James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, still considered to be one of the most influential writers of the early 20th century. He is renowned for his contributions to the modernist and avant-garde literary canons.
In Fun Home, Bechdel frequently mines Joyce's work to craft analogies for her relationship with her father. For instance, the title of the first chapter, "Old Father, Old Artificer," is a line from Joyce's first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The protagonist in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a craftsman named Dedalus, an obvious reference to the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, which Bechdel also employs as an extended allegory throughout the novel.
The title of the last chapter, "The Anti-Hero's Journey," is a reference to the anti-hero Bloom of Joyce's 1922 book Ulysses. Written in stream-of-consciousness style, the Ulysses follows protagonist Leopold Bloom around Dublin for a day, with many parallels to Homer's Odyssey. Like Fun Home, Ulysses attracted controversy upon publication because of the allegedly "obscene" passages in which the protagonist masturbates. It was banned in the United States from 1921- 1934.