Admirers of Ulysses are very lucky. James Joyce’s decision to craft the book around one specific day gives us reasons a’plenty to revisit, reJoyce, and reflect on Ulysses each and every year come 16 June.
The resulting Bloomsday celebrations around the world are often rich with public readings. Last year a few dozen fans of the book, including myself, converted that Bloomsday tradition into an online “tweading” by posting strands of Ulysses on Twitter for 24 hours nonstop.
Readings are great – a pleasure for the ears – but they are a limited way of engaging the book and its intricacies. The complex Ulysses experience for readers cries out for discussion: a chance to debate, dissect, and decipher the book’s daunting universe.
Where outside of the classroom or the rare reading group can you express your take on Ulysses and hear from others about how this Joycean juggernaut has made them groan and grow? So here’s an idea: This year let’s start a new Bloomsday tradition – Ulysses Dialogues – and engage with each other to dig deeper into the book and what it means to us. All you have to do is shut your eyes (open your mouth and ears) and see.
Let a thousand Ulysses Dialogues bloom this Bloomsday! Make them local in pubs, living rooms, and parks. Make them in two’s and three’s and twenty’s. Make them global through the expanse of Google+, blogs, and vimeo. There’s no shortage of ways to connect. Let’s put them to good use.
To help get this Ulysses conversation started, I’ll be taking the LiberateUlysses project to the International James Joyce Symposium at Trinity College and University College Dublin (10-16 June) to connect Joyce scholars with the rest of the world through webchats, live tweeting, and Facebook (LiberateUlysses). And with any luck we’ll also stir up Ulysses Dialogues in other Dublin venues throughout Bloomsday week.
But it’s up to you to make this a global conversation. Last year 44 people from a dozen countries contributed to the “Ulysses Meets Twitter” experiment, and that was just on one social media platform. And so the call goes out to Ulysses lovers everywhere to get a conversation started this Bloomsday on the scale, venue, and platform you’re most comfortable with.
The LiberateUlysses project offers support and promotion to help you connect with others through this blog and our 4,000+ @2lysses Twitter followers. If you’d like to work with us to host an in-person or an online Ulysses Dialogue, write to us and describe your choice of venue, platform, and dates. Or if you’d just like to participate in a Ulysses Dialogue, let us know and we’ll try to connect you with others. Our goal is to distribute a list of worldwide Ulysses Dialogues by 2 June 2012.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN DUBLIN!
We are seeking new media specialists (video, livestreaming, podcasting, photos, etc.) in Dublin to help with our Bloomsday week activities in the Hibernian metropolis from 11-16 June. If you’d like to volunteer your skills to bring Dublin’s Ulysses Dialogues to the world, write to us by Friday, 20 April.
Interested? Write to Steve Cole at email@example.com.
** Here’s a full-size poster (in glorious PDF) of the Ulysses Dialogues announcement suitable for printing and posting to an actual plaster wall. **
** And here’s a quick video of he Ulysses Dialogues poster. **