House of Ulysses

Published this week by Dalkey Archive, House of Ulysses, by leading Spanish postmodernist Julián Ríos, sounds hugely awesome. There’s hardly anything available about it on the web, so here’s the Publishers Weekly review:

In this novel–cum–book report, translator Caistor captures the smooth prose and wordplay of Spain’s foremost postmodernist, Ríos, who takes to heart James Joyce’s assertion that the enigmas of Ulysses would “keep the professors busy for centuries.” Here, five characters–a mature reader, “A”; a young female reader, “B”; an old critic, “C”; “the man with the Macintosh”; and rotund professor Jones–follow a cicerone through a living museum of Joyce’s great modern novel’s pages, summarizing its scenes, debating its meaning, and harkening to the author’s biography. Just as Joyce built his narrative on the scaffolding of Homer’s epic, Ríos builds around Joyce’s, illuminating the difficult text in a way that will delight those familiar with the classic as well as the neophytes tunneling their way through it. Though the novel’s own plot and characters are lacking, the careful rendering of and commentary on Leopold Bloom’s odyssey make this book a creative (and possibly even fun) companion to a moving work that is too often smothered in dry academic analysis.

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