“I would recognize you anywhere,” Dilly told Hopper, “even though you stopped cutting your hair and are hiding behind that cute face mask. You walk around in public like a man who is wearing only a large diaper, hoping no one notices that he is barefoot.”
Ulysses: Empire State Building
Hopper had acquired his fear of heights when, at the age of eight and standing in the cupola of the Empire State Building’s 102nd floor observatory, he diverted his gaze from New Jersey across the Hudson River to look down. Though encased in impenetrable glass and concrete, Hopper imagined a force of nature -- or perhaps a mystical intervention – forcing him through the building’s membrane and hurtling him towards a violent and gruesome death on the street below, like Evelyn McHale.
Ulysses: The Non-Marriage Marriage
“Again, let me explain it to you, Hopper,” Ingrid began, “even though you already know the answer. You are a jerk and impossible to live with – and I am grateful for our divorce – but we are always going to have something between us. It’s like we are still married even though we stopped being married. It’s both disconcerting and wonderful that I can always count on my ex-husband to have my back.”
Ulysses: The Chloe Sevigny of Her Generation
Olympia had been designated as the “Chloe Sevigny of her generation.” She was the girl everyone wanted to succeed so they could watch her fail and collapse. She disappointed on that front; rather than collapse, she just faded from view.
Ulysses: We All Harbor Our Complexities
Lola looked at the ceiling for a moment, then at the new abstract painting, then sipped his martini. “Like that painting over there, we all harbor our complexities, Hopper,” he said.
Ulysses: A Brilliant, Well-Told Lie
The movie adaptation of Hopper’s first book had been sidetracked when Reese Witherspoon fell in love with his sister Olympia’s fake journal. “The whole story about 'Astrid' may be a lie,” Reese told Olympia’s mother, “but it is a brilliant, well-told lie by a representative of the new feminist literary wave.”
Ulysses: The Safety of Fifth Avenue
Hopper believed that his parents had agreed between themselves to use the phrase “My son, the bestselling author” whenever discussing or introducing him. Hopper had heard these five words uttered in the same adoring tone hundreds of times. Now his mother got to add, “I’m adapting my son’s bestselling book for the screen.”
Ulysses: It’s a Mixed Up, Muddled Up, Shook Up World (Except for Lola)
“A friend of mine recorded an audio tour of the church,” she said. “You play a cassette tape, and you can follow along to learn about which popstars were discovered in which bathroom in the eighties, who f**ked who in which bathroom in the nineties, and which drug dealer was arrested in which bathroom in this decade.”
Ulysses: The Stabbing of Hopper
“Never, tyrant!” Silver shouted as she thrust the blade of a paring knife into his back, just below the right scapula. Hopper turned around, the knife still stuck in his back, and shouted, “Jesus, Silver! You could have just played rock, paper, scissors for it.” Silver shrugged her shoulders.
"Ulysses" is a novella set in New York City on Bloomsday in the year 2022. We follow Hopper Tilley-Blandin, a successful author and unsuccessful husband, as he travels by foot through Manhattan to find peace with his family and his past and to recognize and confront his future.