It’s Bloomsday! Get Your James Joyce On.

In more literary classics news, today – June 16th – is Bloomsday, the single day during which the action of James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. Not having read Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novel since high school, I got a little refresher on the topic (from Wikipedia, of course), where I was reminded that Ulysses was actually first published in pieces as a serial.

What?! Releasing a novel in excerpts?! There truly is nothing new under the sun.

I’m tickled by two contemporary adaptations of Joyce, the first being a performance of Ulysses taking place today on Twitter. For the last few months the project’s organizer has been recruiting volunteers to translate each chapter of the book into four-to-six tweets.

Here’s the first, to whet your appetite:

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. Chrysostomos.

Wow. Even more obtuse than the original!

Second, and also filed under “just because,” here’s a version of Ulysses rendered entirely in barcodes. If you have a smartphone you can scan each code and then read its corresponding section on your cell. It’s like Joyce-as-impulse-buy at the checkout counter!

If for some reason you’re still jonesing for Joyce, here are 8 more ways to celebrate. Happy Bloomsday!

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