The Complete Ulysses: Alec Baldwin, Garrison Keillor, Bob Odenkirk & Others Read Joyce’s Opus Aloud


Per­haps you’ve held off on lis­ten­ing to Re:Joyce, Frank Delaney’s line-by-line, episode-by-episode pod­cast exe­ge­sis of James Joyce’s Ulysses, because you want to lis­ten not just to a break­down of the nov­el, but to the nov­el itself. If so, then boy, have we got anoth­er ongo­ing project for you to fol­low: The Com­plete Ulysses, which has a man­date to record every word of Ulysses as “the first Amer­i­can pro­duc­tion” of the book “using most­ly Amer­i­can and Irish-Amer­i­can actors like Alec Bald­win, John Lith­gow, Jer­ry Stiller, Gar­ri­son Keil­lor, Anne Meara, Wal­lace Shawn, Bob Dishy, Anne Enright, Bob Odenkirk, Pulitzer-Prize-win­ning poet Paul Mul­doon, and Caraid O’Brien as Mol­ly Bloom.” The pro­duc­ers have planned to make avail­able record­ings of each chap­ter as soon as they fin­ish them, “on almost all cur­rent and future audio media.” You can browse the so-far com­plet­ed mate­r­i­al here.

“The project began more than 30 years ago,” says The Com­plete Ulysses’ site, “when [radio sta­tion] WBAI broad­cast a marathon read­ing of Ulysses from the Shake­speare & Co. book­store at 81st and Broad­way in New York.” Book­store own­er Lar­ry Joseph­son “took the idea of a long-form radio read­ing of Ulysses to Isa­iah Shef­fer, then Artis­tic Direc­tor of Sym­pho­ny Space.” This result­ed in Blooms­day on Broad­way, an 18-hour “live, staged read­ing of excerpts from Ulysses and oth­er Irish lit­er­a­ture and song.” Hav­ing then cre­at­ed Radio Blooms­day, a WBAI read­ing series “fea­tur­ing live and pre-record­ed read­ings from Ulysses and lots of oth­er things Irish,” Joseph­son “got the ‘insane’ idea of record­ing the entire book, which will run about 30 hours.”

Ambi­tious, yes, but then the same applies to Re:Joyce, and indeed to Ulysses itself, which you can find in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks. Joyce has long had a way of inspir­ing cre­ators to exe­cute their own “insane” ideas, and this one in par­tic­u­lar gives his own work a whole new means of expres­sion. Tun­ing into Radio Blooms­day has, for a few years now, appeared as a main­stay on var­i­ous press out­lets’ “what to do on Blooms­day” lists, but with The Com­plete Ulysses, you cer­tain­ly don’t need to wait until June 16 for a Joycean expe­ri­ence; these days, a prop­er­ly equipped iPod can turn every day into Blooms­day.

If you can’t wait for The Com­plete Ulysses to be com­plet­ed, you can always down­load a read­ing of Ulysses in its entire­ty here (in audio for­mat).

Note: The draw­ing above is none oth­er than Leopold Bloom, drawn by Joyce him­self in 1926, when his eye­sight was fail­ing. We have more on that sto­ry here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Every­thing You Need to Enjoy Read­ing James Joyce’s Ulysses on Blooms­day

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 and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.