To celebrate the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, the most important literary work of the twentieth century, eighteen artists, writers and thinkers respond to an episode each of the great modernist text. Each essayist is an expert in one of the subjects treated in the novel, but what brings them together is a common love of Ulysses. Joseph O'Connor considers the music-saturated Sirens episode and David McWilliams writes about the bigotry and violence of nationalism on display in Cyclops. Irish obstetrician Rhona Mahony responds to Oxen and the Sun, set in a maternity hospital, journalist Lara Marlowe examines the Aeolus episode, which takes place in a newspaper office, and Irish philosopher Richard Kearney reflects on the erudite musings of Stephen Dedalus as he walks along Sandymount strand. The 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.
The Book About Everything by Declan Kiberd