Ulysses pdf by James Joyce pdf download, excerpt, themes, read reviews

Ulysses by James Joyce is a classic modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialized in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety in Paris by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, Joyce’s 40th birthday. It is considered one of the most important works of modernist literature and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement.” According to Declan Kiberd, “Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking”.

Ulysses depicts the appointments and encounters of the itinerant Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between the poem and the novel, with structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early 20th-century context of modernism, Dublin, and Ireland’s relationship to Britain. The novel is highly allusive and also imitates the styles of different periods of English literature. In this article, you will be able to download Ulysses pdf by James Joyce as well as do the following:

  • Get a summary of Ulysses pdf by James Joyce
  • Learn about the author Ulysses – James Joyce
  • Learn more information about the book
  • Read an excerpt from Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Know the themes explored in the book
  • Where to buy Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Read reviews on Ulysses
  • Download Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Watch video review of Ulysses by James Joyce

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Summary of Ulysses pdf by James Joyce

James Joyce’s astonishing masterpiece, Ulysses, tells of the diverse events which befall Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in Dublin on 16 June 1904, during which Bloom’s voluptuous wife, Molly, commits adultery.
Initially deemed obscene in England and the USA, this richly-allusive novel, revolutionary in its Modernistic experimentalism, was hailed as a work of genius by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. Scandalously frank, wittily erudite, mercurially eloquent, resourcefully comic and generously humane, Ulysses offers the reader a life-changing experience.

Set entirely on one day, 16 June 1904, Ulysses follows Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus as they go about their daily business in Dublin. From this starting point, James Joyce constructs a novel of extraordinary imaginative richness and depth. Unique in the history of literature, Ulysses is one of the most important and enjoyable works of the twentieth century.

About the Author Ulysses- James Joyce

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century.

Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he utilised. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism and his published letters.

Joyce was born in 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin—about half a mile from his mother’s birthplace in Terenure—into a middle-class family on the way down. A brilliant student, he excelled at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father’s alcoholism and unpredictable finances. He went on to attend University College Dublin.

In 1904, in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated permanently to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce’s fictional universe centres on Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses, he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, “For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.”

Information about the book pdf (Bookdepository)

Ulysses by James Joyce
Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Format Paperback | 736 pages
  • Dimensions 129 x 198 x 37mm | 451g
  • Publication date 15 Jan 2016
  • Publisher Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication City/Country Herts, United Kingdom
  • Language English
  • ISBN13 9781840226355
  • Bestsellers rank 1,531

Excerpt from Ulysses by James Joyce

 © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

–Introibo ad altare Dei. Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called up coarsely:

–Come up, Kinch. Come up, you fearful jesuit.
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding country and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak. Buck Milligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly. –Back to barracks, he said sternly.
He added in a preacher’s tone: –For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence, all. 
He peered sideways up and gave a long low whistle of call, then paused awhile in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there with gold points. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered through the calm. –Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the current, will you?
He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering about his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plump shadowed face and sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. A pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips. –The mockery of it, he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek.

Themes in Ulysses by James Joyce

Themes are the foundational main points explored in a literary work. Below are some of the themes covered by the author in this book

 The Quest for Paternity

At its most basic level, Ulysses is a book about Stephen’s search for a symbolic father and Bloom’s search for a son. In this respect, the plot of Ulysses parallels Telemachus’s search for Odysseus, and vice versa, in The Odyssey. Bloom’s search for a son stems at least in part from his need to reinforce his identity and heritage through progeny. Stephen already has a biological father, Simon Dedalus, but considers him a father only in “flesh.” Stephen feels that his own ability to mature and become a father himself (of art or children) is restricted by Simon’s criticism and lack of understanding. Thus Stephen’s search involves finding a symbolic father who will, in turn, allow Stephen himself to be a father. Both men, in truth, are searching for paternity as a way to reinforce their own identities.

Stephen is more conscious of his quest for paternity than Bloom, and he mentally recurs to several important motifs with which to understand paternity. Stephen’s thinking about the Holy Trinity involves, on the one hand, Church doctrines that uphold the unity of the Father and the Son and, on the other hand, the writings of heretics that challenge this doctrine by arguing that God created the rest of the Trinity, concluding that each subsequent creation is inherently different. Stephen’s second motif involves his Hamlet theory, which seeks to prove that Shakespeare represented himself through the ghost-father in Hamlet, but also—through his translation of his life into art—became the father of his own father, of his life, and “of all his race.” The Holy Trinity and Hamlet motifs reinforce our sense of Stephen’s and Bloom’s parallel quests for paternity. These quests seem to end in Bloom’s kitchen, with Bloom recognizing “the future” in Stephen and Stephen recognizing “the past” in Bloom. Though united as father and son in this moment, the men will soon part ways, and their paternity quests will undoubtedly continue, for Ulysses demonstrates that the quest for paternity is a search for a lasting manifestation of self.

 The Remorse of Conscience

The phrase agenbite of inwit, a religious term meaning “remorse of conscience,” comes to Stephen’s mind again and again in Ulysses. Stephen associates the phrase with his guilt over his mother’s death—he suspects that he may have killed her by refusing to kneel and pray at her sickbed when she asked. The theme of remorse runs through Ulysses to address the feelings associated with modern breaks with family and tradition. Bloom, too, has guilty feelings about his father because he no longer observes certain traditions his father observed, such as keeping kosher. Episode Fifteen, “Circe,” dramatizes this remorse as Bloom’s “Sins of the Past” rise up and confront him one by one. Ulysses juxtaposes characters who experience remorse with characters who do not, such as Buck Mulligan, who shamelessly refers to Stephen’s mother as “beastly dead,” and Simon Dedalus, who mourns his late wife but does not regret his treatment of her. Though remorse of conscience can have a repressive, paralyzing effect, as in Stephen’s case, it is also vaguely positive. A self-conscious awareness of the past, even the sins of the past, helps constitute an individual as an ethical being in the present.

Parallax, or the Need for Multiple Perspectives

Parallax is an astronomical term that Bloom encounters in his reading and that arises repeatedly through the course of the novel. It refers to the difference of position of one object when seen from two different vantage points. These differing viewpoints can be collated to better approximate the position of the object. As a novel, Ulysses uses a similar tactic. Three main characters—Stephen, Bloom, and Molly—and a subset of narrative techniques that affect our perception of events and characters combine to demonstrate the fallibility of one single perspective. Our understanding of particular characters and events must be continually revised as we consider further perspectives. The most obvious example is Molly’s past love life. Though we can construct a judgment of Molly as a loose woman from the testimonies of various characters in the novel—Bloom, Lenehan, Dixon, and so on—this judgment must be revised with the integration of Molly’s own final testimony.

Compassion as Heroic

In nearly all senses, the notion of Leopold Bloom as an epic hero is laughable—his job, talents, family relations, public relations, and private actions all suggest his utter ordinariness. It is only Bloom’s extraordinary capacity for sympathy and compassion that allows him an unironic heroism in the course of the novel. Bloom’s fluid ability to empathize with such a wide variety of beings—cats, birds, dogs, dead men, vicious men, blind men, old ladies, a woman in labor, the poor, and so on—is the modern-day equivalent to Odysseus’s capacity to adapt to a wide variety of challenges. Bloom’s compassion often dictates the course of his day and the novel, as when he stops at the river Liffey to feed the gulls or at the hospital to check on Mrs. Purefoy. There is a network of symbols in Ulysses that present Bloom as Ireland’s savior, and his message is, at a basic level, to “love.” He is juxtaposed with Stephen, who would also be Ireland’s savior but is lacking in compassion. Bloom returns home, faces evidence of his cuckold status, and slays his competition—not with arrows, but with a refocused perspective that is available only through his fluid capacity for empathy.

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Read reviews on Ulysses by James Joyce

Editorial reviews and praise for the book

Amazon.com Review

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

“Ulysses will immortalize its author with the same certainty that Gargantua immortalized Rabelais, and The Brothers Karamazov immortalized Dostoyevsky…. It comes nearer to being the perfect revelation of a personality than any book in existence.”
-The New York Times

“To my mind one of the most significant and beautiful books of our time.”
-Gilbert Seldes, in The Nation

“Talk about understanding “feminine psychology”– I have never read anything to surpass it, and I doubt if I have ever read anything to equal it.”
-Arnold Bennett

“In the last pages of the book, Joyce soars to such rhapsodies of beauty as have probably never been equaled in English prose fiction.”
-Edmund Wilson, in The New Republic

Reviews from customers on waterstones.com for Ulysses by James Joyce

By Helen Saunders at Notting Hill.
31st January 2018

“Ignore what other people say….”

…Ulysses is not as hard as they suggest. All you need is a good set of notes, lots of tea, and some stamina (and ideally a friend who’s already read it). Even if it takes a few attempts, it is really worth trying ‘Ulysses’ – the hype says it’s the most important novel ever written, and that’s true! This really is a beautiful novel that showcases every single emotion on the spectrum – great value too!

By Scout
14th February 2018

“Deserves credit and reading”

As with many of James Joyce works it seems to attract some negativity which is totally unfounded. It might take a little patience (particularly if you are not used to the style) but it is well worth reading, thought provoking and as the old adage goes “curl up with a cup of tea infront of the fire”. Wonderful. I have read this (along with other works of Mr Joyce) more than once and have suggested to family and friends who have also enjoyed, Thoroughly deserved its place in the top 100 books.

By Amalia Gkavea
27th July 2020

““History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.””

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
16 June 1904. Leopold Bloom wanders the streets and places of Dublin. Around him, everything becomes a dream, a menace, an opportunity, a disappointment, a wrath. His mind filled with thoughts of Molly Bloom, his own (very different) Penelope. His path crosses with the ‘’heroes’’ of his own Irish Odyssey. Is he willing to escape the Lestrygonians and the Wandering Rocks? The Sirens and the Cyclops? The traps of Aeolus? The seductive hallucinations of Circe? The playful innocence of Nausicaa?
“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”
In the course of one day, from Sandycove to Howth Head, Leopold traces Dublin Bay, at the side of the demons in his head. In a novel that has become a symbol, a shrine of Modernism and the finest Experimental example, Joyce gives us the city adventures of a troubled soul, the interactions of the bourgeois man and the bohemian student. The outsider within the boundaries of a metropolis. The sights, the smells, the sounds of Dublin as Bloom walks on and on, the body of a man in close proximity and struggle within the body of the city that nurtures and swallows its residents. The monologues of desperation and dissolution (or are his illusions fed even more?) give food for the legends that now accompany Bloom’s wanderings. Every building, every local spot becomes a story within the story, a station and a port for Leopold’s withered ship. An Odyssey of Dublin from its pubs and houses to its hospitals and graveyards with rhapsodies of sex, fellowship, trust and betrayal in an era that changes.
Banned in the USA and other countries on the grounds of obscenity, Ulysses remains a mystery even today. In our modern era when scenes are reenacted on Bloomsday, James Joyce masterpiece still troubles, hypnotizes and fascinates us. “Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”

Customer reviews on Amazon for Ulysses by James Joyce

Cy Pres

1.0 out of 5 stars Novel is excellent. Penguin Modern Classics edition on Kindle is riddled with typos.

Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020

Verified Purchase

The one star is for the Penguin Modern Classics edition on Kindle, not the novel itself. Ulysses is a challenging read. I listened to the Teaching Company’s audio lectures on Ulysses beforehand, which proved helpful in navigating this novel. There are 18 chapters (apparently), and the novel is (loosely) based on Homer’s Odyssey. I think the casual reader will be turned off by the difficulty since there is hardly any plot and the style changes abruptly (from straight exposition with clearly defined characters to stream-of-consciousness to playwriting to nonsensical alliterations and back again.

I would stay away from the Kindle edition. It is riddled with typos. I notified Amazon of about twenty typos in the first three or so hours of reading but stopped after that. Wish I could return the Kindle edition.

VA Duck

4.0 out of 5 stars On Deck?

Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2017

“Ulysses”: the literary reader’s favorite and the casual reader’s frustration. It is a difficult book to read – if the experts are right, the difficulty is worth it. Nonetheless, it remains difficult, and for that, any judgment based on the usual “good story – well told” criterion will be less than fair to this masterpiece.

My first attempt ended 43 years ago on page 38 (the bookmark was still there.) But the book can’t be ignored it is on nearly every ‘100 greatest books’ ever written list: there are many ‘bests’ lists and “Ulysses” is usually in the leadoff, or #2 spot – that doesn’t happen by ‘chance’!

The difficulty with this read is that the reader is often simply ‘listening’ to the protagonists thoughts presented in stream-of-consciousness style, while Joyce is constantly ‘playing’ with the language; English, French, Latin even Italian, and he plays with the characters and other authors, even his own prior work, and philosophies are explored, and all-the-while the story is an allegory of Homer’s (the Greek, not Simpson) “Odyssey”. And yet… in the back of the mind, you just can’t help but wonder if the myopic little Jimmy J. was just having it on with all of us. In fact, he said himself… “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” (Joyce’s reply to a request for a plan of Ulysses, as quoted in James Joyce (1959) by Richard Ellmann.)

Apropos the game of baseball, for which it has been said, “There’s a whole lot of stuff going on out there” …which the uninitiated is unable to see (Tony La Russa?). I didn’t ‘see’ all that Joyce had to say (yep…uninitiated!) but I saw enough to recognize the enormous importance of this book. If I may modify the definition of 4-stars from “I Like it” to “I Admire it”, then I can make the rating system work for this read. If you are a reader, you will want to read this book someday – but wait until you are ready to concentrate on it: Joyce does not throw batting practice, its all curves, sliders, and cutters and nasty sinkers! If you strike out, it’s your own fault, not his.

The storyline is a walk through Dublin on the day of June 16th, 1904 where we follow the separate strolls of Stephen Dedalus, a budding poet and Leopold Bloom, an advertisement salesman, till they meet in the evening, go on a drunk together then separate onto their own paths again. Simple story? Sure, but you’d better pay attention because “there’s a whole lot of stuff going on out there!”

M. Dowden

5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 8, 2021

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As we can all see, there have been many editions of this book that have become cross-posted on this site by the owners, so this has become a bit muddled. If you are looking for the best edition, with footnotes and so on, then you cannot really go wrong with the Oxford University Press edition, which also has the full 1922 text. This review is for the e-artnow edition which has no footnotes, but then neither did the book when originally published, and as I have read this a number of times before does not really bother me. Also I should point out that the number one review for this book does not tell you which edition the reviewer was reading, but if you look through their reviews you will see it is for one no longer available on this site.

James Joyce’s masterpiece is always worth reading and is a must read especially for those into modernist literature. In fact, this has become so famous that in Ireland of course you now have Bloomsday – no mean feat in itself (Dublin of course is the place to go). Along with being an important modernist work this is also important for all book lovers as this has so much to offer and is something that you can never become bored with.
Taking Homer and The Odyssey as its inspiration and the structure of this monumental novel, so we have a tale here that takes in a single day. The main protagonist here, Leopold Bloom is a character that first appears in the second part here and being of some Jewish descent this jars with the first part where we read of certain anti-Semitic comments and feelings. We thus follow what happens and meet and hear from various characters over this one day.
Full of incident, considered by some as controversial and obscene at its first publication, so we can all read this nowadays with a more open mind, and reflect upon the genius that Joyce displays here. There is wordplay, puns and motifs, and with so much detail this book comes alive in your hands as you immerse yourself in the pages. We of course have the re-introduction of Stephen Dedalus here who those who have read it will recognise from ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, who appears right near the beginning of this book.
With meticulous detail and a lot of thought going into the construction of what is an experimental work, so this takes stream of consciousness to the highest point it can go, which inevitably meant that in some ways Joyce caught himself in a dead end, and that is why Finnegans Wake is so different, but in ways the logical way to go after this monumental work.
If you have never read this before you may find yourself intimidated and unsure of what you are reading, but that is okay, just go with the flow. This only really becomes very difficult if you have to study it, because you will then be expected to recognise every single nuance and piece of wordplay, etc. that goes on.
In all this is a very clever book, that is erudite, full of humour and intelligence and is certainly worth reading. Don’t expect to speed through this though, because there is so much to take in and absorb. If you do not end up liking it, fair enough, but at least you will be one of those who have tried to read it, rather than some who are quite willing to write this off as not very good, despite the fact that they have never even opened it.

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