how Ulysses got its name

Thanks to Schmutzie for suggesting this scenario.

Afternoon in Paris, 1922. Harriet Shaw Weaver is reading a manuscript of Ulysses. James Joyce looks on expectantly. She puts down the last page and wipes a tear from her eye.

Harriet Shaw Weaver: That was wonderful, James.

James Joyce: It was years of work.

Harriet Shaw Weaver: This is a brilliant novel. It will tear literature open and sew a glorious, crooked seam into its flank.

James Joyce: That’s high and incomprehensible praise.

Weaver: Have you thought of a title?

Joyce: A title?

Weaver: Yes. You need an appropriate title to sum the book up with a combination of grace and grandeur.

Joyce: You may have something there, Harriet.

Weaver: I was thinking of Odysseus, or Ulysses.

Joyce: Really? That's shooting a bit high, isn't it? After all, it's just some fellow having a day around the city. I had thought of Mr. Bloom’s Grand Day Out.

Weaver: That seems … frivolous.

Joyce: Frivolous? I think it will pull in the right kind of readers.

Weaver: I think people will feel a bit misled. Especially during the brothel scenes.

Joyce: How about Stephen and Leo’s Cracking Dublin Adventure?

Weaver: I really think that Ulysses is preferable.

Joyce: Why would I name my book after some old Greek fellow?

Weaver: I think there are some parallels between the peripatetic Leo Bloom and the long, wandering voyage of Ulysses as he makes his way home to Penelope.

Joyce: I guess so. That never struck me. I think of my novel as a corker of a tale for the young lads. What do you think of Leo’s Annual?

Weaver: You envision this as an annual?

Joyce: Oh yes. I’m planning a follow-up in which our young adventurers go to Berlin and enjoy an afternoon with the Kaiser. From there they travel to ancient Africa to face down the Hottentot and the Zulu, but not before taking a detour over the Antipodes with their zeppelin-piloting medic friend Buck Mulligan. What scamps they are!

Weaver: You’re having me on, aren’t you?

Joyce: And for the young women, a serialized adventure showing that the joys of adventure are not limited to the rougher sex! I’ve already written 700 pages of Molly Bloom and the Guttersnipes of the Hollow Earth.

Weaver: Something to keep Lucia entertained?

Joyce: I've been writing down Lucia's funny expressions in a notebook lately. One day I'll publish them as A Little Treasury of Schizophrenic Ranting, or perhaps Finnegan's Wake.