For the fantastic Bloomsday project, “Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011“, organised by Stephen Cole, every one of a “brave cast” of 71 people from all over the world picked their own section of Joyce’s Ulysses. I chose a section from within the Aeolus episode.
Once I had selected about 20 different parts of the text, I realized that a number of them brought up instant, strong images for me. These were not necessarily the pieces that I would have selected in the end if I hadn’t even thought of images. But over the past few weeks i’ve been involved in an experiment with drawings & text as part of a 100 day project and so drawing came to me easily. Also, my current research for a novel leads me to the dark ages when there still was a greater unity of text, image and story (or at least that’s how it seems to me). I ended up doodling six sketches around and containing my text excerpts, culminating in what is, for me, the central message of the Aeolus episode, the need for focus on your art (though a strong wind may blow in your face). At the same time, I felt that Joyce, had he lived today, may have liked to make use of the media available today and the ease with which we mix media on the screen. Frankly, I sometimes thought any selection will do because that is some of the magic of Ulysses for me: it’s all good and it all stands on firm feet, not necessarily human. Perhaps they’re the feet of the wind raised in this episode.
The pictures below – text by Joyce, drawings by me – were posted on the @11ysses stage on 16 June 2011, 13:30 CET.