Bloomsday 2014 celebrations bring 'Ulysses' into the age of Twitter

James Joyce fans celebrate 'Bloomsday' on June 16, when Joyce's novel 'Ulysses' takes place. This year, some are tweeting out images that recreate a line from 'Ulysses.'

John Cogill/AP
Actor Barry McGovern (center) reads from James Joyce's 'Ulysses' as Patricia Lyle (l.) and Valerie Ritson (r.) listen in period dress in Sandycove in Dublin, Ireland.

One James Joyce fan is bringing Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” to the cell phone age.

June 16 is customarily celebrated by Joyce fans as “Bloomsday,” as the date is the day in which the novel “Ulysses” – centered on protagonist Leopold Bloom – is set. The celebration takes place internationally, with locales like Dublin (the birthplace of Joyce) and other more far-flung cities (like Washington, D.C.) marking the day with readings of “Ulysses,” period-appropriate costumes, the serving of traditional Irish cuisine, and more.

This year, Joyce fan Steve Cole from Maryland, is encouraging other fans to recreate a line from “Ulysses,” take a picture of the recreation, and tweet the photo with the hashtag #UlyssesPic. Cole’s example quoted the line “Astonishing the things people leave behind them in trains and cloak rooms. What do they be thinking about?” with a photo of a copy of “Ulysses” lying on a bench.

“Use the photographic muse to break the novel free of the confines of time (1904) and place (Dublin, Ireland) and show the tale anew,” Cole wrote on the website LiberateUlysses. “Bring forth something you really like in Ulysses and be as daring, poetic, joyful and/or silly as you like to express it with photos. We encourage you to emphasize the human in your photos to match the profusion of humanity stuffed into the book." 

According to NPR, Cole also organized an effort to tweet out sections of “Ulysses” in 2011.

Cole’s effort has already gained some participants and contributors currently include the Twitter account for Ireland’s embassy in Berlin, which tweeted a picture of a live reading of “Ulysses” hosted by the German bookstore Curious Fox Books with the line “Ireland I was born here.”

Have you tweeted a #UlyssesPic? Share it with us on Twitter!

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