James Joyce's 'Ulysses' is one of the most important works of modernist literature. The book chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 (the day of Joyce's first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). In 1982 RTÉ Radio celebrated the centenary of Joyce's birth with a dramatised full production of 'Ulysses'; this broadcast is now considered one of the definitive adaptations of the book. See RTE.ie/ulysses for more.
Episode 1 - Telemachus
Stephen breakfasts at the Tower in Sandycove.
Episode 2 - Nestor
Stephen teaches in Dalkey.
Episode 3 - Proteus
Stephen walks along Sandymount Strand.
Episode 4 - Calypso
Bloom has breakfast at 7 Eccles Street.
Episode 5 - Lotus Eaters
Bloom goes to the Post Office on Westland Row and then buys some soap at Sweny's.
Episode 6 - Hades
Bloom attends the funeral of Paddy Dignam.
Ulysses is meant to be read aloud. The reader in ineluctably subject to the spoken word and the music of Dublin. The RTE players add a dimension to this masterpiece that opens Joyce’s prose and links it to a sparkling world.
A good supplement to listen to while reading the text
First read the Dubliners and Portrait of an Artist as a young man. Then go to about 12 years of catholic school, and pay attention. Then learn the story of the Odyssey and the Wikipedia page of Irish Republicanism. Then visit Dublin for about a week and just walk around the river Liffey in the center, and revisit the Dubliners and Portrait. Then read the 1st chapter of Ulysses. You won’t understand anything yet- it’s ok. Write down the words you don’t know (15-20 per chapter, maybe more if you haven’t read books from this period before). About half the words you don’t know will be in the dictionary, the other half won’t. After the chapter, read the Oxford annotation to recognize the symbolism, and to some extent, the plot. Then check your unknown word list to see if any of them are in the Errata. Some will be as there as there are a lot of typos and text in the original that Joyce later tried to fix. Then listen to this podcast for that chapter to let it all sink in and give your brain a rest. Repeat for the next chapter. If you do all that, you still won’t really understand it but you’ll get the gist of it.
James Joyce’s Ulysses dramatized from 1982!
Long bootlegged, this 29-hour Irish radio dramatization is finally legally available in high quality. Thank you—just in time for Bloomsday 2020!