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Why did Ulysses attract me so powerfully when I first read it as a nineteenyear- old, and why has its appeal remained so strong in the more than 45 years since then? In this essay, and in the book-length memoir it is based on, I try to answer these questions. As a scholar, I’ve often attempted to recreate Joyce’s novel in progress via its rough drafts, but I can’t begin to answer my questions about Ulysses’s strong appeal to me without opening the door on my own privacy to look at the rough drafts of myself in progress as well. I consider various aspects of my first reading of the novel and of my discovery of Joyce’s manuscripts and pay particular attention to the significance of imagination and memory in both Ulysses and my own life.