Rewriting "Ulysses," 140 characters at a time

James Joyce's modernist masterpiece gets a Twitter makeover

Published May 25, 2011 8:01PM (EDT)

Tweet this book.
Tweet 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. @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.

By Drew Grant

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

MORE FROM Drew Grant

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Books Fiction The New York Times Twitter