June 16th marks the 107th anniversary of “Bloomsday,” the twenty-four hours that encompasses the story of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The book, considered by many to be the greatest literary achievement of the 20th century, has also been thought by others to be narrowly accessible. Or, to put it bluntly: unreadable.
But 107 years after Leopold Bloom’s odyssey around Dublin, you can find insight into Ulysses in ways Joyce never could have imagined. Whether it’s podcasts, Twitter, and even comics, here are just a few of the ways technology has turned a book once thought to be “for the elite” and made it more accessible to the common man:
*”Ulysses Seen” is the book done in comic form, directly on your monitor (and also for the iPad). The site also includes a comprehensive Reader’s Guide to make sense of it all.
*On Bloomsday itself, the @11ysses Twitter account will be filled with the novel’s story, boiled down to 140 characters by volunteers who “thoughtfully, soulfully, fancifully compose a series of 4-6 tweets to represent a section.” More information can be found here.
*Also on Bloomsday, New York’s WBAI will broadcast and stream on their website the 30th annual Bloomsday reading, which includes the likes of Alec Baldwin, Garrison Keillor, and John Lithgow. More information can be found here (http://wbai.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11356&Itemid=1)
*And for the obsessive, NPR profiled Joyce scholar Frank Delaney, whose podcast Re: Joyce breaks the book down one sentence at a time, one per week. The episodes can be found here. Delaney has taken a year to finish the first chapter of the book, and he estimates the remaining seventeen will take him between twenty-eight and thirty years.