“Stephen, depressed by his own voice…” Sometimes the reader of Ulysses knows just how Stephen feels. Spurred by readerly disenchantment with the moody brooder and the stout belief that Malachi Mulligan can upstage Stephen any day, this site intervenes with James Joyce's Ulysses to reimagine its initial section, "Telemachus", in a variety of delightful ways (delightful, if you're a nerd and a Mulligan fan). Use the links above to read "Telemachus" with Stephen's depressed meditations excised, his character completely dropped (producing some wonderfully odd monologues for both Mulligan and Haines), Stephen and Mulligan's places switched ("O, my name for you is the best: Buck, the knife-blade"), and Stephen's speech and thoughts replaced using the n+7 technique. Two more permutations will follow as time permits and my brain allows me to complete yet another reading of "Telemachus".
This project uses textual interventions to provoke novel readings (ha!). But! Playing with a text is only half of any self-respecting critical intervention; just as with distant reading visualizations, reading what you've made for what it says about the text is the second half of the work. I'm privately working on an essay inspired by the changes made here. To find out more about interventions, try Rob Pope's Textual Intervention, Warren Motte's Oulipo compendium, or Stephen Ramsay's Reading Machines. I'll also be blogging more about interventionary approaches over at LiteratureGeek.com.
Follow and use #occupyulysses to have more fun with the text. Public domain FTW: the Project Gutenberg Ulysses text can be repurposed to the limits of your imagination. Enjoy!