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Over time, contemporary writing becomes part of the historical record. In medicine, it is an important learning tool, particularly for understanding the experience and context of disease and illness. Although a century has elapsed since the fictional events on a single day described in James Joyce's Ulysses, the work is still fresh with references and allusions to doctors, illnesses, and the human experience. Ulysses provides perspective on medical and social history and offers a biting commentary of continuing relevance to the doctor-patient relationship.