Read Joyce’s Ulysses Line by Line, for the Next 22 Years, with Frank Delaney’s Podcast

If you need some­one to host a mul­ti-decade pod­cast on James Joyce’s Ulysses, then why set­tle for less than the most elo­quent man in the world? Vis­it Frank Delaney’s site, and you’ll find it less than shy about pro­claim­ing that Nation­al Pub­lic Radio once dubbed him just that. A pro­lif­ic man of let­ters, Delaney has in his 42-year-long career logged time as a news­read­er, book jour­nal­ist, inter­view­er, Edin­burgh Fes­ti­val Lit­er­a­ture Direc­tor, talk show host, Man Book­er Prize judge, radio broad­cast­er, nov­el­ist, and his­to­ri­an. In 1981, his book James Joyce’s Odyssey brought his sur­pass­ing enthu­si­asm for Joyce schol­ar­ship to pub­lic atten­tion, and it took a whole new form on, appro­pri­ate­ly enough, Blooms­day 2010, when Delaney added the title of pod­cast­er to his résumé by launch­ing Re: Joyce (iTunes — RSS). The show oper­ates on a sim­ple con­cept: each Wednes­day, Delaney decon­structs a piece of Ulysses, usu­al­ly for four to fif­teen min­utes. This will run, so the plan goes, for the next twen­ty-two years.

An ambi­tious project, cer­tain­ly, but I find that pod­cast­ing, espe­cial­ly lit­er­ary pod­cast­ing, could always use a lit­tle more ambi­tion. “Why?” Delaney asks of the show on its debut episode. “Well, why not? You could say, ‘Why both­er?’ And I would say, for the sheer fun of it. Because this is a book that has engrossed and delight­ed me for most of my adult life, and I know the enjoy­ment to be had from it. And I also know that such enjoy­ment has been denied to many, many peo­ple who would read Ulysses if they weren’t so daunt­ed by it, and indeed, who tried to read it but had to give up. How do I know this? Because I was one of them.” If this sounds a lit­tle like the script of an infomer­cial, Delaney embraces the sen­si­bil­i­ty, label­ing Re: Joyce his “infomer­cial for Ulysses.” As far as elo­quence — and eru­di­tion, not to men­tion rich­ness of sub­ject mat­ter — he’s cer­tain­ly sur­passed Ron Popeil.

You can down­load the pod­cast from iTunes for free or fol­low the RSS feed here. Copies of Joyce’s Ulysses can be found in our col­lec­tions of Free eBooks and Free Audio Books. The first episode of Re:Joyce appears below:

Relat­ed con­tent:

James Joyce Man­u­scripts Online, Free Cour­tesy of The Nation­al Library of Ire­land

Stephen Fry Explains His Love for James Joyce’s Ulysses

James Joyce’s Ulysses: Down­load the Free Audio Book

Hen­ri Matisse Illus­trates 1935 Edi­tion of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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