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Infinite Ulysses (infiniteulysses.com)
76 points by Thevet on April 15, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments

One tidbit of Ulysses is a character wonders if it's possible to cross Dublin without passing a pub. Using OpenStreetMap I figured out that it was http://www.kindle-maps.com/blog/how-to-walk-across-dublin-wi...

Ha, I love this so much. You'd be quite thirsty after a walk like that - good thing there are plenty of pubs on Baggot Street :)

So you're saying the only way to walk across Dublin without passing a pub is to walk past the Guinness brewery? :)

You can't walk in there and have a pint! So it's OK IMO :)

You can at the Gravity Bar [0] but with this route you don't pass the entrance so it's all good :)

[0] http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/Index.aspx

Great piece of work. Four years later and many pubs must have closed...in the UK at least it has been that around 30-50 pubs closing every week.

Perhaps there would be more alternative routes across Dublin today?

Probably not. In Ireland pub licences are very restricted, and there are only so many. When a pub closes, a new one will buy the licence and move it elsewhere. Rural pubs do close in Ireland, but this route goes through central Dublin. If anything there aren't enough pubs there for the demand.

This looks like a fun project about one of my half-dozen favorite novels of all time. Unfortunately, there is probably more garbage (explication, criticism) written about this book than any other, outside of Shakespeare. If you're hesitant to just dive in, I recommend Nabokov's Lectures on Literature (all the lectures are great; the one on Ulysses shows you the hidden machinery turning under the surface of the novel).

When I first read it, years ago, I noticed Haynes's dictum that "Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of minds that have lost their balance.", and thought that perhaps it was Joyce's ambition to supplant Shakespeare in that role.

So I'll be the one to trot out the infamous quote: "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant..."

I'm personally distrustful of people who are temperamentally hostile to criticism, and I would think that self-described hackers would want to celebrate practices that seek to explain art rather than to shroud it in mystery. And Joyce's Ulysses has inspired some criticism that is literature in its own right, some obvious examples being Richard Ellmann's biography and at least half of Hugh Kenner's books.

I am not at all hostile to criticism--I have, at a guess, seven of Kenner's books at home (and now that I think of it, wouldn't mind picking up Gnomon).

For anyone interested, this is a great, deep site with hyperlinked annotations. (Not crowdsourced in anyway, though)


There's also a comic version:


A comic version for the impatient: http://thattherepaul.com/features/uford.html

Two men stood at the verge of the cliff, watching: businessman, boatman.

— She's making for Bullock harbour.

The boatman nodded towards the north of the bay with some disdain.

— There's five fathoms out there, he said. It'll be swept up that way when the tide comes in about one. It's nine days today

The man that was drowned. A sail veering about the blank bay waiting for a swollen bundle to bob up, roll over to the sun a puffy face, salt white. Here I am.

Nice website, if a little unresponsive. If it gets just one more person to crack Ulysses and discover the immense beauty of this extraordinary work than it has to have been worth it.

Woah. When I last (tried to) start reading Ulysees, almost a year ago, I thought about this: An online "book club", allowing users to join in reading classics and participate in discussions on top of the text. That would have certainly helped me continue reading the book. Eventually I put the book back on the shelf, and wrote down the idea in my ~/ideas.md.

Your 'read' page [1] is exactly as I pictured it. Looks like an interesting, important effort. Kudos!

[1] http://www.infiniteulysses.com/ulysses/3

You should ask for your royalties https://xkcd.com/827/

Love the idea, and hope that it grows into something bigger.

For any book of historic, literary or intellectual interest you often need notes, perspectives and connotations. Especially the older a work gets, for even things as the meaning or use of English words can change. For the best books you can sometimes buy annotated versions, but the Genius-approach of annotate anything lends itself particulary well to books.

For now I fear only free books (like Ulysses) can be handled site that crowdsources annotations. But crowdsourced annotations on all books, provided you own a license to the work of some sort... wow.

With regard to your point about the meaning or use of English words changing, after trying but failing to read Ulysses a few years ago I asked my Grandfather whether he had ever read it (he was born in 1914 and grew up in Dublin). He said he had read it a few times and didn't find it difficult to understand at all since most of the phrases and slang were things people said when he was growing up.

I have the same experience in trying to read the classic English philosophers. The language feels the same, but isn't. Funny thing is that you can find 'the Greeks / Germans / ..' in a side by side translation to modern English with notes, but that it doesn't exist for many of the classics. It's easier to get to understand Biggie than Thomas More (which I own in an ancient English translation of the Latin original, kind of my point...).

"Sure I am that the signification of words in all languages, depending very much on the thoughts, notions, and ideas of him that uses them, must unavoidably be of great uncertainty to men of the same language and country. This is so evident in the Greek authors, that he that shall peruse their writings will find in almost every one of them, a distinct language, though the same words."

John Locke, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Book II (On Words), Ch. IX, section 22

Ulysses - the 'Trout Mask Replica' of the literary world

What would the analogy be for Finnegan's Wake?

Don't destroy Joyce's wordplay: it is Finnegans Wake, not Finnegan's Wake

my mistake. apologies.

Metal Machine Music

Neil Young's Trans.

Neat idea. When I read Ulysses two years ago, I didn't really follow the whole plot but I did enjoy Joyce's writing a lot.

BTW, I bought the audible version of Ulysses this year and I am slowing listening to it. Hearing a good narrator read the book is a very different experience than reading it.

I initially thought the "infinite" in the title referred to Infinite Jest.

That would have been really wild...

It may be a reference to Infinite Summer, which was a (more traditional) online book club a few years back reading Infinite Jest.

I highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Jim Norton. Ulysses has a lot of difficult-to-parse writing (such as the last chapter having no punctuation); the audiobook removes that parsing difficulty. It's also a great performance!

I'd recommend Frank Delaney's charming, paragraph-by-paragraph, bite-sized Re: Joyce podcast[1] and the excellent 1982 RTE dramatic radio broadcast[2] (also essentially unabridged).

Many of the more difficult fragments of Ulysses are made much more lucid when read aloud, and it's a good trick to use while reading the book as well.

[1] http://blog.frankdelaney.com/re-joyce/ [2] https://archive.org/details/Ulysses-Audiobook

Wow, apparently there are 2 Jim Norton's in the world. Would pay good money to listen to this one narrate Ulysses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ5DI0nD24U

I like this a lot -- I love the idea of poring over Ulysses -- but the clicking on the reading page doesn't feel responsive enough for me and I wish annotations were displayed better (I'm used to Genius..)

From the title "Infinite Ulysses" I imagined an unending extension of the text of Ulysses using a Markov text generator. Perhaps that would be better suited for Finnegans Wake.

But since Finnegans Wake is structured as a loop, you wouldn't want to extend it from the end.

I was expecting some kind of mash-up or remix with David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.

I'm pretty sure Joyce was a Markov bot.

This is obviously a home built website. Interesting to see their design choices...

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