Unraveling ‘Ulysses,’ one podcast at a time

One imagines that with a decent education, a bit of motivation and a good sense of curiosity about what makes the world tick, most professions are possible for those so inclined.

There are a few – cardiac surgeon, professional athlete, military cryptographer, nuclear chemist and the like – that would seem to require abilities, be they physical or mental, which are beyond the reach of the vast majority.

The task that Frank Delaney has undertaken would appear to fall into the latter category.

According to The Economist, Delaney, an Irish broadcaster and author based in New York, set out last year to explain James Joyce’s “Ulysses” – one of the most daunting books in the English language.

“Fifty-two podcasts later, he has reached the end of Chapter One,” The Economist writes. “Some chapters are five times as long,’ (Delaney) observes, ‘and the book gets more complicated as it progresses, so it could take another 30 years.’ That would bring Delaney to the age of 99. He thinks he will probably not move on to “Finnegans Wake.”

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