‘Ulysses’ (2012)

Ulysses, the book by the Irish writer James Joyce is considered to be the most significant work in English literature in the 20th century, and yet the most boring book ever written. It is full of wit, jokes, play on words, sequences of musical sound, different language styles and, at the same time, very precise content. As regards to the use of language and style, the author has proved himself to be a revolutionary and a virtuoso at narration, internal monologues, and representation of the stream of consciousness.

Following the publication of some episodes of the book in 1920, in Britain the publishing of the novel was forbidden because it was deamed too sexual. The censored version of the novel came out in Paris in 1922. The first full edition of the novel became available only in 1958.

Translating this book into any other language is close to impossible. The translator must constantly struggle with this impossibility by taking advantage of all available means of expression, layers and registres of speech, having to expand their mother tongue and its possibilities to encourage speaking it in the way it has never been spoken before.

Translator – Dzintars Sodums

Artist – Ilmārs Blumbergs