Joyce's Ulysses: There's a tweet for that



As fans of James Joyce are well aware, Thursday, June 16, is Bloomsday, the anniversary of the events that take place in the author's epic novel, Ulysses — which was once described (incorrectly) as "the foulest book that ever found its way into print.”

But what Ulysses devotees may not realize is that this landmark work, which some of us have spent years trying to get through, will appear in a variety of forms on Twitter tomorrow.

As far as I can tell, no one out there has announced plans to celebrate Bloomsday by tweeting the entire 265,000-word novel in sequential 140-character installments, which I'm guessing would do for Twitter's servers what Lady Gaga recently did for Amazon's.

But I do know of two potentially interesting Twitter commemorations that microblog-inclined Joyce fans can check out.

The first comes via Frank Delaney, the Irish author whose Joyce obsession has led to what's turning out to be a life-long podcast devoted to analyzing Ulysses sentence-by-sentence. Delaney has issued a Bloomsday challenge, inviting followers to summarize the entire novel in a single tweet. For search purposes, participants are asked to include the hashtag #FDBloomsday, and Delaney will award prizes to his favorite three.

Those who prefer a slightly more detailed approach can try @11ysses, which will be tweeting CliffsNotes-style summaries of each section, described as follows:

The @11ysses Twitter account is the stage for this "tweading" of Ulysses. The Bloomsday tweaders are you, anyone in the world who would like to volunteer to take a section of the novel and condense/congeal/cajole it into a string of 4-6 tweets that will be broadcast as a quick burst on @11ysses. "Bloomsday bursts" will be posted every quarter hour starting at 8 o'clock in the morning (Dublin time) on 16 June and continue for the next 24 hours.

Here's hoping the copyright-fixated Joyce estate doesn't figure out a way to sue everyone involved ...

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