“The Lotus Eaters”

by Ally Findley Plot The “Lotus Eaters” episode is the fifth episode in Ulysses, and one of the shortest chapters in the novel. In this episode, Bloom begins wandering through Dublin, on his way to Paddy Dignam’s funeral. It is a hot summer day, and the humidity perpetuates a mood of sluggishness. Bloom, in his… Continue Reading “The Lotus Eaters”

Woolf’s Reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, 1918-1920

by James Heffernan, Dartmouth College More than twenty years ago, Suzette Henke challenged what was then the reigning view of Virginia Woolf’s response to James Joyce’s Ulysses. To judge this response by Woolf’s most damning comments on the book and its author, Henke argued, is to overlook what she said about it in her reading… Continue Reading Woolf’s Reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, 1918-1920


by Noah Warren & Jay Dockendorf Protasis With its mannered dialectical mode, “Ithaca” can be read as a self-conscious attempt to explain, or rationalize, ‘universal’ themes such as the differences and similarities of perception, the cosmos, water, and adultery. Yet at its heels comes “Penelope.” The episode famously lacks punctuation; it substitutes instead eight massive… Continue Reading “Penelope”


by Aleksandar Stevic “Ithaca” is the penultimate chapter of Joyce‘s Ulysses, located between “Eumaeus” and Molly’s monologue in “Penelope”. According to Joyce’s letters, it is also the last chapter of the book to be completed, months after “Penelope” (Letters, 52). The chapter follows Stephen and Bloom on their way to Bloom’s house, the conversation they… Continue Reading “Ithaca”


by Ally Findley Events and Narration The “Eumaeus” episode of Ulysses directly follows the surreal nightmarescape of “Circe.” This episode is also the beginning of the third and final section of Ulysses. In this episode, Bloom rescues Stephen from getting into a fight with a British officer and safely escorts him out of Dublin’s Nighttown,… Continue Reading “Eumaeus”


by Jacob Albert, Olivia Coates, and Matthew Gerken In the fifteenth episode of Ulysses, “Circe,” James Joyce experiments with a dramatic technique he called hallucination. The play-like form and structure of the episode leave no room for anything interior or internal. Yet the performance allows for the utter unwinding of reality and common sense. Household… Continue Reading “Circe”

“The Oxen of the Sun”

By Daniel Jordan Introduction “I think this episode might also have been called Hades for the reading of it is like being taken the rounds of hell.” –Harriet Shaw Weaver1 The Oxen of the Sun is commonly known as the most difficult episode of James Joyce‘s Ulysses, and the challenges it presents appear most immediately… Continue Reading “The Oxen of the Sun”


by Simone McCarthy Homeric Parallels Episode 13 of James Joyce’s Ulysses parallels Book VI of The Odyssey in which Odysseus finally reaches land after having drifted at sea for twenty days, following his leave from Calypso’s Island of Ogygia. At the end of Book V, finally in sight of land, Odysseus loses his hand-made raft… Continue Reading “Nausicaa”

“The Cyclops”

by Anna Moser and William Stone Breaking Point: A New Bloom The termination of Joyce’s Bloom-oriented episodes is signaled in Episode 8 by a final, impulsive recitation from the end of “Molly’s” opera, Don Giovanni: “Thou hast me invited / To come to supper tonight” (8.1053-54). (Through deliberate repetition and alteration in Episodes 4-8, phrases… Continue Reading “The Cyclops”

“The Sirens”

by Elizabeth Legris Homeric Parallels The eleventh episode of James Joyce‘s Ulysses, “The Sirens,” finds its Homerian equivalent in the twelfth book of the Odyssey, as Odysseus is leaving Kirkê’s island. Kirkê takes it upon herself to inform Odysseus of the many sea perils that he will encounter on his way home, specifically warning him… Continue Reading “The Sirens”