"Ulysses": Celebrated (05:10)
James Joyce’s masterpiece of modern literature uses several narrative styles. Alan Adelson stages a reading with seven actors for Bloomsday. The main characters, Leopold and Molly Bloom, are based on Joyce and his wife, Nora Barnacle.
Joyce: Being Odysseus (04:42)
“Ulysses” is set in Dublin on June sixteenth, 1904— the day Joyce first went on a date with Nora. Despite not wanting children, the couple had two. The family moved regularly to find work and escape bill collectors.
Joyce: Jealousy Crisis (03:36)
In Zurich, Joyce became deeply paranoid about being betrayed, obsessing over the idea Nora cheated on him. She tolerated his mistreatment but mocked him when they were apart. His insecurities inspired “Ulysses.”
Joyce: Identity (08:33)
Joyce lived in Martello Tower for six days; he used the experience in “Ulysses." In Dublin, he socialized with people who had varied opinions of him. In "Ulysses," Molly Bloom’s list of lovers begins with Nora's real life first partner. Leopold Bloom’s grief is sexually impairing.
Joyce: Private Life (04:59)
Adelson studies Joyce’s handwritten version of “Ulysses,” determining that he loved his own writing; Joyce worked with several distractions. In the work, Bloom reads a letter from correspondent, Martha; Joyce had a secret pen pal with the same name.
Joyce: Controversial Content (05:59)
Edith Rockefeller McCormick gave Joyce monthly stipends. When he refused psychoanalyses by Carl Jung, she suspended the money, forcing Joyce to move to Paris. He published “Ulysses” in chapters in “The Little Review,” but censors arrested and fined editors for publishing erotic content.
Joyce: Relationships (06:36)
In "Ulysses," Leopold looked after others while thinking about his cheating wife. His meekness about her affairs juxtaposes Joyce’s jealous confrontations with Nora. In Paris, Ezra Pound became Joyce's literary caretaker, introducing him to American Sylvia Beach.
Joyce: Shakespeare and Company Bookstore (05:07)
In 1921, Beach agreed to publish “Ulysses,” prompting Joyce’s frantic work pace. He obsessed over type sets and revisions, creating prohibitive costs for her and further injuring his eyes. The book was funded by selling subscriptions; Nora, she refused to read it.
Joyce: Stand Against Hatred (06:53)
In “Ulysses,” Bloom is persecuted for his Hungarian Jewish heritage. Embracing his background, he steadfastly campaigns for love. Joyce left Ireland after Father John Creagh stirred bigotry against Jewish emigrants; his book remained unprinted in the country for decades.
"Ulysses": Banned (07:02)
Joyce’s benefactor, Harriet Shaw Weaver lavished his family with gifts, paid for eye surgeries, and enabled drinking. Nora left him because of alcoholism, causing his Paris break down. Ireland’s Civil War complicated book production; Beach smuggled copies to America and Britain.
Joyce: Questionable Character (08:37)
In "Ulysses," Stephan Dedalus is detached from humanity while Bloom is continuously compassionate, representing Joyce’s duality. Joyce's daughter was mentally ill, and his son was an alcoholic; both were damaged during Joyce's years of writing “Ulysses.”
American Publishers (07:15)
Random House smuggled “Ulysses” into New York as evidence for the court; it was allowed into the United States and inspired many writers. After Jung read Molly’s recollection of Leopold’s proposal, he lauded Joyce’s understanding of female psychology, but Nora remained unconvinced.
Credits: In Bed With Ulysses (02:46)
Credits: In Bed With Ulysses
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