Rewriting “Ulysses,” 140 characters at a time

James Joyce's modernist masterpiece gets a Twitter makeover

Topics: Twitter, Fiction, The New York Times, Books,

Rewriting "Ulysses," 140 characters at a timeTweet this book.

It’s always been a fun mental exercise to imagine how famous historical figures would have dealt with Twitter. There’s even a book about it! But for “Stephen from Baltimore,” Twitter can be used for more than interpreting famous thoughts … it can redefine whole novels.

That’s why he’s created “Bloomsday Burst,” an experiment in turning James Joyce’s epic “Ulysses” into a handful of tweets representing each chapter of the 600-1,000 page book. Stephen’s project has its own New York Times blurb, which is really a coup for a publication that just discovered Tumblr last year.  According to his rules:

All volunteers need to do is choose a section, or several, from the 18 episodes, structured loosely on Homer’s epic, “then thoughtfully, soulfully, fancifully compose a series of 4-6 tweets to represent that section.”

If you want to take part in this experiment on June 16 (that’s Bloomsday, the holiday celebrated by James Joyce lovers) and tweet from the @11ysses account, go over to Stephen’s “Master Plan” section and break out your college copy of Joyce’s second-hardest text.

Here are my contributions so far:



1. Bloom’s breakfast: nutty gizzards, giblet soup, roasted heart, liver slices, fried hencock(?) with crumbs, and kidneys that tasted like pee.

2. <strong>@mollybloom: Yes?

3. Just checked into @ BarneyKpub. Pro-tip: great for drinking and sports talk; stay away from politics & religion. #antisemiticcyclops

Think of others? Put them in the comments.

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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