Virtual Joyce:  The Geography of Ulysses

A web-based literary cartography of the Epic of Modernism

Marc C. Conner

Department of English, Washington and Lee University


The use that Joyce makes of the cityscape of Dublin in his modernist epic, Ulysses, is without parallel in world literature.  Joyce boasted that 100 years after his novel appeared, historians would be able to recreate the city of Dublin from his book alone, so accurate is his rendering of its houses, churches, pubs, shops—what he famously termed the “street furniture” of its world.  Today, 82 years after Ulysses appeared (and 100 years after it is set), much of Joyce’s world is lost, but much still remains.  Joyce was meticulous in getting right every detail of 1904 Dublin:  how long it would take a character to walk from Trinity College to the Ormond Hotel; how the interior of the Holles Maternity Hospital could accommodate both drunken medical students and women in labor; and where Georgian Dublin (the heart of British imperial control of the city) existed in relation to the slums and tenements of the north side (where Joyce himself lived).  Today we can reconstruct the essential movements of Joyce’s characters throughout Dublin, still marking the buildings and monuments that remain, crossing the same streets and walkways, and realizing the cultural, political, and artistic significance of geography, architecture, and landscape in this intricately crafted novel.  This interactive web resource presents an annotated visual mapping guide to Joyce's great modernist epic.

Click here to enter the world of Ulysses.   

Click here to return to the Irish Literary Studies Web Portal.

Click here to read the report on this project, supported by an ACS-Mellon Technology Fellowship.

Glasnevin Cemetery, site of episode Six, “Hades”