Immediately following the publication of Ulysses, James Joyce devised what is now known as the Gilbert Schema. The schema for the novel was intended to help Joyce’s friend, Stuart Gilbert, understand the fundamental structure of the book. Gilbert then published the guide within his James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: A Study in 1930. The original copy of the Gilbert schema is housed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The schema defines each of the eighteen chapters using a set of variables. Each variable—from organ to color—lends a characteristic to the chapter or is prominently featured, such as the case with the art/subject category. We have included it below; if you are undertaking Ulysses, we recommend printing out or copying this schema into the inside cover of your copy: