The Day After: Feedback on Tweeting ‘Ulysses’

In Uncategorized on 18 June 2011 by 11ysses

It wouldn’t be an experiment if there weren’t results & findings, right? Below are some of the first assessments of this “Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011” experiment, both solicited and unsolicited. The first is a blogger’s two cents, included here because of the great headline.

1. Some guy decided he wants twitterites to tweet their favorite passages in short teeny weeny sentences, the way perhaps the book should have been written to begin with? Why? Again, I ask, why? The Bookshop Blog

2. By having it pop up every 15 minutes on twitter, I felt like I was living through the day. It felt like the day was just like Bloom’s. Readings never conveyed that. Every contributor had their own style and that kept it interesting. I saw other tweets saying people were interested in the book from all the chatter on twitter. It became part of the day’s conversation on twitter. Putting it on twitter gave readers a taste, and hopefully they’ll go read more! I think I will. — @daliawithnoh

3. first of all: it was a great idea! But too many Bloomsday Bursts contained quotes from the text, and I thought the English language was a given, but there was at least one who tweeted in German. So next time I would emphasise the summary aspect of it a bit more. P.S.: I don’t think the experiment failed, but I expected something else. — @tomwaitsripoff

4. I loved getting bundles of joyce via text all day while working. It took me out of my day and made me part of the book. Different voices and approaches were great.

5. Enjoyed it all, especially typographically imaginative tweets. Made me want to reread Ulysses. 

6. Amazing experience. Loved the individual styles. Great inspiration for new forms of art and culture.

7. Successful. The process of whittling down Joyce’s words to a series of tweets was challenging and satisfying. As an English teacher, I will recreate the Bloomsday experiment by having my students, young readers of literature, take a dense piece of text and break it down in order to better understand it. — @XanaTenshi

8. it feels as if this event came as close to spending an entire day with a book as possible without actually reading it all day. a community reading, too: 71 people chattering away like crazed medieval monks in the service of a literary god gone bonkers globally. — @marcus_speh

9. I thought most of it was quite good, particularly those tweets that quoted from Ulysses directly and/or conveyed the musicality of Joyce’s voice. I don’t think words can convey the disappointment I felt when the last series of tweets thudded onto my Twitter feed. For the final pages of Ulysses to be summarized dryly and heartlessly was an awful way to finish an otherwise ambitious and entertaining project. — @mighty_flynn

10. I loved writing/reading the tweets. Each one called to mind lots of other material around/behind it, so I was able to re-experience much more of Ulysses than just the 140-character abridgments. Hence my question: How was the experience for those of you who had not read the book?

11. Liked: the incredible consistency of Joyce’s voice, filtered through so many different interpreters. Hated: the upsideownnesss of it, reading from bottom to top. And having to do other things on Bloomsday other than read the feed.

12. One thought: there is a dilemma in using both plot summary and favourite lines and quotes, where does each bit begin and end. Would it be possible to split the tweets, so that direct quotes are in one tweet and narrative summary is in another? — @TheBalloonatics

13. Though it would have been difficult to follow had I not read the book previously, I loved this way to experience the book. The intervals between bursts gave a rhythm to the story not unlike breaking news unfolding through the day.

14. To distill a sprawling iconic novel into tweets was an ambitious undertaking and a marvelously creative idea. This project exemplifies the best of social media by making a daunting canonical text accessible, relevant, and sexy. Keeping to Poldy’s timetable was brilliant. Rereading Ulysses now because of this experiment.


4 Responses to “The Day After: Feedback on Tweeting ‘Ulysses’”

  1. I enjoyed this project even if I missed some of the tweets. It was a brilliant, unifying idea and gave a strong flavour of the book. Left you with the sense of living through the day in real time. I might even read the “real thing” one day!

  2. It was life but was it fair?
    It was free but was it art?

  3. Hola, yo no pude estar el l6 en lìnea, tuve un examen. La cuestiòn aquì, es que yo leì, el Ulises, de James Joyce, y me encantò, unas partes sensacionales, como el monòlogo de Molly Bloom, no se si tuve en mis manos una buena traducciòn…pero lo disfrutè. GRACIAS, JOYCE POR TANTA RAZÒN, PARA SEGUIR LEYENDO……..POR TODOS LOS AUTORES QUE EL INFLUENCIÒ.

  4. The experiment was a success!
    To fill all the roles
    and have all the tweets arrive on time
    was itself miraculous.
    Congratulations, Steve.
    Bravo & Cheers!
    Ron Kritter
    p.s. So when when will the tweet-script
    be shaped into a form suitable for Broadway?! 😉

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