Liberate Ulysses: My Steampunk-Joyce Project

Liberate Ulysses

Liberate Ulysses is a “global dialogue & multimedia celebration for Bloomsday,” a day that pays homage to Irish writer James Joyce’s masterwork Ulysses. My passion for Joyce extends beyond my scholarship & continued reading of his works. For the past three years I have challenged myself to create pieces inspired by his texts. This year I am fortunate to be a part of Liberate Ulysses’s celebration. Last year, Liberate Ulysses lauded the novel through Twitter (a call-to-arms was issued asking those around the world to tweet an aspect of an episode that they felt was representative of that chapter). This year, to commemorate Ulysses coming out of copyright, the novel is being lionized through various artistic projects inspired by the novel. For a list of the projects, click here.

My Liberate Ulysses Project: To Create Steampunk Jewelry Pieces Representative of Each Episode

Without further ado, here they are:

Stephen “peered from under his shaggy brows at the manuscript by his elbow and, muttering, began to prod the stiff buttons of the keyboard slowly”

“He watched through peacocktwittering lashes the southing sun”

“Confession as clockwork” or as I like to think of this piece, “Agenbite of Inwit, Inwit’s Agenbite: Clockwork Confessions”

A Mourning Pin to Pine for Paddy Dignam

I found that of all the episodes, Nausicaa was the most interesting in terms of clock imagery & preoccupation. Both Bloom and Gerty ponder on & about clocks. Bloom fiddles with his watch chain and realizes that his clock has stopped (just after eight) and Gerty thinks of gifting Bloom a clock which reminds her of the one on the mantel: “white and gold with a canary bird that came out of a little house to tell the time of day.”

Not only is this a challenging episode to read, but it was difficult to try and represent it justly. I luckily happened upon an antique cigar cutter at the flea market which lead me to the idea of representing the episode through its simplest, and most central, action–birth.

Eumaeus was another challenge for me. Its techne lent me many ideas, this was the first that I thought of. Circulation is not only about blood, but in a city–circulation is electricity (the wires literally connecting spaces) and a computer’s circuit board is the circulation of information.

In Calypso, we get the description of Molly’s garters: “Night sky moon, violet” and in Penelope we finally have Molly thinking: “Id let him see my garters the new ones”–which of coarse, Bloom already has.

I hope you enjoyed these pieces. It was both challenging and entertaining to make them. Check out my blog next Bloomsday, I create something new every year! Joycefully Yours, Sam.

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4 Comments

Filed under Inspiration

4 responses to “Liberate Ulysses: My Steampunk-Joyce Project

  1. I love your blog so I would like to present you with The Versatile Blogger Award! Just click the icon button on my homepage sidebar for information about what to do next. Well done xx

  2. yeltnuh

    Impressive! I’ve shared this on twitter.

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