The novel takes place in the course of one day (June 16, 1904) in the life of the city of Dublin, and follows the course of several interacting ... Show synopsis The novel takes place in the course of one day (June 16, 1904) in the life of the city of Dublin, and follows the course of several interacting characters who embody a series of parallels to Homer's epic. The three main characters are Leopold Bloom, his faithless wife Molly, and Stephen Dedalus of PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN. The novel is a vivid picture of estrangement, alienation, and the disintegration of a society. Joyce uses the capaciousness of the novel as a vehicle for his ideas about art, literature, Ireland, and the nature of heroism, among other things, and its stream-of-consciousness narration and complex wordplay make it one of the most challenging literary experiences in English, as well as an icon of modernism. ULYSSES had a tortured publishing history, finally appearing (on Joyce's 40th birthday) under the aegis of Sylvia Beach at her Paris bookshop Shakespeare & Company. It was met with shock, horror, vituperation, and disgust, but--by a few readers, including T.S. Eliot and Yeats (and by posterity)--as a work of undisputed genius.