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  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 10:41 pm on October 1, 2013 Permalink  


    Opening Ulysses is going on hiatus for re-tooling. Suggestions and ideas welcome!

  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 10:09 pm on September 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: kidney, , ,   

    Calypso RPG Thread 

    When Leopold Bloom goes out to buy a pork kidney, he sees many people. There’s Larry O’Rourke:

    Bald head over the blind. Cute old codger. No use canvassing him for an ad. Still he knows his own business best. There he Is, sure enough, my bold Larry, leaning against the sugarbin in his shirtsleeves watching the aproned curate swab up with mop and bucket.

    There is, of course, the “porkbutcher” himself. There’s also “the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling the items from a slip in her hand. Chapped: washing soda. And a pound and a half of Denny’s sausages.”

    Each of these characters, and really anyone we meet that day, could be said be on her or his own bloomsday odyssey, so let’s write their stories—starting, perhaps, with how the view Bloom himself.

    Remember, you can speak as a character using a designation such as *as Dlugacz* or use any other system you can come up with (see previous RPG threads for examples.


    • Sarah Jane 9:55 pm on September 18, 2013 Permalink

      *as the nextdoor girl* Sure my hands are sore as they say from the washing and the scrubbing, no telltale gray. Sausages and blood. Liver and bone. Thank you, Sir Butcher, but I only say three words.

    • RagePA 7:17 pm on November 2, 2013 Permalink

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  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 1:15 am on August 28, 2013 Permalink  

    Calypso Preview 

    Starting on the first of September, we will have a new RPG thread based on the fourth episode of Ulysses. For those of you new to the episode, below is a summary and a list of resources:

    The fourth episode of Ulysses starts over again. This time, instead of Stephen Dedalus, we meet Mr Leopold Bloom, and we meet him as he prepares breakfast. He converses with a cat and gives her milk. He offers breakfast to his wife, Molly, who is still in bed. Bloom heads for the butcher’s shop, where he buys the last pork kidney. He glances at a letter from his daughter, Milly, and gives his wife a letter from Blazes Boylan. Following a conversation with his wife, Bloom repairs to the lavatory where he reads a story from Titbits. After he finishes, a ringing bell reminds him of Dignam’s funeral, scheduled for that day.


    Read Calypso Online

    Other Online Resources

  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 5:16 am on August 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Proteus RPG Thread 

    Sandymount Strand Dublin, low tide magic solitude

    Sandymount Strand Dublin, low tide magic solitude by Michael Foley

    In the third episode of Ulysses, we are brought into Stephen’s stream (or is it tide?) of consciousness. For this RPG, instead of focusing on what happens after what the text tells us, the goal is to focus on style. We’re going stream-of-consciousness—but not Stephen’s. Does a dog have a stream of consciousness? Does the sea? Is there someone on a boat who may be struck by Stephen’s presence as Stephen was struck by the presence of a dog? What do they think about and how do they think it, during this episode?

    Is there someone whose stream-of-consciousness may be relevant but who is not on scene?

    Let’s see how you can play with this style.

    • Dead Dog 5:21 am on August 6, 2013 Permalink

      Would be there was a time I could think this. Would be there was a time I could play along the beach and chase and chase and chase.

  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 9:02 pm on July 29, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Sandymount Strand, , stream of consciousness,   

    Proteus RPG Preview 

    English: Sandymount Strand, Howth Head in the ...

    Sandymount Strand, Howth Head in the distance

    Opening Ulysses’ third role-play, based on the third episode of Ulysses, known as Proteus, will begin on Thursday. If you haven’t read Proteus before, this blog post will help orient you. Proteus, in Greek mythology, is a god of the sea. Stephen, during this episode, walks along the seashore (Sandymount Strand to be specific), but the basic plot of the chapter is neither the most important connection to the Greek figure, nor really the point of the episode. We get a flow of Stephen’s thoughts and memories (the loss of his mother features among them). The thoughts flow like the sea and change form, as Proteus is a shape-shifter (think protean). Stephen sees a dead dog and a live dog, as if the dog too changes form.


    This episode can be read online at The Literature Network, or you can read a digital facsimile of the 1922 edition at The Modernist Versions Project.

    If you’re new to reading Proteus: what puzzles you about this episode? If you’ve read it before, what do you think is the most important of Stephen’s thoughts?



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  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 8:44 am on July 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , students,   

    Nestor RPG Thread 

    Hockey has ended. The students have a chance to talk among themselves. Maybe they discuss their game, or the strange riddle their strange teacher just told them. Maybe they talk about the weather, or something else entirely.

    Available characters:

    • Cochrane, who couldn’t remember where the Battle of Asculum took place and is the first to tell Stephen they give up on answering his riddle.
    • Armstrong, who was eating fig rolls and identified Pyrrhus as a pier.
    • Comyn, who wanted Stephen to ask him about Pyrrhus instead and who questioned Stephen’s definition of a pier as a disappointed bridge.
    • Talbot, the “swarthy boy” who stumbled while reciting Lycidas.
    • Cyril Sargent, a bespectacled boy with “tangled hair and scraggy neck” who had to approach Stephen after class for help with his math lesson.
    • Halliday, whose name only comes up when his being on the same side as Cochrane for hockey causes problems.
    • And any others you might come up with.

    How to play:

    You can use *as character* to designate that you are speaking as a character or use any other method that makes it clear. See the Telemachus RPG Thread for examples.

    • Jason 7:41 pm on July 1, 2013 Permalink

      *as Comyn*

      –That riddle our teacher told. Do any of you understand it?

      • Stephanie 7:06 pm on July 3, 2013 Permalink

        *as Halliday*

        Riddle? What riddle? I’d call that a fiddle.

    • Stephanie 7:06 am on July 3, 2013 Permalink

      *as Halliday*

      Here, let us have some of those fig rolls.

      • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 11:25 pm on July 3, 2013 Permalink

        *as Armstrong*

        What? Is it mine you want?

        • Stephanie 8:20 pm on July 5, 2013 Permalink

          *as Halliday*

          Who else has any? Give them here.

          • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 8:27 pm on July 5, 2013 Permalink

            *as Armstrong*

            And who are you again?

            • Jessica 11:56 pm on July 7, 2013 Permalink

              *as Cochrane*

              Why, that’s Holiday! How can you forget our Holy Days?

            • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 7:52 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink

              *as Armstrong*

              A Holy Day? A feast? Isn’t he a boy?

            • Jessica 11:48 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink

              *as Cochrane*

              Ah, I’m sure he’s both. Didn’t you learn anything from our lesson?

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  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 8:31 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Foot-and-mouth disease, ,   

    Nestor RPG Preview 

    Starting July 1, Opening Ulysses’ second RPG thread, based on the second episode of Ulysses, sometimes refered to as “Nestor,” will open. What follows is a brief summary of the episode for those of you who are new to Ulysses or who need a refresher.

    This episode begins with Stephen in a position Joyce knew well: that of a teacher. He asks his students about the battle that gave us the term “Pyrrhic victory” and asks one to recite Milton’s “Lycidas.” The question of Stephen’s authority as a teacher is complex. On the one hand, he should be able to wield the power of his place in a hierarchical school. On the other, his students’ families have greater socio-economic status than he does. In practice, his teaching is, if not always effective, at least compassionate. He resists any temptation to humiliate his students when they fail to have a poem memorized. After the lesson, when Sargent approaches him for assistance in redoing his sums, Stephen feels empathy for the boy’s difficulties.

    With the boys gone to play hockey, Stephen sees Mr Deasy, the head of the school and a Nestor-like figure, for his pay. Stephen and Deasy spar over issues of economy, identity, history, and Irishness. Deasy asks him to see about getting a letter on foot and mouth disease published in a newspaper. As Stephen is leaving, Deasy runs after him to tell him a joke about Jews.

    This episode can be read online at The Literature Network, or you can read a digital facsimile of the 1922 edition at The Modernist Versions Project.

  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 5:14 am on June 16, 2013 Permalink  

    Happy Bloomsday! Can you make a better animated GIF? 

    Do it for the bragging rights. Do it for the glory. Do it for the Blooms.

    Think you can make a better animated GIF for Bloomsday using Photoshop, Blingee, or another tool? Post it to Twitter with the hashtag #OpeningUlyssesGIF. (Twitter itself won’t let you post animated GIFs directly, so you’ll have to upload it somewhere else such as tinypic first and then paste the link into Twitter.) The most retweeted image will get a flashy blog bling award and all the fame Opening Ulysses has to offer.



  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 10:17 pm on June 12, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Bloomsday,   

    An Evolving Course Schedule 

    What follows is an outline of Opening Ulysses as a course. Specific dates and detailed activities will be filled in as we go. Have an idea? Leave a comment, or volunteer to be an episode role-play facilitator.

    Ulysses Banned in New Zealand

    Ulysses Banned in New Zealand (Photo credit: Archives New Zealand)

    June 2013: Episode 1,Telemachus

      • Ongoing from June 1: Telemachus RPG
      • June 16: Bloomsday animated GIF competition

    July 2013: Episode 2, Nestor

    August 2013: Episode 3, Proteus

    September 2013: Episode 4, Calypso

    October 2013: Episode 5, Lotus Eaters

    November 2013: Episode 6, Hades

    December 2013: Episode 7, Aeolus

    January 2014 Episode 8, Lestrygonians

    February 2014: Episode 9, Scylla and Charybdis

    March 2014: Episode 10, Wandering Rocks

    James Joyce plaque - 71 rue de Cardinal Lemoin...

    James Joyce plaque – 71 rue de Cardinal Lemoine, Paris 5 (Photo credit: Monceau)

    April 2014: Episode 11, Sirens

    May 2014: Episode 12, Cyclops

    June 2014: Episode 13, Nausicaa

    July 2014: Episode 14, Oxen of the Sun

    August 2014: Episode 15, Circe

    September 2014: Episode 16, Eumaeus

    October 2014: Episode 17, Ithaca

    November 2014: Episode 18, Penelope

  • Elizabeth Kate Switaj 9:41 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink  

    Facilitators Wanted 


    Telemachus (Photo credit: oschene)

    With our first Ulysses role-play, based on the “Telemachus” episode underway, we are seeking volunteers to facilitate RPGs based on later episodes. The plan is to have a new RPG thread each month, though there is space to be flexible with the exact dates. Facilitators are responsible for posting information about the episode to help new readers acclimate themselves and for framing the role-play itself. (The first RPG follows the end of “Telemachus”, but creativity is encouraged. RPGs could be based around what unseen characters are doing during an episode, or on the style in which an episode is written, for example.)

    If you’re interested, email with your episode preference, a bit of information about who you are, and anything else you want to say.

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