Seventeen year old James Joyce must have begun contemplating a modern Odyssey when he read this challenge from W.B. Yeats:
"I think that we will learn again how to describe at great length an old man wandering among
enchanted islands, his return home at last, his slow gathering vengeance, a flitting shape of a goddess, and a flight of arrows..." [May 1899]
The plotline that Joyce borrows from Homer requires primarily a hero who resolves a series of challenges and finally reclaims his home and his wife.
Joyce chose to keep his hero as ordinary as possible: Leopold Bloom, and packs the challenges into a single Dublin day.
WHO: Leopold Bloom
WHERE: Dublin, Ireland
WHEN: 16 June 1904
One-fourth Jewish, Bloom's home is Ireland but he's viewed as an outsider.
His attractive wife is unsatisfied and has scheduled a sexual liaison. Bloom knows this and plans to stay away.