5 Tips for Reading Ulysses

To celebrate Bloomsday 2021, UCD Alumni hosted a special In Conversation webinar event, entitled Bloomsday 2021: Why Ulysses Matters. The event featured Simon O’Connor, Director of Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), Professor Anne Fogarty, Professor of James Joyce Studies at UCD, and Katherine McSharry, Deputy Director of the National Library of Ireland, who discussed the significance of Ulysses for the work of MoLI and Joyce’s significance for UCD.

If you’ve been meaning to read James Joyce’s Ulysses but never quite got to it, there’s no better year than 2021 as we head towards the 100 year anniversary of this ground-breaking novel. Here are some of the helpful tips from the webinar for reading Ulysses.

1. Don’t start at the beginning: Start at episode four which introduces us to Leopold Bloom, one of the most famous characters in 20th century literature. This chapter is very readable and approachable. Another good tactic is to start at the end – the final episode of Ulysses “Penelope” is universally liked.

2. Listen to recordings of Ulysses: The best known version is the highly acclaimed RTÉ dramatisation which covers the entirety of Ulysses and features renowned actors throughout. Available for free online.

3. Get a good but succinct guide to Ulysses: Ulysses Unbound by Terence Killeen provides short but multifaceted introductions to each of the chapters.

4. Walk around Dublin: Use an app from the James Joyce Centre or a printed guide such as The Ulysses Guide by Robert Nicholson. Listen to or read Ulysses as it introduces you to parts of the city you haven’t visited.

5. Read it to enjoy it: If a chapter is too much for you just skip it and go on to the next bit, you can always return to it as you re-read the novel. Give yourself sufficient time to sit down and read large sections of it, rather than tackling it a page or two at a time.

Finally, as Joyce himself once wrote “To learn one must be humble, but life is a great teacher”. Happy reading!

You can watch back the full webinar event here.

Free Online Mindfulness Sessions with Carolin Grampp

Carolin Grampp is a UCD School of Business University Teaching Specialist and facilitates undergraduate and postgraduate modules on- and offline which mostly offer students the opportunity to explore well-being and resilience through personal experience. Personal experiences and subsequent needs sparked her interest in mindfulness, compassion and resource-building practices for which she has completed extensive training which is informing her work at UCD and outside. Carolin is also caregiver to her mother who has Parkinson’s and limited eyesight due to Macular degeneration.

Would you like to connect in this challenging time to practice self-care and laughter? Carolin and her friend Bal are offering free Zoom sessions throughout March and April (and possibly beyond) on the following days and times:

Mondays: 12-1pm BST

Wednesdays: 7.30-8.30pm BST

Fridays: 9-10am BST

All you need is your computer or mobile device. You can access the Zoom meeting room via this internet page https://zoom.us/j/577123669 or by using this Meeting ID: 577 123 669 on the Zoom app.