Stately . . . Yes

Rats, I missed Bloomsday, an event I like to note here on Slaw. It happened last Wednesday, which was June 16, the same date on which, in 1904, Leopold Bloom wandered through Dublin as Joyce’s Ulysses.

My Bloomsday offering to our readers is a Joycean oddity, by Lance Wakeling (whose Private Circulation is often good), Stately, plump Buck Mulligan. On this site you’ll find all of Ulysses serialized as it were . . . one . . . word . . . at . . . a . . . time. You click on a word and the next appears, all the way from “Stately” to the considerably less stately final “Yes.” If a word takes your fancy, you’re invited to share it via any one of the 311 social networking icons arrayed beneath. You may, if you wish, also adopt any of the words, or search them on one of the 29 search engines linked to (“Duck Duck Go”??).

Haven’t read the big U? Can’t be bothered? Never fear, graphic’s here. Robert Berry is drawing it for us in what looks to be a genuinely interesting online graphic novelization, “Ulysses ‘Seen’,” complete with instructions on how to read it and a reader’s guide to the themes etc. At the moment, only the first of the seventeen episodes has been drawn, but all of the icons for the chapters are there, so clearly Berry is intent on finishing.

The comic was made with the iPad in mind, but — here comes the faint echo of a legal connection — Apple banned it from the iTunes Store because of a drawing in it portraying a naked woman. Apart from the fact that Apple is a law unto itself in its walled garden, the law raises its blunt head here because, of course, Ulysses was banned in the U.S. and the U.K. for obscenity. Interestingly, in an important and bold decision, Justice John M. Woolsey of the U.S. District Court ruled in United States v. One Book Called Ulysses that it was not obscene. Perhaps with that’s having been drawn to their attention, Apple changed its mind, and “Ulysses ‘Seen'” is now available in the iTunes store but — next legal twist — not in the Canadian store! Pity.


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