I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Martin Greene

Hungarian Connections

The reasons for the presence of so much Hungarian-related material in ‘Ulysses’ are unknown, but Bloom’s foreign origins clearly facilitate his portrayal as an outsider, while the fact that some of Joyce’s closest associates in Trieste and Zurich had Hungarian family connections may also have been a factor.

Stranger Danger

Stoker’s Count Dracula and Joyce’s Lipoti Virag are both dangerous intruders, the former threatening to infect the English with vampirism, the latter subverting the Irish moral order. Both writers were engaging with a contemporary worry about Eastern European immigration.

Stoker’s Surprise Package

The ‘Dracula’ author’s penultimate novel, published in 1909, is a rollicking tale of adventure, an excursion into science fiction which presciently foresees the future development of aerial warfare, an exercise in political utopianism and a vampire story which turns out to have no vampire.

An Irish Impresario

Augustin Daly was for thirty years the proprietor-manager of one of New York’s most successful theatre companies. Shaw castigated Daly for his failure to embrace the Ibsenite problem play in the 1890s but recognised that the plays he did produce were advanced for their time.

An Idea Madder than Usual

It is well-known that Joyce drew on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs when writing the sadomasochistic scenes in Ulysses. Masoch’s name today may be chiefly linked to ‘SM’ porn, but there is more to Venus in Furs than that, and indeed more to Masoch than one book.

The Hardest Problem

Joyce drew on his theories in creating Leopold and Molly Bloom. Freud thought he was ‘highly gifted but sexually deranged’. Wittgenstein thought he was ‘great’, though one couldn’t agree with him, while Strindberg thought he had solved the hardest problem, the problem of women.

The Virags and the Blooms

It’s often said that Ulysses “has no story”. This is true in the sense that it doesn’t have a single story which captures the essence of the work as a whole.