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  • morganfagg

Was Ulysses made for the internet age?

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

“I think that the online world has actually brought books back. People are reading because they're reading the damn screen. That's more reading than people used to do.”

-- Bill Murray

I find it hard to imagine how James Joyce was able to write Ulysses considering the limitations of the day, 100 years ago he didn't exactly have a spell checker did he? How did people even translate his books when consider the difficulties of the language and languages that he used?

I imagine that Ulysses was made for the internet age where references are easily found by saying "OK Google" or calling Siri or Alexa but 100 years ago, it must have been damn near impossible to type thousands of pages and edit them into one draft and I imagine that Joyce's eyesight became a damn sight worse as he wrote his masterpiece and stories exist of him writing in colourful crayons and in large print so that he could see his writing. How is that conducive to any literary project and it is amazing how much technology is at my fingertips as I blog about The Groundhog Day Challenge and I am reminded of a quote credited to Bill Murray that says that people are reading more than ever even if it is just a screen.

As a slow reader, I found it impossible to get through books as a child but knew my reading habits had changed by the time I got the internet in 1999 and a Facebook account in 2008.

Technology has made reading and writing more accessible in some ways as you can order a book, check reviews, do a creative writing course online and even self publish if you want or create an e-book and save paper.

We are on our phones all day and that is both a blessing and a curse but when you look at Bill Murray's quote and also Joyce's quote about keeping professors busy for centuries arguing over what he meant, then you will have to admit, we are reading more but we are also discussing books more and encouraged to write more as this blog shows.

We Tweet, tag, hashtag, WhatsApp, argue on Facebook, write reviews and blog about everything under the sun and that is a far cry from the days of needing ribbon for your typewriter and ink for your quill.

Supported by

UNESCO City of Literature

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