysses a novel? It has characters that we follow and whose psychology is revealed to us. It uses narrative to move along story elements through the eighteen episodes (though clearly not chapters so more evidence of it not being a novel). There is Bloom's letter to Martha, Boylan's date with Molly and Stephen's homeless fate. Ulysses uses the novel to both explode that form and to honor it as an artistic expression. This aspect of the book; its subverted novelistic qualities is what gives Ulysses its forbidding reputation as unreadable or as pointlessly obscure.

The pleasure in reading Ulysses is not novelistic, it is humanistic, it is to ruminate on the existence of Western Civilization. It is to experience connections to our mythic past and our primal present. It is to ponder where our flawed, suffering, imaginative, humanity will take us as we move through the century beyond the Joyce's creation. More than that it's a chance to contemplate our own capacity for contradiction, ambiguity, creativity, perversity, cleverness and fantasy.

Joyce isn't just showing off his genius. He is displaying the full range of it so that we can participate in it and take of it what we can, if we can and be not afraid of not making sense. There are deeper truths than simple comprehension and Joyce tantalizes us with glimpses of what they could be.

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