Tuesday, June 29, 2004
He crammed his mouth with fry and munched and droned.
Around Bloomsday, I picked up on a couple of interesting James Joyce projects: Finnegans Wake and Ulysses. Okay, so it's nothing revolutionary. Wait a second...maybe it is. See, both projects are making use of blogs to cycle the e-paginations of the respective novels. The sites run RSS feeds and disburse one page each day. I'm not sold on the slow-release scheme for each book, but I am pleased to see the way these blogs are bending the print paradigm into an alternative textual system--complete with searchability, feeds, archiving, and free access.
The Ulysses project appears to be the better automated of the two at this stage. If you check the link, you'll see the entire novel is available in chunks and it's cycling through on an engine of sorts, chugging through several hundred pages, one by one over the next two years, automatically. The Finnegan's Wake project isn't entirely online yet, so there'll be no reading ahead for now. But FW has comments enabled, so it would be conceivable to watch discussions unfolding out of each page, not that I have any idea what those discussions might undertake. No nubo no!
So while it might not seem groundbreaking at first (nor am I sure this kind of thing hasn't been done before), I want to watch how it goes. I think it connects in interesting ways with much of the list-talk about subscription gouging and digital models for journal distribution (subscriptions, archiving, access, etc.), news and entries about feeds overhauling the browser approach to reading the web, and transformations of biblio-traditionalisms into what's rapidly unfolding in front of us.Posted by Derek Mueller at June 29, 2004 10:36 PM to On Weblogs