Something Else Twitter Does Not Improve: Bloomsday


Tomorrow, June 16, is Bloomsday — the day of the year on which the events of James Joyce’s Ulysses are supposed to take place — and usually the occasion for readings, Irish breakfasts, and such like. You can also experience Bloomsday on Twitter, just as Joyce intended, or would have if he had attention deficit syndrome and was cursed with a new life in our own repulsive era. The Bloomstweeps actually cooked this up a few years ago: the Wandering Rocks section of the big fat book is typed by users portraying “several dozen characters from the novel who all Tweet their acts from the book at the correct fictional times.” Doubtless there will be tinyurl links to multimedia. It could be fun, we guess, but we are depressed to realize that someone was probably just as psyched a few years ago about liveblogging Bloomsday, and someone will be just as psyched to use whatever new technology develops to make a Thing out of it a few years hence. We strongly suspicion that this will not lead to many more people reading Ulysses, let alone to anyone writing a new one. But maybe it will lead to a retro revival of the hypernovel — remember those? — which would be a good laugh and reminder of how much the internet has done for the arts.