Inquisitive Joyce tweeps may have noticed that Twitter is populated with several of the characters from Ulysses. In attempting to assemble a cast for this 2011 Bloomsday experiment, such long-dead Dublin tweeps as @BuckMulligan, @StephenDedalus, @BlazesBoylan, and @LeopoldBloom appeared and still appear seemingly alive on Twitter. Their proclamations are disjointed and for some reason are all uttered on 16 June of various recent years.
A bit of online digging uncovered the origins of these strangely dormant tweeps. They were cast members in a Bloomsday Twitter performance of the “Wandering Rocks” chapter of Ulysses orchestrated by Georgia Tech professor/videogame researcher Ian Bogost and friend Ian McCarthy. The performance garnered considerable media attention in 2009.
According to Bogost’s blog on the project, “We took Wandering Rocks and adapted it into a large series of 140-character or less utterances in the first person. We organized and timed these and built a database for them. We registered key characters in the novel as users on Twitter. Then we wrote some software to automate the performance of Wandering Rocks on Twitter, so basically we just turn it on and it runs.” [To see what Bogost is up to now, visit his blog or @ibogost.]
So our “Ulysses Meets Twitter” @11ysses Bloomsday experiment is not without historical precedent. But has anyone else attempted to use Twitter to recast the entire novel through the hearts-imaginations-souls of a living-breathing multinational cast? Be part of it! Sign up by 28 May 2011.