ANNOUNCING a slight change of plans for this Bloomsday 2011 experiment.
Every year on 16 June lovers of the richest novel of all time — James Joyce’s Ulysses — celebrate this literary revelation with Bloomsday. Live readings of the novel pop up all over the world. But what would happen if that experience of hearing this great novel read live was, instead, shoehorned into the fractured new media that is Twitter, all within the 24-hour span of the novel? That is what this experiment is designed to find out.
This is not an attempt to tweet mindlessly the entire contents of Ulysses, word-for-word, 140 characters at a time. That would be dull and impossible. What is proposed here is a recasting or a reimagining of the reading experience of this novel, start to finish, within the confines of a day-long series of tweets from a global volunteer army of Joyce-sodden tweeps.
Can you imagine such a thing? Would it be horrific, a train wreck? Or would it be beatific? Who knows. Hence this experiment.
The experiment will be shaped thusly. 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.
As a volunteer tweader, all you need to do is chose the section of Ulysses you’d like to tweet (see “The Script” page of this blog for a handy division of the book into 96 more-or-less equal parts) then thoughtfully, soulfully, fancifully compose your “Bloomsday burst,” making sure each tweet is under 140 characters. Send the whole batch to the email address below by Saturday, 11 June, and we’ll take care of the rest. The collective contributions of our Brave Bloomsday tweaders with be posted in the order they appear in the book.
In addition to the daylong Bloomsday tweading of Ulysses, all of our volunteers are invited to submit posts and pictures from their own Bloomsday-related experiences as they unfold on 16-17 June to be posted on this blog. We’ll post them as fast as we can so there will be – finally! – an online record of how the world celebrated this most miraculous of literary days in the year of our Lord, 2011.
A guide to the 96-segment division of Ulysses concocted for this experiment can be found under “The Script” page of this blog. Note that this segmentation is devised so that (hopefully) any edition of Ulysses can be used. The timetable for the tweading on Bloomsday of each segment (numbered 1 through 96) can be found under “The Schedule”.
VOLUNTEERS: THE CALL GOES OUT!
In January 2011, the first call went out for volunteers to devote some of their time and much of their talent to this experiment. The call is open to one and all until 30 May 2011 (extended!).
There are no academic or professional credentials required. Ulysses is the world’s book, so if you can read, you can be in The Brave Cast. But there are a few requirements:
(a) A passion for Ulysses (if not a scholar of it)
(b) A more-than-passing familiarity with Twitter (if not in love with it)
(c) Submission of a brief personal statement and photo to be posted on this blog as a member of The Brave Cast
So join up! Answer the call of literature today by sending your bio & pic to Steve of Baltimore (aka James Joyce of @11ysses) at: