A Good Read-Ulysses by James Joyce

Our Guest Columnist is Mike Mooney, Language Teacher and Academic Manager

My favourite book is Ulysses by James Joyce. No, shut up, it actually is. I’ve re-read it about once every two years for 20 years now-and it’s 30 years since I studied it at Uni. For my degree I had to know what was going on, and a book called IIRC The Ulysses Companion explained what the various sections were about. After that, I could just enjoy it. And boy do I enjoy it! He has the ability to write in a beautiful, formal and erudite way which complements rather than jars with his ear for the Dublin demotic. As I’ve grown older-and more like Bloom than Stephen-my appreciation of it has deepened. It’s a sack full of jewels. It’s life-affirming and astounding in so many ways, unlike the puzzle factory that is Finnegans Wake, which I’ve only ever read scraps of. Someone once summarised Ulysses by saying “Man goes for a walk around Dublin. Nothing much happens.” That’s not true. Everything happens, all human life is here and nobody has since managed to describe it so breathtakingly.

#jamesjoyce #ulysses #mikemooney

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