Suzanne Keen
Bread Loaf School of English

7410 Ulysses: Homer, Joyce, Walcott/Ms. Keen/

This course frames a careful reading of James Joyce's Ulysses with brief encounters with other versions of the story first recorded in Homer's Odyssey . We will begin (on the first day of class--bring your book) with Homer's Odyssey (in translation) and conclude with a viewing of the film Bloom. Along the way we will read Derek Walcott's stage version of the Odyssey . The central purpose of the course, however, is to read Joyce's Ulysses steadily. We will work together to understand Joyce's narrative techniques, interpret his major characters and track their movements through space, analyze patterns of allusion to Homer, Shakespeare, and other writers, and explicate passages of Joyce's peculiar language. Some of these broader topics will inform our discussions: the publication history of Ulysses; censorship and the law; Joyce and religion; the controversies about the textual editing of Ulysses ; Joyce and Irish nationalism; gender in Ulysses; Joyce and Orientalism; postcolonial Joyce. Please prepare for the course not by reading Ulysses on your own, but by reading Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , Homer's Odyssey, and Shakespeare's Hamlet prior to the start of classes.

Texts: Homer, The Odyssey , translated by Stanley Lombardo (Hackett. ISBN: 0-87220-484); James Joyce, Ulysses: The Corrected Text, edited by Hans Walter Gabler (Vintage. ISBN: 0-394-74312-1); Derek Walcott, The Odyssey: A Play (Farrar. ISBN: 0374523878). Though these recommended texts will also be on reserve in the St. John's College library, students may find it convenient to own Harry Blamires's The New Bloomsday Book (Routledge. ISBN: 0-415-13858-2) and Don Gifford's Ulysses Annotated: Revised and Expanded Edition (California. ISBN: 0-520-06745-2).


10% participation, including responses, written comments, and discussion leader assignment
30% paper #1 5-7 pages
60% paper #2 12-15 pages

Each student will serve as "discussion leader" for one episode of Ulysses, which will require you to prepare for the class in which we will discuss that episode by reading the primary text carefully, checking the biographical sources for relevant contextual information (especially Richard Ellmann's James Joyce), going over Joyce's "schemas," letters, and other relevant comments on the episode, and perusing critical articles from the collections on reserve. Effective oral presentations include preparing in advance, planning the questions you will ask your peers, creating a handout to convey information efficiently, and not going way over your suggested time limit for any presentation component (approximately 15-20 minutes).

Reading Ahead

Bread Loaf faculty normally expect students to read the course texts ahead of time. I do not recommend reading Ulysses on your own: it helps enormously to undertake this project in a group, with assistance. I do need you to read The Odyssey ahead of time, and please take a look at these study questions about Homer. If you would like to know more about Joyce's writing, you should read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, in which readers meet a different, younger version of Stephen Dedalus. This background reading will be helpful, but we do not pause to discuss Portrait. If you can't get enough Joyce, read Dubliners, his book of stories. Many of you will know the most famous stories, "Araby" and "The Dead," but if you like to spot characters' reappearances, read the whole volume. Some of the Dubliners turn up in Ulysses. My 2007 students urged me to require a reading of Hamlet ahead of time. It certainly helps in the interpretation of Stephen Dedalus to have a good sense of the gloomy prince of Denmark. If you can't stop yourself from reading ahead, choose the "Penelope episode," the 18th and final chapter of Ulysses.

Reading/viewing Laterally

Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad. This short text takes a look at the maids of The Odyssey, from Penelope's insider perspective.
O Brother, Where Art Thou. This film tells a modernized version of the story of The Odyssey, and it has a great sound track.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses" and "The Lotus Eaters." Justly famous reimaginings of two episodes of The Odyssey.

Internet Resources for the Study of Joyce

Concordance to Ulysses—provides a hypertext edition of Ulysses in which every word is linked to every other occurrence of the same word in Ulysses. Similar electronic hypertexts of Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are available at the same site.
Flying By the Net: James Joyce in Cyberspace-- A comprehensive guide to Joyce on the web developed by Prof. Michael Groden
Prof. John Rickard's Joyce Resources on the Internet.
Prof. Michael Groden's detailed study guide, Reading James Joyce's Ulysses
Prof. Marc Conner's image database for Irish Literary Studies (contains images of sites mentioned in Ulysses).
Bl••m, the film.

Course links:

Link to Joyce skeleton/master-key.
Link to study questions for U, Telemachus.
Link to study questions for U, Nestor.
Please refer to Professor Groden's website for more study questions. Reading James Joyce's Ulysses
Link to handout glossing allusions in Walcott.
For grammar, punctuation and diction, see the free online version of the Norton Field Guide Handbook.

Recommended Secondary Sources:

Attridge, Derek, ed. Cambridge Companion to James Joyce. Cambridge UP, 1989.
—. Joyce Effects: On Language, History, And Theory. Cambridge UP, 2000.
—. Peculiar Language. Methuen, 1988. (there's a Routledge reprint)
Budgen, Frank. James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses. H. Smith and R. Hass, 1934. Old, but Budgen interviewed Joyce.
Burgess, Anthony. ReJoyce. Rpt. Norton, 1995. (This is a useful trot by a distinguished novelist: good 100 pages on Ulysses for the first-time reader)
Cheng, Vincent and Timothy Martin. eds. Joyce in Context. Cambridge UP, 1992.
Deming, R., ed. The Critical Heritage. 2 vols. Routledge, 1970.
Ellmann, Richard. Ulysses on the Liffey. Oxford UP, 1972.
Gifford, Don. Ulysses Annotated. California 1988 (essential reference book, but you don't have to own it)
Gilbert, Stuart. James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study. Faber and Faber, 1930. Index. Rev. ed. 1952. Essential: reprints the schemas that Joyce gave to his translators.
Gottfried, Roy K. The Art of Joyce's Syntax in Ulysses. U of Georgia P, 1980.
Kenner, Hugh. Joyce's Voices. U of California P, 1978.
Kenner, Hugh. Ulysses. Rev. ed. Johns Hopkins UP, 1987. (This is an insightful book about U, not an edition, as the title makes it appear)
Kermode, Frank. The Genesis of Secrecy. Harvard UP, 1979. The Gospel of Mark and the Man in the Mackintosh.
Lawrence, Karen. The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses. Princeton UP, 1981.
Maddox, James H., Jr. Joyce's Ulysses and the Assault upon Character. Rutgers UP, 1968.
Mahaffey, Vicki. Reauthorizing Joyce. Cambridge UP, 1988.
McGee, Patrick. Paperspace: Style as Ideology in Ulysses. U of Nebraska P, 1988.
Rickard, John S. Joyce's Book Of Memory: The Mnemotechnic Of Ulysses. Duke UP, 1999.

Class schedule

Th June 17, Homer’s Odyssey

Tu June 22, Joyce, Ulysses  I. Telemachiad . 1. Telemachus (1-19), Joyce, Ulysses 2. Nestor (20-30)
W June 23 office hours during the day in the side room to your left as you enter the library, with breaks for meals
Th June 24, Joyce, Ulysses 3. Proteus (31-42)
F June 25, 5-7 page paper (on either an epic simile from Homer or a passage from Ulysses) due by 1 p.m. in my mailbox in the BL office. If I cannot pick it up after I eat lunch, it’s a late paper.

Tu June 29, Joyce, Ulysses  II. Wanderings of Odysseus. 4. Calypso (45-57), Joyce, Ulysses 5. Lotus-Eaters (58-71)
W June 30, office hours during the day with breaks for meals
Th July 1, Joyce, Ulysses  6. Hades (72-95), Joyce, Ulysses 7. Aeolus (96-123)

Tu July 6, Joyce, Ulysses 8. Lestrygonians (124-50), Joyce, Ulysses 9. Scylla and Charybdis (151-79)
W July 7 no office hours
Th July 8, Joyce, Ulysses 10. Wandering Rocks (180-209), Joyce, Ulysses 11. Sirens (210-239)

Tu July 13, Joyce, Ulysses 12. Cyclops (240-283), Derek Walcott, The Odyssey (stage version)
W July 14, office hours during the day with breaks for meals
Th July 15, Joyce, Ulysses 13. Nausicaa (284-313), Joyce, Ulysses 14. Oxen of the Sun (314-49).

Tu July 20, Joyce, Ulysses  15. Circe/Nighttown (350-497)
W July 21, office hours during the day with breaks for meals
Th July 22, Joyce, Ulysses. III. Nostos/Homecoming. 16. Eumaeus (501-43) Joyce, Ulysses 17. Ithaca (544-607)
F July 23, 12-15 page paper due in my BL office mail box, 1 pm.

Tu July 27, Joyce, Ulysses 18. Penelope (608-644)