James Joyce's Ulysses is one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. Banned in many countries, including Joyce's native Ireland, it became the great modernist book, influencing writers all over the world, from Woolf and Wolcott to Eliot, Faulkner, and Garcia Marquez.
To celebrate the centenary of Ulysses's publication, Joyce experts Declan Kiberd, Enrico Terrinoni and Catherine Wilsdon have enlisted eighteen artists, writers and thinkers to respond to an episode of the text. Each is an expert in one of the subjects treated in the novel, but what brings them together is a common love of Ulysses.
Yanis Varoufakis writes about Mr Bloom's economic ideas in the Eumaeus episode, Irish obstetrician Rhona Mahony responds to Oxen and the Sun, set in a maternity hospital, and journalist Lara Marlowe examines the Aeolus episode, which takes place in a newspaper office. Joseph O'Connor considers the music-saturated Sirens episode, Mario Vargas Llosa writes about the bigotry and violence of nationalism on display in Cyclops, and Irish philosopher Richard Kearney reflects on the erudite musings of Stephen Dedalus as he walks along Sandymount strand.
A Book About Everything counters the perception of Ulysses as the sole preserve of academics and instead showcases readers' responses to the book. It is a vivid, even eccentric collection, filled with life and Joycean spirit.