"Ulysses" is one of the most important works of Modernist literature.
The novel is approximately 265,000 words in length, uses a lexicon of 30,030 words and is divided into eighteen episodes.
"Ulysses" chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 (the day of Joyce's first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer's poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between its characters and events and those of the poem (e.g., the correspondence of Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, Molly Bloom to Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus). Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.
Since publication, the book has attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual "Joyce Wars." Ulysses' stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of puns, parodies, and allusions, as well as its rich characterisations and broad humour, made the book a highly regarded novel in the Modernist literature. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.