Thursday, 2 February 2012

Frank Delaney celebrates the 130th birthday of James Joyce

This February 2nd, to celebrate the 130th birthday of James Joyce and the 90th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s mighty novel, Ulysses, author Frank Delaney reads from Ulysses to the public in Madison Square Park, and through video, to the world. The year 2012 has also seen the release of Ulysses into the public domain, an event much anticipated by Joyce scholars and aficionados, long hampered in their efforts by the litigious Joyce estate. Ulysses, even with copyright restrictions, has through the years inspired readings, reenactments, and even twitter events the world over, and Delaney's reading is surely a harbinger of many inventive interpretations to come.

Delaney rails against interpretations of Ulysses that obfuscate rather than clarify the details, references, meaning, and intent of the book, and instead has shown, in his Re:Joyce podcasts, where every Wednesday he deconstructs the book sentence by sentence in episodes lasting 5-7 minutes, that Ulysses can be absorbed, understood and embraced with no loss of intellectual value. Ulysses, Delaney maintains, is a vastly enjoyable and accessible novel, “a book to get lost in...and discover each day something new.”  Launched on Bloomsday 2010, The Re:Joyce podcasts have passed 300,000 downloads as of last week. They have been hailed by listeners as “the people’s Ulysses," and have been covered by publications such as NPRThe Economist, and many more.