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Ulysses

Joyce, James

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ISBN 10: 0394743121 / ISBN 13: 9780394743127
Published by Vintage Books, New York, 1986
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Gumshoe Books (Columbia, SC, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

first printing of the corrected editionin wraps. also includes the listing of edition and status. preface by richard ellmann. afterword by hans walter gabler. Size: 4to. Bookseller Inventory # 019961

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ulysses

Publisher: Vintage Books, New York

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Perfect Bound Wraps

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: First Vintage Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

The Gabler edition of Ulysses, the greatest 20th-century novel written in English, contains corrections to more than 5,000 errors in earlier editions.

Almost as soon as Ulysses first appeared, in Paris in 1922, James Joyce began to compile a list of errata, and publishers have continued the process ever since, often inadvertently adding to the list. In 1974, an international team of scholars headed by Professor Hans Walter Gabler began to study manuscript evidence, typescripts, and proofs in order to produce as accurate and complete a new edition as possible. First published in 1984, the Gabler edition was hailed as a monumental achievement, one that makes this great and complex novel more accessible and enjoyable than ever before. Also included is a preface by the distinguished Joyce scholar Richard Ellmann, a foreword and note on the text by Gabler, and an afterword by Michael Groden.

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

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