Illustrating Joyce's Ulysses
A visual edition of the classic text
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I came to this project as both a practicing artist and a lover of literature and literary criticism. Where previous illustrators sought to map their own visual practice onto the words and images of Ulysses, I allowed the text to guide me. Instead of laboring to distill entire chapters into a single image, I responded to a single word, phrase or idea from each page. Every chapter has its own distinct mode of image-creation which reflects that section’s themes, compelling critical responses, or my own interpretations of Joyce’s experimentations. All of these visualizations are my subjective response to Joyce’s text, but I hope to have drawn forth images that become accessible to all. Building off one another, every chapter suite evokes a distinct feeling, which in my mind is similar to that of reading that section of the text. In selecting these various modes I was greatly influenced by the scholars who focused their inquiry of the novel by assessing each chapter in turn such as Karen Lawrence’s The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses.
This book contains passages selected from each page of James Joyce’s Ulysses that particularly inspired me to create the corresponding image. While these selections cover many of the small details, they do not fully abridge the novel. Some of the quotes include bracketed ellipses to indicate a break in the text. In those moments, there where two or three distinct phrases from the page that went into various elements of my illustration and I felt it necessary to include them all. As much as I could, I retained the ‘sense’ of each passage, but I did not include parenthetical disambiguation for the pronouns. All of the text is from the Project Gutenberg digitization of the 1922 edition of the novel which is in the public domain. If you would like to access the full text, every page, along with my image, is also available online at www.IllustratingUlysses.com
While there are many options for the rather arbitrary pagination of the novel, this project follows the 644 page Gabler Edition of the text because it is the academic standard. It is also the paper copy that I would recommend to new readers. Throughout this book, certain images are captioned by author’s notes which describe specific details about their creation or materials.