(WH) Where Has Your Copy of Ulysses Been?

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[Originally posted in March 2021.]

The James Joyce Reading Circle targets a readership of about 400. That is the optimum size for a community. This is not done to be elitist but to try to actually know something about those we are trying to serve. That’s a typical size for an Amish community but not for a following on social media. 

Recently we invited readers to submit photos of their beloved volumes of Ulysses in typical local settings. Considering the small size of our circle and that a commercial venture would be thrilled with a response rate of 2%, I confess to badgering a few of you into participation, but not much license was taken in posting and counting generally unique submissions of Ulysses. The response has been gratifying and global. Here is a summary of your responses.

The exercise seems to have run its course. If new submissions are received, I’ll post those and share on social media. You seemed to enjoy the exercise and many of you went to some lengths to participate. I certainly have enjoyed witnessing the results. There are a few interesting stories revealed in the collection that should be shared one day with the permission of the individuals involved, so you may hear more about these.

What’s next? If there is any interest, we might begin to think about collecting photos of the Second Annual Bloomsday under Lockdown. How will you share a chicken kidney in private celebration (or perhaps just some Gorganzola and a glass of Burgandy, or a cup of Eucharistic instant cocoa)?  ~don 25 Mar ’27

Country Volumes Readers Notes
Brazil 10 3 Portuguese and English
Canada 1 1 “Fuel for the intellect’s fire.”
Georgia 2 3 “Two Junior Joyceans”
India 1 1 An edition Sallies into the Garden
Ireland 6 7 From the Martello Tower, The Burren, Limerick, and Cork
Isreal 1 1 Hebrew
Italy 8 6 Mario Biondi’s Translation
Mexico 5 2 Where the Gallery began.
Peru 2 2 Honoring a legacy like Bloom’s to Stephen
Russia 1 1
Spain 1 1 The traveling Bloom  Book and collection
Taiwan 2 1
US 5 5
Total Readers 34
Total Volumes 45

Spreadsheet current as of 14 November 2021

You and I might have carried our copies of Ulysses to coffee bars, on trams, even secretly into boring meetings when these venues were available to us. Ulysses always went on vacation with me physically or digitally. Unlike less important accouterments, like my keys, I always know where Ulysses is. Today we began collecting photos of Ulysses wherever it might wander. The tome will be seen in locations homey, coruscating, and exotic (oops, that’s the wrong book). Join us by posting a photo of your Ulysses as a comment here or message a pic to me on Facebook or Twitter.

Ally Ku studies her copies of Ulysses in Taipei, capitol of Taiwan. Appended to our collection on November 13, 2021
Translator Mario Biondi’s edition at the Duomo di Milano.

and with a bit of digital legerdemain…

“Oh, it was near me (in my thoughts) also when I was there, under the ‘Great Mother Qomolangma’, the Everest…A little over the Chinese (Tibet) EBC, under the North Face, 5200 mts and more. Yes, the book is superimposed (by me, this morning): I was there 13 years ago.”
Professor Dirce Waltrick Do Amarante of UFSC and Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil shares one annotated Ulysses, and three Brazilian translations of the book: António Houaiss, Bernardina Pinheiro, and Caetano Galindo
Tímea Mészáros sends a picture of a Jostling of Joyceana at THE MARTELLO TOWER. This is the first posting of a location from the novel.
Don Ward’s Ulysses in Belmont, North Carolina USA
From under his cappello fortunato, Fulvio Rogantin says: “Me and my translation with James in Trieste.”
The Estimable Aquinaldo Severino in the Heart of the Sao Paulo Metropolis shares five Portuguese translations: 1966 (Houaiss), 1985 (Palma-Ferreira), 2005 (Silveira), 2012 (Galindo), 2013 (Vaz de Carvalho)
One of Talia Abu’s many copies in Tel Aviv is in Hebrew.
Sandymount-born Tom O’Carroll’s spine and pages now in Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA
Tirna Chandra’s Ulysses lounges in a Springlit garden in sunny Shillong, India.
The Estimable Aquinaldo Severino in the Heart of the Sao Paulo Metropolis shares five Portuguese translations: 1966 (Houaiss), 1985 (Palma-Ferreira), 2005 (Silveira), 2012 (Galindo), 2013 (Vaz de Carvalho)
Tom Mc Dade’s Ulysses historically in Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA
Cesar Eduardo Villarroel Machaca’s well-used copy reigns, front and back, in Huarmey, Peru.


What better expression of the treasure in Ulysses than when it is given as a legacy from father to son, from Ulysses to Telemachus, from Bloom to Stephen, from Eduardo Villarroel Villarroel to Cesar Eduardo Villarroel Machaca in the city of patriots- Tacna, Peru.
Elisa Susmel adds to the gallery: “This is the Penguin edition. This is one of James Joyce’s statues in Trieste, the city where the journey began.”

Vince Vinnus, Producer Director at Grandes Felinos Teatro, in Caieiras, SP, Brazil reads Ulysses and Finnegans Wake too with a style of which Joyce would approve.


Siobhán McCann of Montreal, Canada writes:
“The woodpile is one of my favourite places to hang out up at Innisfree, my retreat in the Laurentian mountains north of Montréal. It’s a long way from the rhododendrons of Howth Head but Molly’s yes still rings true in the call of Spring and the promise of new life at the end of a long, long winter.
Frank Folan reads his Ulysses at Ireland’s most magical site, The Burren, County Clare.
Mary Lawton of Cork, IRE shares, “Mine is a run of the mill Penguin edition. I have no favourite copy as such….. I attach an image of Ulysses and its counterpart.” If you know Mary, you expect this “run of the mill Penguin” has been wrung out gently but as thoroughly as few wet birds have been. Every drop extracted.
Tamar Ra and her happy children read Ulysses in Tbilisi, Georgia. If ever children were destined to be wise and worded.

“Bloom Cure” tunes a quartet of copies in Mexico City.

Joycean Trieste affords Ilaria Susmel both atmosphere and context when reading her copy of Ulysses.
Ilaria Susmel also sends Easter and Passover greetings saying: “One of my Italian translations loves spending time in the garden with me.”
Alexei Odollamsky’s Ulysses braves the Russian snows.
Tom Hamilton of Bend, Oregon, USA covers us in a typically Joycean fashion. Sláinte!
Eddard Gombao: “Greetings from the glorious and wonderful City of Mexico.”
Aj Gross likes his Joyce horizontal or vertical in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Silvia Margherita German and her mother share a vintage and beautifully crafted Italian edition.

Pat Howard reports the rain has ceased in Limerick. His Ulysses ventures out to Clancy Strand for a “view of the Treaty Stone, King John’s Castle, and ‘the dark mutinous Shannon waves.’”
Lucilla Micacchi has a traveling library of Joyce’s works in addition to her primary collection that remains at home in Italy. Lucilla’s itinerant collection of the Bloom Book is currently on tour in Madrid.

5 thoughts on “(WH) Where Has Your Copy of Ulysses Been?

    1. Hi Jamie,
      If you have your library in a bookcase or on a shelf, send a photo of that. Many readers you may have seen, posted pictures in typical or recognizable settings. There is a favorite of mine near Montreal with Ulysses resting on a woodpile. Be ferocious in your creativity but please only send one or two photos. You should be able to post the pics directly as a Comment here or if you prefer DM me on FaceBook at Don DWard I’ll accept your friend request immediately. Regards, Don

    2. Hi Jamie: I attempted to reply through Meet-Up and received a rejection notification. I assume you did not get the message I sent about my FB contact who was looking for a Ulysses Reading Group. Wandering Rocks couldn’t work for him. He’s been reading with the Sweny’s Pharmacy folks in Dublin and decided to stay with that. “Oh, Rocks!” you say? Have a good day. Don

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