'Ulysses' is great, well at least that's what we're told. Like me, I'm guessing that most readers are put off by Stephen Dedalus's almost impenetrable stream of consciousness in the first three chapters. Finding your way through these first few chapters might require a little outside assistance, but once unpacked they prove to be a great primer to discovering what makes Ulysses such a special book. This project will provide a new way to experience these chapters and hopefully offer a fresh gateway to new readers.
It could be said that it takes a little effort on the reader's behalf to seek out the meaning in the words - for me it was unpacked by Frank Delaney in his excellent podcast, in Sam Slote's annotations, Columbia University's online version and a range of other types of media. Ulysses truly is an interactive multimedia experience.
My "In Ulysses" project is another way of experiencing the book - this time, using the virtual format. It will be a virtual reality videogame that will allow a user to inhabit the characters of Ulysses and experience the density of Joyce's language in a fun and accessible way.
It will also allow fans of the book to experience Dublin on June 16th 1904 first hand. For this fundit I will create a virtual reality experience from one of the first chapters in the book - Proteus - in which Stephen Dedalus walks along Sandymount Strand, pondering reality. It begins:
“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes.”
Appropriate! As a user of "In Ulysses" walks along a virtual Sandymount Strand, the book will be read to them - they will hear Stephen's thoughts as they are written - but these thoughts will then be illustrated around the user in real-time using textual annotations, images and links. A user can stop walking (therefore stopping Stephen walking) and explore these illustrations, gaining insight into the book and adding to the enjoyment of it.
This will be a prototype version for a larger project, with future versions exploring the experience of the book's very own Leopold Bloom.
A fun experience, a next-gen E-Book and an educational tool exploring the meanings hidden within the language of James Joyce's masterpiece - "In Ulysses" will be a new way of reading Joyce's work.
In Ulysses it will be designed in Unreal Engine 3 for use with one of the new generation VR headsets such as Oculus rift, but it will also be available on Windows PC, Mac, iOS and Android. I have already begun developing the project and will use the funding to purchase hardware and software, record the text using an actor and spend three months finishing the scene and illustrations for part of the Proteus chapter.