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Ulysses - James Joyce

Ulysses by James Joyce

"Ulysses is the most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the twentieth century. . . It is likely that there is no one writing English today that could parallel Mr. Joyce's feat, and it is also likely that few would care to do it were it capable." (Books of the Century; New York Times review, May 1922)

If you're like most of us, Ulysses is the greatest book you've never read. Often hailed as the greatest book of the twentieth century, Joyce's stream-of-consciousness style and use of complex literary allusions keep many readers from opening it, not to mention Joyce's fondness for fantastic words like "contrasmagnificanjewelbangtantiability."

Although it's now part of the Western canon, Ulysses had inauspicious beginnings. When The Little Review started printing extracts from the book in 1918, its founders were arrested, charged with publishing obscenity, and fined $100. Ulysses was not published in book form until 1922, when another American woman, Sylvia Beach, published it in Paris her Shakespeare & Company. James JoyceUlysses was not available legally in any English-speaking country until 1934, when Random House successfully defended Joyce against obscenity charges and published it in the Modern Library. Recently several popular authors have taken aim at Joyce, and in turn have been accused of petty jealousy. What better time to decide for yourself whether Ulysses deserves a place of honor on your bookself? You can discuss this topic in our forums.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

--Introibo ad altare Dei.

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:

--Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak. (The opening of Ulysses)

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Featured Author

Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven by Edgar Allen PoeIn many ways, Edgar Allen Poe's life mirrors his work. Everything we know about the life of the great author of poetry and fiction is dark, strange, and shrouded in mystery. He left behind no birth certificate, and even the dates and locations of his birth, death and burial are debateable. Poe himself merrily seeded his path with rumours and outright lies, claiming he joined the Greeks in their fight for liberty in 1828 and was the grandson of Benedict Arnold. To top it all off, readers tend to confuse Poe's characters with Poe himself. Dozens of biographies have been penned about the writer, and two more are forthcoming this year. Join the fray by reading some of the many books by and about Poe which are available on AbeBooks.Edgar Allen Poe

"Ye who read are still among the living, but I who write shall have long since gone my way into the region of shadows. For indeed strange things shall happen, and many secret things be known, and many centuries shall pass away, ere these memorials be seen of men. And, when seen, there will be some to disbelieve, and some to doubt, and yet a few who will find much to ponder upon in the characters here graven with a stylus of iron." From "Shadow — a Parable" (1835).

Tamelane And Other Poems
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque
Murders in the Rue Morgue: And Other Stories
The Raven and Other Poems
Tales of Edgar A Poe
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane: And Minor Poems
The Fall of the House of Usher: And Other Tales
Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related Tales
The Gold-Bug and Other Tales
The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe
The Short Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
All Books by Edgar Allan Poe


Biographies About Poe

Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe by Hervey Allen
Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance by Kenneth Silverman
Poe: A Biography by William Bittner
The Haunted Man: A Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe by Philip Lindsay
Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography by Dame Una Pope-Hennessey
The Dreamer: A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe by Mary Newton Stanard
Poe's Helen Remembers by John Carl Miller
The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by John Ward Ostrom

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

From Poe's most famous poem, "The Raven"