College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

UlyssesAndUs_100Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce's Masterpiece

by Declan Kiberd, W.W. Norton & Company, 2009

Reviewed by Susan Sutherlin

Let's face it-James Joyce is a nag. His best known work-you know the one-the 600-page modernist romp on everyone's must read/never finished list (even Hemingway's copy of Ulysses lies in the John F. Kennedy Library with pages uncut) is the subject of a startling refreshing companion volume, Ulysses and Us.  Professor Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin, provides an inspiring re-mix of how and why reading Ulysses will change your life, or at minimum rearrange your 'molecules.' This is likely the inoculation you'll need whether you are a first-time or returning traveler to turn-of-the century Dublin.  Kiberd's framework reawakens us to the movements of everyday life-eating, walking, drinking, thinking, and loving with Leopold, Molly, Stephen, and Blazes-and the practical magic that Joyce bestows as they mourn the dead, drink a cup of tea, fry the liver, conceal a rendezvous, or gently protect the university student who has lost his way home. The stream of consciousness which everyone experiences everyday has never seemed so accessible, wise, or instructive.

 - Susan Sutherlin is an instructor in English at Butler University