Please note: This is not a Logos class, in the usual sense. The Logos Book Club consists of Logos students, avid readers and learners, who enjoy exploring major works of literature together. Over the past few years we have read and studied: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, St. Augustine’s Confessions, Dante’s Divine Comedy . . . and now, James Joyce’s Ulysses. When we finish Ulysses, we will decide as a group what book we want to study next!
The turn of the 20th century saw Einstein radically re-envision physics; Picasso reinvent art; and Arthur Schoenberg rethink musical composition. At the same time, James Joyce revolutionized literature with his novel, Ulysses.
Arguably the greatest novel ever written at any time in any language, Ulysses takes us on a journey through Dublin, Ireland with Leopold Bloom, its central character. The action takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, from roughly 8:00 AM until 2:00 AM the next morning. Ulysses’ 18 chapters parallel the action in Homer’s Odyssey (in Latin, Ulysses), with Leopold Bloom as Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus as Telemachus and Molly Bloom as Penelope. Unlike its epic model set as a sea voyage as the heroic Odysseus makes his way home to Ithica from the Trojan War, Ulysses follows Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertising canvasser, through the squalid back streets of Dublin in such detail that Joyce claimed that if Dublin were destroyed by some catastrophe, it could be rebuilt brick-by-brick using his novel as a model.
Although Ulysses uses Homer’s Odyssey as a structural framework, each chapter of Ulysses parodies the action in Odysseus’ voyage; each chapter employs its own literary style; and each chapter is associated with its own individual color, art or science, and often its bodily functions. Its formal structure is belied by its near-obsessive attention to detail, “stream of consciousness” style and esoteric knowledge of Dublin, Irish politics and Irish culture.
Published in 1922 by Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare & Company, her famous Rive Gauche Paris bookshop, its turn-of-the-century audience considered the book to be pornographic, and it was banned in the United States until 1933.
Our “Logos Book Club’s” study of Ulysses sets the stage for our June 7-17, 2013 Literary Tour of Ireland, a tour in which we will be hosted by the James Joyce Centre in Dublin for “Bloom’s Day” festivities on June 16!
When & Where
Logos Bible Study