James Joyce reading an excerpt from Ulysses

Ulysses and Hambone

Back in 2014 I found myself living in Huntsville, Alabama, and very unhappy. One dark night I started planning a trip to see a couple friends, which eventually morphed into a solo 80 day trip around the United States, ostensibly to finish writing my first novel. I avoided flying whenever possible, resulting in many hours on Greyhound buses and trains. Bringing only a large backpack for the whole trip, I settled on one book, one that I meant to tackle for a long time but never could get myself to crack open – James Joyce’s Ulysses.

I’m sure everyone who has read Ulysses has their own story, and this is mine. While I did make it to the end, I can’t lie, there was definitely some skimming from time to time. I went in ambitious and focused, but soon got confused by the stream of consciousness writing. That said, it is an incredible book, and even when I wasn’t comprehending all (or any) of what was going on, the words are simply a treat to get lost in.

And what better way to temporarily get lost in Ulysses then listening to the author himself read a passage? I found this clip on YouTube today, and want to thank the uploader. The audio was recorded in 1924. Enjoy!

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