Ulysses by Numbers

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Ulysses by Numbers
Ulysses has been read obsessively for a century. What if instead of focusing on the words to understand the structure, design, and history of Joyce's masterpiece, we pay attention to the numbers?

Taking a computational approach, Ulysses by Numbers lets us see the novel's basic building blocks in a significantly new light--words, paragraphs, pages, and characters, as well as the original print run and the dates marking the beginning and end of its composition. Numbers provide access into Joyce's creative process, enhanced by graphs, diagrams, timelines, and maps, and they also give us a startling new perspective on the proportions that continue to structure, organize, and pace the reading experience. Numbers are there to help us navigate the history of Ulysses from its earliest material beginnings, and they offer a concrete basis upon which we can explore the big questions about its length, style, origins, readership, and design.

An innovative computational reading on both a micro and macro level, Ulysses by Numbers is a timely intervention into debates about the use and abuse of quantitative methods in literary analysis. Eric Bulson demonstrates how reading by numbers can bring us closer to the words of Ulysses, helping us rediscover a novel we thought we already knew.

Publication Date: 
November 3, 2020