16 Insights I Gleaned From Reading James Joyce’s Ulysses


1. Consubstantiality, like paternity, is a fiction.

2. The sign itself is arbitrary but when you substitute one for another, you have a whole new set of meanings.

3. Books about men are not necessarily misogynistic. Early Twentieth Century Irish society, though, was.

4. Roman Catholic dogma damaged many sensitive and receptive young minds.

5. Hyper-masculine stances were a poor solution to the problem of British imperialism in Ireland.

6. Human desires are comically out of proportion with human capabilities, and this is okay.

7. The beloved is a construct and this, too, is okay.

8. A character (Leopold Bloom) can masturbate in public and remain loveable.

9. A character (Stephen Daedalus) can destroy someone else’s chandelier in a drunken rage and remain loveable.

10. Advertising narratives lend a proximal transcendence.

11. A cross-sectional picture of a single day may capture as much history as a teleological account of a millennium.

12. One may arrive at an original voice vis-à-vis smart pastiche.

13. History, like language, repeats itself, with a difference.

14. Life is sustained by a-historical acts.

15. In 1904, the odds were not in favor of impoverished poets and Jewish cuckolds, but some of them got along okay.

16. A wife, like a husband, may violate a promise of marital fidelity with impunity. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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