Ulysses is considered by many to be the finest and foremost Modernist novel ever written. It remains firmly ensconced at the top of The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. Ulysses parallels Homer's poem, The Odyssey in its characters and events. The novel was originally serialized in America in The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920. It was published in entirety in February 1922.
Loading the book with experimental prose and following a stream-of-consciousness approach, Joyce adopted a rather cheeky attitude. Published without much structure, in just three parts, the book presented an often confusing read. Joyce himself declared that he had,
"put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant."On the surface the book simply follows Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day in Dublin, June 16, 1904.
Though not included in the original text, the book is separated into 18 episodes (the text presented here at American Literature follows that episodic structure from the Linati and Gilbert schema). Every episode has a thematic character correspondence to Homer's poem, The Odyssey; Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, Molly Bloom to Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus.