Friday, March 11, 2011

James Joyce's "Ulysses" gets a graphic novel and an (uncensored) app

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan can now safely come down from his tower with his robe ungirdled. It appears as though James Joyce's
Ulysses, after having won the battle for literary expression in 1933, is continuing to win the war -- this time on the web, and nearly 90 years after its first publication.

Ulysses Seen, the graphic novelization of
Ulysses (online, with an accompanying reader's guide, and created by illustrator Robert Berry) ran into trouble when it was submitted as an iPad application. According to business manager Chad Rutkowski at Throwaway Horse, "I don't think the Apple representative that I first spoke with even knew what Ulysses was."

Apple, apparently, at first decided the graphic novel was a little too graphic and requested Throwaway Horse remove several offending panels depicting partial nudity ("partial nudity," of course, is a salacious, tantalizingly vague oxymoron from an era of more delicate sensibilities). Throwaway Horse complied.

Then representatives at Apple -- after having received the modified app -- looked again at
Ulysses Seen and reversed their previous decision. Now both apps are available, and readers can move on to now to another perplexing choice: which print edition of Huckleberry Finn to read.

In the same spirit, Apple has agreed to publish a graphic novelization app of that other
succes d' scandale, "The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde. Molly Bloom would doubtless approve, and waits breathlessly.


(images from UlyssesSeen, rendered by Robert Berry at Throwaway Horse, LLC)

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