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Posted by: Joseph Kelly | October 4, 2018 | No Comment |

Kudu is reserved for a private party today, 4 October, so please meet in my office at 72 George at 4:30 to discuss “Calypso.”

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Calypso meeting time 4:30

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 28, 2018 | No Comment |

Don’t forget that our meeting to discuss episode 4, “Calypso,” will be at 4:30 at Kudu on 4 October.  See you then!

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New meeting time

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 26, 2018 | No Comment |

We’re meeting fifteen minutes later this week to accommodate some work schedules:  5:15 at Kudu cafe to discuss “Proteus”.  See you there!

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What is Ulysses?

Ulysses tells the story of three characters–Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and Molly Bloom–as they muddle through their Dublin lives on the 16th of June in the year 1904 (known throughout the literary world as “Bloomsday”).  It begins and ends in stream of consciousness–that technique of Modern narrative pioneered by James Joyce and borrowed by Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, among others.  The story is a poignant domestic drama, but it also parallels Homer’s Odyssey.  Joyce’s “mythical method” inspired T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.  

Notoriously hard to read, a copy of Ulysses under one’s arm has been something of a badge of honor on college campuses ever since American critics first started championing the book back in the 1930s.  What most people don’t know is that it’s also one of the funniest books you’ll ever read . . . and reread.

What is the Reading Group?

Every other year, I lead an informal group of readers on an extra-curricular journey through the 20th century’s most important novel:  James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Though it’s hard to read on your own, it’s a lot of fun to do it in a group.  No quizzes.  No papers.  Just great gab.  That’s how I first read this modern Irish epic back at the University of Texas, and that’s how many people first tackle this novel.  We’ll follow the usual formula of Ulysses Reading Groups across the country: read and discuss one chapter each week till we get to the end–probably in January or February.

If I join, do I have to show up?

No!  The Reading Group is informal.  No obligations at all.  As the semester progresses and as people have various deadlines, it expands and contracts like a lung.  Skip a few weeks and come back to the group when you can.  You might miss some continuity, but you’ll still have fun.

Can I get college credit for being in the Reading Group?

Yes.  If you want to get one credit hour, you have that option.  That does put you under some obligation:  you have to attend regularly, and you have to keep a “reading journal” that records your responses to each chapter.  To get signed up for credit, we’ll do a tutorial form and get you registered by the Drop/Add deadline, which is Tuesday, 27 August.  So contact me RIGHT AWAY if you want to do the Reading Group for credit.

Where and When?

We’ll start meeting in my office, 72 George, Room 201.  Depending on our numbers, we might shift to a coffee house, such as Kudu.  The Group will meet weekly on Thursdays from 5-6pm.  First organizational meeting:  next Thursday, 30 August.

If I join the group, what do I need?

A copy of Ulysses.  Nothing else.  And you can get an electronic copy if want at Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive or the Literature Network or WikiSource, etc.  But I highly recommend getting a book version, because you’ll personalize it with your own marginalia, which will continue to accumulate your whole life.  Any edition will do.  If you’re looking for advice about buying a copy, I’ll be using the Modern Library edition you see pictured above.


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Posted by: Joseph Kelly | October 25, 2016 | No Comment |
infinte Ulysses

infinte Ulysses

Hades on Wednesday, 5pm, Kudu Cafe.  See you in hell!  Ha, ha, couldn’t resist.  I just ran across this new site, Infinite Ulysses (it’s in beta version now, but you can use it).  At least to me it’s exciting–might be a distraction to you.  You navigate between episodes by clicking on the little icon of Joyce’s face in the upper left corner.

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Finally Lotus Eaters…

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | October 19, 2016 | No Comment |

… and maybe “Hades”?  I’ll be at Kudu tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5pm for anyone interested in discussing episode 4, “The Lotus Eaters.”

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Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 26, 2016 | No Comment |

No, not the music with steel drums and Caribbean rhythms, but Ogygia, the island where Odysseus is shipwrecked, living with a goddess named “Calypso.”  We’ll meet again at Kudu at 5pm on Wednesday.


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On to “Proteus”

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 18, 2016 | No Comment |

Don’t forget that we’re meeting at Kudu this week–Wednesday at 5pm.  And if you’ve started reading, you know how really hard this particular chapter is.  Plow through it–episode 4 will be a LOT easier.

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Sandymount Strand in Dublin


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Nestor on Wednesay

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 9, 2016 | No Comment |

Meeting day change to Wednesdays

Tricera Coffee

Tricera Coffee

We’ll meet now on Wednesdays at 5pm rather than on Thursdays, and instead of in my office we’ll meet at Tricera Coffee.  We’re reading the “Nestor” episode, second in the three-episode Telemachia, which follows Stephen Dedalus’s morning (and parallels Telemachus’s journey to find his father, Odysseus.  Cheat sheet under the Episode menu above.


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2016 Ulysses Reading group ready to launch

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 4, 2016 | No Comment |

Joyce in CharlestonJoyce in Charleston!

James Joyce is coming to Charleston for his annual visit.  Thursdays, 5pm, starting 8 September, students, faculty, community folks, are welcome to gather at 72 George St. (the mustard-colored house next to the construction site), for a low-key, collaborative stroll through Dublin’s first Bloomsday, June 16th, 1904!  The best way to experience this most important novel of the 20th century is with a group of friends.


This week, first up is “Telemachus,” the short (ish) first chapter.

Project Gutenburg has all of Ulysses on-line.  Click here for “Telemachus.”

Click on the Episodes tab above for a guide to each chapter.


(Image from “Ulysses Seen” website–look under Links to the right.)



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