Suspend Your Disbelief

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Joyce, Twitter. Twitter, Joyce.

Day 129: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

In honor of Bloomsday, the literary project Ulysses Meets Twitter is conducting an online reading of Joyce’s masterpiece today (@11ysses). Says the project’s website:

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.

The project has gained some nice attention, including some from the New York Times, and is underway now. Follow along at

Reading this post after Bloomsday? No worries; you can still enjoy some Joyce thanks to Kate Bush. The eccentric singer has been given permission by the Joyce estate to transform Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy into a song, “Flower of the Mountain.” Here’s a clip:

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