Twitter goes literary with ‘Ulysses’ performance

The micro-blogging service Twitter has gone highbrow with a performance from James Joyce’s 1922 novel "Ulysses," Reuters reports. Two "Ulysses" enthusiasts, video game designer Ian Bogost from the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleague Ian McCarthy, wanted to use the site in a culturally interesting way rather than just as a service that lets users send 140-character messages, known as tweets. They came up with idea of recreating a chapter from "Ulysses" on Twitter. They chose Chapter 10, Wandering Rock, which is famous for showing the interlocking events of 19 characters walking through central Dublin going about their daily business. Bogost and McCarthy registered 54 of the novel’s characters as Twitter users and adapted the chapter in a large series of first-person statements in 140 characters or less, using a specially created software program to automate the performance. On June 16 or "Bloomsday," the day the action in the novel takes place in 1904, these characters all sent tweets about what they were doing at the correct fictional times. "I think the project sheds a new light on Twitter by intermixing usual fare with these century-old characters," said Bogost on his blog. "As for long-term literary uses of Twitter, it’s certainly a viable and interesting option."

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