Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research
at Columbia University

Visualizing Joyce

  • Emily Fuhrman

In reference to schemas for Ulysses, Joyce describes the compositional technique behind the “Sirens” episode as a “fugue with all musical notations,”1 and as including the “eight regular parts of a fuga per canonem.”2 Joyce uses the first 63 lines of the chapter to introduce 99 words and syllables that reappear in different forms throughout the rest of the text. The sounds ultimately act as leitmotifs, evoking the sensory presence of different characters at different times.

This visualization is constructed as a line-by-line annotation of each sound that recurs at least four times following its initial introduction. Within each line, each sound is grouped into repetitions, linked to its associated character(s), and sorted into one of three possible tiers based on its distance from the root sound. The pages are represented as columns.

See the original post here and the full interactive graphic here. Visit for more work by Emily Fuhrman.

New and Revised Edition* (Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 459.


  1. Joyce to Georges Borach, 18 June 1919, in Richard Ellmann, *James Joyce: 

  2. Joyce to Harriet Weaver, 6 August 1919, in Ellmann, James Joyce, p.