Vladimir Nabokov Creates a Hand-Drawn Map of James Joyce’s Ulysses


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Just above you’ll find a sketched-out map of the paths Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom took through Dublin on June 16, 1904. If you’ve ever read James Joyce’s Ulysses (find it in our lists of Free eBooks and Free Audio Books), you may well have tried drawing one of these yourself, connecting the locations as each chapter finds one of the protagonists somewhere else in Ireland’s capital on that “ordinary” day. Maybe you wanted to test the plausibility of the common assertion that, given accuracy and detail with which Joyce wrote about the city, one could, in case of the apocalypse, build the city all over again using the novel as a plan. This particular Ulysses fan map, however, comes from the hand of a very special reader indeed: Vladimir Nabokov, author of a few much-discussed works of twentieth-century literature himself, including LolitaPale Fire, and Speak, Memory.

For those who teach Ulysses, Nabokov has a suggestion: “Instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic, and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with Bloom’s and Stephen’s intertwining itineraries clearly traced.” A post from Raynor Ganan quotes him as saying that, adding, “Would you not have donated a litre of your own spinal fluid to audit this lecture?” Indeed, Nabokov speaks from experience, having not only produced well-respected literature but taught it, too. The fruits of his time at the front of the classroom appear in his collection Lectures on Literature, though if you want to get as close as possible to the experience of sitting in on one of Nabokov’s classes, go back into our archives and watch the WQED dramatization, starring Christopher Plummer, of his talk on Kafka at Cornell. It won’t give you any insight into Joyce’s Dublin, granted, but some Yale grad students’ more recent project to digitally, interactively map Ulysses just might.

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Related Content:

Vladimir Nabokov (Channelled by Christopher Plummer) Teaches Kafka at Cornell

James Joyce, With His Eyesight Failing, Draws a Sketch of Leopold Bloom (1926)

Read Joyce’s Ulysses Line by Line, for the Next 22 Years, with Frank Delaney’s Podcast

James Joyce’s Ulysses: Download the Free Audio Book

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los AngelesA Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

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  • A. MOAZZEN says:

    The novel is primarily an activity of the imagination is a great writer. Your imagination is rooted in the author’s feelings and emotions. The author wants the bridge between dreams and reality. Life on the one hand and on the other hand has its own limitations and problems with B. Jhanb dreams and fantasies. Reality and dreams are often not compatible with each other. Is associated with imagination and inspiration literary life of a writer, he calls upon request by calling imagination to ask – it’s a way to chew, the way in which the facts are in front of it. Anyone who reads or writes actually mentioned there is so little to give meaning to their lives living passion, enthusiasm and motivation is given. Benefit of society Literature and society that can not see their ugly and their beauty to see and recognize. Such a society can not be self-critical approach. The novel is not only active imagination, critical thinking is one of the effects of social conflicts and contradictions unyielding. Ages for the appearance of novel, full of tension and conflict are fertile ages. Per animal and per Lhzhash Qdmsh certainty of a challenge to the old warrior. The challenge in Nkyshvt between imagination and reality by his servant, Sancho does, because he sees the reality that exist within the master will, however, interfere in dreams, grand master of petitions Elder can barely bring forth .
    The truth must be discovered and understood and to understand the truth about Nkyshvt novel. But the reality is fragmented and the world has lost its integrity. Milan Kundera’s novel was born when the facts were relative integrated itself into reality. Flourishing his novel is an historical fact. The ontological significance of the novel comes from where? Best Literary novels of our times.
    In “Ulysses” Perhaps no word as “coincidence” is a wonderful and mysterious. Aside from the fact that both the characters and events of the novel occur in Homer’s Odyssey, a book on the experience and the contacts are visible. Joyce avoids the fixed meanings, but the novel is not hermeneutic Dghdghhash or interpretability. He is the bearer of political theory. The author does not colonized cultures to bring up with your work or grant writing transcendental Shani. In 18 of Ulysses, synchronization word is repeated about 17 times. If we consider the last part of the expression of perfect simultaneity and we will make exceptions, Joyce everywhere so the word is repeated. The peak concurrency is the last part. Financial Bloom eight or better to say I think Part Eight runs together. Section VIII – Lastrygvnha or cannibal giants – a scene that bloom during walking in the streets of Dublin to the thousand and one things, but suddenly remembered that Charles Parnl, Irish political leader of the independence movement, escapes. Bloom’s opinion, there is no cause of action, except that his face is Parnl John Howard:
    “Here it is. Brothers. Figure Tskhyrknndh., This is a coincidence. Certainly repeatedly without anybody Kurds have seen him.”
     At this stage, a few steps ahead – Bloom, George Russell sees. Another is that the synchronization has its own logic:
    “He’s here., This is one of the co-Haq. Again. Moments that are about to happen, Sayhshan send in advance.”
    Joyce is trying to be abstract and the simultaneous liberation. Until the date that the novel scene, Although it is not yet occurred – but it has already sent to us their shadows.

  • Roger Cummiskey says:

    This may give you the same information.





  • Abbas.Moazzen says:

    I thank you for publishing my article
    Can you print this article in your specialized newspaper?

    Thank you

  • Abbas.Moazzen says:

    HelloI thank you for publishing my article
    Can you print this article in its specialized newspapers?

    Thank you

  • Abbas.Moazzen says:

    Short story: «The man»



    Seems like it has been washed and painted, with mild and light colors, it’s like everything has happened for the first time and I’m looking at it!
    Fall in love was easy, very easy, easy like eating lunch that is prepared for you after a hard work day. But no this is not a good example. They will criticize me. I mean they may laugh at me, the ones who are more experienced and understanding than me.
    Love begins with coming of puberty. Like the first time that my eyes saw, I mean really saw. [like] The first time I saw myself in the mirror, more than before, and i had this obsession to style my hair to stand better upwards, like an architect that is building a wall and in order for it to be in level after creating each row he uses his align and swathe tools. A little spot on my shirt was seemed so big for me that I wouldn’t dare to leave the house before I cleaned it up. For a crooked Ironing line on my pants I would beat up my little sister. And finally Bahareh who was Mojhgan’s friend gave me her first smile. I recognized shame when I was seeing the fade trace of my mustache on my upper lip for the first time, but my mom still insults my father for home expenses, but he only laughed! His first laughed happened for me when I was feeling that I was became a man.
    Being a man is better than puberty. When I’m a man fear and dread doesn’t mean that much that it did before, I’m more comfortable. For my family i will easily bow my head to my boss or others, although it’s very hard, but it has good justification. I’m telling Bahareh:
    I’m your shield in this world
    Maybe for this is, that my pride has been limited [and shrunk] from street to the house. My daughter says:
    Daddy, are you the man of the house?
    I said:
    yes my child, only I’m the man of the house.
    She sat on my lap, rested her head on my chest took a deep breathe and said:
    Daddy, are you the strongest one of all?
    Bahareh says:
    Yes my child, daddy is the stronger than any one.
    I laugh inside, now I know how my father felt when he laughed [at me].

  • Abbas.Moazzen says:

    Short story: «Prediction of a goat»


    I’m a tiger! I eat well, drink well and I wear well. I leave with power, my wife always complains, she is sad because of not owning a house and she tired of being tenant all the time, so she nags: Our life don’t lack anything, the only thing that is lacking and burdening us is a house, even a house the size of a palm of a hand that is just for us. I say: You’re leaving with a tiger, you have my protection. She felt a little bit relieved. Although I’m not very unhappy that every year I have to took my family in my mouth and change my habitat, but my family specially my daughter that is a female tiger, complain a lot. My wife says: Man you have a daughter for crying out load! You must think about her future to. People with daughters have more problems than others. What can I do? I born in the first night of a winter, the second half of the Yalda night. My fortune is written as if that I should not become a homeowner. God didn’t gave my father a house till he died as well. Sometimes stars whisper in my ears that: In the house of tigers, there will be no disasters, not even thieves dares to get close to their den. Maybe they are right, because when I go on a trip I don’t see the need to lock my door, I just close it, a feeling inside me says there is no need to lock it! I have never been rubbed in my whole life. I feel a big phantom cover all surroundings of my house and sat on top of me, that only thieves can see and they don’t folly to Stealing from me. I’m a tiger, with instinct like feeding well, drinking well and like my wife say, I have the pride of a tiger to. For instance I like solitude, the ants say: You eat too much and you work less. They think I’m lazy. But this is my nature. I like big preys, its maybe because of that, which I get tired fast. But these ants know, the energy I use just for one meal is equivalent of double the energy they use for a whole day. They don’t understand that I cannot eat how much they eat. If I consume like an ant or a cockroach I won’t last two days. My wife eats less than me and our daughter. Maybe it’s because she is a goat. She says: I suffer from your indifferences, it make me mad. I say: You must walk beside me, to see from my perspective to your surroundings and other leaving things, to see how small they are. Some of them are rats, they only have the urge to collect, and they like it more than anything. They can’t spend well on themselves. They have sadism to collect. They collect any scrap. Their eyes won’t see depth. They fear someday they won’t get any food so they go hungry. They fear death. But an instinct feeling tells me that I never go hungry. Some of these creatures are vultures,they fly with wide and firm wings, but they feast on corpses. They could never fly easily like butterflies. So many times I wish that I could fly even for just some meters, but I can’t. Maybe because my body is too heavy. But I will do it someday, from the tallest pick of the universe, I will jump. It’s dangerous but it will worth it. I feel close to the eagles. I like them. Most of the times I sat and watch them, especially when they catch their pray in midair. That’s the time I feel lighter. My daughter is still very young. She needs to be at my side and be protected by me so she won’t go hungry. Her spirit and instincts is like me. Against smallest decisions
    that I make for her, she resists. She even likes that I don’t mention her faults. Even though she is still sucking her thumb she embraced to make a mistake. She always have a Roar against any advice that I tell her. When she fail to change my decision she run away and stay behind her mother and ask her to fight me. My wife whine and say: God, what I did wrong that I’m stuck between two tigers?! One big male tiger and a whiny little female one. Sometimes I feel sad for her, and will keep silent. Even though her body is small, but when she get mad she scares me a little. I sacred for me being a tiger; because her continues anger will disturbs my power and my territory at home. At that moment I will try to not say anything and keep it in. I have to admit I really love her. Her presence will provide the balance of power in the house. This balance is critical to our survival! These small and disgusting creatures that I have to bare them every day, if they find out there something wrong in my family, they attack in nights and will tore me apart. These creatures can’t be underestimated. Especially now that they have little education and with ‘one minute business’ or ‘one minute management’ they learnt the scape routs. They brain cells are programed only for one thing, living in one minute! But my wife got this problem, and won’t use my weakness against me. When she get mad, she is very sharp, but she knows well when to get mad. She tries to do it at the right moment. This is one of those days that she knows not to bother me, because our rental contract has been expired and my nerves are breaking to find a new place to live in. For finding a new place I won’t ask for her opinion, I should decide. Her vision comes from a goat eyes and cannot see the dangers in this jungle we live in, like I see. My last land lord was a cat, she talked to me in cuteness way. She liked that I stayed there and extend my contract, but truly, I was tired to be under a cat debt. My land lord two years before that was a Hog, his and her wife noises when they roll over on their sleep, troubled my peaceful sleep. Always a bad smell came from above, smell of trash and garbage’s that they didn’t bother to take out even once a week. Before that my land lord was a rhino, I realized he was home from his snoring. He said: I’m used to look only in front of me, others must pay attention to won’t get crush under my feet. I mean only I need to know what is in front of me, it’s not my business what is surrounds me. He didn’t even have the cautious of an elephant, at least elephants can see small creatures, one of those elephants say: Small creatures are very dangerous for us, maybe one of the reasons that we learn to think is this even with our big bodies, we are cautious of even smallest ones that are hard to see. For example one of this rats! It’s possible that accidently one of them get under our feet, then we collapse to the ground with face first, and when we collapse, even if there was not an injury, standing up is really hard. Sometimes I thought if I became a house owner, who will be my tenant? It can be a lion or a dragonfly, I don’t know. The thing that is important is that I’m tempted even for once experience to being a land lord. But it’s not one my instinct, but it may be pleasant, maybe that’s because I live with a goat! I feel that my palms has been shrunk for few days. I have nightmares. I dream that every small or big creature surrounds me bought a house and making fun of me. Everywhere I go they shot doors at my face and lock it. They fear my fortune to contaminate them as well. I dream my little tiger has been grown and married to a whale, the thing that is always a nightmare for me. Because of that I tell my will to my wife that never allow my daughter to marry a whale. Unlike their looks they are smaller than pests and more dangerous than rats. I tell my girl: You must marry a dragon, living in the shadow of a dragon give you safety that is even better than a tiger. Recently stars predict a hard death for tigers, they will die with a big collide that has been written in their fortune. My eyes are milky, my shoulders are not hard as it was before. I’m scared of the event that is not happened or I don’t know what it is! My wife say: You are changing, a change is differ from your nature. I look at the stars, they at my fortune, they draw for me two ears of a rabbit, head of an elephant and two legs of an ant, is it possible that a goat prediction come true?

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