Ulysses' eighteen chapters (often referred to as "episodes") do not bear titles or numbers in any edition that Joyce oversaw. Gabler's 1986 edition inserts bracketed numbers at the head of each chapter—a practice which is followed here to accommodate headnotes. But usually they are called by the names that Joyce listed in his two schemas, referring to certain episodes (not books) in Homer's Odyssey. Episode 1, "Telemachus," bears structural resemblances to certain early events in the epic poem, and subsequent chapters continue this practice, though Joyce does not retell Homer's story in any straightforward, thorough, or consistent way. In addition to offering brief and general introductions to the chapters, the headnotes on this website describe how they recast the events of the Odyssey—in ways that vary dramatically from chapter to chapter.

JH 2017

Cover of the 1922 first edition of Ulysses, which Joyce asked to be designed in blue and white to echo the Greek national flag.

Statue of Telemachus carved by Ludwig Cauer in 1890, displayed in a niche at the foot of the Trillertreppe in the old part of Saarbr├╝cken, photographed by Anna16 in 2014. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Photograph of Joyce taken by C. P. Curran ca. 1904 and reproduced by Ellmann courtesy of Curran. Ellmann reports that Joyce, asked what he was thinking when Curran posed him, replied, "I was wondering would he lend me five shillings."